DANNY FRENCH

Real Name: Daniel "Danny" French

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Private detective; former espionage agent

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Black Widow (Natasha Romanova), Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Mr. Fredricks, Ivan Petrovich

Enemies: Bertram, Blue Talon (Yamura), Charles, Damon Dran, Jack, Johnson, Jonah, MacElroy, Pauls

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: San Francisco, California, USA

First Appearance: Daredevil I#87 (April, 1972)

Powers/Abilities: Danny French was a trained espionage agent and private detective in good physical shape.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 165 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

History: (Daredevil I#90 (fb)) – Years ago, American espionage agent Danny French met Soviet spy Black Widow at the Los Angeles airport, and immediately flirted with her, making her uncomfortable. The two of them had been assigned to work together to steal the contents of Project Four. On their drive from the airport, they were pursued by Chinese agents in a high-speed chase, but Natasha fired on the men, and their car crashed, killing them. French drove her into the desert, where they changed into commando clothes, then he tried to kiss Natasha, who was furious. As they approached the base to break in, French was shocked when Natasha over-powered a muscular guard. After they bypassed a security fence, French and Natasha broke into a facility and overpowered more guards. Ignoring the warning of scientists, they seized an energy sphere called Project Four, a mysterious and powerful weapon. French tossed a gas grenade back into the building, thinking it was knockout gas, but all the men inside were killed.

(Daredevil I#94 (fb) – BTS) – French struggled with the guilt over the senseless murder.

(Daredevil I#90 (fb) – BTS) – French gave up freelance work and parted ways with Natasha, though he kept the Project Four sphere for himself.

(Daredevil I#92 (fb) – BTS) – French became a private detective in San Francisco.

(Daredevil I#94 (fb) – BTS) – To make extra money, French sometimes blackmailed targets.

(Daredevil I#90 (fb) – BTS) – During California earthquakes, French used Project Four to blackmail unidentified parties.

(Daredevil I#87) – Hearing Natasha was in town, French stopped by her new address in San Francisco. He saw Ivan Petrovich there and left a message for Natasha.

(Daredevil I#88) – Convinced she was being blackmailed by French, Natasha chased French through the streets of San Francisco in a high-speed chase but he soon lost her, not realizing who was after him. Later, she followed leads and found him in a dingy nightclub, where he had just made a deal with Mr. Fredricks. French reminded Natasha of Project Four and they went off together.

(Daredevil I#89) – Danny drove Natasha up to an overlook above San Francisco and tried kissing her, causing her to leave him in frustration.

(Daredevil I#90 – BTS) – Natasha told Daredevil the truth about Project Four and began thinking that French was behind their recent struggles with overwhelming fear.

(Daredevil I#91) – Black Widow followed French and Mr. Fredricks, the man he'd met at the Two Horses nightclub, to a sub-basement, where French was giving Fredricks a box in exchange for money. Black Widow confronted Phil, thinking he was selling Fredricks the Project Four globe. Furious, French attacked Widow but she soon realized the box was full of papers that would clear up a blackmail scheme in Fredricks' favor. After Fredricks left, Widow realized French had also been the one to blackmail Fredricks. Natasha questioned French about Project Four but he stated he never learned how to access the power source.

(Daredevil I#92 (fb)) – Black Widow found French and accused him of being behind recent attacks on her but he denied it completely. As she realized someone else was behind it all, their tire was shot out and the car crashed. Natasha and French were attacked by Charles, an employee of Damon Dran. As Charles fought Natasha, French leaned in to help, distracting her, and they both wound up defeated. They were taken back to Dran's home and restrained.

(Daredevil I#92) – Charles and Dran used a Mind-Probe device on French to see his memories but he refused to tell them about Project Four. Dran ordered Jonah to administer electric shock. Dran brought in his associate Yamura, the Blue Talon, to find Daredevil but French still refused to talk. When Blue Talon was seemingly killed in battle, Dran was more determined than ever to get the truth.

(Daredevil I#93 (fb) – BTS) – Dran's machines finally broke through and he got the location of Project Four, where French had buried it in the desert. Dran also brainwashed Natasha and sent her to battle Daredevil.

(Daredevil I#93) – Daredevil defeated Natasha as civilians like Frankie watched. Dran hired Bertram and Jack to retrieve Project Four from French's hiding place and they brought the device back to him. With French still bound, Dran had employees Johnson, MacElroy and Pauls use the sphere to power up his battle armor and he killed Pauls to demonstrate his power. Daredevil attacked, revealing that Dran had been behind Project Four all along as its benefactor. He freed French and the two fled as the house exploded, leaving them to assume Dran was dead.

(Daredevil I#94) – Daredevil and French saw Damon Dran, the Indestructible Man, achieve full power, developing super strength and vast size under the power of Project Four. Daredevil took French back to his home, where Ivan Petrovich and Black Widow waited. They received reports that Dran was attacking the Golden Gate Bridge. French confessed his feelings for Natasha to her as she and Daredevil rushed off to fight Dran, then he followed with a frustrated Ivan. Danny, wanting to make amends for his past, grabbed a stick and pierced the Project Four sphere, which exploded. Dran was defeated but the explosion cost Danny his life and he soon died at Natasha's feet.

(Daredevil I#95 – BTS) – Natasha had a headstone for French placed in San Francisco and she grieved for him.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer.

Dude, the Black Widow doesn't want to kiss you. Get a hint.

Profile by Chadman.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Danny French has no known connections to:


Bertram & Jack

(Daredevil I#93) – Bertram (blonde hair) and Jack (brown hair) were hired by Damon Dran to set off an explosive device in the desert and then retrieve the exposed case containing Project Four, which Danny French had hid. They returned it to Dran, expecting payment, but Dran sent his man Charles to kill the two men instead.






--Daredevil I#93


Charles

(Daredevil I#92 (fb) – BTS) – Charles aided his employer, Damon Dran, in the apprehension of the Black Widow and Danny French, Charles knocking both out himself. Back at Dran's home, Charles questioned both of them about Project Four.

(Daredevil I#92) – Charles greeted Dran when he returned home. After hearing Dran's concerns over Daredevil, Charles showed Dran in to the captives and he interrogated them with Jonah's help. In time, Blue Talon was sent to find Daredevil but Blue Talon was seemingly killed in battle.

(Daredevil I#93) – After Dran successfully retrieved Project Four, he ordered Charles to kill his hirelings Bertram and Jack, wanting to clean up all loose ends. Charles stood guard as Damon Dran powered up his armor but when Daredevil arrived, he fought Charles, leaving him unconscious. Before he woke, the house exploded and Daredevil had escaped with French.

--Daredevil I#92 (92 (fb), 92, 93,


Frankie

(Daredevil I#93) – Frankie and his girl were shocked to see Daredevil battling Black Widow, who seemed to be brainwashed.





--Daredevil I#93


Mr. Fredricks

(Daredevil I#90 (fb) – BTS) – Mr. Fredricks was being blackmailed by a mysterious source. Danny French agreed to help him clear his name for money.

(Daredevil I#88) – Mr. Fredricks met with Danny French in a seedy nightclub to make a deal.

(Daredevil I#90) – Fredricks followed French into a sub-basement, where he was given a box full of papers. Black Widow attacked, thinking the box contained a dangerous device, but she soon realized Fredricks was paying to have his name cleared from blackmail, though Fredricks never realized French had been the one to blackmail him in the first place.


--Daredevil I#88 (90 (fb) – BTS, 88, 90,


Johnson

(Daredevil I#93) – Damon Dran's employee Johnson helped power up his battle armor with the Project Four sphere. Johnson was worried about power going out on the entire coast but Dran silenced his concerns.



--Daredevil I#93


Jonah

(Daredevil I#92) – Damon Dran's employee Jonah administered electric shock to captives Danny French and Black Widow at Dran's orders, as they were being interrogated. In time, Jonah was asked to back off.

 

--Daredevil I#92


MacElroy

(Daredevil I#93) – Damon Dran's employee MacElroy helped power up his battle armor with the Project four sphere. MacElroy wondered at the powers of the sphere but Dran silenced him.




--Daredevil I#93


Pauls

(Daredevil I#93) – Damon Dran's employee Pauls helped power up his battle armor with the Project Four sphere, tapping into the reactors to increase the suit's capacities. Just as Pauls was worried about the suit's limits, Dran used its power to disintegrate Pauls.





--Daredevil I#93


images: (without ads)
Daredevil I#94, p16, pan4 (Danny French, main image)
Daredevil I#84, p20, pan2 (with Black Widow)
Daredevil I#93, p6, pan1 (Bertram and Jack)
Daredevil I#92, p11, pan3 (Charles)
Daredevil I#93, p2, pan5 (Frankie)
Daredevil I#88, p17, pan1 (Mr. Fredricks)
Daredevil I#93, p11, pan1 (Johnson)
Daredevil I#92, p12, pan4 (Jonah)
Daredevil I#93, p11, pan1 (MacElroy)
Daredevil I#93, p12, pan1 (Pauls)


Appearances:
Daredevil I#87-95 (April-December, 1972) – Gerry Conway (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Stan Lee (editor)


First Posted: 06/08/2018
Last updated: 06/08/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters