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|First appearance||Daredevil (1st series) #1 (April 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Full name||Karen Page|
|Supporting character of||Daredevil|
Karen Page is a fictional character in Marvel Comics' Daredevil series, the longest running love interest for the title character. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, she first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964).
In her first appearances, Karen is the secretary for the law firm of Daredevil’s alter ego Matt Murdock, and the mutual love interest of both Murdock and his partner Foggy Nelson. Her relationship with Murdock hits a downward spiral when he reveals his secret identity to her in Daredevil #57 (October 1969), setting off a long break-up which concluded with her departure from the series in issue #86 (April 1972). Within these final stories, she trades her profession of secretary to become a film actress.
After three years absence from published stories, Page returned for a considerable stint as a supporting character in Ghost Rider, starting with vol. 2 #13 (August 1975) and continuing through to #26 (October 1977). During this time, a crossover with Daredevil #138 afforded her a brief return appearance in the series where she got her start. However, a 1978 appearance in Marvel Two-in-One would prove the character's last showing for over seven years.
Karen Page returned in the award-winning Daredevil #227 (February 1986), in a story that would ultimately restore her earlier role as Daredevil's love interest. Writer Ann Nocenti gave considerably more development to their relationship, and even had Page acting as a sidekick to Daredevil for the first time in issue #259, in which she goes undercover to help take down a child pornography ring. She was again dropped from the series in issue #263 (February 1989) for another long-term breakup from Murdock, but this time was brought back just two years later, for Daredevil #294 (July 1991).
Page is killed by Daredevil's adversary Bullseye in Daredevil vol. 2 #5, (March 10, 1999).
Fictional character biography
Foggy Nelson hires Karen Page to be the secretary for the new law firm Nelson and Murdock. She is infatuated with Matt from the moment they meet.[volume & issue needed] When he introduces her to the adventuring, wisecracking aspect of his personality, in the guise of his "twin brother" Mike, she finds herself equally charmed by this side of him.
Karen's father, Doctor Paxton Page, fakes his own kidnapping and death so that he can assume the guise of the villain Death's-Head. Karen returns to her parents' home to investigate her father’s disappearance. Daredevil follows her. In the ensuing battle between Daredevil and Death’s Head, Death’s Head spills a vat of molten cobalt over Daredevil, but realizes that Karen is endangered. This brings him back to his senses, and he pushes Daredevil and Karen to safety. He appears to die in this act of self-sacrifice, when he is coated in the molten cobalt. After the battle with Death’s Head, Daredevil reveals his true identity to Karen. She constantly fears for Matt’s safety, but he cannot give up fighting crime. Karen eventually leaves him and moves to California to pursue an acting career. She finds work as an actress in a daytime soap opera.[volume & issue needed]
Karen appears alongside Johnny Blaze in a film. After a scene is interrupted by The Uncanny Orb, Karen's stuntwoman, Katy Milner, confides in Johnny about Karen's history of "unhappy romances" including the ones with Matt Murdock and Phil Hickock. Later on, Karen herself falls under the Orb's control.[volume & issue needed]
Karen Page is offered a role on The Incredible Hulk TV show which was on its first season at the time. She is kidnapped by three ex-stuntmen on the show, but is saved by the Thing, who is looking for his own TV show, and the Hulk, who is annoyed at having a show about him.
Karen becomes addicted to heroin and starts making pornographic movies. In need of a fix, she sells Daredevil's secret identity to a drug dealer, who in turn sells it to the Kingpin. Karen is forced to return to New York, where she meets up again with Matt. He helps Karen beat her addiction, and they resume their relationship and begin sharing an apartment.
Realizing that Matt is incomplete without his lawyering, Karen founds a free drug and legal clinic, where she counsels drug addicts and Matt provides legal advice and "ghost lawyering". The clinic is destroyed during a demonic invasion of Manhattan, and hours later Karen discovers that Matt has been having an affair with Typhoid Mary. These combined blows leave her psychologically lost, and she runs away.
She becomes an anti-pornography activist, assists Daredevil and the Black Widow in fighting crime on separate occasions, and reluctantly begins dating Matt. At this point she becomes a radio show host under the name “Paige Angel.” She eventually realizes that she is too dependent on Matt and that her past is a constant barrier between them. Karen leaves Matt to accept a talk show host position in Los Angeles.[volume & issue needed]
While in California, Karen has a routine blood test as part of an insurance policy application. The supervillain Mysterio disguises himself as a doctor, performs the blood test, and tells her that she is HIV positive as part of his plan to destroy Daredevil before he himself dies of a brain tumor. Devastated, Karen returns to New York and tells Matt that she is HIV positive. Later, during a fight between Daredevil and Bullseye, Karen is murdered by Bullseye.[volume & issue needed]
After Mysterio's death, a conversation with Spider-Man leads Daredevil to realize that the infant he's saved represents something positive that has come of the whole affair. He gives the baby up for adoption to a couple in New Jersey. Before he leaves, Matt names the baby after Karen, and hopes that her new parents will allow the occasional visit from her "Uncle Matt".[volume & issue needed]
In other media
In the film adaptation of Daredevil, Karen Page is portrayed by Ellen Pompeo. Most of her scenes were deleted from the final theatrical cut, but they can be seen in the Daredevil Director's Cut DVD. In the film, she is visibly attracted to Matt Murdock, shown when she presents him with two invitations to Wilson Fisk's business party and demonstrates visible disappointment when Foggy Nelson promptly takes the second invitation for himself.
- Daredevil #1
- Daredevil #25–26
- Daredevil #56–57
- Marvel Two-in-One #46
- Daredevil #227
- Daredevil #232
- Daredevil #248
- Daredevil #262
- Daredevil #263
- Daredevil #294