Daredevil (Marvel Comics character)
Promotional art for Daredevil vol. 2, #65
(Sept. 2004) by Greg Land
|First appearance||Daredevil #1 (April 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (writer)|
Bill Everett (artist)
|Alter ego||Matthew Michael Murdock|
|Place of origin||Hell's Kitchen, New York City|
|Notable aliases||Man Without Fear, Jack Batlin, Mike Murdock, Scarlet Swashbuckler, God Without Fear|
|The first issue of Daredevil (April 1964) features the hero in his original costume. Splash-page art by Jack Kirby (penciler) and Bill Everett (inker).|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)|
April 1964 – October 1998
November 1998 – August 2009
(vol. 1 cont.)
October 2009 – February 2011
September 2011 – April 2014
May 2014 – November 2015
February 2016 – December 2017
(vol. 1 cont.)
January 2018 – January 2019
|Number of issues||(vol. 1): 381 (#1–380 plus #−1) and 10 Annuals|
(vol. 2): 119
(vol. 1 cont.): 13
(vol. 3): 37 (#1–36 plus #10.1) and 1 Annual
(vol. 4): 21 (#1–18 plus #0.1, #1.50 and 15.1)
(vol. 5): 28 and 1 Annual
(vol. 1 cont.): 18
Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, Marv Wolfman, Roger McKenzie, Frank Miller, Ann Nocenti
Kevin Smith, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker
(vol. 1 cont.)
Bill Everett, Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, John Romita Sr., Gene Colan, Bob Brown, Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, David Mazzucchelli, Lee Weeks
Joe Quesada, Alex Maleev, Michael Lark
(vol. 1 cont.)
Roberto De la Torre, Marco Checchetto
Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martín, Chris Samnee
Vince Colletta, Syd Shores, Klaus Janson
Jimmy Palmiotti, Danny Miki, Stefano Gaudiano
Brian Haberlin, Matt Hollingsworth
Daredevil is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Daredevil was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with an unspecified amount of input from Jack Kirby. The character first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964). Writer/artist Frank Miller's influential tenure on the title in the early 1980s cemented the character as a popular and influential part of the Marvel Universe. Daredevil is commonly known by such epithets as the "Man Without Fear" and the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen".
Daredevil's origins stem from a childhood accident that gave him special abilities. While growing up in the historically gritty or crime-ridden working class Irish-American neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen in New York City, Matt Murdock is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from an out-of-control truck after he pushes a man out of the path of the oncoming vehicle. While he no longer can see, his exposure to the radioactive material heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability, and gives him a "radar sense." His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, is a single man raising his now blind son, who despite his rough upbringing, unconditionally loves his son and tries to teach him to form a better life for himself. Jack is later killed by gangsters after refusing to throw a fight, leaving Matt an orphan. In order to protect himself, Matt began training to hone his physical abilities and superhuman senses, along with rigorously practicing various styles and forms of martial arts, hand-to-hand combat and fighting techniques, under the tutelage of a mysterious blind stranger named Stick, eventually becoming a highly-skilled and expert martial artist. Some years later, after graduating from law school with high grades, Matt seeks out to fight the criminal element in Hell's Kitchen and starts his crime-fighting activities, by targeting the local gangsters, who murdered his father and managed to succeed in bringing them to justice. Eventually, donning a costumed attire modeled after a devil, Matt took up to a dual life of fighting against the criminal underworld in New York City, as the masked vigilante Daredevil, which put him in conflict with many super-villains, including his arch-enemies Bullseye and the Kingpin. He also becomes a skilled and respected lawyer after having graduated from Columbia Law School with his best friend and roommate, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, with whom he becomes law partners, forming the law firm: Nelson & Murdock.
Daredevil has since appeared in various forms of media, including several animated series, video games and merchandise. The character was first portrayed in live action by Rex Smith in the 1989 television movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and then by Ben Affleck in the 2003 film Daredevil. Most recently Daredevil was portrayed by Charlie Cox in the Marvel Television productions Daredevil and The Defenders on Netflix for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Other versions
- 4 Reception
- 5 Supporting characters
- 6 In other media
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The character debuted in Marvel Comics' Daredevil #1 (cover date April 1964), created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with character design input from Jack Kirby, who devised Daredevil's billy club. Writer and comics historian Mark Evanier has suggested without confirmation that Kirby also designed the basic image of Daredevil's initial costume, though Everett modified it. That original costume design was a combination of black, yellow, and red, reminiscent of acrobat tights.
The first issue covered both the character's origins and his desire for justice on the man who had killed his father, boxer "Battling Jack" Murdock, who raised young Matthew Murdock in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Jack instills in Matt the importance of education and nonviolence with the aim of seeing his son become a better man than himself. In the course of saving a blind man from the path of an oncoming truck, Matt is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from the vehicle. The radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human limits, and giving him a kind of “radar” sense, enabling him to detect the shape and location of objects around him. In order to support his son, Jack Murdock returns to boxing under the Fixer, a known gangster, and the only man willing to contract the aging boxer. When he refuses to throw a fight because his son is in the audience, he is killed by one of the Fixer's men. Having promised his father not to use violence to deal with his problems, Matt gets around that promise by adopting a new identity who can use physical force. Adorned in a yellow and black costume made from his father's boxing robes and using his superhuman abilities, Matt confronts the killers as the superhero Daredevil, unintentionally causing the Fixer to have a fatal heart attack.
Wally Wood introduced Daredevil's modern red costume in issue #7, which depicts Daredevil's battle against the far more powerful Sub-Mariner, and has become one of the most iconic stories of the series.
Daredevil would embark on a series of adventures involving such villains as the Owl, Stilt-Man, the Gladiator, and the Enforcers. In issue #16 (May 1966), he meets Spider-Man, a character who would grow to become one of Daredevil's closest friends. A letter from Spider-Man unintentionally exposed Daredevil's secret identity, compelling him to adopt a third identity as his twin brother Mike Murdock, whose carefree, wisecracking personality much more closely resembled that of the Daredevil guise than the stern, studious, and emotionally-withdrawn Matt Murdock did. The "Mike Murdock" plotline was used to highlight the character's quasi-multiple personality disorder (he at one point wonders whether Matt or Mike/Daredevil "is the real me"), but it proved confusing to readers and was dropped in issues #41–42, with Daredevil faking Mike Murdock's death and claiming he had trained a replacement Daredevil. The series' 31-issue run by writer-editor Stan Lee and penciler Gene Colan (beginning with issue #20) includes Daredevil #47, in which Murdock defends a blind Vietnam veteran against a frameup; Lee has cited it as one of the favorite stories of his career.
Matt discloses his secret identity to his girlfriend Karen Page in issue #57. However, the revelation proves too much for her, and she is depicted as breaking off the relationship. This was the first of several long-term breakups between Matt and Karen, who would nevertheless prove the most enduring of his love interests.
Gerry Conway took over as writer with issue #72, and turned the series in a pulp science fiction direction: a lengthy story arc centered on a robot from thousands of years in the future trying to change history. Even long-standing arch-villain the Owl was outfitted with futuristic weaponry and vehicles. Conway also moved Daredevil to San Francisco beginning with Daredevil #86, and simultaneously brought on the Black Widow as co-star for the series. The Black Widow served as Daredevil's crime-fighting ally as well as his love interest from issue #81–124 (Nov. 1971–Aug. 1975), of which #93-108 were titled Daredevil and the Black Widow.
The writing and editing jobs went to Marv Wolfman with issue #124, which wrote the Black Widow out of the series and returned Daredevil to Hell's Kitchen. Wolfman promptly introduced the lively but emotionally fragile Heather Glenn to replace the Black Widow as Daredevil's love interest. Wolfman's 20-issue run included the introduction of one of Daredevil's most popular villains, Bullseye, and a story arc in which the Jester uses computer-generated images to manipulate the mass media.
With issue #144, Jim Shooter became the writer and introduced Paladin in issue #150 (Jan. 1978). Shooter had difficulty keeping up with the schedule, and the writing chores were shortly turned over to Roger McKenzie.
McKenzie's work on Daredevil reflected his background in horror comics, and the stories and even the character himself took on a much darker tone: Daredevil battled a personification of death, one of his archenemies was bifurcated by a tombstone, and a re-envisioning of Daredevil's origin showed him using stalker tactics to drive the Fixer to his fatal heart attack. McKenzie created chain-smoking Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich, who deduces Daredevil's secret identity over the course of issues #153–163, and had Daredevil using the criminal underworld of Hell's Kitchen as an information network, adding several small-time crooks to the supporting cast.
In a story arc overlapping Wolfman, Shooter, and McKenzie's runs on the series, Daredevil reveals his identity to Glenn and becomes partially responsible for the suicide of her father; their relationship would persist, but would prove increasingly harmful to both of them. Though the Black Widow returned for a dozen issues (#155–166) and attempted to rekindle her romance with Daredevil, he ultimately rejects her in favor of Glenn.
Miller continued the title in a similar vein to McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil's continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil's reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil's new primary nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into something of an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder Bullseye by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun.
Following up a suggestion from O'Neill that he give Daredevil a realistic fighting style, Miller introduced ninjas into the Daredevil canon, bringing a martial-arts aspect to Daredevil's fighting skills, and introducing previously-unseen characters who had played a major part in his youth: Stick, leader of the ninja clan the Chaste, who had been Murdock's sensei after he was blinded; a rival organization of assassins called the Hand; and Elektra, an ex-girlfriend and sometime member of the Hand. This was a drastic change for a character once called "the sightless swashbuckler." Elektra was killed by Bullseye in issue #181 (April 1982).
After #191 Miller left the series. O'Neil switched from editor to writer. He continued McKenzie and Miller's noir take on the series, but backed away from the antihero depiction of the character by having him not only spare Bullseye's life, but express guilt over his two previous attempts to kill him. Miller returned as the title's regular writer, co-writing #226 with O'Neil. Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli crafted the acclaimed "Daredevil: Born Again" storyline in #227–233. In the Born Again storyline, Karen Page returns as a heroin-addicted porn star, and sells Daredevil's secret identity for drug money. The Kingpin acquires the information and, in an act of revenge, orchestrates a frameup which costs Murdock his attorney's license. Miller ended the arc on a positive note, with Murdock reuniting with both Karen Page and Maggie, the mother he thought dead, now a nun.
Ann Nocenti later became the series's longest-running regular writer, with a four-and-a-quarter-year run from #238–291 (Jan. 1987 – April 1991).
The team returned Murdock to law by co-founding with Page a nonprofit drug and legal clinic, while Nocenti crafted stories confronting feminism, drug abuse, nuclear proliferation, and animal rights-inspired terrorism. She introduced the antagonist Typhoid Mary, and in issues #262–265 used the Inferno event as a backdrop for the collapse of Daredevil's life: the clinic is destroyed, Page goes missing after learning that Matt has had an affair with Mary Walker, and Walker reveals herself as the alter ego of Typhoid Mary. Murdock subsequently becomes a drifter in upstate New York, an especially controversial move in Nocenti's run, as it marked the first time the character had been taken outside of an urban environment. She ended her run with a positive turn in Murdock's fortunes: he returns to Hell's Kitchen, regains his sense of self, reconciles with Foggy Nelson, and resolves to seek out Karen Page.
New writer D. G. Chichester continued from where Nocenti left off, with Murdock resuming his friendship with Foggy Nelson, struggling to re-win the heart of Karen Page, appealing the revocation of his attorney's license, and bonding more deeply than ever with Hell's Kitchen. Chichester's focus on Daredevil's relationship with New York City went so far as to have two issues devoted entirely to Daredevil defending New Yorkers from ordinary criminals and even simple accidents. The critically acclaimed "Last Rites" arc from #297–300 saw Daredevil regaining his attorney's license and finally bringing the Kingpin to justice.
Frank Miller returned to the character and his origins with the 1993 five-issue Daredevil: The Man Without Fear miniseries. With artist John Romita Jr., Miller expanded his retcon of the life and death of Murdock's father, "Battling Jack" Murdock, and Murdock's first encounters with the Kingpin and Foggy Nelson. The role of Stick in the genesis of Daredevil was expanded, as was Murdock's doomed love affair with Elektra.
The creative team of Chichester and penciler Scott McDaniel changed the status quo with their "Fall From Grace" storyline in issues #319–325 (Aug. 1993 – Feb. 1994). Elektra, who was resurrected in #190 but had not been seen since, finally returned. An injured Daredevil creates a more protective costume from biomimetic materials: red and gray with white armor on the shoulders and knee pads. Revamped billy clubs could attach to form nunchucks or a bo staff. His secret identity becomes public knowledge, leading to him fake his own death and assuming the new identity of "Jack Batlin". This new identity and costume lasts for several story arcs, while Murdock finds a way to convince the world that he is not, in fact, secretly Daredevil (courtesy of a double). A short stint by J. M. DeMatteis returned Daredevil to his traditional red costume and Matt Murdock identity.
Under writers Karl Kesel and later Joe Kelly, the title gained a lighter tone, with Daredevil returning to the lighthearted, wisecracking hero depicted by earlier writers. Matt and Foggy (who now knows of Matt's dual identities) join a law firm run by Foggy's mother, Rosalind Sharpe.
In 1998, Daredevil's numbering was rebooted, with the title "canceled" with issue #380 and revived a month later as part of the Marvel Knights imprint. Joe Quesada drew the new series, written by filmmaker Kevin Smith. Its first story arc, "Guardian Devil", depicts Daredevil struggling to protect a child whom he is told could either be the Messiah or the Anti-Christ. Murdock experiences a crisis of faith exacerbated by the discovery that Karen Page has AIDS (later revealed to be a hoax) and her subsequent death at Bullseye's hands. When he discovers that the true party responsible for the scheme is Mysterio, who is currently dying of cancer, he leaves Mysterio to commit suicide, deciding to use the money Karen left him in her will to re-open Nelson & Murdock.[volume & issue needed]
David Mack brought colleague Brian Michael Bendis to Marvel to co-write the following arc, "Wake Up" in vol. 2, #16–19 (May 2001 – August 2001), which follows reporter Ben Urich as he investigates the aftereffects of a fight between Daredevil and the new Leap-Frog.
The 2001 Daredevil: Yellow miniseries presented another take on Daredevil's origins using letters written to Karen Page after her death. The series depicts the early rivalry between Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson for Page's affection, and incorporates many events depicted in the earliest issues of Daredevil. The supervillains the Owl and the Purple Man appear as antagonists. In this story, Daredevil credits Page with coining the phrase "The Man Without Fear", and she suggests to Daredevil he wear all maroon instead of dark red and yellow.
Issue #26 (December 2001) brought back Brian Michael Bendis. Developments in this run included the introduction of romantic interest and future wife Milla Donovan, the outing once again of Murdock's secret identity, the reemergence of the Kingpin, and Daredevil's surrender to the FBI.
The impact of his exposure as Daredevil continued to be used as a plot point by both Bendis and writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark, who became the new creative team with Daredevil vol. 2, #82 (Feb. 2006).
The series returned to its original numbering with issue #500 (Oct. 2009), which followed vol. 2, #119 (Aug. 2009). New writer Andy Diggle revised the status quo, with Daredevil assuming leadership of the ninja army the Hand. Daredevil later appeared in the one-shot Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil.
Following this came the crossover story arc "Shadowland", in which it is revealed that Daredevil's recent actions after taking control of the Hand are the result of him being possessed by a demon. Purged of the demon by his allies, Murdock departs New York, leaving his territory in the hands of the Black Panther in the briefly retitled series' Black Panther: Man Without Fear #513. Murdock finds himself renewed in the miniseries Daredevil: Reborn #1–4 (March–July 2011), where he confronts a drug dealer with the power to make his opponents live their darkest fears, Murdock reaffirming his role as the man without fear as he confronts his enemy's taunts and resolves to return to New York.
In July 2011, Daredevil relaunched with vol. 3, #1 (Sept. 2011), with writer Mark Waid. Waid focused on emphasizing the character's powers and perception of the physical world. In the premiere issue, Murdock finds he can no longer serve as a trial lawyer due to past allegations of his being Daredevil causing a case he represents in court to turn into a media circus. Two issues later, Nelson and Murdock have developed a new business strategy of serving as consulting counselors, by teaching clients how to represent themselves in court. Daredevil joins the New Avengers in a story written by former Daredevil series writer Brian Michael Bendis. Daredevil appeared as a regular character in the 2010–2013 New Avengers series in issues #16–34 (November 2011 – January 2013). At one point, Foggy begins to question Matt's sanity, ultimately leading to a fallout between the two. They reconcile once the truth is discovered. Daredevil vol. 3 ended at issue #36 in February 2014, in which Matt is forced to publicly reveal his Daredevil identity, resulting in his being disbarred by New York and prompting him to again relocate to San Francisco.
Waid and Chris Samnee followed this up with Infinite Comics' Daredevil: Road Warrior weekly digital miniseries, which focused on an adventure during Matt's trip to San Francisco. It was reprinted as issue 0.1 in Daredevil volume 4, which launched under Waid and Samnee with a new issue #1 (March 2014) as part of the All-New Marvel NOW! storyline centered on Matt's new life in San Francisco.
Daredevil volume 4 ended with issue #18 in September 2015. A new volume began as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding, written by Charles Soule with art by Ron Garney with the first two issues released in December 2015. In this series, Matt returns to New York, where he now works as an Assistant District Attorney. He will have a redesigned costume and a new apprentice in Samuel Chung, an undocumented immigrant who has been living in New York's Chinatown since he was a child, who has taken up the codename Blindspot. Flashbacks in a later story arc reveal how Matt regained his secret identity; when the Purple Children acquired a machine designed by their father to enhance his powers, after Matt had saved them from a mob, they used the machine to erase the world's knowledge of Matt's identity as Daredevil, Matt only allowing Foggy to know his secret identity afterwards, enabling him to be re-instated as a New York Attorney. Using his restored secret identity, Murdock is able to take advantage of a subsequent court case to establish a precedent for superheroes testifying in court without the need to expose their secret identities. Despite interference from the Kingpin, Murdock succeeds in taking this precedent to the Supreme Court so that all superheroes will have the same rights in future cases, and afterwards returns to his traditional red costume.
Following the release of Issue 28, much like with other Marvel series as part of the Marvel Legacy event, the Daredevil series official numbering was rebooted back to the original numbering which started with Issue 595 which was released on November 8, 2017, where Daredevil's longtime nemesis the Kingpin became the Mayor of New York City and begins a campaign to make costumed vigilantes officially criminals. Although Murdock's attempt to set up a sting operation results in his allies being arrested when the Kingpin turns this trap against him, Fisk's legal manipulations work against him when he is attacked by the Hand, leaving Fisk in a coma and Murdock legally mayor of New York from his position as deputy mayor due to a loophole added by a prior administration that had not been amended, allowing Matt to take control of the city and release his fellow heroes to help him stop the Hand.
Charles Soule released his final Daredevil storyline "Death of Daredevil" during the October and November 2018 releases, in a 4-part bimonthly release which ended the series. Afterwards the series went on hiatus for two months and resumed distribution in February 2019, with a brand-new volume with the first two issues released during that month which were written by Chip Zdarsky.
Powers and abilities
Although the character is blind, his remaining four senses function with superhuman accuracy and sensitivity, giving him abilities far beyond the limits of a sighted person. Few characters know that the hero cannot see. Daredevil developed a radar sense, which is similar to echolocation. Writer/co-creator Stan Lee said that he was worried that blind people would be offended at how far he exaggerated the way a blind person's remaining senses are enhanced, but that his fears were assuaged by letters from organizations such as The Lighthouse for the Blind which said that blind people greatly enjoyed having Daredevil comics read to them.
When Frank Miller expanded most of Daredevil's abilities, he attempted to make them "extraordinary enough to be exciting, but not on par with Superman", noting Superman's distinctly unbelievable powers. When Miller joined the title in 1979, the first thing he did to the character was "revamp" his radar sense and made it less distinct and more believable; he wanted Daredevil to have the "proximity" sense that some martial artists claim to have. Due to the character's sensitive sense of touch, Daredevil can read by passing his fingers over the letters on a page though laminated pages prevent him from reading the ink. Daredevil has commonly used his superhuman hearing to serve as a polygraph for interrogation by listening for changes in a person's heartbeat. This ability can be fooled if the other person's heart is not beating at a natural rate, such as if they have an artificial pacemaker.
Just as Daredevil's other senses are stronger, they are also sensitive; his main weakness is his vulnerability to powerful sounds or odors that can temporarily weaken his radar sense. This weakness is often used to immobilize Daredevil. Alternately, the lack of taste or smell of certain substances can be used against him, as in one instance of a hallucinogenic drug designed so that Daredevil could not tell he was drugged. His senses are highly acute, capable of sensing the minor atmospheric disturbance created moments before a teleporting character appears. People with superhuman speed, such as Spider-Man, are too fast to be detected and targeted by his radar sense.
While his radar sense mostly compensates for his blindness, it has certain limitations. He cannot perceive color without touch, and he can only read printed matter if the ink is raised enough for his sense of touch.[volume & issue needed] Most photographs, televisions, and computer screens are blank to him. However, the radar sense has shown on numerous occasions the ability to “see” through walls and fabrics. The radar sense also grants him an omnidirectional field of vision. These two latter abilities are the most notable advantages the radar has over normal vision.
Though he has no superhuman physical attributes beyond an enhanced sense of balance, Daredevil is a master of martial arts. Having been trained by Stick, Daredevil is a master hand-to-hand combatant. His typical moves are unique blends of the martial arts of Ninjutsu, Aiki Jūjutsu, Aikido, Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, Silat, Capoeira, Wrestling, and Stick Fighting combined with American-style Boxing while making full use of his gymnastic capabilities.
Daredevil's signature weapon is his specially designed baton, which he created. Disguised as a blind man's cane in civilian garb, it is a multi-purpose weapon and tool that contains 30 feet of aircraft-control cable connected to a case-hardened steel grappling hook. Internal mechanisms allow the cable to be neatly wound and unwound, while a powerful spring launches the grapnel. The handle can be straightened for use when throwing. The club can be split into two parts, one of which is a fighting baton, the other of which ends in a curved hook.
In his civilian identity, Murdock is a skilled and respected New York attorney. He is a skilled detective, tracker, and interrogation expert, as well as being an expert marksman.
After his identity was publicly exposed and he was forced to relocate to San Francisco, Matt Murdock's secret identity as Daredevil was restored by the Purple Children, the children of his old foe the Purple Man. From the description given by the Purple Children, their influence renders it impossible for anyone to determine Daredevil's secret identity through deductive research unless he actually tells them who he is under the mask, or someone unmasks him.
Daredevil was named Empire's 37th Greatest Comic Book Character, citing him as "a compelling, layered and visually striking character". Wizard magazine ranked Daredevil 21st among their list of the 200 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time, and comic book readers polled through the website Comic Book Resources voted the character the third best of the Marvel Comics stable. IGN in 2011 ranked Daredevil as #10 on their list of "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes".
Throughout the core Daredevil series, many characters have had an influence in Matt Murdock's life. His father, "Battlin' Jack" Murdock instills in Matt the importance of education and nonviolence with the aim of seeing his son become a better man than himself. He always encouraged Matt to study, rather than fight like him. Jack forbade his son from undertaking any kind of physical training. It is his father's murder that prompts the super-powered character to become a superhero, fighting gangsters. He was trained by an old blind ninja master named Stick following his childhood accident.
Matt Murdock's closest friend is Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, his college roommate, sidekick, and law partner. Their relationship in the early years of the series was fraught with tension due to Nelson's sense of inferiority to Murdock as a lawyer and as a target for the affections of their secretary, Karen Page. They frequently argued over Murdock's preference for defending supervillains, as Nelson's enthusiasm is for corporate law. The pudgy and fallible Nelson has often been used by writers for lightheartedness and even comic relief. As a superhero, one of Daredevil's best friends is the hero Spider-Man; with his enhanced senses, Murdock was able to physically identify Spider-Man on their first meeting, and Spider-Man in turn learned his secret identity some time after. Due to the events of the "One More Day" storyline, and later the Purple story arc, neither of them knows the other's secret identity any longer. Iron Fist would later become one of his greatest friends, and at one point took on the role of Daredevil himself. Jessica Jones, a former superhero turned private investigator acts as a bodyguard for Matt Murdock in his civilian life. Her husband, Luke Cage, is a friend of Daredevil as well. Maya Lopez, a deaf woman and skilled martial artist, is a friend of Daredevil after he fought her and convinced her that he did not murder her father, because she was being manipulated by the Kingpin, who was responsible. Ben Urich, a reporter for the Daily Bugle discovered Daredevil's identity and eventually becomes his friend as well, though during his identity dispute Daredevil decided to end his "secret professional relationship" with Urich to avoid getting Urich mixed up in his problems and being used against him. The Punisher, anti-hero Frank Castle, is one of Daredevil's reluctant allies, as well as his antagonist due to their different philosophies in crime fighting.
Daredevil has a convoluted and often tortured love life. One of Daredevil's more notable love interests is Elektra, an assassin who would later be killed. In the 2000s, Murdock marries a woman named Milla Donovan, although one of Daredevil's enemies drives her to insanity.
In his early years, Daredevil fought a number of costumed supervillains, the first of these being Electro, a prominent Spider-Man foe, in Daredevil #2. A number of recurring villains would be introduced over the years, such as the Owl, the Purple Man, Mr. Fear, Stilt-Man, Gladiator, the Jester, the Man-Bull, and Death-Stalker. The supervillain duo of the Cobra and Mr. Hyde have frequently clashed with Daredevil, and Hyde has fought Daredevil alone on several occasions. The psychotic assassin Bullseye was introduced by Marv Wolfman in issue #131, and was a frequent antagonist over the next six years of the series.
Beginning with Frank Miller's run on Daredevil, his traditional rogues gallery was used less often, and The Kingpin became Daredevil's arch-enemy. Like the Purple Man, Death-Stalker, Assassin, and several others, the Kingpin has long known Daredevil's secret identity. His run as the series's central villain ended with issue #300, but he continues to menace Daredevil on occasion. Elektra made her debut as a bounty hunter, and though her time as part of Daredevil's rogues gallery was brief (spanning barely a year of the series), her romantic past with him is an important part of the mythos. In Daredevil #254, Ann Nocenti introduced Typhoid Mary, an assassin for the Kingpin with dissociative identity disorder (the diagnostic term for multiple personality), who would become a prominent Daredevil foe.
In other media
- In 1975, Angela Bowie secured the TV rights to Daredevil and the Black Widow for a duration of one year and planned a TV series based on the two characters. Bowie had photographer Terry O'Neill take a series of pictures of herself as Black Widow and actor Ben Carruthers as Daredevil (with wardrobe by Natasha Kornilkoff) to shop the project around to producers, but the project never came to fruition.
- In 1983, ABC planned a live-action Daredevil pilot. Academy Award-winning writer Stirling Silliphant completed the draft of the program, but it was not aired.
- Daredevil, portrayed by Rex Smith, appears in NBC's 1989 live action television film The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. When David Banner (Bill Bixby) gets arrested, Matt Murdock helps to prove Banner's innocence. Daredevil tells his origins to Banner, which in this version involves Murdock being inspired by a police officer to become a hero. Later, with the help of Hulk, he battles the Kingpin (John Rhys-Davies), called only Wilson Fisk here. While remaining fairly true to the source material of the Daredevil comic books, the largest change was that Daredevil's traditional costume, including his horns, was replaced with a black ninja-like outfit. Daredevil would later wear a similar black outfit in Frank Miller and John Romita Jr's 1993's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear miniseries, as well as the Marvel Television series.
- On November 6, 2013, Disney and Marvel announced that a new Daredevil television series based on the character would be released on Netflix. In December 2013, Marvel confirmed that Drew Goddard would be the executive producer and showrunner for the series, and would write and direct the first episode. By May 24, 2014, Goddard had departed as showrunner, being replaced by Steven S. DeKnight. Goddard was to remain with the show as a consultant. On May 27, Charlie Cox was cast to star. Filming began in July 2014. The first season was released in April 2015, the second season was released on March 18, 2016, and the third season was released on October 19, 2018. Cox also reprises the role in The Defenders, a crossover miniseries.
- Matt Murdock appears in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "Attack of the Arachnoid", voiced by Frank Welker. Daredevil appeared in a flashback. He served as Spider-Man's lawyer at the time when he was framed by a chemical scientist named Zoltan Amadeus, who became the Arachnoid.
- In the 1980s, ABC had planned a Daredevil animated television series that would have featured a guide dog named "Lightning the Super-Dog". Television writer Mark Evanier said in 2008 that he was the last in a line of writers to have written a pilot and series bible, with his including Lightning as a guide dog without superpowers.
- Daredevil appears in the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series episodes "Framed" and "The Man Without Fear", voiced by Edward Albert. His classical blindness occurred after he accidentally witnessed his father taking part in something highly illegal. After Jack Murdock was disposed of by Kingpin, Matt Murdock was trained by Stick which led up to him becoming Daredevil. Years later, J. Jonah Jameson hires Matt Murdock to defend Peter Parker when he is framed for industrial espionage by Richard Fisk. These episodes were later incorporated into the direct-to-DVD animated film Daredevil vs Spider-Man.
- Daredevil appears in the 1990s Fantastic Four episode "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them", voiced by Bill Smitrovich. He helps the powerless Fantastic Four get into the Baxter Building when Doctor Doom takes it over.
- Production stills for a proposed Daredevil animated series meant to air on Fox Kids were made.
- In 2003, 20th Century Fox released the film Daredevil, written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Actor Ben Affleck starred as the title character.
- A deleted scene in the 2005 Elektra film, later included in the Director's Cut, has Ben Affleck briefly reprising the role in a dream sequence.
- In November 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that if Marvel's Netflix TV shows such as Daredevil become popular, "It's quite possible that they could become feature films".
- A young Matt Murdock briefly appears in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, during the climax of the film.
- Daredevil made his first video game appearance in a cameo in Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety released in 1995. The character had a more expansive role as an alternate playable character in Spider-Man: Web of Fire, released in 1996, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Daredevil appears in the 2000 Spider-Man video game, again voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. He approaches Spider-Man following his fight with Scorpion at the Daily Bugle and will work to prove his innocence.
- Daredevil's largest role was as the title character in the Daredevil Game Boy Advance game based on the 2003 film.
- Daredevil starred as a playable character in the 2005 Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects video game, voiced by David Kaye.
- Matt Murdock made a cameo appearance in The Punisher, voiced by Steven Blum. He appeared as the Punisher's lawyer.
- Daredevil appeared as an unlockable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Cam Clarke. His costumes include his Classic, Original (alternate classic yellow outfit), Armored, and Marvel Knights. He can be unlocked by collecting five of his action figures.
- Daredevil is a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Brian Bloom. In the Wii and PS2 versions, he is exclusive to the Anti-Registration side and boss for the Pro-Registration side.
- Matt Murdock makes a cameo appearance in Chris Redfield's ending for Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He is shown acting as the prosecutor at the trial of Albert Wesker. In addition on the Daily Bugle stage, there is an advertisement billboard for "Nelson & Murdock – Attorneys at Law". Daredevil appears in the Shadowland stage in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in his black outfit and is a card in the Heroes vs. Heralds mode. Additionally, a zombified version of Daredevil makes a cameo in Frank West's ending of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, in which West and Reed Richards travel to an alternate universe based on Marvel Zombies.
- Daredevil is a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, with Brian Bloom reprising his role. His attires are his standard red outfit, his classic yellow outfit or his armored outfit.
- A Daredevil outfit is available as downloadable content for LittleBigPlanet, as part of "Marvel Costume Kit 1".
- Daredevil is a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Daredevil is a playable character in the MMORPG Marvel Heroes, voiced again by Brian Bloom.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced again by Steven Blum.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Roger Craig Smith.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Marvel Strike Force.
- Daredevil appears as a playable character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, voiced again by Brian Bloom.
- Daredevil is featured in the Marvel Legends (third series) toy line. The action figure was based on the film version Ben Affleck starred in. The Marvel Legends Showdown 1/18th scale line featured Daredevil figures in both his red uniform and a chase version in his yellow-and-black uniform.
- The "Spider-Man Classics" toy line, which was a precursor to Marvel Legends, included a Daredevil figure, clad in his traditional red costume. The action figure resembles Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada's representation of Daredevil; it is derived from Quesada's stint as an artist on Daredevil. Accessories to the figure include the two billy clubs that the character uses. Unlike the mainstream comics, the clubs are white (rather than red). An expensive variant of the character included him in his original yellow and black garb, released in the same series.
- Daredevil is the thirteenth figurine in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
- Daredevil was featured in wave one of the first series in the 3 3/4" Marvel Universe line.
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Stan Lee chose the name Daredevil because it evoked swashbucklers and circus daredevils, and he assigned Bill Everett, the creator of the Sub-Mariner to design and draw Daredevil #1.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
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There was a Daredevil story about a blind guy that I loved [issue #47].
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- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 189: In this issue the great longtime Daredevil artist Gene Colan was succeeded by a new penciller who would become a star himself: Frank Miller.
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- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 202: The Hand was a league of ninja assassins who employed dark magic...Introduced in Daredevil #174 by writer/artist Frank Miller, this group of deadly warriors had been hired by the Kingpin of Crime to exterminate Matt Murdock."
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 201: "Matt Murdock's college sweetheart first appeared in this issue [#168] by writer/artist Frank Miller."
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 207: "Frank Miller did the unthinkable when he killed off the popular Elektra in Daredevil #181...[This issue] immediately sold out in comic book stores and sent fans and retailers to raid mass market newsstands for all the remaining copies."
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 226: "'Born Again' was a seven-issue story arc that appeared in Daredevil from issue #227 to #233 (Feb. – Aug. 1986)."
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 237: "Mary was first introduced in Daredevil #254 by [writer] Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr."
- Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 258: "Culminating in the anniversary 300th issue, Daredevil would finally gain the upper hand against longtime foe Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin) in this moody tale by writer D. G. Chichester and penciller Lee Weeks."
- Manning "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 264: "Comic legends Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. united to tell a new version of Daredevil's origin in this carefully crafted five-issue miniseries."
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- Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 331: "Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark had quite a challenge ahead of them when they took over the reins of Daredevil from the popular team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev."
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Marvel announced that Waid and artist Chris Samnee will be returning to helm the fourth volume of Daredevil.
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The one thing that worried me about Daredevil – I wondered if blind people would be offended, because we were exaggerating so much what a blind person can do, and they might have felt that we're making it ridiculous. But I was so pleased – after the books were published, we started getting letters from charities for blind people, like the Lighthouse for the Blind in New York. Letters saying, 'We've been reading these stories to the people here and they love them, and they're so pleased you have a super-hero who is sightless.' And, oh boy, that made me feel great!
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