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|First appearance||Daredevil #1 (April 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee |
|Full name||Karen Page|
|Team affiliations||Nelson & Murdock |
New York Bulletin
|Supporting character of||Daredevil|
|Notable aliases||Paige Angel|
Karen Page is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character has been a regular cast member of Marvel's Daredevil series, and is the longest-running love interest for the title character.
Karen Page is played by Deborah Ann Woll in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first as a main character in Daredevil, and later as a main cast member in The Punisher and a recurring character in The Defenders.
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, Karen 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. A 1978 appearance in Marvel Two-in-One would prove the character's last showing for over seven years.
Karen returned in Born Again, the award-winning storyline beginning in Daredevil #227 (February 1986) 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 Karen 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).
Karen 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 Murdock from the moment they meet. 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, Dr. 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 in Fagan Corners, Vermont 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 work as a lawyer, 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.
While in California, Karen has a routine blood test as part of an insurance policy application. The supervillain Mysterio - as part of his plan to psychologically destroy Daredevil for his last scheme 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 when she moves to intercept a billy-club thrown at Daredevil's head and is impaled in the heart.
Matt is so devastated by Karen's death that he briefly contemplates suicide, but is given new strength to keep going when he remembers some of their times together, such as when she convinced him to take a night off on his birthday and when she told him that she didn't want him to quit as Daredevil as she always felt safer knowing he was out there. After Mysterio's role in the scheme is revealed and he commits suicide, Matt attempts and fails to give Karen's eulogy, finding himself overwhelmed at the memory of her loss. Initially bitter at Karen dying simply so that Mysterio could feel better about himself, a later conversation with Spider-Man helps Daredevil 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."
In the What If comic 'What If Karen Page Had Lived?", Karen is narrowly saved from death when Bullseye hits her in the shoulder rather than the head. However, driven by his rage at the fear of losing her rather than his focused grief when he actually lost her, Matt beats the Kingpin to death for his part in Mysterio's scheme, and is subsequently arrested. When Matt is sentenced to 44 years in the Raft for the crime, Karen leaves town and disappears. Matt assumes that she had become severely depressed and may have killed herself. He never sees her again.
In a one-off book of the Secret Wars storyline called Secret Wars: Secret Lovers, a universe that became the Battleworld domain of Limbo is shown where Matt and Karen have grown close to the point of living with each other. Daredevil finds himself in a battle with Typhoid Mary after having nightmares about her prior that Karen is aware of. Karen follows the two only to discover that Mary is actually Mephisto, who wants to spend the final evening before Inferno psychologically and physically torturing Matt. Karen saves Matt by cutting off Mephisto's head with Mary's sword and the two embrace one last time as the world burns around them.
In other media
Karen Page appears in the 2003 feature film Daredevil, portrayed by Ellen Pompeo. Most of her scenes were deleted from the final theatrical cut, but they can be seen in the Director's Cut. In the film, she is attracted to Matt Murdock, shown when she presents him with two invitations to Wilson Fisk's business party and demonstrates disappointment when Foggy Nelson promptly takes the second invitation for himself. When Matt is tracking Kingpin's forces, Karen helps Foggy determine the meaning of a key piece of evidence in a case.
Karen Page appears in the television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Deborah Ann Woll. She debuts in the first season of Daredevil, when she discovers evidence of criminal activity at Union Allied Construction, and is framed by Wilson Fisk for stabbing a coworker to death in her apartment. After two further failed attempts on her life, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson intervene and are able to exonerate her, and hire her on as their secretary. In the second season, she befriends vigilante Frank Castle when the firm takes him on as a client after he is charged with multiple murders. She and Matt also briefly date before his double-life as Daredevil causes him to falter in contributing to Frank's trial and Karen finds Elektra Natchios in his bed when she tells him about it. She is mentioned in the first season of Iron Fist and the second season of Luke Cage, and appears in The Defenders, where she bonds with Trish Walker over their complicated relationships with Matt and Jessica Jones. She later appears in The Punisher in which she provides intelligence to Frank Castle. season 3 of Daredevil explores Karen's past, and episode 10 entitled "Karen" tells the story of her brother's death.
- Daredevil #1
- Daredevil #25–26
- Daredevil #56–57
- Marvel Two-in-One #46
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- Daredevil #232
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- Daredevil #262
- Daredevil #263
- Daredevil #294
- Daredevil (vol. 2) #1
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