Karen Page

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Karen Page
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceDaredevil #1 (April 1964)
Created byStan Lee
Bill Everett
In-story information
Full nameKaren Page
Team affiliationsNelson & Murdock
New York Bulletin
PartnershipsMatt Murdock
Supporting character ofDaredevil
Notable aliasesPaige Angel

Karen Page is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics She is also Daredevil's longest-running love interest.

Karen Page was 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.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, she first appeared in The Avengers”

Character overview[edit]

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[edit]

Karen Page is hired to be the secretary by Foggy Nelson for the new law firm Nelson and Murdock.[1] She is infatuated with Matt Murdock from the moment they meet. When Matt 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 Murdock.[2]

Dr. Paxton Page (Karen's father) fakes his own kidnapping and death in order to 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 Paxton back to his own senses, pushing 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's true identity is revealed to Karen.[3] She constantly fears for Matt's safety, but Daredevil cannot give up fighting crime. Karen eventually leaves Matt 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, Katy Milner (Karen's stuntwoman) confides in Johnny about Karen's history of "unhappy romances" including the ones with Murdock and Phil Hickock. Later on, Karen herself falls under the Orb's control.[volume & issue needed]

Karen 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 this show).[4]

Karen becomes addicted to heroin and starts making pornographic movies.[5] In need of a fix, she sells Daredevil's secret identity to a drug dealer who in turn sells this to the Kingpin. Karen is forced to return to New York,[5] where she meets up again with Matt. Matt helps Karen beat her addiction, and they resume their relationship and begin sharing an apartment.[6]

Realizing that Matt is incomplete without 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".[7] The clinic is destroyed during a demonic invasion of Manhattan,[8] and Karen discovers hours later that Matt has been having an affair with Typhoid Mary. These combined blows leave her psychologically lost, and she runs away.[9]

She becomes an anti-pornography activist,[10] 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.[11]

While in California, Karen has a routine blood test as part of an insurance policy application. The supervillain Mysterio - as part of a plan to psychologically destroy Daredevil for one last scheme[12] disguises himself as a doctor, performs the blood test, and tells her that she is HIV positive as part of a plan to destroy Daredevil before dying himself 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.[13]

Devastated by Karen's death, Matt briefly contemplates suicide but is given new strength to keep going by remembering some of their times together, such as when she convinced Matt to take a night off on his birthday and when she said that she didn't want Daredevil to quit as she always felt safer knowing the vigilante was out there.[14] After Mysterio's role in the scheme is revealed and then commits suicide,[12] 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. The baby is given up for adoption to a couple in New Jersey. Before leaving, Matt names the baby after Karen and hopes that her new parents will allow the occasional visit from her "Uncle Matt".[15]

Other versions[edit]

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.[16]

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.[17]

In other media[edit]

  • 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 two invitations to a business party and demonstrates disappointment when Foggy Nelson promptly takes the second invitation. When Matt is tracking the Kingpin's forces, Karen helps Foggy determine the meaning of a key piece of evidence in a case.
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page in the television series Daredevil
  • Karen Page appears in the television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Deborah Ann Woll.[18] Born in Fagan Corners, Vermont, Karen works as a waitress at a diner run by her parents. After her mother dies from cancer, she is left to run the diner with her father Paxton and her brother Kevin. To cope with the stress, she turns to drugs and hooks up with a dealer named Todd Neiman.[19] One night, Kevin stages an intervention by burning down Todd's trailer. An enraged Todd attacks him with a tire iron, and Karen is forced to shoot him with the gun in his truck to keep him from killing Kevin. While driving away, Karen gets into an argument with Kevin, during which she drifts off the road and crashes into a guardrail, injuring her and killing Kevin. Sheriff Bernie covered up the fact that Karen was driving the car. Consumed by the loss of Kevin, Paxton tells Karen to leave town as he doesn't want her around.[20]
    • She debuts in Daredevil. In the first season, 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 Nelson & Murdock's secretary.[21]She, along with Foggy, Matt and Ben Urich, become instrumental in the effort to bring Wilson Fisk to justice. While assisting Ben with investigating Fisk's criminal activities, Karen kills James Wesley in self-defense[22] and is traumatized over her second time to shooting someone since shooting Todd, as well as having nightmares about it.[23] In the second season, Karen came into contact with and befriends vigilante Frank Castle when the firm takes Castle as a client after being charged with multiple murders of different low-level criminals and she helped defend him in court.[24] She and Matt also briefly date[25] before Matt's double-life as Daredevil causes a falter in contributing to Frank's trial and Karen finds Elektra Natchios in Matt's bed when she tells Matt about it.[26][27][28] When Nelson and Murdock fell apart, Page joined the New York Bulletin with the intention of writing Castle's true story, however during her investigation she was kidnapped by Ray Schoonover and saved by Castle. Later the Hand also kidnapped Page and she was rescued by Daredevil before Murdock revealed to her that he was Daredevil. In the third season, upon Fisk's release from prison, Karen manages to determine Fisk secretly owns the hotel he's being kept under house arrest in, but is threatened by Fisk's fixer Felix Manning when she tries to get him on record regarding Fisk's money laundering. When Matt gets framed by Fisk as a scapegoat for Ray Nadeem, Karen reluctantly helps Matt bring in Jasper Evans, a lifer Fisk hired to stab him as part of his plan to get out of prison. Fisk anticipates their move, and sends Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter to the Bulletin dressed in a fake Daredevil costume. Despite Matt's efforts to fight him off, Dex succeeds at killing Evans and several of Karen's coworkers, as well as wound Matt and Mitchell Ellison. She later loses her job at the Bulletin when she refuses to give Matt's identity over to Ellison. Incensed, Karen decides to visit Fisk at his penthouse and try to provoke him into attacking her in front of the FBI by revealing the truth about Wesley.[29] In retaliation, Fisk orders a hit on Karen, hiring Dex to attack her in Matt's church. Matt thwarts the attempt, but Father Lantom is killed taking a baton meant for Karen.[30] Matt and Karen are only able to escape the church with assistance from Ray Nadeem, who they and Foggy persuade to testify in front of the grand jury. After Nadeem is subsequently killed by Dex at his house, his widow passes on a video confession he made hours before his death over to Foggy, which Karen works with Ellison to publish on the Internet.
    • She is mentioned three times in the first season of Iron Fist.[31][32]
    • She is mentioned in the second season of Luke Cage.[33]
    • Karen Page appears in The Defenders,[34] where she bonds with Trish Walker over their complicated relationships with Matt and Jessica Jones.[35]
    • Karen Page is later seen in The Punisher,[36] appearing in the first season in which she provides intelligence to the Punisher,[37][38][39] and also appearing in the second season.[40]


  1. ^ Daredevil #1
  2. ^ Daredevil #25–26
  3. ^ Daredevil #56–57
  4. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #46
  5. ^ a b Daredevil #227
  6. ^ Daredevil #232
  7. ^ Daredevil #248
  8. ^ Daredevil #262
  9. ^ Daredevil #263
  10. ^ Daredevil #294
  11. ^ Daredevil (vol. 2) #1
  12. ^ a b Daredevil (vol. 2) #7. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Daredevil (vol. 2) #5. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Daredevil (vol. 2) #6
  15. ^ Daredevil (vol. 2) #8. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ "What if Karen Page Had Lived? (2004)". Marvel Comics. December 29, 2004. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  17. ^ Secret Wars: Secret Love #1. Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ "'True Blood' actress to star in Marvel's 'Daredevil'". Entertainment Weekly. July 17, 2014. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Garcia, Alex (director); Tamara Becher-Wilkinson (writer) (October 19, 2018). "Karen". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 3. Episode 10. Netflix.
  20. ^ Garcia, Alex (director); Tamara Becher-Wilkinson (writer) (October 19, 2018). "Karen". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 3. Episode 10. Netflix.
  21. ^ Abraham, Phil (director); Drew Goddard (writer) (April 10, 2015). "Into the Ring". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 1. Episode 1. Netflix.
  22. ^ Gomez, Nick (director); Steven S. DeKnight and Douglas Petrie (writer) (April 10, 2015). "The Path of the Righteous". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 1. Episode 11. Netflix.
  23. ^ Lyn, Euros (director); Douglas Petrie (writer) (April 10, 2015). "The Ones We Leave Behind". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 1. Episode 12. Netflix.
  24. ^ Abraham, Phil (director); Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez (writer) (March 18, 2016). "Bang". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 2. Episode 1. Netflix.
  25. ^ Hoar, Peter (director); John C. Kelley (writer) (March 18, 2016). "Penny and Dime". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 2. Episode 4. Netflix.
  26. ^ Uppendahl, Michael (director); Whit Anderson (writer) (March 18, 2016). "Guilty as Sin". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 2. Episode 8. Netflix.
  27. ^ Surjik, Stephen (director); Marco Ramirez and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (writer) (March 18, 2016). "Seven Minutes in Heaven". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 2. Episode 9. Netflix.
  28. ^ Hoar, Peter (director); Marco Ramirez and Douglas Petrie (writer) (March 18, 2016). "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 2. Episode 13. Netflix.
  29. ^ Zakrzewski, Alex (director); Dara Resnik (writer) (October 19, 2018). "Upstairs/Downstairs". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 3. Episode 8. Netflix.
  30. ^ Garcia, Alex (director); Tamara Becher-Wilkinson (writer) (October 19, 2018). "Karen". Marvel's Daredevil. Season 3. Episode 10. Netflix.
  31. ^ Sapochnik, Miguel (director); Scott Reynolds (writer) (March 17, 2017). "Eight Diagram Dragon Palm". Marvel's Iron Fist. Season 1. Episode 4. Netflix.
  32. ^ Blackburn, Farren (director); Ian Stokes (writer) (March 17, 2017). "Felling Tree with Roots". Marvel's Iron Fist. Season 1. Episode 7. Netflix.
  33. ^ Surjik, Stephen (director); Mirante Matthews, Nicole; Lopes, Matthew (writers) (June 22, 2018). "The Creator". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 2. Episode 11. Netflix.
  34. ^ Perry, Spencer (October 31, 2016). "Deborah Ann Woll Confirmed to Appear in Marvel's The Defenders". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  35. ^ Blackburn, Farren (director); Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Marco Ramirez (writer) (August 18, 2017). "The Defenders". Marvel's The Defenders. Season 1. Episode 8. Netflix.
  36. ^ Damore, Meagan (October 8, 2016). "NYCC: Iron Fist Cast Makes First-Ever Live Appearance". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  37. ^ Shankland, Tom (director); Steve Lightfoot (writer) (November 17, 2017). "Two Dead Men". Marvel's The Punisher. Season 1. Episode 2. Netflix.
  38. ^ Radish, Christina (December 27, 2017). "'The Punisher': Deborah Ann Woll on Karen Page's Sense of Agency & 'Daredevil' Season 3". Collider. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  39. ^ Dibdin, Emma (November 14, 2017). "The Punisher Star Deborah Ann Woll Talks Karen's Agency and a Potential Romance with Frank". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  40. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (December 28, 2018). "'The Punisher': 30 Plot Details, New Characters, & Backstage Facts To Know About Season 2". Collider. Archived from the original on December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2018.