Some people were introduced to Daredevil as Ben Affleck back in 2003, when the eponymous movie came out, and some were introduced to Daredevil as Charlie Cox in Netflix’s hit series. Like many other comic book characters, however, Daredevil has decades of comic history, and the movie and show have only scratched the surface of the Man Without Fear.
10 He’s A Prototype For Batman
At first, the claim that Daredevil (introduced in the 1960s) served as a prototype for Batman (introduced in the 1930s) seems absurd. However, Daredevil became a prototype for the Batman that many people know and love today, namely the grim, no-nonsense Batman who emphatically believes he’s above the law. Of course, Batman didn’t start out that way. When Robin was introduced, Batman’s comics were very lighthearted, leading to the iconic and campy Batman TV show starring Adam West. This was the goofy Batman that many associated with the Caped Crusader until Frank Miller wrote his famous Dark Knight Returns comic, which served as the template for almost all later Batman media, including Batman vs. Superman.
Before Miller changed Batman forever, he was working on Daredevil. At first, he was only an artist, but in the face of declining sales, Marvel decided to let the young Miller write. Miller wasted no time transforming Daredevil into a gritty antihero who was not above torturing foes and defending himself with his ninja training (a background detail added by Miller). It was at times so similar to Batman that Marvel’s editors made Miller rewrite dialogue and scenes to be less like the Dark Knight. By the time Miller wrote Dark Knight Returns, he had literally had years using Daredevil as practice for writing Batman.
9 He’s Willing To Murder
Fans of Netflix’s Daredevil saw the titular character walking a familiar heroic line. He’s unwilling to kill someone, no matter what they have done. What’s interesting, though, is that the comic book Daredevil is not above murder, at least when it comes to his nemesis, Bullseye. Bullseye has killed many people, including Daredevil’s former girlfriend, Elektra. Although she would later come back to life (as mystical ninjas and comics characters often do), Daredevil held a huge grudge against Bullseye.
During Frank Miller’s run on the comic, Daredevil tried to kill Bullseye by throwing him off a building. When that “only” left Bullseye as a quadriplegic, Daredevil busted into his hotel room and played Russian roulette (with an unloaded gun) with the villain in the hopes of literally scaring him to death.
Years later, Daredevil actually kills Bullseye. While this was in the context of a story involving Daredevil being possessed by a demonic entity, an internal monologue in “Daredevil #512” makes it quite clear that it was Daredevil’s choice to step over the line and kill Bullseye and heavily implies that the demon could only take Daredevil over because of his willingness to become a killer.
8 He Gets Sold Out By His Girlfriend
Remember the part about Miller making everything darker and grittier? One of the side effects of this is that he ignored a great deal of the comic’s continuity before he started as the writer. When he did bring in older characters or reference older stories, they were often very different.
Karen Page is a prime example. She was the first real love interest for Daredevil, following the Lois Lane model of falling in love with the hero before the man and then finding out that they are one and the same. However, the relationship didn’t last, and she went out to Los Angeles to become a TV star.
Over a decade later in real years (as opposed to always-fuzzy comics years), Miller brings Karen Page back into the story, revealing that she had become a porn star instead of a TV star, all to finance her crippling heroin addiction. It was so crippling that when she got low enough, she told her drug dealer Daredevil’s real name so she could score some drugs. The dealer, in turn, tells the Kingpin, and this event starts unraveling Daredevil’s life in different ways for years afterward.
7 He’s Repeatedly Publicly Outed
Interestingly, of all the things that Kingpin does with Daredevil’s secret identity as Matt Murdock, he does not make it public information, preferring to keep it himself. However, when one of Kingpin’s members finds out and later gets apprehended by the FBI, he offers that information to them in an attempt to make a deal. One of the agents leaks the information to the Daily Globe newspaper, and this begins to make Daredevil’s life more hellish than usual. Members of the press follow him everywhere, and super villains attack him in his own home. Stopping them is compounded by the fact that Matt Murdock repeatedly denies being Daredevil, which keeps him from using his powers when he is outside of his Daredevil costume.
Eventually, he and Foggy Nelson win a case against the press for publishing the story, but the public never entirely stops believing that he isn’t Daredevil. Later, Matt admits under oath that he is Daredevil in order to testify against the leader of a hate group. Subsequently, he is disbarred for previously lying under oath about his identity (as well as the other legal sticky wickets of being a lawyer who takes the law into his own hands), so he packs his bags for San Francisco.
6 He Becomes The Kingpin
Daredevil has always had a tempestuous relationship with The Kingpin at best. This usually involves Daredevil on the defensive, warding off attacks and navigating fallout from Kingpin, who is exploiting his knowledge of Daredevil’s secret identity. However, enough eventually became enough for the old horn head, and during Brian Bendis’s run on Daredevil, he had the hero beat Kingpin to within an inch of his life and then do the unthinkable: Daredevil declared himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen.
He does it for all of the high-minded reasons you’d expect, believing that he can control crime and criminals better from the inside than he can from simply beating them to a pulp. He maintains this when confronted by other heroes who think he’s gone too far. However, things heat up for Daredevil and Milla Donovan (the blind woman he quietly married during this whole mess) when they are targeted by the yakuza. Daredevil quickly steps out of the Kingpin’s throne and back to fighting crime in his red tights alongside his fellow heroes.
5 He Fought A Time-Traveling Robot
Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil was so iconic that it’s difficult to remember a time when the character wasn’t a tortured antihero fighting ninjas and Mafiosos. However, in the early 1970s, before Miller took over, Daredevil had more colorful adventures and enemies, including a time-traveling robot!
He once clashed with “Mr. Kline,” who is revealed to be a robot from one of those alternate futures that Marvel is so fond of. Kline actually has good intentions, as he was sent back in time to prevent his future, where there is no human life on the planet, from happening.
Kline’s methods of doing this had a logic that he kept to himself: Sometimes he was sabotaging Tony Stark’s technology, which at least makes sense as a way of preserving future life. Other times, though, he was posing as a crime lord and genetically mutating people into super villains. He clashes with Daredevil and Black Widow repeatedly until he decides to channel his inner Ultron. Kline declares that humanity can’t be manipulated and should just be destroyed. He eventually gets blown away by humans traveling from his own future, seemingly rendering his mission moot.
4 He And Black Widow Were An Item
For moviegoers waiting for Marvel to resolve the mutual affection between Black Widow and The Incredible Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it may be surprising that she and Daredevil were once quite hot and heavy. The two shared frequent adventures, from fighting Mr. Kline to Matt Murdock volunteering to defend her in a trial that she feels will be unfair (due to her being Russian). Before you know it, the two are not only dating, but living together, although to appease the Comics Code Authority, the comic makes it quite clear that the two are living and sleeping on different floors of their shared domicile.
They continue to have wacky 1970s adventures together, but it all falls apart when Daredevil meets Moondragon. It turns out that she’s been creating super villains because Matt Murdock’s boss convinced her that Daredevil was secretly an agent of Thanos! Of course, the boss is evil and soon unleashes those villains on Earth, causing Daredevil to team up with Moondragon to stop them.
Daredevil wants to date Moondragon, but it’s a bad idea for two reasons: She rebuffs him because she has more galaxy-spanning adventures to go on, and when Black Widow finds out, she channels her rage into beating a criminal. Daredevil literally slaps her to her senses, and she leaves—both his life and the comic. While it had been titled Daredevil and The Black Widow during their time together, it returned to simply being Daredevil afterward.
3 He Has Insane Homeless Adventures
Obviously, Frank Miller holds the crown for making Daredevil’s life terrible. However, one writer often overlooked for both her awesome talent and awesome facility at screwing up Daredevil’s life is Anne Nocenti. She managed to have truth-and-justice-obsessed Matt Murdock confront various social problems outside of Hell’s Kitchen, quite literally. During her run on the comic, Murdock’s free law clinic is destroyed, his girlfriend Karen Page runs away, and Daredevil becomes a wandering homeless man in upstate New York.
What a long, strange trip it was. During his time, he encounters two villains from the underworld, Mephisto and Blackheart. They drag him through Hell as part of a plan to break and corrupt the Man With No Fear, before finally just trying to kill him. He survives and makes it back to Hell’s Kitchen with his memory so wobbly that he now believes he’s his own father, Jack Murdock. Fortunately, he comes to his senses before anyone starts questioning what the public would make of a blind boxer.
2 He Becomes Leader Of The Hand
As far as superhero hobbies go, becoming the leader of evil organizations has to be one of the worst. However, the heart wants what the heart wants, and just as Daredevil once became the Kingpin, he later became the leader of a ninja group known as The Hand. The group was previously led by Elektra, but it turned out she was a shape-shifting alien known as a Skrull.
The Hand inexplicably decides that Daredevil should be their new leader, but he refuses. This causes the group to bring The Kingpin back to New York to make him the leader. Daredevil then accepts the job to keep it out of Kingpin’s hands. He has more noble intentions to guide this decision, too. At the time, Spiderman villain Norman Osborn was in control of HAMMER, the organization formerly known as SHIELD. Osborn was secretly dealing with villains outside of the public’s eye, and Daredevil intended to sic his new ninjas on Osborn’s business whenever possible.
1 The FBI Tries To Kill Him In Prison
With his identity revealed multiple times, you might be curious why Daredevil didn’t land in prison. At the end of Bendis’s legendary Daredevil run, he did just that, with the FBI throwing Matt Murdock into prison. They go one better, too, and try to get Daredevil killed while in there. The FBI pushes to place Murdock in general population, surrounded by people that he put away, and they pull strings to get The Kingpin in the same prison in the hopes that the two will kill each other. As if the prison wasn’t crowded enough already, Bullseye is also put inside, and The Punisher deliberately gets himself sent there.
It works out relatively well, with Daredevil reluctantly teaming up with Kingpin to protect each other during a prison riot. Kingpin is shot, but Daredevil convinces The Punisher to break them out of jail. Punisher does so by pretending to take Murdock hostage, and the FBI director rightfully takes the blame for the riot caused by moving multiple super villains into the same prison as their most hated foe.
@PocketEpiphany was struck blind after binge watching Netflix’s Daredevil for 72 hours.