When Matt Murdock was a boy, he saved a man from being run over by a truck. Unfortunately for Matt, the truck was stocked with deadly chemicals that came flying off the vehicles and splashed all over the young man, leaving him blind. With his eyesight gone, Murdock discovered all his other senses had been heightened; he had powers and a built in radar that allowed him to see better than he could when his eyes worked. He went on to train for years to avenge the murder of his father. Eventually, by day he was Matt Murdock, blind attorney of law, but by night, he was something else. Using his training and superpowers, Murdock became the vigilante known as Daredevil, protecting the streets of Hell’s Kitchen.
Sporting a long list of villains, and even fighting everyone from Doctor Doom to the Devil himself, Daredevil never runs from an opponent. No matter the criminal he’s fighting, Daredevil will always finds a way to victory. When it comes to fighting his fellow super hero brethren, it’s another matter altogether. Here at CBR we’re going to look at 15 superheroes that have destroyed Daredevil, The Man Without Fear.
15 MOON KNIGHT
In Moon Knight #13, the two heroes beat each other up in a classic case of superhero misunderstanding.
The heroes have learned the Jester has been released from prison. Daredevil seeks to follow the Jester to keep an eye on him and Moon Knight is following the Jester in hopes of getting led to a bigger criminal. Before Moon Knight’s plan comes to fruition, the Jester attacks a civilian, which spurs Daredevil into action. Moon Knight attacks Daredevil, needing Jester to get away so his plan can succeed, but Daredevil wants the Jester behind bars immediately.
Their fight lands them in a video arcade where Moon Knight all but beats the stuffing out of Daredevil. While DD gets one or two shots in, Moon Knight’s truncheon ends the fight as Daredevil is knocked into a group of civilians and the heroes then realize they need to stop fighting before they hurt someone.
In Marvel’s What If? Wolverine: Enemy of the State, Hydra has taken complete control of the feral mutant. While in the original timeline, the heroes of the Marvel Universe were able to rescue Wolverine, suffering only minor casualties, this time around the superheroes aren’t so lucky.
Tasked with wiping out nearly every hero, from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, few are able to stand up to Wolverine and the enhancements given to him by Hydra. In the final confrontation between Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, it’s revealed that the populace has come to fear heroes and villains alike, but the splash page itself also reveals that Daredevil was among the heroes who tried and failed to stop Wolverine and Hydra, suffering a miserable and claw-filled death.
13 GHOST RIDER
The literal Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider boasts awesome power and is a supernatural hero unlike any other. In Daredevil #372, the two heroes exchange unfriendly words.
Weeks earlier, the villain Mr. Fear incited a massive riot in Ryker’s Island and Daredevil learns that the warden and other city officials might have been in on it. The Man Without Fear rushes to the warden’s apartment to find Ghost Rider already there and out for blood. Daredevil distracts Ghost Rider long enough for the warden to escape, but the supernatural hero easily shrugs off Daredevil and pursues his quarry, finally catching the warden. In a desperate gambit, Daredevil catches up to the pair and launches a motorcycle at Ghost Rider to little effect. Ghost Rider, fed up with DD’s shenanigans, uses a milder version of his Penance Stare on Daredevil, immediately reducing him to a quivering mess.
12 BLACK CAT
Spider-Man and Black Cat were an item for a hot minute until everything went to shambles in classic comic book fashion. Such is the way of superhero romances. Still, Spidey holds a pretty soft spot in his heart for Black Cat, so when she ends up getting arrested in Amazing Spider-Man #677, he enlists Daredevil to try to bail her out.
While they try and figure out a legal strategy to get her out of prison, the Black Cat finds her own way: breaking out of custody and going into hiding. Spider-Man and Daredevil track her down, but before they can get a handle on her, they fall into a trap she’s made, which in turn brings a building down on both of them, leaving them pinned and very helpless.
11 IRON FIST
In the mini-event known as Shadowland, Daredevil has become leader of the deadly ninja cult known as The Hand. Yet he’s gone beyond a simple leadership role, building a temple in the center of New York and claiming the area of Hell’s Kitchen as his. Any and all criminals in the area are either rounded up or killed.
After Daredevil kills Bullseye, his friends flock to the scene where they quickly discover Daredevil has been possessed by The Hand demon known as the Beast. They lose their first encounter, but return a second time. The strike team is made up of Elektra, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and Maser Izo. Amidst the final battle, the possessed Daredevil beats all the heroes until it’s just Iron Fist standing. Pooling all his chi into one final punch, Iron Fist hits Daredevil hard and the blow’s power is enough to exorcise Matt.
As you’ll see later, love troubles are a common staple amongst superheroes and Daredevil has it bad. This time around, he’s having problems with his love interest Black Widow and the bow-slinging Avenger Hawkeye. In Daredevil #99, Daredevil and Hawkeye come to blows over the affection of Black Widow. Slugging it out, they’re pretty evenly matched, but Hawkeye bails the fight after he thinks he’s temporarily “blinded” Daredevil with a phosphorous arrow.
Daredevil meets Hawkeye later and the two go at it once more. This time around, Hawkeye hit him with a gas and a sonic arrow, crippling Daredevil momentarily and goes on to declare himself the winner. Hawkeye’s boasting loses him the advantage and allows Daredevil to regain his composure and break Hawkeye’s bow. From there, the duo then forms an uneasy truce.
The tag-team villainous duo of Mr. Hyde and Cobra are up to no good in issue #30 of Daredevil. Eager to fight them, Daredevil dresses up as Thor to lure them out. However, Thor hears someone is impersonating him and is none too happy about it.
Quickly finding Daredevil, Thor, the real Thunder God, makes quick work of The Man Without Fear. Summoning a miniature tornado, Thor blows off the Thor costume from Daredevil. Realizing it’s Daredevil, Thor questions Matt’s motives, but Daredevil refuses to say anything, grinning wildly, getting a kick out of messing with the God of Thunder. The two fight, and despite Thor holding back tremendously, his edge on Daredevil is still too great. Thor catches him, throws Daredevil to the ground and pins him until the weaker hero admits defeat.
Another woman Matt Murdock wooed who later tried to kill him, Maya Lopez, Echo, believes Daredevil is responsible for the death of her father. Training vigorously and using her photographic reflex memory to study up on all of Daredevil’s moves, Echo is determined to see justice done for her father. When she finally attacks Daredevil in Daredevil #11 by David Mack, she doesn’t know his secret identity, even though Matt is fully aware of who she is. During the fight, she mimics all of Daredevil’s moves perfectly, catching the Man Without Fear off guard.
It’s all Daredevil can do to stay ahead of her, but at the climax of their fight, Echo knocks him silly with a seesaw, before punching him out and holding a gun to his head.
7 THE PUNISHER
The Punisher and Daredevil have fought time and time again. While Daredevil has an edge with his ninja training and radar sense, The Punisher’s ability to soak up absurd amounts of damage typically leads to evenly matched encounters. However, in the one-shot Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, things didn’t go so well for a certain red-clad hero.
After his family gets killed in a massive superhero battle, Frank Castle tasks himself with killing every super powered being. It’s a grisly task, and a lengthy one at that, but slowly and ever so surely, The Punisher carves his way throughout the Marvel Universe. Time and again he gets arrested, his best friend Matt Murdock acting as his counsel, trying to understand Frank’s madness, and time and time again The Punisher escapes jail. Eventually, it’s only The Punisher and Daredevil left and, in their final confrontation, The Punisher stabs and kills Daredevil.
Endowed with the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a spider, by all accounts, any fight between the Amazing Spider-Man and the non-superhuman Daredevil should end in seconds. While they’re generally the best of friends, they’ve also fought a frightening amount of times.
Typically their bouts end in draws, but in Daredevil #17, one of their first encounters, Spider-Man came out on top. There’s a lot of hullaballoo over a misunderstanding where Spider-Man mistakenly thinks Daredevil is an ally of the criminal known as The Masked Marauder. Following up from the previous issue when Daredevil got away, Spidey is eager for a re-match.
Spider-Man and Daredevil end up on a rooftop and are quick to exchange fisticuffs. While Daredevil keeps up with Spider-Man briefly, his stamina runs out, allowing Spider-Man to land a mighty punch, knocking the wind out of Daredevil.
5 IRON MAN
Shortly following Axis, in which multiple heroes got turned evil and then good again, Iron Man remained evil, escaping before he could be turned heroic. Moving to San Francisco, the new Tony Stark set up shop, building a massive house/temple to himself and transforming the city into a prototype for his New World concept; he infected the citizens with a virus, making them addicted to his technology.
Daredevil immediately realized something was wrong and confronted Iron Man, only to get thrown into the ocean. Daredevil tried again, but is quickly beaten, though Stark grants him back his eyesight. The condition is temporary and DD must sign up with Stark if he wants it to be permanent. Daredevil resisted and is beaten down again. Finally, DD tried one final time, threatening to leak the information about the virus. In response to the threat, Stark wiped Daredevil’s memory clean.
4 CAPTAIN AMERICA
After falling victim to a street drug that attaches itself to the Super Solider Serum pumping through his veins, Captain America is not doing so hot. Acting recklessly and like a rabid dog, the good Captain finds himself embroiled in a street war between the Kingpin and the Red Skull. In Captain America #375, Daredevil catches wind of Captain America’s erratic behavior and seeks out the Star Spangled Avenger, hoping to talk some sense into him. When ol’ Hornhead encountered Cap, the Avenger was in no mood to listen, taking Daredevil’s approach as a call to battle.
Daredevil flees from Captain America, hoping to still make him see reason, but it’s useless. Eventually the two come to blows on a playground, where, despite Daredevil’s efforts, Captain America beats The Man Without Fear mercilessly, rendering him unconscious after several hard strikes.
The Prince of Atlantis, Namor, is among Earth’s strongest heroes. Still, even when outclassed, Daredevil isn’t called The Man Without Fear for nothing. In Daredevil #7, Namor comes to the surface world to seek legal representation so he can sue the entire human race for denying Atlanteans a place above water. Crashing into Murdock’s office, Matt explains it’s impossible as there’s no legal precedent. Namor goes off, determined to be taken to court so his case can be heard.
To that end, he causes tremendous wreckage, hoping someone will arrest him. Daredevil tries stopping him, but is nearly drowned by Namor. DD tries again, going so far as to hit Namor with live electrical wires, but the end result is the same. Finally, despite his best efforts, a tired and battered Daredevil collapses. Impressed by Daredevil’s fortitude, Namor abandons his quest and returns to the sea.
2 THE HULK
In Daredevil #163, The Incredible Hulk is running around loose in New York City and Daredevil takes up the challenge to try and stop him. Early in the issue, Matt Murdock finds Hulk and talks him down into his alter ego Bruce Banner. Taking Banner back to his apartment, Bruce sleeps the night and the following morning Matt sees him on his way.
As he’s leaving the city, Bruce loses control and turns into The Hulk again. Daredevil rushes to the scene, but is almost immediately thrown into a building. Bleeding and broken, The Man Without Fear refuses to give up on The Hulk and heads back into battle. Desperately, Daredevil tries to make The Hulk realize that he and Banner are one and the same, but The Hulk smacks Daredevil away, breaking his ribs. Realizing what he’s done and that Daredevil is his friend, The Hulk leaps away, leaving an unconscious Daredevil.
If you looked up dysfunctional relationship in the Encyclopedia, the entry would sport a picture of Elektra and Daredevil. Sometimes lovers, other times brutal enemies, Daredevil never knows what he’s going to get when he meets up with the deadly assassin. In Daredevil #179, the two come to terrible blows.
Reporter Ben Urich has been following a story related to the Kingpin, and despite numerous warning, he won’t back down. Elektra, who works for the Kingpin at this time, is assigned with hunting down and killing Ben. Daredevil, who’s guarding Ben, realizes a trap is waiting for them in the hotel Ben’s staying at. He goes to investigate and is immediately attacked by Elektra. Beating Daredevil mercilessly, she eventually gets Daredevil to trip a bear trap, only to then bring a brick wall down on top of him. With Daredevil crippled and beaten, Elektra finishes her task and stabs Ben.