Comic Legends: When Did We Learn Daredevil Was Catholic?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and sixteenth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.

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Frank Miller revealed that Daredevil was Catholic.



Obviously, everyone knows by now that Daredevil being Catholic is a major part of his character. Especially in the Netflix series based on the character...

That image on the series, of course, was based on the classic Joe Quesada cover from Daredevil #3...

However, when people think about Daredevil and Catholicism, they think Frank Miller.

From a recent Inverse article:

In The Men Without Fear, a documentary included in the DVD of the 2003 Daredevil starring Ben Affleck, Stan Lee explained he only wanted to make another flawed superhero. Imperfect heroes were the rage at Marvel at the time, but Lee saw blindness as the flaw he was looking for. But he worried it would offend people. “I felt they would feel, ‘What’s this guy trying to do? We can’t do things like that. Is this some sort of a parody?’ I was nervous about it.”

Turns out the blind community were fine and loved Daredevil. But renowned scribe Frank Miller, known for his revolutionary reinterpretation of Batman in The Dark Knight Rises and comics like 300 and Sin City, held the pen for Daredevil in the ‘80s and dwelled on blindness as a theme. Not a trait. He emphasized Murdock’s Catholicism, because “only a Catholic could be a vigilante and an attorney at the same time.”

In fact, that quote from Miller, "I figured Daredevil must be Catholic because only a Catholic could be both an attorney and a vigilante," sure makes it sound like it was Miller who came up with the idea, right?

However, it seems more like it was Tony Isabella who came up with the idea when he introduced a priest that Matt knew in Daredevil #119. Bob Rozakis wrote about it in his old Answer Man column and Rosakis asked Tony, who wrote, "It was said: "Frank Miller did introduce the Catholicism in DAREDEVIL. Matt's Irish, so it makes sense in a vaguely stereotypical way..."

Well, not to take much away from Frank, who did so much more with the concept than I ever did, but the first time we saw any indication of Matt's religion was in DAREDEVIL #119's "They're Tearing Down Fogwell's Gym."

I think I know the writer. "

It is important to note that even Isabella wasn't explicit about Matt being Catholic in his issue, but it was close enough that I'm willing to give the nod to Isabella.

Check out some other death-themed entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back later for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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