Daredevil has faced his fair share of enemies defending Hell's Kitchen and fighting alongside the heroes of the Marvel Universe since he debuted in 1964's Daredevil #1 by Stan Lee and Bill Everett. While Matt Murdock is best known for battling Kingpin and Bullseye for the fate of New York City, as seen in both the live-action film and Netflix television series, there are plenty of other villains that have memorably squared off against the Man Without Fear across his 55-year history.
Now, we're taking a closer look at some of Daredevil's other foes who have been consistently underrated. We'll also be breaking down just how exactly these villains shook up Matt Murdock's life forever.
The original Mister Fear, Zoltan Drago, is one of Daredevil's oldest villains and was created by Lee and Wally Wood in 1965's Daredevil #6 as a masked villain who created a toxin to induce fear in his victims. After the character's death, he was replaced by the longest-running incarnation of the character, Larry Cranston, who debuted in 1972's Daredevil #89 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan. A former law school classmate of Matt and Foggy Nelson, Larry became the third Mister Fear after recovering the villain's equipment from Zoltan's killer Star Saxxon.
In a bid to take over crime in New York City, Mister Fear teamed up with the Enforcers with a new drug that drove its users psychotic, leading to a string of crimes across Hell's Kitchen. Using the chemical compound, Fear drugged Matt's wife Milla, which led to her killing an innocent man and sent her into a complete mental breakdown. While Fear confessed to creating the drug, he secretly developed a new compound that made users worship him, and effectively ruled the maximum security prison he was sentenced to like a king.
Created in 1964's Daredevil #3 by Lee and Joe Orlando, Leland Owlsley was a crooked financial investor nicknamed "the Owl of Wall Street" due to his shrewd business sense and keen ability to play the stock markets. When his corrupt dealings and tax evasion were exposed, the Owl went into hiding and became a powerful crime lord. Using his ill-gotten gains, Owsley financed genetic experiments on himself that gave him the ability him to fly, enhanced his senses, and gained razor-sharp fangs and talons to match his longtime moniker.
The Owl has since become one of Daredevil's biggest recurring foes, either working with New York's various crime families and illicit organizations or as his own supervillain, tangling with Daredevil and Matt Murdock due to the latter's connections in the New York legal system. Despite all that, he's always been Daredevil's second most noteworthy crime lord foe, thanks to the sizeable presence of the Kingpin.
One of the more recent additions to Daredevil's cadre of memorable villains is the mysterious martial artist Ikari, first appearing in 2013's Daredevil #25 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. After Matt Murdock went public with his secret identity and relocated to San Francisco with his girlfriend and fellow lawyer Kristen McDuffie, the couple were stalked by the hooded ninja, who wore a Japanese-styled variation of Daredevil's original red and yellow costume.
Kidnapping Kristen and Foggy under Kingpin's orders, Daredevil fought Ikari to a standstill while learning that Ikari possessed a prodigious radar sense of his unknown. Ikari's true identity was never revealed as his fight against Daredevil was abruptly cut short when the vigilante Shroud killed him with one of his Darkforce constructs.
Created by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr. in 1988's Daredevil #254, Mary Walker was a supervillain suffering from severe dissociative personality disorder, with her most powerful and dangerous persona referring to herself as Typhoid Mary. After an early encounter with Daredevil where the hero lashed out against her, Mary that vowed no man would ever hurt her again and became an assassin and enforcer for the mob, using her martial arts training and mutant powers of telekinesis and pryokinesis.
While Mary worked as an assassin for the Kingpin tasked with killing Daredevil, Mary's more benevolent personality romanced Matt Murdock as one of her violent ones entered a relationship with her nefarious boss. Working both along for with various supervillain organizations, Typhoid Mary is one of the most lethally unpredictable enemies in Daredevil's rogues gallery.