There are not many comic fans today who haven’t heard of Daredevil. A long comic history and a recent hit Netflix series has amassed so much popularity for The Man Without Fear that Daredevil is a nerdy household name. We love Daredevil now, but that was not always the case. Daredevil had an interesting history and origin. A young boy rescuing an old man from a truck, only to be blinded by radioactive waste is a tale in itself. When that accident leads to not only blindness, but also heightened senses and radar vision, a hero is born.
Unfortunately, not everyone was so enamored with Daredevil. Sometimes, he was not even the star of his own comic. He had to suffer through some bad TV appearances, worse movies, several flopped series of comics, and quite a lot of time before his popularity really stuck. The Daredevil of Netflix fame is only part of the story, though. Have you ever wondered what Daredevil used to wear? Have you heard of all his adventures with Black Widow and Spider-Man? Did you know he was married, or had a string of torrid romances? Daredevil is much more than he appears, and The Man Without Fear has more secrets than just his hidden identity.
15. WHAT DOES DAREDEVIL HAVE TO DO WITH TMNT?
Daredevil is not a mutant turtle, and he was not raised in the sewers. His appreciation of pizza does not seem out of the ordinary. So, what does The Man Without Fear have to do with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The Ninja Turtles were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, and their inspiration from Frank Miller is obvious, both in style and story.
The Turtles comics show a young boy being blinded by radioactive chemicals after saving a man from being hit by a truck. This same canister then rolls into the sewers and creates the radioactive Turtles. Creation is not where the similarities end, though. The Turtles’ mentor, Splinter, is named after Daredevil’s teacher, Stick, and the Foot Clan is an homage to Daredevil’s enemy, The Hand. A Ninja Turtles crossover episode of Daredevil would be a dream come true.
14. HE ISN’T ALWAYS BLIND
Being blind is the driving force behind what makes Matt Murdock Daredevil, right? The childhood trauma that led him down the hero’s path? Right. Daredevil is blind, and his blindness is the origin of his superpowers and his desire to save others. However, Daredevil is not always blind. Throughout his run in comics, Matt Murdock has regained his sight to save the day. This takes a little magic, of course.
When Moondragon was injured, she restores Daredevil’s sight so he can help her. Unfortunately, Daredevil’s “radar vision” and uncanny reflexes are developed from his lack of conventional sight. Moondragon and Daredevil realize pretty quickly that he is better off blind, and they return things to normal. Daredevil does it a few more times, though, with The Beyonder and The Uni-Power. None of these experiments last long, though. Daredevil’s blindness is an inherent part of his heroics.
13. NETFLIX’S DAREDEVIL IS NOT HIS FIRST TV APPEARANCE
For most new Daredevil fans, Charlie Cox is the one true man in red. The popularity of the Netflix Daredevil series revolutionized Superhero binge-watching, and the dark, gritty, Daredevil stole the show. Netflix is not Daredevil’s first foray into television, though. In 1989, Daredevil was introduced as a character in a TV movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns, a feature-length companion to the long-running Lou Ferrigno series of The Incredible Hulk.
Rex Smith, though quite the actor for his time, was not an intimidating hero in his black Daredevil jumpsuit, especially when going up against Wilson Fisk alongside The Hulk.This movie was meant to be a pilot introduction for a new Daredevil TV series — but based on future Daredevil screen time (we all, unfortunately, remember the 2003 Ben Affleck movie), it’s probably best that Matt Murdock laid low until his Netflix hit.
12. HE USED TO BE YELLOW
We are so accustomed to seeing Daredevil scale Hell’s Kitchen in his signature red suit, it is difficult to remember a time when he wore anything different. Like Spider-Man in his homemade hoodie, Daredevil also dons some less impressive outfits. Fans will recognize his undercover black suit, which is perfect for sneaking and sleuthing. What we try to forget is Daredevil’s most questionable garb — his bright yellow tights.
The skintight suit featured a giant “D” on the chest, which is the letter grade we would give this suit design. It was supposed to make Matt Murdock look like a really cool acrobat, but we can all agree it didn’t work, right? Luckily the artists agreed, and his red, devil-horned suit was introduced pretty quickly. If you don’t believe us, pick up a copy of Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale’s Daredevil Yellow (Hint: it has a yellow cover. Very inconspicuous.)
11. HE WAS MARRIED ONCE
It seems that Daredevil likes the single hero’s life too much to settle down, but that hasn’t always been the case. He spends some quality time with a few excellent women, including Black Widow, Elektra, and his longtime girlfriend, Karen Page. None of them were enough for this handsome devil, though, until his true love, Milla Donovan. Daredevil met Milla the old-fashioned way — he rescued her from a near-death experience.
Milla and Matt are both blind, and we all know that alliterated romances are the best kind. Their relationship wasn’t all great. Daredevil cheated, Milla kept getting kidnapped by villains. Daredevil had a mental breakdown about his dead girlfriend, Milla… got drugged by Mister Fear, went crazy, pushed someone in front of a train, and landed herself in a mental institution. Maybe it’s for the best that Matt is a serial womanizer. Settling down doesn’t seem to go well for him.
10. HE HAS AN “EVIL TWIN”
During Marvel’s infamous Infinity War, many heroes had evil counterparts created by The Magus (aka Adam Warlock). Daredevil had the unfortunate task of fighting his own evil doppelgänger, a giant red devil beast called Hellspawn. Think the Jersey Devil of legend, but huge, and more terrifying. Hellspawn had giant claws, razor sharp fangs, a spiked tail, and of course, a hulking billy-club to take down his puny blind foe.
Matt had a tough time taking down Hellspawn. The monster was immune to Daredevil’s radar vision. Daredevil and Elektra teamed up to take down the giant red devil. When Hellspawn was finally defeated, he morphed into a perfect copy of Daredevil’s human form, because just dying a peaceful death is not creepy enough for a gigantic, magical hell-beast. Matt Murdock uses the body to fake his own death, so at least something good came out of it.
9. HE’S AN AVENGER (SOMETIMES)
Daredevil is joining The Defenders on Netflix, which might seem surprising for a vigilante hero who prefers to work alone. This is not Daredevil’s first time on a team, though. He has spent time working with high-profile heroes, like Black Widow, Spider-man, and Elektra. He drags Foggy Nelson into trouble all the time. Daredevil has even been fired from the Fantastic Four! For a long, time Daredevil was one of few popular Marvel characters to avoid joining the Avengers, even turning down Captain America’s offer of a spot on the roster.
When his friends, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, asked him to join their team, The New Avengers, Matt couldn’t say no. Starting in Marvel’s “Fear Itself” crossover, Matt Murdock becomes a full-sledged member of The New Avengers. He remained on the team for several years, but even his friends can’t keep Daredevil from Hell’s Kitchen for long.
8. HE “HANGS OUT” WITH SPIDER-MAN
Daredevil and Spider don’t seem like they would be friends. Besides general proximity to each other and uncannily similar “radar” powers, Spidey and Daredevil could not be more different. In the Marvel Universe, though, and in New York, everyone is bound to run into each other sometime. Spider-Man and Daredevil do have similar origin stories, and they live to protect their neighborhoods, so maybe they have more in common than it appears.
The Man Without Fear and the Swinging’ Web Slinger first meet in an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, in which Daredevil rescues Spider-Man, and thus began their decades-long teaming-up. Daredevil even uses his powers to listen to Spidey’s heartbeat and discover his secret identity — if that isn’t true friendship, I don’t know what is. Charlie Cox has said he would love to see a Spider-Man crossover on Daredevil, and it would definitely be a fan favorite.
7. HE’S NOT THE ONLY SUPERHERO LAWYER
Daredevil is famously known as the superhero identity for Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer defending the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Matt’s litigating skills and courtroom banter often get him out of (and into) trouble, in and out of his Daredevil suit. In an unlikely coincidence, though, Daredevil is not the only Superhero lawyer in the Marvel Universe.
Have you met Jennifer Walters? She is another successful Marvel lawyer, but unlike the Man Without Fear, she prefers green to red. Courtroom warrior Walters also happens to be She-Hulk, the hulked out cousin of genius Bruce Banner. In She-Hulk’s solo comic, and throughout their relationship, She-Hulk and Daredevil are friends. It makes sense, as they cross each other in both of their professional circles. Hopefully a She-Hulk and Daredevil crossover graces our Netflix bingefests someday, because seeing them go head-to-head would make for a great episode.
6. DAREDEVIL IS A WOMANIZER
For fans of the Netflix Daredevil series, this fact does not come as much of a surprise. The series opens with Daredevil using his powers to seduce women, and Foggy constantly berating him for his debauchery. He’s a hero, right? He should act like one. Daredevil has many sides, though, and while he is a hero, he is also a womanizer and a definite ladies’ man.
Daredevil has been tied to regular relationships, like his long-term girlfriend, Karen Page, and his wife, Milla Donovan. He has also been involved with many high-profile heroes, like Black Widow, Elektra, and Echo. He also tends to date all his secretaries — a gross move. Almost all his girlfriends have been kidnapped and used against him by Kingpin. Almost all of his girlfriends have also died gruesome deaths. Daredevil might be a serial womanizer, but karma leaves him with a string of heartbreak and loss.
5. HE PRETENDS TO BE HIS OWN BROTHER
Matt Murdock is probably the worst at keeping his secret identity secret. It’s a surprise that everyone in New York doesn’t know that he is Daredevil. Well, that’s because Matt has done some crazy things to keep his secret. He’s faked his own death, let friends pretend to be Daredevil, and flat out tried to convince people that “I know Daredevil, but it’s not me”.
Matt Murdock hits ultimate weird, though, when he tries to pretend to be his own twin brother, Mike Murdock, to throw his friends off his track. Trying to convince your best friends that your twin brother, who they conveniently have never met, is actually Daredevil, is not an easy feat, especially when you’re also pretending to be not blind. It works for a disturbingly long period of time, until Matt’s girlfriend started to fall for Mike and everything got really complicated.
4. HE SPENDS A LOT OF TIME WITH BLACK WIDOW
Daredevil has been part of a lot of high profile team-ups throughout his career, but it seems that he always comes back to Natasha. Daredevil and Black Widow met when Matt Murdock was defending Natasha Romanova in court, and they promptly fell in love. They fought crime together, even moving to San Francisco to protect the streets as a cool black and red crime-fighting duo. They shared a series, Daredevil and the Black Widow, but it was short-lived.
Much of Daredevil and Black Widow’s relationship was blocked by the Comics Code Authority. They were romantic partners as well as heroic partners, but at the time such things were frowned upon in comics. Maybe Black Widow and Daredevil would have lasted if the Comics Code had not forced them to live on separate floors of the same apartment building. A Daredevil and Black Widow show would be amazing, but it’s unlikely.
3. HE DOESN’T ALWAYS LIVE IN HELL’S KITCHEN
Daredevil’s home in Hell’s Kitchen is as integral to his personality and his heroic development as his blindness. Imagining Daredevil anywhere else besides New York just seems wrong. Other Avengers might run around the world, working where they please, but Daredevil has always known he belongs in New York, protecting his people and his neighborhoods. That has not always been true, though. Daredevil has left Hell’s Kitchen, and not just to go on missions.
In a recent series, he lived in San Francisco. He moved his law practice, and had a hard time learning how to navigate the bridges, streets, and unfamiliar architecture of the Bay. He moved there in the past as well, when he lived with Black Widow. Daredevil belongs in New York though. Wherever his travels and his work takes him, he will always return to Hell’s Kitchen.
2. HE LETS HIS FRIENDS WEAR HIS SUIT
Daredevil has had many outfits, from his everyday blacks to his yellow tights and familiar red horns. He also finds himself in trouble quite often. Whether Daredevil is being chased by dangerous villains, keeping his friends off his tail, or trying to convince everyone that Matt Murdock is not Daredevil, it seems that Matt always needs help. Luckily, he has plenty of friends, super and otherwise, to lend him a hand — or in some cases, lend him their entire body.
Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Black Panther, and even Foggy Nelson have donned the suit with Matt’s blessing. Usually, they do this to distract from Daredevil’s secret identity. Matt runs out in regular clothes while his friends show up in the Daredevil outfit, proving that Matt is not Daredevil. Black Panther and Iron Fist have taken over duties for Daredevil as well — true friendship means pretending to be a different hero.
1. DAREDEVIL WAS ALMOST CANCELED
With the amazing success of the Netflix Daredevil series, it is difficult to imagine a time when Daredevil was not a well-known, popular Marvel character. Unfortunately, Daredevil, when he was introduced in comics, did not have the same widespread success. Decades ago, the comic incarnation of Daredevil was created in a weekend. He was meant to be a supporting character, and only appear in a few issues at most. Unexpectedly, he got his own comic series!
Unfortunately, his success did not last long. Not only was Daredevil no the most popular character in the Marvel Universe, he was not even the most popular character in his own comic. Daredevil went through many incarnations, and he even considered giving up his heroic identity at times. Luckily he stuck around through some bad comics and worse movies, because Netflix’s Daredevil is a huge hit.
Is there any other facts about DD we missed? Let us know in the comments section!
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