Finally we take a little break from DC Comics, since in the last days the first official pics of Charlie Cox as Daredevil have been released: the character will star in the Daredevil tv series next May, first part of the Netflix package. In the picture, we can see his costume will be based on Frank Miller‘s origin story (but hopefully we’ll see him don his trademark red costume sooner or later in the series), a ninja-like black suit with a mask covering almost entirely his face. This look was also the one adopted by Rex Smith in his take on the character in the tv movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, in which Matt Murdock (Daredevil’s civilian identity) was hired as David Banner‘s lawyer; eventually, Daredevil and Hulk team up to take down Kingpin, the one behind the crimes Hulk has been accused for. Ben Affleck portrayed the character in the latest Daredevil movie, an another take on the origin story of the superhero; he also appeared in a deleted scene in the spin-off Elektra, trying to convince, during a vision, his former girlfriend now ninja Elektra Natchios to come back to New York, but she refuses (quite weird, since she’s actually talking to herself). Let’s hope that this new version of Daredevil, despite the look, will be closer to the original one; in the meanwhile, let’s see together who one of Marvel’s most popular heroes is in the comics.
Matthew Michael Murdock was born from Jonathan Murdock, a boxer known as Battlin’ Jack on the ring, and his young wife; the woman fell into post-partum depression, and when she tried to harm the baby, she ran from home, later joining the Church as a nun named Sister Margaret Grace. Jonathan always told Matt his mother had died when he was an infant, and the kid always believed him. The boxer raised Matt in the infamous Hell’s Kitchen, but he didn’t want his son to follow his footsteps, so he prompted him to study in order to become something better than an “uneducated pug” like himself; Matt always obeyed his father, and became quite a good student, being bullied by all the other kids his age for it. When his boxing career started fading, in order to raise some money Jonathan started working for the Fixer, a local mob boss, both fixing his matches and acting as an enforcer; Matt obviously didn’t know this, but anytime his father was away, he secretly trained with his equipment, in an effort to defend himself from bullies. One day, walking down a street, young Matt saw a blind man about to be run over by a truck: before he could even realize it, he pushed the man away, but some of the radioactive waste the truck was carrying spilled from their canisters and hit Matt directly in his eyes. When he woke up at the hospital, Matt found himself blind, but his other senses had been heightened to unbelievable extent, and he also gained a special radar sense that allowed him to perceive his sorroundings even better than if he could still see. Matt kept this hidden from his father, and kept studying (and secretly training). After high school, he attended Columbia University and studied law, meeting the one that would have become his best friend, Foggy Nelson, at the time his roommate. One night, Matt decided to bring Foggy to see his father boxing: the match was supposed to be fixed, but as Battlin’ Jack saw his son out front he refused to lose, and won the fight. The Fixer didn’t take this too well, and had him killed immediately after the match.
Understanding justice couldn’t be assured through law only, a distraught Matt intensified his training, and when he found Stick, a blind martial arts master, he asked him to teach him how to fight. Stick agreed, and tried his best to allow Matt to focus all his rage and to control it. As soon as he was ready, however, Matt escaped from his master’s custody and, with a black mask on, he looked for his father’s killers. He severely beat all the thugs he could find, until he reached the Fixer, who died of a heart attack when he saw him. Matt found the last criminal, Angelo, in a brothel, and tried to apprehend him, but the girls working there attacked him to protect their business; during the following fight, one of the girls fell from a window, and Matt believed he had killed her (she actually survived, but went mad and came back years later looking for vengeance). Shocked by what he had done and was becoming, Matt came back to Stick, but the master had fled, disgusted by what he had done. Alone, Matt resolved never to use violence again, and came back to university. He met Elektra Natchios, a girl he fell in love with; the two had to part suddenly when her father was accidentally killed by the police, a tragedy following which she decided to abandon everything and to leave. Matt went on with his life and graduated. He then opened a law firm with Foggy, the Nelson & Murdock, and became a professional lawyer, just as his father wanted. Again, he found out that too many criminals escaped justice during trials, and decided to take back his vigilante career, but this time with a new method and meaning: he tailored a yellow and red costume with his father’s old boxing robes, and took up the name the bullies used to mock him when he was little, Daredevil, becoming the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen. Patroling the streets by night and defending the innocents by day, Matt became the ultimate law enforcer, capturing as Daredevil the ones Matt Murdock couldn’t put in jail. One of the best lawyers in New York, Matt now did his best to be the Guardian Devil of his neighborhood, gaining powerful enemies, but also loyal friends.
Matt Murdock is a honest man, determined to do what’s right but always struggling to understand what that is. Marked by quite a number of tragedies, Matt has become quite gloomy with the years, even if never truly lost hope (nor his sense of humor, despite many sad moments); dedicated to his friends and to the people he swore to protect, Matt has sometimes difficulties in conciliating his private life with his heroic activity, especially while trying to justify himself with his friend and colleague Foggy or with his many girlfriends. As Daredevil, he’s an extremely proficient acrobat and hand-to-hand combatant, a skilled martial artist counted among the world’s best. The incident that took his sight away strenghtened his other senses: his touch is so acute he can read by feeling the ink’s impression on the paper, his hearing makes him a living lie-detector by sensing other people’s heart beat, his smell allows him to recognize a people’s scent even at a great distance, and his taste is so sensitive he can detect any ingredient in any food he eats; he also possesses a nearly superhuman memory and a definitely superhuman balance. His most distinctive trait is however his “radar sense”, similar to bats’ one, which allows him to “see” his surroundings even better than normal people. He usually uses a pair of billy clubs in battle, which can be composed to form a stick (used also as a normal walking stick), which in turn hides a grappling hook he uses to move between New York’s skyscrapers. A relentless vigilante, totally devoted to his cause due to the things and people he has lost when failing his mission, Daredevil will always fight for the people of Hell’s Kitchen, trying in a way or the other to make sure the innocents are protected. Justice is blind.