Turk Barrett

Turk BarrettDaredevil has finally been released, and that means a lot of new characters for us! Let’s start from the first episode, Into the Ring, and from one of the villains. When Daredevil first intervenes against a human-trafficking gang, he confronts the group’s leader, Turk Barrett, portrayed by Rob Morgan (who is easily and quickly defeated…only to come back in the following episodes, of course). This is not Turk’s first appearance, as he was already in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, portrayed by Mark Acheson. In the tv movie, Turk was the not-so-willing informant of Daredevil, until he was paid by Kingpin to provide the hero false information, leading him into a trap. He was later arrested by the police, while celebrating in a bar. Curiously enough, this version of the character was race-swapped into a Caucasian from the original African-American; the series’ version of Turk is, at least aesthethically speaking, closer to the original one: let’s see together.

Not much is known about Turk Barrett’s early life: born in New York City, he grew up in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, always eager to prove himself and to make his “big move” to become someone in the city. Not exactly a honest guy, Turk started off as a street snatcher, then selling his service to this or that crime boss to earn a living. As a teenager, he used to work from time to time for Roscoe Sweeney, a local gangster known as The Fixer, who gave him small jobs to keep him occupied; during one of this tasks, Turk was ordered to bring money to an old boxer, turkbarrettcomics1a former glory named Battlin’ Jack Murdock, money that were meant to convince him to lose a combat on purpose. Not only Murdock didn’t accept the offer, but he even sent Turk away, despite his request to work with him (Turk took him for an enforcer). The experience wounded Turk’s pride, and he abandoned Sweeney’s gang. Not much time passed until he found another group to be a part of, the Thunderbolts Gang, a band of extremist African-American crooks who spoke of racial revolution and of equality, but that only spent time robbing and stealing like common criminals. Turk spent years with the Thunderbolts, and witnessed their fall: when the gang beat nearly to death Billy Carver, a war veteran who had refused to join them, Billy’s brother Lonnie asked one of his professors for help. The professor turned out to be the Black Panther undercover, and the African hero teamed up with Hell’s Kitchen’s protector Daredevil to defeat the Thunderbolts. In Turk’s defense, he actually managed to subdue Black Panther holding him at gunpoint, even if just for a few seconds, but Carver’s intervention saved the Panther and allowed Daredevil to intervene, knocking Turk out. When the battle with the two heroes was over, Turk was held responsible for everything since he had Black Panther at his mercy but managed to lose him, and he was kicked out of the gang.

Now alone, Turk found a new employment working for Eric Slaughter, an old crime boss who tried to tread water despite his decreasing influence. When the killer Bullseye paid Slaughter to kill Daredevil (he knew the old man would have never done it, he just wanted to monitor the hero’s style to fight him personally in a second moment), Turk was among the men sent to ambush the target to the pier. Unfortunately, it ended up being Daredevil ambushing the hitmen rather than the other way round, and Turk barely managed to escape a one-sided beating. He turkbarrettcomics2tried to amend by following one of Daredevil’s friend, the blind lawyer Matt Murdock, to Josie’s Bar, but he got beaten by both Murdock and Josie, and the lawyer told him to tell Bullseye Daredevil was looking for him. First thing Turk did was to report this to Slaughter…allowing Daredevil to follow him to the boss’ house. Needless to say, Turk’s sloppiness costed him yet another job, and he ended up on the streets, alone again. For a time, he pretended to be a blind man and panhandled for a living, but soon enough he came back to his old life, again trying to find a boss worth working for. Along with a new friend of his, another low-life named Grotto, Turk finally entered the Kingpin’s service, winning his trust by agreeing to kill Matt Murdock, the same lawyer who had made Turk lose his job with Slaughter, and who was now investigating on the absolute ruler of New York’s criminality. Tusk and Grotto, however, didn’t kill Murdock, dumping him in the sewers instead, sure that for a blind man that was as good as been killed right off. Of course, Matt was “saved by Daredevil”, and the hero went after Barrett soon enough, forcing him to reveal what he knew of the Kingpin. This time, however, Turk made himself useful by informing Kingpin of Daredevil’s investigations in time, so that the boss could provide fake files for the hero to “steal”. Maybe, Turk wasn’t so useless as everybody believed. Just maybe.

Turk Barrett is a total failure, an ambitious criminal who believes to be smarter than everybody else in the business, despite constantly being proved wrong by everything happening to him. Sloppy and arrogant, Turk is a danger for whoever employs him, and he more often than not ends up helping his boss’ enemies with his ineptitude. He doesn’t have any personal ability, but he once stole Stilt-Man‘s armor, and even Mauler‘s one, trying to use them against Daredevil: unfortunately, he didn’t know how the equipment worked, so he failed miserably, as always. Despite thinking pretty highly of himself, Turk is an embarassing presence anywhere he goes, a blessing for heroes like Daredevil who always manipulate him to hunt for the truly big deals.

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3 Comments

  1. […] the hero’s targets were the ones she didn’t like at all, like the good-for-nothing Turk Barrett and his friend Grotto. Her bar also became the stage for Daredevil’s statement, when he […]

  2. […] editor J. Jonah Jameson; Cherryh, however, had informed Kingpin about him, and two goons, Turk Barrett and Grotto, were sent to kill Sheldon. Daredevil saved the man, but during the following trial […]

  3. […] Slaughter that Grotto met the man who would have become his life-long friend and partner in crime, Turk Barrett, a street-smart man who however had quite a high opinion of himself, and always believed to be […]


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