In 1964, Marvel premiered one of its enduring and exciting super heroes, Daredevil. Whether in his secret identity as blind lawyer Matt Murdock or using his enhanced radar senses, DD stood out from the crowd as an unrelenting crusader for justice.
To celebrate 75 years of Marvel, 50 years of the Man Without Fear and the upcoming debut of Marvel’s “Daredevil” show on Netflix in 2015, we look back on the hero of Hell’s Kitchen’s remarkable history!
Behind the sprawling story of Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, stands the remarkable figure of Matt Murdock, blind attorney and champion of the innocent. The hero’s many adventures represent a long battle against adversity, one man’s struggle to overcome handicaps and bring justice to his city. In his first year as Daredevil, Murdock acquired both friends and enemies alike, ones that would haunt him for many years to come.
In DAREDEVIL #1, New York’s street-level criminals met a strange figure in a striking costume and took their first lumps from his amazing athletic abilities and his trick Billy club. In reality, Matt Murdock, the son of prizefighter “Battling” Jack Murdock, lost his own sight while saving a blind man from an oncoming truck, but gained almost-supernatural heightened senses from its radioactive payload. After the murder of his father by a crook named the Fixer, Matt won his law degree and created another identity to win justice for his father: Daredevil!
Murdock joined with his friend Foggy Nelson to form their own law practice, which also introduced him to Karen Page, the new secretary and the woman that would soon change Matt’s life forever.
When the Fantastic Four sought a lawyer in DAREDEVIL #2 to go over their lease on the Baxter Building, Murdock ran afoul of Electro, one of Spider-Man’s new costumed adversaries. As Daredevil, Matt confronted the electrified crook at the FF’s headquarters, while inwardly he weighed the pros and cons of an eye operation Karen suggested. In the end, our hero beat Electro, but lost his clients’ patronage.
New York’s financial district quaked under the unswerving gaze of the Owl in DAREDEVIL #3, as the business wizard set up others to take falls and line his own pockets with filthy lucre. When an accused Owl chose Matt Murdock to defend him in court, Daredevil took on the case, rescuing Karen Page from the criminal’s clutches and beating the man at his own game. Meanwhile, a mutual attraction grew between Matt and Karen, though neither of them would speak of it aloud to each other.
The coming of Killgrave the Purple Man in DAREDEVIL #4 offered yet another challenge for the neophyte hero. Killgrave’s very voice could control others’ actions, including Karen, so DD rushed headlong into the Purple Man’s small army of stooges to save her from leaping off a building at his command.
In the aftermath of the struggle, Matt learned of Foggy’s growing love for their secretary, and turned away from them to walk his own, lonely path.
Daredevil’s first year on the job wrapped up with a “one man crime wave” perpetrated by a daring villain dressed as a bullfighting matador. In DAREDEVIL #5, our hero discovered the Matador to be something of a 20th century Robin Hood, but when he conceived of a foolhardy plan to out Daredevil himself as the crook, he brought the Matador’s egotistical wrath down on his own head. After finally besting his opponent in personal combat, Matt chose to try and look past Foggy’s intentions to ask Karen to marry him.