Well, I was going to post the first installment of my Random Reviews series tonight. The random numbers generator had dictated that I would review the second issue in Brian Michael Bendis’s arc Decalogue (issue #72, vol. 2), and I will. Just not tonight. I had also planned to post the update of Hell’s Kitchen tonight – and I may still do that – but before getting to any of it, I decided to kill the “Matt Murdock is a player” myth once and for all. I have my reasons for posting about this now (a chatroom conversation), but this post could have been written at any time.
This myth is based on a couple of different assumptions. The first one is that Matt has had an unsual number of girlfriends or sexual partners. The second is that he’s pretty much been with every woman he’s been close to in the book. Both of these are clearly false. So, let’s take a look at all the women he’s been naked with, and some of the ones he hasn’t touched and see what we find, okay? In chronological order (in continuity, not by publication date)
While I sort of hope Matt at least went on a date or two in high school, Daredevil continuity is pretty clear on Elektra’s status as first girlfriend. It is also safe to assume that the two were both virgins when they met. Either way, their relationship lasted for a year before Elektra’s father was murdered and she went all dark on him. While Matt may certainly have done the deed with other women in college, we are led to believe that he was pretty broken up about her. Either way, if we didn’t hear about it, it doesn’t count.
It started as a complicated affair between these two and stayed in that vein. In fact, they’ve been reunited three times. Karen leaves Matt relatively early on – and even that goes back and forth for a while – and then returns to him in Born Again, later during Chichester’s run (after he cheated on her with Typhoid Mary during Nocenti’s run), and finally during the Kevin Smith arc Guardian Devil which marked the end of the road for her.
Wow, Matt sure does sleep around, going from one monogamous relationship to another. *ahem* Either way, Matt and Natasha experience a troubled but passionate partnership in and out of the bedroom for a while, during their time in San Francisco, and then part ways. While they may have been friends with benefits in between panels at other times, it still doesn’t increase Matt’s count for the total number of partners.
Daredevil and Moondragon shared a mutual attraction, but they never actually acted on it. With Moondragon having been raised on another world (Titan), and Matt still being in a relationship with Natasha, it never developed beyond a close emotional connection. On the other hand, I can see how Moondragon actually living in the Matt/Natasha/Ivan household for a month would have been a little weird. Alas, we can assume that there were no orgies at the mansion.
Matt remains single for a while before reluctantly falling in love with goofy heiress Heather Glenn. Their relationship was never particularly solid, but they did contemplate marriage at one point. It was also complicated further by Elektra’s return to New York, and Matt wasn’t exactly a good boyfriend, but there was never any infidelity that we know about. The two part ways and Heather kills herself. Well, you all know how that goes.
Why would I put Becky Blake on this list, you ask? For some of the same reasons I put Moondragon on this list, to show female characters with whom Matt has had an emotional bond of some kind (in Becky’s case, this never went beyond friendship, though she certainly had the hots for him), yet never slept with. Because, the myth would have us believe that Matt sleeps with every woman his radar touches and that simply is not true.
Somewhere in the post-Elektra and Heather mayhem, Matt had a brief relationship with Debbie Harris’s neice from the green isle. She would later end up meeting her meaningless demise in a stupid storyline years later, but not before leaving Matt for Foggy. I know some fans who share a certain understanding for Glorianna’s tastes.
With the conclusion of Born Again, Matt is back with his long lost love Karen Page, and all goes well for a while. Then, he falls under the spell of the enigmatic Mary and cheats on Karen, which I must admit bothered me a little. Sure, she has a certain control over him, but still. After Chichester takes over the book, Matt reunites with Karen.
Nyla was the girl Matt befriended during his amnesia phase at the end of Nocenti’s run. I’d say they were pretty close for a while. They didn’t get naked though. Then again, maybe that was because Matt couldn’t remember he was supposed to be such a “dawg.”
Shortly after Karen dies, Matt has something of a rebound relationship with the mysterious deaf woman Maya, while her alter ego – Echo – is trying to kill Daredevil. Their courtship seemed innocent enough though, and consisted mostly of hanging out at coffee shops and going to movies (that was actually a pretty funny scene, if you ask me). Like a very twisted episode of Friends or something. However, with this being the 21st century, I’m going to assume the did more than just hold hands, and I’m marking her name in bold. In case any of you were wondering, that’s the significance of the formatting.
The first woman with whom Matt went all the way and finally tied the knot, and currently in refrigerator-like stasis in the book. This frees Matt up for other relationships down the line, but not without serious complications as the two are still married and Matt probably isn’t ready to give up on her yet.
Will something happen between these two? Some say “yes.” So far, they are co-workers and friends and Matt hasn’t slept with her yet. Until he does, she’s proof that Matt does not, in fact, sleep with every woman who comes in the room. And here I haven’t even counted all women he’s casually come into contact with, such as Kathy Malper, Rosalyn Sharpe (yeah, a little twisted, but she’s a woman), countless secretaries and legal aides, and probably a crime victim or two.
So, what’s the tally? Well, Matt has had sex with eight women… Eight! Holy cow! And he’s how old? Early to mid thirties? Let’s say thirty-five and conclude that he’s had roughly one new sex partner every two years. He sure sleeps around, doesn’t he?
In case you’re wondering, the self-reported median number of sexual partners for American men happens to be… eight. Wow, not bad. If you look at the average, it’s even higher with all those actual skirt chasers skewing the numbers. I’d say Matt better get a move on, or he’ll turn into a downright prude…