Here’s an example from Daredevil #131, by Marv Wolfman and Bob Brown (with Klaus Janson on inks), of Daredevil doing something he’s presumably quite good at: detecting residual heat. We’ve read about it in the Marvel Universe Handbook or on DD’s page on Wikipedia, the part about how he can detect changes in heat and tell how long someone’s been dead or when an appliance was last used. Still, you rarely see any of this actually happen in the comic.
In all honesty, I don’t find an increased ability to gauge heat to be particularly wacky. Some people are very good at judging distances, or how much something weighs. Some people have perfect pitch. I think this might be intended to work along those lines. The part that gets a little wacky is when this ability is actually put to work. Below, we see DD determine that the murderer in question (who happens to be Bullseye in his very first appearance, by the way) was wearing gloves because there is no heat residue on the pen he used to write something on the wall next to the victim.
Okay, let’s back up a minute here… Just how long does someone’s heat residue stay on something they’ve touched? Not very long. Also, what kinds of gloves is Bullseye wearing? As long as they’re not mittens, wouldn’t the outside of the glove be almost the same temperature as Bulleye’s hand? The surface would most certainly be hotter than the surrounding air temperature. But, you say, it may not be as high as if he hadn’t been wearing gloves at all. Possibly. The only problem is that we don’t know what kinds of gloves he was wearing. Also, we don’t know where his hand had been just before he wrote that note. Wrapped around a cold beer? Could be.
Okay, I won’t nitpick too much, but being able to gauge temperature just doesn’t strike me as a very useful skill considering all the other factors involved. That didn’t keep this skill from being featured in the director’s cut of the Daredevil movie where Matt reaches up to touch a lamp, presumably to determine how long it’s been out. Again, this would depend on how quickly the surface of the lamp cools down and even the wattage of the light bulb. And, once it’s gone cold, that’s it. Yes, I know I’m a geek. It’s just that the things Daredevil can do with this dubious skill of his strike me as a little, well, wacky…