Well, I already covered the women in Matt’s life in a previous post, but I thought that maybe we should take a closer look at the women Matt has been in a commited relationship with, this being Valentine’s Day and everything. I’ll also label this as “Daredevil for beginners” so new fans can get a quick tour through the love life of the Man Without Fear. So, here they are, in order of when they appeared in Matt’s life, not when they first debuted in the comic:
First appearance: Daredevil #168
Creator: Frank Miller
Relationship bio: Matt met Elektra as a freshman in college. She was the daughter of a Greek diplomat and it was love at first sniff for Matt, though Elektra rejected his advances at first. It wasn’t until he opened up to her about his abilities that she fell for him (a little close-minded on her part, but oh well). They dated for a year, during which they were blissfully happy.
What went wrong: Elektra’s father was held hostage, and Matt made an unsuccessful attempt to save him. After his death, Elektra left Columbia University a changed woman. Matt didn’t see her again for many years until she returned as a cold-blooded assassin. Fatally wounded by Bullseye, she died in Matt’s arms and was ultimately resurrected in great comic book fashion. Elektra is currently a semi-prominent character in the Marvel Universe. Most recently, she was the leader of the Hand, and replaced by an alien Skrull before returning to Earth in the aftermath of Secret Invasion.
First appearance: Daredevil #1
Creator: Stan Lee and Bill Everett
Relationship bio: In another instance of love at first sniff, Matt met Karen when Foggy hired her to be Nelson & Murdock’s first secretary. For many issues, the three were locked in a soap opera style love triangle. Things got even more complicated when Matt pretended to be his own fictional twin brother Mike, and Karen fell for him too. Finally, the two became a pair and Matt revealed to her his secret life. This caused a lot of strain in their relationship, and Karen left to go to Los Angeles where she became an actress. She briefly returned to New York before going on to make pornos. Somewhere along the line, she also became a heroin addict. Years later, she sold Matt’s secret to the Kingpin who went on to destroy Matt’s life. He forgave her and they moved in together in Hell’s Kitchen. Karen left after she discovered that Matt had had an affair with Typhoid Mary, but the two reconciled eventually.
What went wrong: Well, the last time things went wrong, Karen returned after one final separation and told Matt she had AIDS. This turned out to be an illusion, but no one got to rejoice for very long. Karen dies at the hands of Bullseye (or Kevin Smith…), impaled by Daredevil’s own billy club.
Natasha (Natalia) Romanova aka the Black Widow
First appearance: Daredevil #80 (in Daredevil; the character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #52 in 1964)
Creator: Stan Lee, Don Rico and Don Heck
Relationship bio: The Black Widow saved Daredevil’s life in Daredevil #80 and the two eventually entered into both a private and professional partnership. They moved to San Francisco where they shared a house that was also home to Natasha’s driver Ivan (that Matt and Natasha were co-habiting while not being married was quite striking at the time). After their break-up, Matt and Natasha remained close and she continues to make regular appearances in the book. In her most recent appearance during Bendis’s run, she nearly managed to seduce Matt who was separated from his wife Milla at the time.
What went wrong: Matt and Natasha seemed to have a big “division of labor” problem in their superhero careers. Natasha constantly complained that she didn’t receive the respect she felt she deserved and Matt was indeed being very macho (hey, this was a few decades ago). They finally parted ways as lovers and partners but have remained friends.
First appearance: Daredevil #126
Creator: Marv Wolfman and Bob Brown
Relationship bio: Heather Glenn was the daughter of industrialist Maxwell Glenn. She met Matt when she just happened to show up in his apartment. A somewhat goofy, fun-loving girl, she managed to intially both annoy and charm Matt who gradually became more and more attached to her. They dated for quite a while and if nothing else, Heather did manage to get Matt to loosen up and she inspired him to set up a legal clinic.
What went wrong: Heather’s father committed suicide because of the charges against him for crimes committed while he was under the influence of the Purple Man. Heather blamed Matt and also found out that he was Daredevil. While they managed to reconcile to some degree, Heather was not well equipped to handle the knowledge of Matt’s other life and even let the secret slip after an evening of drinking. Foggy and Natasha also meddled in Matt and Heather’s affairs and managed to break up the couple’s engagement. Some time later, Heather committed suicide.
First appearance: Daredevil #205
Creator: Denny O’Neill and William Johnson
Relationship bio: Glorianna was the niece of Foggy’s then-wife Debbie Harris and was born and raised in Ireland. She had ties to the IRA. She and Matt gradually became close. She broke up with him via audio tape in a scene reminiscent of the one in which “Heather” (voiced by Colin Farrell’s sister apparently) breaks up with Matt in the Daredevil movie. This took place during the first issue of Born Again. Glorianna went on to date Foggy and disappeared from the comic entirely in the beginning of Nocenti’s run. Glorianna is the only one of Matt’s steady girlfriends to date who never learned that Matt is really Daredevil.
What went wrong: Glorianna broke up with Matt for being distant and generally troubled. She met her final demise in issue #340 when “Alan Smithee” (D.G. Chichester) decided to kill her off for no apparent reason.
First appearance: Daredevil #41 (vol 2)
Creator: Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Relationship bio: Daredevil saved Milla from being hit by a bus, landing both of them on top of each other in a clothing store. Like Matt, Milla Donovan is blind. She is also unique in that she knew that Matt was Daredevil when they started dating. While Matt initially tries to deny this, Milla soon catches him in a lie. The two married during the famous “lost year” in volume 2. Their relationship has hit a lot of rough spots. When Milla suspected that Matt married her while not in his right mind and still getting over the death of Karen Page, she sought to have their marriage annulled. Matt refused to sign the papers and the two eventually reconciled. They enjoyed a brief period of happiness after Matt’s return from Europe during the Brubaker run.
What went wrong: Milla was poisoned by Mr Fear (Larry Cranston) and gradually driven insane. She is confined to a mental hospital as of Daredevil #105 (vol 2). Her current status and future is uncertain.