I wonder if Stan Lee, when he created the “gorgeous Karen Page” for Daredevil #1, had any idea that his innocent piece of eye candy would turn into a heroin addict and prostitute. Karen eventually broke free of her addiction and returned to normal life before she died of a billy club to the chest at the hands of Bullseye. Or Kevin Smith, depending on how you want to look at it. Either way, it’s a terrible way to go. Oh, and I hope I’m not spoiling anything for anyone here, but this happened ten years ago (real time), so… Well, tough luck!

While people who have only read Volume 2 may not be all that familiar with Karen, she has a long and interesting history, which I thought I’d explore in a number of posts, starting at the very beginning. In the beginning, Karen was a picture of beauty and innocence, so sweet that if you could eat her, she’d be cotton candy. She was also immediately pulled into a love triangle with Matt and Foggy who both pined for her. She, in turn, had a thing for Daredevil – and Matt. Let’s have a look at some Karen moments from the first four issues, shall we?

Here’s Karen way back in Daredevil #1 from 1964. Notice the lovely hairdo and the ever so becoming Florence Nightingale tendencies:

Foggy looking for Matt, Daredevil #1
Foggy looking for Matt, Daredevil #1

Foggy and Karen discuss Matt, Daredevil #1
Foggy and Karen discuss Matt, Daredevil #1

In fact, she gets so invested in Matt that in issue #2, she decides to contact a Dr Van Eyck on Matt’s behalf in the hope that an operation might restore his sight. Matt isn’t particularly enthusiastic about the prospect. Not because Karen shouldn’t be sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, but because he fears that having his sight restored might affect his other senses as well. This makes absolutely no sense, but oh well. That’s comic book logic for you.

In issue number three, Karen is taken prisoner by the Owl, but not until after she’s spent yet another panel feeling sorry for him (seriously, she did that just about every other panel she was in…).

Karen feeling sorry for Matt, Daredevil #2
Karen feeling sorry for Matt, Daredevil #2

After Matt – ahem – Daredevil rescues her from the Owl, she has something of an epiphany. She recognizes something of Daredevil in Matt. Who would have guessed?!

Karen sees something of Daredevil in Matt, Daredevil #3
Karen sees something of Daredevil in Matt, Daredevil #3

In Daredevil #4, Karen – who seems to be in perpetual danger – is once again rescued from the mind control of the evil Purple Man. It appears, however, as if she somehow sees something more in Matt yet again. This time she shrugs it off with a classic “I guess I’m just a silly female!” Indeed you are, Karen!

Foggy and Karen admire Matt in Daredevil #4
Foggy and Karen admire Matt in Daredevil #4

Well, more Karen coming up (eventually) in Oh Karen! #2. I’m guessing it will take about twelve chapters or so to bring us right up to 1998, the year in which she met her untimely demise.

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

4 comments

  1. “The most decorative accessory” of the Office? That’s Mr. Lee doing his best to please female readers, I guess, LMAO (I don’t recall such phrase, but I imagine it was “softened” in the Spanish anthology I have). It’s funny that he finds Karen because he was expecting to find Matt, too! (wonder if the famous DD love triangle had some undexpected edges!).

    Incidentally, it’s curious to see Foggy the tubby youngster with curly hair in #1 to be transformed into Ralph’s Bellamy cousin in the subsequent ones.

    I’ll come again on the matter when you get to that run, but, much as I love “born Again” I hate that, ever since Karen has been subsequently defined by too many people like “That porn Junkie” (see that recent piece at marvel.com), incliding her murderer, the infamous Mr. Smith.

  2. The Spanish version reads “Excepto por la presencia de su colaborador más atractivo” (Except for the presence of it’s most attractive collaborator). It seems “The most decorative accessory” was too sexist, even for the Hispanic. But we have to understand the moment that phrase was written. I’m sure Stan Lee doesn’t believe women are accessories. He didn’t even mean to be sexist… while, nowadays… many sexist people, don’t say those things, just cause it0s to evident they shouldn’t.

  3. I think Stan was playing off an old phrase “The most beautful ornament”, which was used by critics and writers in such sentences as “Mrs. Siddons was the most beautiful ornament on the stage” and “The moon is the most beautiful ornament of the night. “

  4. of.. of.. of ALL people!..that.. that.. that MAN.. called DAREDEVIL??!!!

    haha.. this is just so.. so.. so circa!! i could’ve sworn i remember stan had her spit three times and say three hail marys after saying.. IT!

    good dig up

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