Okay, some people are going to hate me for this, but… having a heightened sense of touch does not allow you to bend steel unless you also have superhuman strength. Daredevil does not. I think he actually only did this a few times, but I know it’s one of those abilities that people consider to be kinda cool. I say it’s wacky! It’s makes two erroneous assumptions: 1) that every bar of steel even has a weakness in it and 2) that knowing about this weakness is enough to be able to use it. Personally I don’t even buy that having a heightened sense of touch is enough to even feel the weakness (you might have to get some X-rays for that), but that’s just me. 😉

Below is a panel form Daredevil #3, where he rescues Karen from the Owl. Wacky, but cute!

Daredevil bends steel, panel from Daredevil #3
Daredevil bends steel, panel from Daredevil #3

I would like to know one thing, though. How on Earth did Matt sneak out of his cell during The Devil in Cell Block D? We know he didn’t bend the bars, so maybe he just has a very soft and squishy head. Any ideas?

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.

3 comments

  1. Loeb rewrote the same event in a somehow more acceptable way in DD:Yellow, in which Matt himself, when recalling this, can’t exactly explain if it was a burst of adrenaline or the fact that he was able to feel localized weaknesses into the material.

    Not all kinds of steel have weaknesses, but such weaknesses exist. Mostly in a microscopic, localized form, especially in correspondance of the welding points.

    Such weaknesses count effectively as defects of production, so we can suppose that the Owl was buying these poorly made cages to save some money, maybe to pay his owl-themed blimp.

    Anyway, for it to be a little more realistic they could’ve made the whole act of bending bars less instantaneous.

    Regarding how he was able to escape from his cell, I think it had more to do with some more practical trick, like slipping some small piece of metal inside the cell lock to prevent it from locking and then getting out, or stealing the keys with some “sleight of hand” trick.
    There could be several explaination, not necessarily involving something “wacky” :p.

  2. “…so we can suppose that the Owl was buying these poorly made cages to save some money, maybe to pay his owl-themed blimp.” 😀

    I think your explanation for how Matt got out of his cell is plausible. Picking a lock is something every self-respection superhero should be able to do. I think Bru left the whole explanation of how he did it open so that every reader could decide for themselves perhaps. 🙂

    My first instinct wasn’t to think it was something wacky. The criteria that have to be met for something to be a “wacky power” is usually when you have that “wait a minute, it doesn’t work that way” reaction to something. Like when the writers are using a key to open a (metaphorical) lock, except that everyone knows that the key doesn’t fit. That’s when you get these “heightened sense of touch = bending steel bars” scenarios that just don’t make sense. Sure, it’s a superhero comic, but there still has to be a plausible explanation at work in order for the reader to be able to suspend their disbelief.

    Speaking of Loeb and wacky powers, it was interesting to note that he ignored the event mentioned in Wacky power #2 entirely in his retelling of the early years. I think that would have been very hard to rework in a way that would meet the storytelling standards of today. 🙂

  3. “It’s makes two erroneous assumptions: 1) that every bar of steel even has a weakness in it and 2) that knowing about this weakness is enough to be able to use it. Personally I don’t even buy that having a heightened sense of touch is enough to even feel the weakness (you might have to get some X-rays for that), but that’s just me. ;)”

    I could buy it if the writer said he was probing for weaknesses with his radar sense, not his fingertips. We’ve seen DD’s radar sense act like X-rays often over the years. As you point out, this may not make total sense, but it’s a well-established way his powers can work. It’s not too much of a stretch to accept that a power than can penetrate solid objects can be used to penetrate a material and probe it for flaws and stress points, as well. This does not require that every steel bar have a weakness. In the panel above he’s only bending one bar. Which one? The one with the weakness, of course, against which a strong man can pit his strength and bend it.

    Not by analyzing it with his fingertips, though.

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