The appeal of Daredevil …

by May 1, 2008Daredevil Character Basics5 comments

When thinking about this post, I realized that the appeal of a character as rich and complex as Matt Murdock/Daredevil is too great and too multi-faceted to be summed up in one post. Well, it could be, but it would be needlessly long and a little unfocused. So, I figured I’d divide it up into different parts. And I’m totally looking for lots of comments on these posts since I know that the appeal is different for each fan, and that people read Daredevil for many different reasons.

I’ve heard of people who were initially drawn to the character because of his cool-looking costume. I even read a comment one time by a reader who felt a connection to Daredevil because they both had red hair, which was (and still is, I suppose) quite rare in comics – and in the real world. Most are immediately attracted to his “never give in” attitude, and his humanity. People relate to Matt Murdock because he’s human, and his powers are on a scale that make him more “real” than most. Some are intrigued by the concept of a blind superhero, others like that he’s a lawyer. Then there are those who read Daredevil just so that they can feel better about their own lives. No matter how hard things get, there are some people who have it worse, and at the top of that list is Matt Murdock.

Rather than go on, I’ll continue this discussion in three separate posts: “The lawyer and the vigilante,” “The blind superhero,” and “Against all odds.” Yes, I’m aware that coming up with pretentious-sounding titles for posts ahead of time is a little, well, pretentious, but that should give you some idea of what areas I’d like to highlight in each post. So, I guess we’ll see if I can come up with something worthwhile to say. Also, before I go, I’d like to direct you to what two “cyber friends” of mine (hey guys!) have had to say on the topic: HERE and HERE. If the sight of a foreign language scares you, don’t fret. Babelfish (by AltaVista) actually spits out decent – sort of – translations that are at least readable. And, it’s well worth it.

UPDATED: JP (the guy who authored the excellent essay hiding behind the second “HERE”) has now posted a translation of it HERE. Go check it out!


  1. Gloria

    What I like about Matt Murdock/Daredevil? mmmh… I could say that his appeal lies in the amount of excellent authors (writers and artists) who have told us of his adventures: humanity, martial arts, courage, an unflinching will to do the right (just) thing, vertigo-inducing downfalls and equally flabbergasting rebirths from the ashes, “Daredevil” shows us a hero for which the heart is as important as the rest of muscles, and not just your generic executor of spandex callistenics.

    Naaah… The real appeal for me, as everyone knows, is Matt’s sweet law partner, the irrepressible mr. Franklin Nelson, who’s too, too sexy for his shirt… and bowtie!

  2. Christine

    Wait a second… You mean you actually like the cute little law partner?! Who would have guessed? 🙂

    But I actually think you bring up a good point by mentioning Foggy, because while DD’s rogues gallery has traditionally been less than stellar, the rest of his supporting cast is great! And that’s true for Foggy in particular…

  3. Gloria

    “You mean you actually like the cute little law partner?! Who would have guessed? :)”

    LOL XD

    Now seriously, the supporting cast of DD must be one of the best in the MU: think of Ben Urich and Doris, Sister Maggie, Becky… and the nice thing is that they are as interesting, if not more, than the costumed guest villains or heros

  4. Elizabeth

    The links to “The lawyer and the vigilante” and “The blind superhero” don’t work. Strangely, the link to “Against all odds” works fine.

    They don’t work on the “For Daredevil (and TOMP) newbies” page either but there isn’t a comment section on that page so I thought I’d mention it here.

  5. Ellen Fleischer (formerly 'E')

    The writing drew me in. No question. I fell in love with Waid’s take on Matt and then went to electronic back issues to catch up on what I’d missed. I do think that the Matt-Foggy friendship clinched it for me. It’s very rare in comics that the hero has a friend who 1) knows about the ‘second job’ 2) isn’t one or more of: love interest, family member, sidekick, or mentor 3) doesn’t pretty much act like Q to James Bond, supplying the gadgets and gimmicks and cheering from the sidelines. 4) Would probably love to have a normal life but values the friendship too much to stay away for long (and even when Foggy wasn’t around as much during the Nocenti period, he did spend all that time working on getting Matt’s license restored. I can’t count that as ‘staying away’.

    And Matt does. not. give. up. Ever. He’s far from perfect. He has been through hell… but that’s just it: he goes through it. He doesn’t stay there for long and he never stops fighting to get out when he’s in there.


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