Jack Murdock – one of comics’ best dads

by | Jun 17, 2008 | Recommended Links | 4 comments

Sunday was Father’s Day in North America (and possibly elsewhere, though not in my neck of the woods). To commemorate this day, Newsarama listed the top ten dads in the world of comics. Our own Jack Murdock came in sixth. Here’s what they had to say about him:

“It’s true that his choices for his own life weren’t the wisest. But when it came to his son, Jack Murdock didn’t let being a single dad stop him from making sure young Matt was raised well. Despite being a boxer himself and going through some rough patches with Matt, he’s the one who encouraged his son to hit the books and instilled in the boy a respect for non-violence. And it was his father’s murder that inspired Matt to turn dad’s boxing robes into a vigilante costume and fight crime as Daredevil. Thanks, Dad.”

Among some of the people who left comments were a couple who questioned whether Jack belonged on this list, citing such things as abuse. I don’t know about you guys, but I never got the feeling that there was any physical violence on Jack Murdock’s part except for on one or two occasions which Matt vividly remembers, in part because such events were unusual. I actually think putting Jack Murdock on the list was a nice move. He’s one of those perfect examples of imperfect people (and parents) doing their very best to at least provide opportunities for their children. And there is no mistaking Matt’s own love and respect for his father in past and present canon. Also, he beat Reed Richards. Take that, Mr. Fantastic!


  1. Francesco

    It’s injust to label Jack Murdock as abusive just because he hit Matt in a significative occasion.
    These guys probably know the story only superficially, and didn’t even know what the hell were they talking about.
    The fact that Jack smacked Murdock on that occasion didn’t mean that he was constantly beating him up.

    Certainly, Quesada’s recent miniseries didn’t help in this sense…

  2. Christine

    Yeah, I think people might be thinking of Daredevil: Father (man, was that ever a big mess of a story). I agree, there is no indication whatsoever that Jack was abusive. He wasn’t a perfect person or parent, but his good points as a father probably outweighed the bad.

    Matt’s whole “thing” as a superhero stems from having no tolerance for bullies and people who step on the defenseless and powerless. At the same time, he loved and respected his father, who quite obviously set a very different example and wasn’t viewed by Matt as a bully. That’s all the proof I need. If he was worthy of Matt’s love, he’s good enough for me. 🙂

  3. Gloria

    Back when I was a child, parents could love their children to bits, and yet drop the occasional slap in the face… Of course I didn’t like it! But I wouldn’t call it “child mistreatment” at large.

  4. alice

    I have to add that just because a parent occasionally backhands a child, it certainly doesn’t constitute *abuse* in my eyes. My mother administered the occasional reprimand in a physical way a few times to me, but she was never abusive. Back to that old “spare the rod, spoil the child” theory, I guess.

    We never saw any instance of Jack laying a hand on Matt until FM and then that awful Daredevil: Father mess. I don’t think even with that, Jack Murdock would be considered an abusive parent. Maybe in the current world of “you touch me and I’ll call Child Protective Services”, when kids think they have a right to abuse their PARENTS, but not in my line of thinking.


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