Some thoughts on Daredevil and travel

Hey all! I just came back from me second trip in as many weeks after spending five days in Matt Murdock’s home town New York with my family. I’ll get back to that, and some general thoughts on traveling – from a Daredevil perspective – below, but first, here’s a gentle reminder of some previews: Daredevil: End of Days #3 goes on sale on December 5, as does the second half of the Domino-Daredevil team-up featured in X-Men #39!

My trip to New York

Times Square, my photo

New York is one of my very favorite places in the world to visit. It’s crazy big – big enough to be home to what feels like several smaller towns, each with its own vibe – and feels truly international.

What really struck me on this visit was also how incredibly loud the city is. Maybe my head was in more of a Daredevil mode on this trip than it usually is, but I couldn’t help thinking back to Mark Waid’s comment from last year (couldn’t find the specific interview though) where he marveled at Matt’s decision to live in New York, as opposed to out in the middle of nowhere. It’s certainly something that makes you wonder. On the flip side though, as exhausting as living in New York would be to a person with heightened senses of hearing and smell (every corner in mid-town smells of whatever is being cooked by a diverse range of street vendors…), it would also make navigating that big maze that much easier.

Thoughts on travel

Matt leaves for Europe, from Daredevil #87 (vol 2), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

If New York seems overwhelming yet “information dense” to our favorite blind lawyer in tights, actual traveling to and from that city must be overwhelming for very different reasons. This is something I’ve thought about quite often when traveling. Daredevil’s physiology seems uniquely adapted to the kind of late night crime fighting he regularly engages in, especially when operating in an environment with which he is intimately familiar. Not all environments are as kind. In his video interview with Blastoff Comics from earlier this year, Mark Waid had the following to say:

“Unlike most comics characters, Daredevil is a character who actually gets less powerful over time, in a sense. Not physically, he still has the same powers, but think about how much of our lives we live onscreen now, how much of our lives we live virtually. […] It’s a constant thing of people reading things on screens.”

Photo of Airport signage. Original source: Jaunted.com

I personally can’t think of a single activity of modern living that is more screen-dependent than travel, air travel in particular. My trip to Thought Bubble in Leeds two weeks ago consisted of checking in by using a touch screen, then getting myself to the right gate, getting from my arrival gate to the London Underground station at Heathrow, going to King’s Cross train station where another touch screen fed me my train tickets for Leeds. To figure out which platform to go to, I had to stare at a big light screen and wait for the right information to appear. There were few, if any, audio announcements throughout this trip, and getting from point A to point B, without asking for directions or assistance, would have been impossible if not for my ability to read screens and signage.

In the panels seen above, from Daredevil #87 (vol 2), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark, there is little hint of any problems on Matt’s part in getting out of the country (though he did end up hitching a ride on Danny Rand’s jet), but I do remember thinking that it all looked a little too easy. I realize that the mechanics of travel may not be something a storyteller wants to get stuck on while trying to tell a bigger story in a limited number of panels, but I have to say that of all situations for Matt to fake complete sightedness, anything involving airports must be the absolute worst. 😉

That’s it for now! Check back with me over the weekend for some of my favorite Chris Samnee moments of his tenure as Daredevil artist so far. The interview I did with him for the podcast gave me plenty of reason to take another, closer look at his work, so I figured, why not do a post on it?

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.

2 comments

  1. Wow. I’d never thought about Matt and airports, but you’re right. It would be horrible. Train stations would be pretty bad, too. I spent my college years trekking in and out of Union Station in L.A., and for a place designed in the 1930s, it’s gotten really screen-happy. The only sources of information about track numbers, destinations, arrival times, etc. were two big light-up screens and, if you were very lucky, helpful cops. The trains themselves used light-up screens in the windows to identify their destinations (even the subways do this!).

    There were audio announcements on the trains themselves, which of course Matt would be able to hear from a mile away … but they tended to be things like, “This is Amtrak train number ####, now departing for San Diego. Stand clear of the closing doors.” And he’d have about 20 seconds to run from wherever he was when he heard that announcement and try to make the train, in a sprawling station not designed for running. I guess he’d have to rely on passengers’ conversation to tell him which train was his–but as a compulsive eavesdropper, I can tell you I rarely heard people discussing their destinations while waiting for their trains to depart.

    Poor guy. Good thing he’s friends with Danny Rand.

  2. Well Matt can feel the magnetic north so that helps a bit in which direction to go with the train at least. Issue #4 page 15. Also to much noise can give problem for Matt to locate things. Therefore I find New York kind of odd for Matt. See issue #5 page 8.

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