Daredevil: Story Origins

Written by Craig Butler.

When you’re raised in Hell’s Kitchen, you’re bound to have a little devil in you. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be reduxing our comic book origin of Daredevil, The Man Without Fear.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1993-94’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 which was expanded upon in 2011’s Daredevil Yellow #1.

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When you’re raised in Hell’s Kitchen, you’re bound to have a little devil in you. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be reduxing our comic book origin of Daredevil, The Man Without Fear.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1993-94’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 which was expanded upon in 2011’s Daredevil Yellow #1.

As readers learned in Daredevil #1, the acrobatic vigilante known as Daredevil was Matt Murdoch, the son of a small time boxer. When he was young, Matt saw a truck about to hit an old man crossing the street. Matt dove infront of the truck, pushing the old man safely out of the way. Chemicals from the truck spilled out onto Matt, causing him to go blind. Those same chemicals also gave him heightened senses which more than compensated for his lack of sight. Learning brail, he continued to go to school and started on the path to a law degree, meeting Foggy Nelson, a man who would go on to become his best friend.

Daredevils orgin was expanded upon many years later. In 1993’s Daredevil – The Man Without Fear, audiences are introduced to many new aspects of DD’s backstory that would go on to become staples of the character. Having been born and raised in Manhattan’s legendarily rough Hell’s Kitchen, Matt’s early life was a little difficult. Matt’s father, Jack, was a second-rate prizefighter who was forced to be a strong arm man for a crook named the Fixer. This bad-news dude threatened to kill Matt if Jack didn’t do what he said. Jack wanted only for his son to get out of Hell’s Kitchen. He made Matt promise to do well in school and not to get into fights, telling him to ignore the ironic taunts of “Daredevil” from his schoolmates.

Matt’s heightened were discovered by a mysterious man named Stick. Stick began to train Matt whose skills and abilities expanded exponentially.

Meanwhile, Matt’s father Jack had seen a resurgence in his career in the ring and was on his way to a potential championship. Unfortunately, the Fixer was responsible for his career comeback, having secretly rigged many of the matches leading up the the championship fight. He demanded that Jack throw his big fight. Jack refused and the Fixer’s men made him pay with his life.

Matt hunted down his father’s killers, beating four of them to a pulp and scaring the Fixer so much that he died of a heart attack. When he attempted to catch the last killer, Matt accidentally pushed a woman from a window to her death. Stick, disgusted by this, abandoned Matt. He also revealed that Matt and one other person were the only “adepts” of this age – and that the other had already chosen an evil path to follow.

A few years later, in law school, Matt met that other person, a fascinating young woman named Elektra. The daughter of a wealthy man with connections, she became as drawn to Matt as he was to her and a relationship developed. But Elektra had a very dark side, and Stick returned to warn Matt about her. That didn’t matter in the end as Elektra broke things off of her own accord, to keep Matt safe as she had begin to develop genuine feelings for him.

At the same time, things were getting worse in Hell’s Kitchen. A vile, ruthless leader known as the Kingpin had taken over, stopping at nothing to boost his profits – including child slavery. Now a promising lawyer, Matt had paid a visit to his old neighborhood and discovered a teen-ager named Mickey living in his father’s abandoned gym. They developed a friendship and when Mickey was kidnapped by associates of the Kingpin, Matt went after them. Having continued to develop his senses, he was able to track her and rescue her, laying waste to the Kingpin’s number one assassin along the way.

After this adventure, Matt knew his place was back in Hell’s Kitchen. He and his law school roommate, Foggy Nelson, set up an office in the neighborhood, and Stick even gave Matt his blessing. Donning a costume, Matt adopted the nickname schoolkids had taunted him with – Daredevil – as his new moniker, and a new hero was born.

A few small additions and changes have been made to Daredevil’s origin since the 1990s. In 2011, the mini-series “Yellow,” a few details emerged that are worth mentioning. For example, after Jack Murdoch refused to throw his fight, signing his death warrant, he gave Matt his favorite yellow robe. It was this robe that formed the basis of Daredevil’s first costume, which was yellow and red. And Matt also tried to let justice take its course with his father’s killers. It was only when they beat the system that Matt took matters into his own hands and became Daredevil.

As one of Marvel’s most popular and distinctive characters, it’s only natural that the Man Without Fear should make the leap from comics into other media. Although the 2003 film adaptation met with a mixed reception, ol’ Hornhead has been much more warmly received on the small screen.

Are you a fan of the fearless hero they call Daredevil? For more awe-inspiring comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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