Daredevil’s real name is Matthew “Matt” Murdock. He lives in New York City, and has been blinded by a radioactive substance in a freak traffic accident. This leads to all of Daredevil’s other senses becoming heightened as a result. His father, Jack, is responsible for his upbringing, but is killed because of a dispute over a boxing match. It is at this stage that Matt takes the name Daredevil, swearing to seek revenge against those responsible for his father’s death.
Daredevil becomes known as “the man without fear”. Daredevil has extremely good senses due to his lack of sight, and is an excellent martial artist, athlete and gymnast. Daredevil can sense the proximity of other people and objects around him, and can use his superhuman hearing as a lie detector by listening for changes in their heartbeat.
Daredevil teams up with a number of other superheroes; initially Spider-Man, who becomes one of his closest friends. Daredevil later has a relationship with the Black Widow, until she decides she does not want to be his sidekick any longer.
The first arch-nemesis of Daredevil was Kingpin, previously featured in “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Other enemies included Elektra and Bullseye. Daredevil also frequently encounters The Punisher, of whose methods he strongly disapproves of. At times, they are reluctant allies.
Daredevil’s weaknesses also relate to his heightened senses. Daredevil is particularly sensitive to sounds and smells, which affect his ability to sense what is around him. He uses a weapon known as a billy club, which in his civilian identity, doubles as a cane. It has a number of uses, it can be split apart into two weapons, and also contains 30 feet of aircraft control cable.
Daredevil’s civilian identity, Matt Murdock, is a lawyer with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. He also works as an interrogation expert. Surprisingly, for someone who is blind, he is also an excellent marksman.
Daredevil was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with an unspecified amount of input from Jack Kirby. The character first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964).
POWER and ABILITIES
Although the character is blind, his remaining four senses function with superhuman accuracy and sensitivity, giving him abilities far beyond the limits of a sighted person. Few characters know that the hero cannot see. Daredevil developed a radar sense, which is similar to echolocation. Though he has no superhuman physical attributes beyond an enhanced sense of balance, Daredevil is a master of martial arts. Having been trained by Stick, Daredevil is a master hand-to-hand combatant. His typical moves are unique blends of the martial arts of Ninjutsu, Aiki Jūjutsu, Aikido, Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, Silat, Capoeira, Wrestling, and Stick Fighting combined with American-style Boxing while making full use of his gymnastic capabilities.
The first issue covered both the character’s origins and his desire for justice on the man who had killed his father, boxer “Battling Jack” Murdock, who raised young Matthew Murdock in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Jack instills in Matt the importance of education and nonviolence with the aim of seeing his son become a better man than himself. In the course of saving a blind man from the path of an oncoming truck, Matt is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from the vehicle. The radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human limits, and giving him a kind of “radar” sense, enabling him to detect the shape and location of objects around him.
ENEMIES & ROGUES
Elektra, The Punisher, Bullseye, Kingpin
Defenders, New Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel Knights, The Chaste, The Hand