Matt Murdock was the son of a boxer named Jack "Battlin' Jack" Murdock and a nun named Margaret "Maggie" Murdock. When he was only an infant, his mother abandoned him and left her husband due to postpartum depression and self-loathing before going to live in a commune church.
Matt was raised in Hell's Kitchen, New York by his father Jack who was dedicated to making his son grow up to have a better life and to not be violent, something which caused Matt to be frequently bullied growing up. When Matt was only a child, he pushed a blind man out of the way of a truck carrying radioactive waste. The truck veered away and crashed, causing the radioactive chemicals to pour onto Matt and blind him for life.
Presumably due to the radiation, Matt's senses were heightened to make up for his lost vision. Most notably, Matt was able to use his hearing to effectively use echolocation. He would refine these powers with the help of, "Stick", a blind martial-artist who wished to train Matt to be a soldier in his elite warrior order, The Chaste.
One night, Matt's father Jack agreed to a deal with some gangsters to take a fall in a boxing match for money. However, as a means of inspiring Matt he chose not to and won the game. Later that night, Jack was murdered by the mob, making Matt effectively an orphan.
Matt grew up to have a promising legal-career but in secret, wished to avenge his father's murder. In university, Matt tracked down his father's murderer to a brothel only for the gangster to die of a heart-attack. In the brawl, a prostitute named Mary Walker was inadvertently knocked out of a window by Matt. Due to all of this, Stick lost faith in Matt and abandoned him.
In Columbia Law-School, Matt came to have a relationship with another protegée of Stick's named Elektra Natchios (although he was unaware of her training). The two fell deeply in-love but ultimately split-up after Elektra's father was murdered by the police. He also became friends with one Franklin "Foggy" Nelson who he'd go on to start a law-firm with back in Hell's Kitchen known as Nelson and Murdock.
After returning to Hell's Kitchen, Matt donned a devil-inspired costume made from boxing gear taken from his father's old gym and used it to craft the persona of Daredevil. At night, Matt would dress up as Daredevil in-order to fight crime whereas during the day-time he would act as benevolent lawyer with his more opportunistic but good-hearted partner, Foggy. Additionally, they came to hire the secretary Karen Page who Matt fell in-love with although the relationship came to be ruined by Matt's secretive nature and Karen's drug-addiction.
As Daredevil, Matt garnered a good amount of rogues, many dark and many goofy (not too different from those of Batman). Of them all, the most notable was probably Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk; New York's Kingpin of Crime, Fisk had vast social and political influence, a successful company in the form of Fisk Industries, a criminal empire shrouded in mystery, a genius intellect with a strength for psychological-warfare, and a hulking body which he trained in judo.
At Kingpin's side was the deranged assassin Bullseye who could use any handheld object as a lethal projectile. After failing to kill Daredevil, Kingpin fired Bullseye causing the assassin to be humiliated and have his psyche degrade more and more while obsessively trying to kill Daredevil and redeem himself in Fisk's eyes. To replace him, Fisk employed Matt's old flame Elektra as his new chief-assassin, causing complications in both of their careers and relationships. When Bullseye found out about this, he murdered Elektra in-front of Daredevil by driving her own sai blades through her gut only from Daredevil to drop him off of a ledge. Bullseye would survive however and be given a bone encased in the invincible metal adamantium. Elektra too would be resurrected by the Hand, the rival assassin clan of Stick's Chaste which Elektra secretly served.
Other notably enemies of Daredevil included: Leland "The Owl" Owlsley, a gangster who injected himself with owl DNA to gain bird-like powers only to progressively lose his mind to his animalistic side; Zebediah "The Purple Man" Kilgrave, a superhuman with purple physiology who could control the wills of others by speaking instructions to them; Melvin "The Gladiator" Potter, a criminal engineer whose mind was damaged by psychoactive drugs; and Mary "Typhoid Mary" Walker, a schizophrenic superhuman who was the same woman Daredevil accidentally dropped out of the window of the brothel all those years ago. He would also notably come to clash heads frequently with the vigilante Frank Castle AKA The Punisher who blindly murdered every criminal he clashed with and had little remorse for those who got in his way.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Hearring
- Enhances Smell:
- Enhanced Touch:
- Enhanced Taste:
- Superhuman Reflexes:
- Radar Sense:
- Martial-Arts Training:
- Lie Detection:
- Legal Skills:
- Peak Physical-Conditioning:
- Billy-Club Training:
Appearances with Batman
Background Information and Notes
Daredevil had a ninja training backstory before Batman, which has now become a near constant in newer incarnations of the character. DC took notice of Frank Miller's work on Daredevil and allowed him to create the influential 1986 Dark Knight comic series.
Batman editor Denny O'Neil also edited Daredevil at Marvel for a time, and invited Miller and Daredevil artist David Mazzucchelli to create the Batman: Year One to revitalize the mainstream continuity.
- Ben Affleck signed on to play the character in the 2003 movie because he is a fan Frank Miller's work, particularly Dark Knight Returns. Michael Keaton's fight double Dave Lea trained Affleck for the role and Jose Fernandez built the costume.
- The character of Gilda Dent as she appeared in Batman: The Long Halloween by Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb additionally appeared in the Loeb/Sale story, Daredevil: Yellow. Here she goes under the alias of "Grace" while trying to escape her past (heavily implied to be the murders she commit in the Long Halloween) before getting blackmailed by the Daredevil villain, The Owl.
- Daredevil would often fight the vigilante Kyle Richmond AKA Nighthawk. Nighthawk was created to serve as Marvel's pastiche of Batman and is often used as their stand-in for him.