Discussing who the best superhero is may be a polemic issue for many fans. For me, there’s almost no discussion: Daredevil is the best superhero from comics. Period. This affirmation may be backed up with many reasons, so along this article I will try to make you come to my side, and if you’re not already convinced, I’ll try to make you find out what you’ve been missing.
I know you might be a DC fan who blindly supports Batman, or if you’re a different type of person, maybe Flash or Green Lantern. Or a Marvel fundamentalist who thinks that there’s nothing better than Spider-Man or the X-Men. But Old Hornhead is one of the characters that has consistently given us a great volume of great stories in the last 40+ years, and so it’s a serious contender.
Don’t just take my word. Go check our article on the best Daredevil comics to see the ammount and the quality of the books and storylines that have been produced with Daredevil as the leading character.
Let’s face it: the idea of a blind man who can “see” through a radar sense, and is so completely fearless (or crazy) that he performs the most daring acrobatics? A hero that looks like the devil? The attraction factors are right in front of your eyes, anyone would be hooked and wanting to know more about this character.
Yes, Matt Murdock (Daredevil’s secret identity) is the best superhero from comics, and we’ll try to explain the factors that makes him such a good character.
The factors that make Daredevil the best superhero in comics
Matt Murdock’s story
Any good hero’s story is forged in drama, and Matt Murdock’s story is no exception.
By the way, I press the issue a lot on Matt Murdock, because, different from many characters, the best Daredevil comics moments usually happen when the superhero (Daredevil) is not around, leaving the headlights on the man, Matt Murdock. The drama then centers on him, and most of his internal conflicts.
Son of “Battlin'” Jack Murdock, a second rate boxer and unknown mother (for a lot of time, until it was revealed his mother turned into a nun), Matt is pressed by his father to dedicate his life to his studies. Matt’s father wanted his son to have a better life than his own. However, Matt usually trains without his father knowing about it and has a notable build.
However, his life would suddenly change when Matt jumps in front of a truck to save an old man that was about to be hit. The truck rolls over, and some chemicals from the truck’s load get spilled, blinding young Matt Murdock. Game over? Far from it!
Matt gets blinded in the accident, but his other senses are amplified many times the senses of a common man. These amplified senses allow him to read a newspaper with the just the touch of his fingers by feeling the ink on the pages, track a person by his or her smell from many blocks away, and recognize if someone is lying by the subtle changes on the heartbeats of the liar. Moreover, he gets a radar sense that allows him to “see” and to know exactly where every object is placed in any room.
While still convalescent from his accident and unable to cope with his heightened senses, a mysterious character named Stick trains him in martial arts, with the expectation that he will help him fight an obscure ninja sect called “The Hand”.
Matt continued his studies, went to college and turned into a lawyer. While at law school, he met Foggy Nelson, his best friend who will also be his law firm partner, and Elektra Natchios, daughter of a Greek diplomat, who will be his first love and a key character in one of the all-times most memorable sagas of comics.
But tragedy is a usual visitor to Matt’s life, and his father gets murdered after refusing to go down in a fixed boxing match. Finding out his dead father, Matt decides to take justice into his own hands and takes the identity of Daredevil to put down his father’s killers. Daredevil’s costume (created by Bill Everet) was originally yellow, but luckily later was given his more devilish look and red costume.
it’s interesting to see how Matt uses his other senses to overcome his sight handicap, how sometimes makes us forget he can’t see, but also how many times makes us remind that, even with his heightened senses, he’s still blind.
As an example, Matt cannot see a TV screen, or a poster on a wall right in front of him. But his radar sense allows him to pinpoint exactly where his enemies are on a dark room, or even find out if a person is lying just by hearing his or her heart skip a beat.
Also, some weather conditions play a conditioning role on some stories as the rain may affect his senses, or he may be deeply affected by strong noises in the vicinity.
Also, apart from his senses, Daredevil has no other special superpowers. Only his skill, and his indomitable will. And that makes him more human, and more of a hero.
Daredevil offers many dualities through his stories. For one, he’s one of the most decent men you could read about, a real hero, but he dresses as the devil.
On the other hand, he’s a lawyer who sincerely believes in the legal system, but he usually has to go outside of the law parameters and act as Daredevil. When handed by capable authors, that’s a killer mix.
Matt has had many memorable romances through his history, many of them quite dangerous, and some of them with tragical endings.
Some of Daredevil’s most notorious romances include:
- Natasha Romanova (A.K.A the Black Widow)
- Typhoid Mary
- Karen Page
- Heather Glenn
- Milla Donovan
and in most of the cases… it doesn’t end well.
Which are Daredevil’s most notorious enemies?
Daredevil hasn’t the gallery of notorious villains Batman has, but his path crosses from time to time with some quite dangerous enemies:
Although originally created as a Spiderman villain, the Kingpin’s presence in Daredevil’s books brought many of the most glorious moments in comics, and you could easily say that Matt is Kingpin’s major nemesis.
The Kingpin’s menace is not only physical, a giant mole of a man himself, but it’s a moral one. The Kingpin corrupts everything and everyone he crosses paths with, and so it’s the perfect rival to Matt Murdock’s rightness and morality.
There are countless stories where they face off, and they always deliver material worth reading.
Batman has the Joker, Spiderman the Green Goblin, and Daredevil has Bullseye. A formidable foe, whenever he appears you know a strong story is on the way…
Bullseye is a vicious man, with the ability to never miss a target. Daredevil despises him, and Bullseye hates him, and wants to destroy whatever Matt holds dear. Is there much to add to it?
Yes, I know that The Punisher is not a villain by definition. But it’s Matt Murdock’s counterpart in many ways. What Matt wants to end by using the legal system, The Punisher wants to end by putting a bullet on it. And that brings us to many memorable fights.
The Punisher and Daredevil have crossed paths many times, and somehow they respect each other, they don’t want to hurt each other (that much) but they both believe their way is the right one. And for us readers, that gives us many enjoyable moments!
Daredevil’s Creative teams
Daredevil had some of the best creative teams in comics, for many, many years. It’s somehow strange, because you would’t say that Daredevil is the most “mainstream” hero from Marvel. But I cannot find many heroes around there that had, for so many years, good creative teams working on them.
You don’t believe me? Read this list:
- Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
- Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
- Frank Miller and John Romita Jr
- Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada
- Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr.
- Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
- Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera or Marcos Martin
- Charles Soule and Ron Garney
- Chip Zdarsky and Marco Cecchetto
And those are just some of the names! When you look at it, they’re not so many “bad issues”, no fill ins… just good material.
You want to know more? Go check our article on the Best Daredevil comics Sagas
Have I convinced you that Daredevil is the best superhero in town? If I haven’t go and check the comics. You’ll be reading some of the best superhero comics ever produced. That should be all you kneed to know!