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An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes: Daredevil

Written by Steven Harris on Thursday, June 24 2010 and posted in Columns

An Idoit's Guide Reviews Everyone's Favorite Blind Hero, Daredevil!


This is An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes.  It contains a quick, informative, and not 100% factual look at various superheroes throughout the ages.  Should be read at your own risk and for amusement purposes only.

This is An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes. It's part fact, part opinion, and part bullshitting my way through 75 years worth of literature that is both entertaining and slightly ridiculous. An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes is not meant to be taken 100% seriously nor is it 100% factual.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT BlueStreak, or did I ever claim to be him. Up to this point his columns have been hilarious, and I thought I would help out and give him a week off. No promises that this will  be as awesome as his, however if I get at least one chuckle out of someone I'll be happy.

Week 3: Daredevil

Sure you can read comics about Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, but there's no guarantee that they are going to be awesome. Ever since the late 70's there has consistently one book that always has been topnotch with some of the industry greats having writing stints on the book. This book is Daredevil

And I know what your thinking! Your thinking "Daredevil? Isn't it that shitty movie with Ben Affleck?" Well..Yes..However what's your favorite superhero? I see your Batman and raise you a Batman & Robin. Superman has that turd known as Superman Returns. Spiderman 3 anyone? Oh, you say Brother Voodoo is your favorite superhero, well I'm so sorry then that your favorite isn't cool enough to sustain a full length film. My point is that these god-awful films were spawned from brilliant characters, and they all can't be winners. So wash away preconceived notions of Daredevil, and discover why Matt Murdock is better than most characters.

Matt Murdock was born and raised within the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. His father was Jack "Battlin' Jack" Murdock who at same point had an affair with Maggie, a whore nun who denies ever having a son (you can thank the Misogynistic Frank Miller for that little add on). As a small boy Matt saved a man from being hit by a truck by pushing him out of the way, however Matt was splashed by the truck bed's contents: radioactive waste. Why radioactive waste is being transported in such a careless fashion in broad daylight is beyond me, however the accident resulted in Matt losing his sight.

While growing up and adjusting to being blind, Matt learned that he had other abilities. For starters Matt's dad pushed him into being a lawyer, and he developed a firm grasp on the law. You think after all these years Matt would've sued the truck driver who hit him by now but yet...nothing. Matt received training from a former ninja named Stick (pronounced Shtick) who helped Matt develop special sonar radar which allowed him to be more in tune with the world around him. Soon after getting out of law school Matt's father was murdered for refusing to fix a fight, and Matt decides to avenge his death. Not with rational lawsuits and detective work; No instead he decided to dress as a flamboyant and garish yellow devil. When your special power is having a bat-like sonar radar you think you would name yourself something closer to like...I don't know...Batman or something.... Years later Matt started a law firm with his college roommate Foggy Nelson and a had a mutual friendship/respect for reported Ben Urich who seemed to be the only person who could figure out Matt Murdock and Daredevil were in fact the same person.

Despite his obvious handicap Matt Murdock is able to pick out the most attractive woman in a crowd with ease. Honestly this guy can go head to head with Tony Stark for who has more notch marks on their bedpost. The true love of Matt's life was Karen Page, his former secretary (big stress on the WAS). Whenever they weren't having hot kinky office sex, Karen was worried about her man swinging around as the Guardian Devil of Hell's Kitchen. However the couple split and Karen moved to Hollywood where she became a porn star and heroin addict. (No prize for guessing which writer is responsible for that character growth!). She ends up giving away Matt's secret identity in exchange for a quick fix in Born Again. Then in her later years she returns to Matt announcing "I HAVE AIDS!" in Kevin Smith's run ( Guardin Devil) before dying at the hands of Bullseye. Other love interest for Matt include his ex-college girlfriend Elektra, who also was killed by Bullseye, the Black Widow, the schizoid villain Typhoid Mary and his late wife Mila Donvain. Mila was always blind and a perfect companion for Matt, but she was driven insane by Matt's enemy Mr. Fear, and now lives in a mental asylum. What's the lesson to learn from this? Women should avoid Murdock like the plague but yet they are attracted to him like moths to a flame. Maybe chicks just dig blind ninjas? Who knows....

Daredevil's rogue gallery range from the classy to the downright deranged. The Kingpin is a high-class business man is his arch nemesis and has caused Murdock much grief in his life time. He knew of Daredevil's identity due to Karen Page giving up his identity years earlier. He has orchestrated the entire deconstruction of Matt's life , but somehow Matt seems to pull though. Bullseye  is a weapons master and seems to have no other goal in life that just kill off DD's girlfriends. The Owl is like a dangerous Christopher Walken hopped up on meth with a hard on for being the next Kingpin of NYC. Typhoid Mary paints her face white and occasionally sleeps with Daredevil and shows up to set him on fire occasionally. The Hand is a large collection of ninjas who are often sent to kill Daredevil and usually fail. FUN FACT: If you defeat a member of the Hand they disappear in a POOF! of  smoke. Why? That's just what badass ninjas do.

So we've established his orgins, his powers, his lover and his enemies, but what makes Daredevil a truly great hero? It's not his super powers, or his costume or high moral ground. It's his ability to get back up after being kicked in the teeth over and over and over again. First the Kingpin destroys his life, what's Murdock do? He builds a new one. The FBI outs his identity? Murdock denies, denies, denies, and denies until the problem goes away. The Kingpin comes back to destroy him? Daredevil announces himself to be the new Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen. Daredevil is forced to take over the Hand or else Wilson Fisk will? Daredevil takes that job and attempts to make the best of it. There is nothing the man can't bounce back from due to his sheer power of will.

Now coming up in July, Marvel is allowing Daredevil to be the focus of a mini-series and various crossovers in an event called Shadowland. Since taking control of the ninja clan, The Hand, Matt has been toeing the line between hero and villain. This slow gradation to this grey middle area has a lot of street level heroes like Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider and Shang Chi worried about Daredevil. Now knowing that Matt Murdock was taken a lot of crap in his life, this event may be the straw that breaks the camel's back; this could allow Daredevil to snap and become a villain in the Marvel Universe.

Got that? Good. Now go to your local comic shop and buy Daredevil monthly which features more ninjas  and less Ben Affleck now more than ever!


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