Flashback Friday: Becoming the Daredevil

by Amanda Sheriff

Most dictionaries define a daredevil as someone who is recklessly bold, engaging in risky pursuits. That sounds about right for a blind man who scales buildings and fights some dastardly villainous individuals.

Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, Marvel Comics’ Daredevil #1 premiered in 1964. Before he was Daredevil, Matt Murdock was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City by his single father, “Battling Jack” Murdock, a fading boxer. Raised Roman Catholic, Matt’s father instilled in him strong values, including the significance of education and a nonviolent approach to life. As with many fathers, Jack wanted his son to become a better man than he is, but when he refuses to teach Matt how to defend himself, Matt is left somewhat unprepared to deal with bullies and is branded with the disdainful nickname “Daredevil”.

Embarrassed and frustrated, Matt secretly started training how to fight. His nobility still intact, Matt rushed to save a blind man from being hit by a truck, but was ironically blinded by the radioactive material that splashed off the truck. Exposure to the material changed Matt, effectively stealing his sight, but heightening his other four senses beyond the normal human levels.

A mysterious man named Stick became Matt’s teacher, helping the confused young man learn how to control his abilities and hone his natural skills for acrobatics and martial arts. Also blind, Stick taught Matt how to form mental images of the objects around him, developing a radar sense.

Still wanting to make his father proud, Matt worked hard in school and enrolled in Columbia School of Law. Unfortunately, while Jack struggled in his boxing career, he took on a job as an enforcer for a crooked boxing manager, known as the Fixer. He then rigged a series of fights for Jack to reign victorious, but it came at a price. The Fixer told Jack to lose the fight against “Crusher” Creel, but Jack disobeyed, prompting the Fixer to have him killed.

Devastated by his father’s death, and the judicial system’s failure to vindicate him, Matt seeks retribution for all who suffer at the hands of criminals. Now a lawyer, Matt opened a law office with his best friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, putting as many baddies away as he can. But outside of the courtroom, Matt honors his father by forming a costume of yellow and black, the same colors as Jack’s boxing robes, and takes on the mocking nickname he was given as a child, to fight criminals as Daredevil.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more character profiles! And if you're interested in more Sleepwalker, head to your local comic shop and check out the following.

(W) Charles Soule, More (A) Ron Garney, More (CA) Phil Noto
Charles Soule joins the pantheon of legendary writers who have put Daredevil through hell! Soule and visionary artist Ron Garney bring DD back to the Kitchen with a fresh new look - but the Man Without Fear has his hands full with crime lord Tenfingers...and a new protégé, Blindspot! Elektra has a score to settle, the Punisher takes aim at a client, deadly serial killer Muse paints the town bloodred and Matt Murdock's secrets are about to come back to bite him in a huge way. He has a plan - and he'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court! But will Daredevil's world be brought crashing down when Wilson Fisk becomes the mayor of New York City? Collecting DAREDEVIL (2015) #1-28 and #595-612; DAREDEVIL ANNUAL (2016) #1; DAREDEVIL/PUNISHER: SEVENTH CIRCLE #1-4 and material from ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT POINT ONE.
1Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 03, 2021
SRP: $125.00

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Alex Maleev
Penciled by ALEX MALEEV
During a character-defining run, Brian Michael Bendis crafted a pulp-fiction narrative that exploited the Man Without Fear's rich tapestry of characters and psychodrama, and resolved them in an incredibly nuanced, modern approach. Now, this Eisner award-winning run is collected across three titanic trade paperbacks! In this volume, Matt Murdock is forced to reckon with the problems and legal ramifications that have emerged as a result of his public outing. The last thing he needs is the return of Typhoid Mary-one of his deadliest foes, a schizophrenic predator who terrorizes her targets with a seemingly inexhaustible lust for bloodshed. But even worse is her connection to Wilson Fisk, who's back in Hell's Kitchen-attempting to restore his fallen empire and exact revenge against those who ousted him from his once untouchable position of Kingpin of Crime. Collecting DAREDEVIL #41-50, 56-65
512 PGS./Rated T+ ...$34.99
In Shops: Sep 15, 2010
SRP: $34.99

(W) Frank Miller, Bill Mantlo, Marv Wolfman, Roger McKenzie, David Michelinie (A) Klaus Janson (A/CA) Frank Miller
Penciled by FRANK MILLER
A classic Marvel hero redefined by one of comics' greatest visionaries! A Marvel Comics mainstay since 1964, Daredevil got a new lease on life in a landmark 1979-1983 run by writer-penciler Frank Miller and inker-penciler Klaus Janson, whose daring reinvention of the character quickly made Miller one of the biggest and most influential stars in the comic-book industry. Miller put his own stamp on established cast members such as reporter Ben Urich, femme fatale Black Widow, mad assassin Bullseye, the saw-fisted Gladiator and monstrous crime boss Kingpin. Miller also introduced Daredevil's mysterious mentor Stick, deadly ninja foes the Hand and Matt's long-lost love Elektra, a beautiful assassin who would become one of Marvel's most memorable characters. Mixing traditional super-heroics with mysterious martial artistry, doomed romance and dark personal drama, Miller's character-defining DD run is collected across three titanic trade paperbacks! Collecting PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #27-28, and DAREDEVIL #158-161 and #163-172.
336 PGS./Rated T+ ...$29.99
In Shops: Nov 05, 2008
SRP: $29.99

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Jorge Fornes, Marco Checchetto (CA) Julian Totino Tedesco
Will the Devil of Hell's Kitchen make his return? As Matt Murdock rekindles his alliance - and possibly more - with Elektra, New York Mayor Wilson Fisk works on some deadly allegiances of his own. But a war is building in Hell's Kitchen as Hammerhead makes his move, and the Owl takes a stab at the Kingpin! Matt Murdock must come to terms with what being Daredevil truly means. And he had better do it soon, as a new and deadly foe has arrived on the scene with a decisive strike - and all hell is about to break loose. As the streets burn, a gang of lethal super villains runs riot, and the Kitchen is left hanging by a thread. That thread...is Daredevil. Collecting DAREDEVIL (2019) #16-20.
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 30, 2020
SRP: $15.99

(W) Stan Lee, Wallace Wood, Dennis O'Neil (A) Various (CA) Alex Ross
Born to a past-his-prime prizefighter, Matt Murdock's luck always ran a step behind his good intentions. When a daring act to save a man's life blinds young Murdock, he finds that the same accident has enhanced his remaining senses to superhuman levels! He becomes Daredevil, a gritty hero born from murder, but tempered with the desire to protect the downtrodden. In this oversized Omnibus collection featuring every classic story and original letters page, writer Stan Lee and artists Bill Everett, Joe Orlando, Wallace Wood, John Romita Sr. and Gene Colan lay the foundation for Marvel's Man Without Fear! Including the first appearances of core characters Foggy Nelson and Karen Page, and classic villains the Owl, the Purple Man, Stilt-Man, Gladiator and more! Collecting DAREDEVIL (1964) #1-41 and ANNUAL #1, FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #73 and material from NOT BRAND ECHH #4.
All Ages
In Shops: Feb 08, 2017
SRP: $125.00

(W) Jed MacKay (A) Danilo Beyruth, Stefano Landini, Iban Coello (CA) Kyle Holtz
In Shops: May 01, 2019
SRP: $15.99

A Diamond Select Release! The man with no fear is back to clean up Hell's Kitchen thanks to this unstoppable Marvel Select Daredevil action figure! Each Marvel Select figure stands over 7" tall and features multiple points of articulation, plus one third of a deluxe three-part urban display base.  Sculpted by Sam Greenwell, this classic Daredevil is perfect for any super-heroic collection or the casual Fan With No Fear!
In Shops: Dec 23, 2009
SRP: $29.99
PREVIEWS Page #343

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