|“||We don't live in a world that's fair. We live in this one. And I'm doing everything I can to make it a better place.||„|
|~ Matt Murdock|
|“||He gave his life, right here in this church, protecting others. Standing up to a man who used fear as a tool to set neighbors against one another. If Father Lantom had an enemy, I would say it was fear. For me, personally, he spent many years trying to get me to face my own fears. To understand how they enslaved me, how they divided me from the people that I love. He counseled me to transcend my fears, to be brave enough to forgive... and see the possibilities of being a man without fear.||„|
|~ Matt on Paul Lantom.|
Matthew Michael "Matt" Murdock (also known by his alias Daredevil) is the titular main protagonist of the superhero web television series Daredevil, as well as one of the main protagonists of The Defenders. He will return in some capacity in the upcoming 2021 film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
He is a young man blinded as a boy but gifted with extraordinary senses, who dedicates his life to fight injustice in New York City as a lawyer by day, and by night as a vigilante.
He was portrayed by Charlie Cox, and Skylar Gaertner young.
Matthew Michael Murdock was born in January of 1985 to Jack Murdock and Maggie Grace, but he never met his mother since she returned to the Church. Raised by his father, Jack would urge his son to stick to academics and make something out of himself, as Jack had became a washed up boxer. When he was nine years old, Matt became blind when he saved a man from being hit by a chemical truck, but learned how to control his enhanced senses and learned how to read braille. One night, Matt listened to his father defeat Carl Creel on television, and waited for him to return home. He became worried, however, when he didn't arrive, and ran to Fogwell's Gym to find his father's corpse.
Matt was then taken to the Saint Agnes Orphanage, where he unknowingly met his mother who was a nun, and she would often rock him to sleep when he suffered from nightmares. During his time at the orphanage, Matt was greeted by a blind man named Stick, who knew that the child inherited heightened senses after becoming blind. Stick would then train Murdock in martial arts and learning how to control his enhanced senses after a few months, but left once Matt became attached to him.
Despite losing Stick, Matt would meet Father Paul Lantom, and the two would conversate at the orphanage. After his time at Saint Agnes, Murdock managed to enter Columbia University to major in law, and met his roommate Foggy Nelson, who would become his best friend. During his time at the university, Murdock met Elektra, whom he briefly started a relationship with, but left after she wanted him to murder Roscoe Sweeney. Before the start of the series, Murdock and Nelson managed to work as interns at Landman and Zack.
|“||You've got the wrong guy. I don't kill people. Not even scumbags like you who deserve it.||„|
|~ Matt after Vladimir Ranskahov accuses him of killing his brother|
Matt Murdock, for lack of a better term, is complicated. As a child, he felt immense guilt and loss: blaming himself for the death of his father as well as feeling lost after losing his sight. He was both heroic and selfless even as a child, as was shown best when he saved an elderly man from being hit by a truck, at the cost of his own vision. Murdock has "daddy issues" with both his actual father Jack Murdock and his subsequent father figure Stick, having lost both either to death or from being abandoned. Stick tried to raise him to be coldblooded but suddenly abandoned him when Matt started expressing filial affection; this abandonment and rejection has left Murdock with difficulty forging real emotional connections, despite his determination to not let Stick define him.
Murdock has a high desire for justice and doing the right thing. He convinced his friend Foggy Nelson to quit their internship at Landman and Zack to start their own firm which would work for the common man. During the start of their firm, he aimed to help only innocent people. Unable to allow injustice, he got frustrated when the police or judicial system failed to help. He decided to work as a vigilante to save people and help where the justice system could not. During this, he demonstrated extreme selflessness as he kept risking his life for others, even after he barely made it out of dangerous situations and ended up badly wounded multiple times.
While fighting crime, he can be very brutal and heavily injures criminals in such manner as breaking their bones. He has hospitalized multiple criminals in this regard, with the first man he beat up having to eat through a straw for a month. However, he has avoided intentionally killing anyone so far and limits himself to hand to hand combat and sticks so as to not inflict lethal injuries, even if this results in himself getting injured during fights.
When the Steel Serpent warehouse started burning, he used a gun to try and scare everyone into leaving and ordered a downed guard to evacuate them, showing great concern for even his enemies, as both the guards and the workers there had attacked him. He usually attempts to avoid killing people, and has yet to kill anyone so far, as he believes he's on thin ice as it is and that doing so will make him no better than the people he's fighting. His refusal to kill earns him heavy criticism from Frank Castle, who kills criminals without hesitation or remorse and considers Matt a coward who can't finish the job.
Despite his reluctance to kill, Matt has, on occasion, when sufficiently infuriated or when the situation is dire, thrown away his concern for the well-being of his opponents, such as when he used a kitchen knife when Semyon came for him, tortured him with it and even threw him off of a rooftop, though he knew he would live because of the dumpster positioned under where Semyon fell. The harming or killing of innocent people, such as Elena Cardenas, makes him even more willing to kill, as he told Elena's killer that he would not stop beating him if he did not go to the police.
Later on, his fight with Nobu Yoshioka resulted in the latter's accidental immolation and apparent death, though he was angry when he learned that Wilson Fisk actually wanted Nobu to die and did not lift a finger to save him when he had the chance. When the resurrected Yoshioka ended up killing Elektra, his resulting ferocity made him able to easily beat Yoshioka and knock him off a building with a wire from his Billy Club, seemingly not caring if Nobu came back to life or not. He has also threatened to kill Wilson Fisk, and has acknowledged that he meant it at the time, while he also did slash Fisk with one of Yoshioka's discarded blades, only to find that his suit was concealing body armor. So far he has been lucky that during these lapses in his sense of morality he has failed to follow through on his intent, however even his temporary willingness to kill still feeds his sense of guilt when he reflects on it.
His most complex relationship is arguably his one with Elektra. When Elektra first reentered his life, Matt was not best pleased to see her, as the two had parted on less than favourable terms. Before long, he began to consider her a nuisance, due to her constantly involving him in her battles with the Hand, when he already had his hands full dealing with the Frank Castle case. At one point, he had to tell her that his life didn't stop every time she called him. Overtime, however, he got more and more involved in her struggle, and his relationships with Karen and Foggy became more distant as a result. Eventually, he came to realise that he actually loves Elektra and that she makes him more alive than anything else.
As a Catholic, Murdock experiences a lot of guilt and soul-searching over his actions when he allows his anger and contempt for violent criminals to cause him to enjoy beating them bloody, and he frequently wonders whether he is doing the right thing in the eyes of God or whether he is allowing evil into his heart. When he feels this way, he approaches his local priest, Father Lantom, for spiritual guidance and advice, however, he asks his questions in a roundabout way to conceal his identity as Daredevil, though Lantom has managed to figure out the truth. Either way, Lantom is bound by the seal of confession not to divulge what they discuss. After Murdock met his mentor Stick again, he started to doubt his ways and even considered killing Wilson Fisk as he doubted he could stop him any other way. This created an internal struggle as his best friend and others did not want him to act as a vigilante. In the final confrontation against Fisk, he kept true to his vow and ultimately did not kill Fisk.
Powers & Abilities
|“||Okay, that right there? That's what I'm talking about. Okay, I find a guy in a dumpster who turns out to be some kind of blind vigilante who can do all this really weird sh*t like smell cologne through walls and sense whether someone's unconscious or faking it. Slap on top of that, he can take an unbelievable amount of punishment without one damn complaint.||„|
|~ Claire Temple expressing shock at Daredevil's abilities|
Enhanced Senses: Despite being blinded as a child, Murdock's remaining four senses, besides sight, are enhanced to a superhuman level, resulting in them becoming radar/sonar-like. He claims to constantly feel numerous things, including balance, direction, minuscule changes in air density, vibrations, and blankets of temperature variations, that are usually imperceptible to human beings. That, combined with his acute hearing and olfactory senses, allows Murdock to evaluate his surroundings in what he describes as an "Impressionistic painting" of the world around him, which, according to him, looks like "the world on fire". His superhumanly enhanced senses grants him tremendous awareness of his surroundings on a wide range, this makes him extremely alert to danger.
- Enhanced Hearing: Like a bat, Murdock's hearing is extremely acute, he can clearly hear conversations, heartbeats and even breaths from several meters. He was able to hear and memorize the sound of James Wesley's watch ticking, and hear Claire's bones shifting as she breathed. Murdock can focus on what he hears; in a crowded courtroom with the judge speaking, Murdock heard a juror's heartbeat accelerate when James Wesley entered the room. Hearing the changes in people's heartbeats allows Murdock to predict how they feel and what actions they'll take, such as attack or run. He was also able to memorize the pattern of Wesley's watch so he could follow the latter. When forced to improvise while fighting extremely stealthy Hand ninjas, Murdock was able to effectively keep track of their movements by listening to their breaths and the sound of their swords cutting through the air.
- Echolocation: Matt possesses an exceptionally advanced form of human echolocation. He is able to detect objects in his environment by sensing echoes from those objects, by actively creating and listening for sounds - for example tapping his cane, stomping of his enemies' feet, raindrops, ticking from a watch, tumbling of a safe's locks, rattling chains or even a person's heartbeat. He can interpret the sound waves reflected by nearby objects, accurately identifying their location and size.
- Lie Detection: Murdock's hearing is so acute, that he can tell whether people are lying or not, based on the rate of their heartbeats.
- Enhanced Smell: His incredible olfactory senses which is even sharper than a dog allow him to detect the scent of stale cigarettes and cheap cologne three floors above him and through several walls. When he was a boy, his sense was already so acute, he could smell that an old man sitting at a bench across from him had cancer. By smelling an old cigarette, Murdock could tell that whoever smoked it previously had rotten teeth. He was even able to smell that Foggy Nelson had onions in his lunch, the current time, but two days ago.
- Enhanced Taste: Murdock was able to tell that Claire Temple had ripped open some of the stitches on her back, due to tasting copper in the air from the blood of her open wound. Stick taught him how to train this sense, which allowed him to pick out every individual ingredient of the ice cream he was eating, including that the milk used came from three different dairy farms, and that the man who served him used a certain type of soil in his garden.
- Enhanced Touch: Murdock can feel the presence of those around him through vibrations, air currents and body temperatures. He can dodge attacks and projectiles by feeling them cut through the air, creating ripples of currents only detectable by him. He locates enemies through walls and from different floors by feeling the vibrations they make from moving, such as their footsteps.
- Enhanced Thermoreception: Matt can sense changes in heat in the environment. Murdock could even feel the heat generated from the blood spilling from the gunshot wound on Vladimir Ranskahov; to one-half of a degree, he was able to distinguish the difference in temperature.
- Electroreception: Matt is able to detect electric fields, similar to a shark. When out on a mission with Elektra, Matt was able to find a hidden room by feeling an electrical current coming from behind the wall. He could hear the electricity buzzing inside the wall and felt a stop in the current were the mechanism for unlocking the secret room was.
- Enhanced Balance: Murdock's sense of balance is superhuman, giving him perfect equilibrium, coordination, dexterity, reflexes and agility, resulting in high levels of acrobatic and gymnastic ability. His dexterity and reflexes were enhanced even before his training with Stick, as he could effortlessly catch keys thrown to him while hearing the sound they made. He can instinctively react to oncoming blows nearly effortlessly with the use of his other senses, such as avoiding attacks with a sharp weapon at close quarters by hearing the noise of its approach.
- Master Martial Artist: Despite being blind, Murdock was rigorously trained in martial arts by Stick at a young age, and excelled in it. He continued training himself, despite Stick giving up on him, becoming an exceptionally fit man who is extremely skilled in martial arts. Murdock eventually used his skills to fight crime as the vigilante "Daredevil". Daredevil's fighting style incorporates Boxing, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Judo, Aikido, Capoeira, Taekwondo, Escrima, Ninjutsu, and Pro-Wrestling. Hence, Daredevil could take down the criminals of Hell's Kitchen with ease, defeating professional hitman Rance, highly skilled assassin John Healy, single-handedly taking down eight Russian gangsters at once (despite having not yet full recovered from his wounds at the time), and was even able to take down multiple cops while handcuffed. His ex-girlfriend Elektra claimed that Murdock was one of the best fighters that she knew. By the time he met Stick again, Murdock rivaled his former mentor in skill, managing to keep up with him in an intense one-on-one duel and ultimately overpowering him, earning Stick's praise. Though with some difficulty, Murdock was also ultimately able to overpower Kingpin, a man of immense brute strength, and even flip him through the air during their fight. However, Daredevil would still have problems facing opponents with more combat skill and experience, such as the Hand leader Nobu Yoshioka, though even the latter acknowledged Daredevil as a worthy opponent. Despite his beating at Nobu's hands, he still managed to fight him on near equal grounds and ended the fight by knocking him several feet and accidentally igniting the fuel at his feet, which immolated Nobu. A year later, Daredevil's combat skills seem to have improved, as he was now able to hold his own against the fierce and extremely dangerous Punisher (even gaining the upper hand against him a few times), to single-handedly take down multiple highly skilled Hand ninjas, to last longer than Elektra against a resurrected Nobu Yoshioka in their final duel, and even to finally defeat the extremely skilled Hand leader himself, albeit only with considerable effort and initial failure. His skill also allowed him to overpower Danny Rand, a master martial artist in his own right. Daredevil was also able to fight both Bakuto and Murakami simultaneously and had the upper hand in the majority of the fight.
- Staff Mastery: Thanks to his early training with Stick, Murdock is highly skilled in the use of staves and similar melee weapons. The billy club that Melvin Potter created for him maximizes this skill by being able to easily change between different combinations of weapons.
- Master Acrobat: Murdock is extremely acrobatic, and could already do several agile flips as a child. He is highly skilled with parkour and free-running and able to quickly move over rooftops and climb buildings, managing to keep up with a car this way. Even when handcuffed, Daredevil performed an agile back flip, bringing his hands back in front of his torso. He also utilized his agility to successfully gain the upper hand against Stick. However, Daredevil is notably not quite as agile as Nobu Yoshioka, though a year after their first encounter, his agility seems to have improved, with Daredevil's now rivaling that of the resurrected Yoshioka. His agility also allowed him to gain the upper hand on Punisher during their fight. He could even able to use his supreme agility to dodge bullets even at close range.
- Expert Marksman: Because of his enhanced senses, Murdock has an increased awareness of where objects are, allowing him exceptional marksmanship with both firearms and throwing weapons, with him able to quickly knock guns out of the Punisher's grasp with a hurled Billy club. Also, he was able to drop a fire extinguisher on Semyon's head several floors down, timing it perfectly and knowing when Semyon would be off the stairs and directly below it.
- Multilingualism: Murdock speaks fluent English and Spanish, having studied the latter at college. However, he cannot speak or understand Russian or Japanese. He also knows some French, able to speak it with Elektra.
- Master Lawyer: Murdock is a persuasive and trained lawyer, having graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University. Foggy Nelson claimed that had Murdock been able to put more effort into the case of Frank Castle, that they might have won it. When threatening Wilson Fisk, Murdock expressed confidence in his ability to use "every legal loophole and footnote" to keep Fisk and Vanessa Marianna from ever being able to reunite, claiming to have the ability to break him without breaking any law.
- Leader: Despite having no formal training in leadership, Murdock was recognized as the leader of the Defenders (possibly due to being the more experienced vigilante) by Stick, Jessica Jones and eventually Luke Cage and Danny Rand. He successfully led the initial assault on Midland Circle, although it resulted in its destruction and his own and Elektra's apparent death due to not being able to find a more optimal solution.
- Vigilante Suit: Matt bought the suit online and he uses it every time he goes to stop the crime. The color of the suit is black with red stitching. Matt also uses a black Mask, which is tied over his head to cover his face so that the criminals and his friends would not recognize him. Only his mouth is uncovered. He also has padding which he wears underneath the suit, so that the beatings would not hurt as much.
- Wooden Sticks: At a young age, Matt was trained by Stick how to use and fight with pair of sicks until he became an expert Stickfighter. But over the years, Matt did not need the sticks during his struggle against crime to which he and Stick reunited again against a new threat. Stick convinced Matt to use sticks and since he fights with them against his enemies.
- Armored Suit: When Murdock fought against Wilson Fisk, he noticed that he wore an impermeable Armored Suit. Knew that he has to compare the forces against Fisk, Murdock was able to locate the person who created Fisk's suit, Melvin Potter, and he asked him to make him an armored suit too. Melvin made the suit with the colors of red and black and helmet he created to looks like a devil's head. Murdock used the suit to stop Fisk for good and started using it from then on.
- Billy Club: When Murdock asked Melvin Potter to create for him an armored suit, Potter also created for him his new personal weapon. Daredevil's Billy Club can be used as a short staff and be split into two short sticks. Murdock used his Billy Club to stop Fisk for good.
|“||Take your shot.||„|
|~ Daredevil to Kingpin in their last fight in Season 1.|
|“||I'm guessing you've done this, what ten, maybe 20 times? How long's it been? Six months, a year or your whole life? Something tells me you don't take breaks. You know, no one else has to die. You could stop now. Walk away.||„|
|~ Daredevil speaking to Frank Castle.|
|“||I'd rather die as the Devil, than live as Matt Murdock.||„|
|~ Daredevil to Maggie Grace, losing his faith in Season 3.|
|“||Who are you?
|~ Murdock and Bullseye.|
|“||No! God knows I want to, but you don't get to destroy who I am. You will go back to prison and you will live the rest of your miserable life in a cage, knowing you'll never have Vanessa, that this city rejected you. It beat you. I BEAT YOU!"||„|
|~ Daredevil's speech to Kingpin upon his final defeat.|
|“||I realize that if my life had turned out any differently, that I would never have become Daredevil. And although people have died on my watch, people who shouldn't have, there are countless others that have lived. So, maybe it is all part of God's plan. Maybe my life has been exactly as it had to be.||„|
|~ Daredevil becoming a man without fear.|
- Daredevil and Luke Cage were considered to appear in Avengers: Infinity War by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.