The deep dark of Daredevil

Screenshot from Marvel's Daredevil.
Daredevil is one of Marvel’s darker heroes because he is ultimately not defined by his superhuman ability to sense the world around him without seeing it.

With Daredevil, Marvel took a chance on a new kind of character by painting a darker picture than they ever have before.

Daredevil is the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen: a hero who fights street-level crime. While Spider-Man and The Avengers are off challenging supervillains, aliens, or angry celestial beings, Daredevil stalks the rooftops between Eighth Avenue and the Hudson River, fighting drug dealers, human traffickers, and angry crime bosses.

Unlike many superheroes, Daredevil never feels invincible. Whether he’s fighting  a powerhouse enemy like Nobu, or a hallway of nameless thugs, I’m never sure Daredevil is going to walk away the victor. And win or lose, he ends up bloody and bruised far more often than not.

“You have to feel for what’s not there as much as what is.”

His vulnerability increases when Daredevil takes off his mask and tries to go about his day job as the lawyer Matt Murdock.

Murdock is possibly even a more interesting character than Daredevil—if you can separate the two. His job in the courtroom is a stark contrast from his evening gig. His struggle to appease his Catholic guilt, his desire to see justice done and his feeling of responsibility to use his abilities for good are far more complex emotions than most heroes deal with.

While he’s learning to read braille, Matt Murdock tells his father, “you have to feel for what’s not there as much as what is.”

Daredevil doesn’t wrestle with his code of not murdering criminals. He struggles with himself when he knows he really wants to kill one. What he’s not doing tells us a lot more about him than what he is doing.

Daredevil never feels invincible.

Daredevil is not wall-to-wall action. There are no blasts of lightning or energy beams. No CG mechs or aliens pouring out of a hole in the sky. It’s in these gaps that the true character of Matt Murdock lives and breathes.

Daredevil is “The Man Without Fear.” This doesn’t mean he lives a fearless life. No, Matt Murdock forms relationships and makes friends with people he truly fears losing to the growing darkness. But as a hero he wields that fear as a weapon in darkness so overwhelming that only the blind could possibly lead.

Jason Dueck

Jason Dueck

Staff Writer at Area of Effect
From Captain Kirk to Commander Shepard, Jason's love for science fiction extends to the final frontier. When he's not geeking out, Jason can be found studying communications at Red River College in Winnipeg.
Jason Dueck