One of the most famous disabled superheroes of all time, Daredevil remains such a compelling superhero because of the wonderful effort both writers and artists put into Daredevil comic books. Daredevil stories tend to focus on much more than the standard hero-fights-villain trope, utilizing the somberness of Daredevil to explore scenarios and themes most other comics cannot come close to. In Daredevil storylines, the story of the hero matters just as much as that of attorney Matt Murdock, thereby imbuing everyday life with the same grit and excitement of being a vigilante.
The best Daredevil comics touch upon those dual lives that Murdock lives, along with the perspectives and lives of Daredevil's greatest villains and allies. By providing voice to Murdock's enemies, many Daredevil story arcs provide complex and compelling storylines about morality and motive. But some of Daredevil's greatest adventures happen when he's not even wearing spandex, when instead he must navigate the obstacles and tragedies of life that even superpowers cannot fix.
In Daredevil v1 #191, Matt Murdock pays a visit to the bedside of a paralyzed Bullseye after allowing the assassin to fall and shatter his spine following his murder of Elektra. Murdock plays a game of Russian roulette with Bullseye, coldly taunting the helpless killer by repeatedly putting the .38 revolver to his face and pulling the trigger then to his own head and doing the same. This storyline highlights Daredevil’s deteriorating mental state as it begins to toy with the powerless villain so cruelly. In the end, Murdock’s gun isn’t loaded; he just wants the sociopathic Bullseye to feel an iota of the same anguish Murdock himself feels. The story, written by Frank Miller and drawn by Miller and inker extraordinaire Terry Austin is a dark and chilling indicator of just how deep the enmity between the two men runs.
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What If? #35: What If Elektra Had Lived?
In the summer of 1982, comic fans were still reeling from the brutal murder of Elektra Natchios at the hands of Bullseye, who drove a sai through her chest in order to take her job. In the What If... issue, readers observe Daredevil as he mourns Natchios, his one true love. The Watcher also takes the reigns, showing the blind lawyer a world where Bullseye died during his prison escape. Frank Miller and Terry Austin team up again to tell a story where Elektra Natchios and Matt Murdock are together and happy.
Daredevil #220: Fog
Matt Murdock is about as unlucky in love as it is possible to get. As radar dampening, sound muffling pea soup fog moves in, Murdock’s lover Heather Glenn drunkenly threatens suicide and Murdock has tired of her antics. But when he finds her hanged in her apartment, he becomes wracked with guilt and rage. The lingering smell of cigarette smoke in Heather’s smoke free home sends Daredevil on a mission, determined to unravel the possible murder of his former lover and to assuage his own feelings of remorse.
Daredevil #163: Blind Alley
In Daredevil v1 #163, Matt Murdock is at a cocktail party when his hyper-acute hearing alerts him of the Hulk's presence in New York City. The Hulk, while a tragic creature, is also a menace capable of leveling the city, and it falls on Murdock to stop him. Hopelessly out-muscled, Daredevil attempts to reason with the Hulk, a prospect many consider to be foolish and deadly. After getting the Hulk to revert to Bruce Banner, Murdock assists him the only way he knows how. He gives Banner money, clothes – purple pants and a white shirt, how completely unexpected - and sends him on his way out of town. The #6 train to Grand Central during rush hour isn’t exactly the most peaceful place on Earth, and Banner snaps again. Daredevil successfully stops the Hulk a second time, but doing so leaves him in intensive care fighting for his life.