It is only recently that Daredevil has regained the respect, recognition, and status of one of Marvel Comics’ most popular heroes. Despite a comic book track record that includes a few legendary runs by some of the industry’s top creators, the ill-fated 2003 film adaptation, starring future Batman Ben Affleck, did more damage to the Man Without Fear than a thousand battles with Bullseye ever could. Thankfully, Matt Murdock’s Netflix series, which has been incredibly well-received by fans and critics alike, has helped the horned protector of Hell’s Kitchen regain some of his much-deserved fame.
As a comic book character, Daredevil has a lot going for him. He has a unique origin that left him with a permanent disability, a rare quality among the superheroic crowd. DD’s abilities are also highly original, and every new writer to take on the character seems to find a new way to use his supersenses in the fight against crime. Daredevil’s double-life, which sees him tackle crime as a lawyer by day and a vigilante by night, makes for the type of real-life legal drama often lacking in other comic book tales. Like many other superheroes, Daredevil’s life has also been marked by tragedy, something that definitely hasn’t subsided in recent years.
Like fellow New York-centered hero Spider-Man, Daredevil has traditionally been a bit of a loner when it comes to superheroics. While DD often teamed up with other heroes, he showed a real reluctance to join any teams, despite several offers. Matt Murdock felt his double-life, which included a healthy legal career, made it impossible for him to commit to a full-fledged superhero group. This changed when fellow street-level heroes Luke Cage and Iron Fist convinced him to join the New Avengers. Daredevil owed them both a favor after the events of Shadowland, and so he suited up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for a few storylines.
As someone with the word "devil" right in his superhero moniker, one might expect Daredevil to be familiar with making deals. However, he has generally proven to be pretty steadfast in sticking to his morals, refusing to compromise on anything or collaborate with anyone whose methods he doesn’t agree upon. This changed when Matt Murdock faced an incredible threat that put his loved ones at risk, one that he couldn’t take on alone. Murdock did the unthinkable, reaching out to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, and attempting to strike a mutually beneficial deal. Of course, Fisk eventually betrayed Daredevil, leading to yet another physical confrontation between the two. Some things never change.
If there’s one quality that defines Daredevil as a unique character, it’s his blindness. The result of the same tragic accident that granted him his powers, this disability has done little to hold Daredevil back from meting out street justice. However, it remains a powerful part of his personal identity. This was why it was so troubling when a recently-corrupted Tony Stark took it upon himself to forcibly return Daredevil’s eyesight via technological implants. He not only expected gratitude from Daredevil, but also for the proud vigilante to start working for him in exchange for continued eyesight. Stark got a punch in the face for his troubles.
Having been disbarred in the state of New York for revealing his secret identity as Daredevil, Matt Murdock needed to find somewhere new to work. He settled on the state of California, which was apparently fine with a known vigilante practicing law by day. Murdock, his girlfriend and fellow attorney Kirsten McDuffie, and faithful friend Foggy Nelson all picked up and moved to San Francisco. This proved to be a wildly different locale than Hell’s Kitchen when it came to both lawyering and superheroing. Still, Daredevil rose to the challenge and soon became the hero of a people previously best defined by a big, red bridge.