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The Most Depressing Days In Daredevil’s Preposterously Sad History

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It’s a good day for Daredevil fans, as Marvel’s anticipated series about the superhero without fear finally comes to Netflix. But what’s good for fans is likely bad for Daredevil, because his career has been one insane bummer after another. See for yourself!

The Day He Got His Powers

Some people in the Marvel universe choose to become superheroes. Some have their powers thrust upon them, like Spider-Man randomly getting bitten by a radioactive spider. And then some people get hit with a truck filled with nuclear waste. Admittedly, that last group is made up entirely of Daredevil, who got a pile of radioactive material thrown directly into his eyes as a kid, when he pushed an elderly blind man out of the way of the aforementioned truck. Young Matt Murdock lost his eyesight, but his four other senses were heightened to superhuman levels. Still, seeing as Spider-Man had no consequences accompanying his powers, Daredevil is probably a bit bitter about this.


The Day He Kind Of Killed His Dad

One or both of most Marvel superheroes’ parents have died to the point where it seems almost a prerequisite to getting superpowers. In a sense, the fact that Matt got to spend several years with his dad, the boxer “Battlin’” Jack Murdock, before he died is kind of a plus. But over the years, Jack got caught up with gangsters, and was ordered to throw a fight. Unfortunately, Matt decided to attend that night, and Jack had too much pride to throw the fight in front of his son. He won, but gangsters murdered him immediately afterwards. Had Daredevil stayed home that night, Jack would likely have lived.


The Day His Ex-Girlfriend Traded His Secret Identity For Drugs

To say Daredevil is unlucky in love is a vast understatement. It’s like saying the Hulk can be mildly irritable. Karen Page was the secretary at Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson’s law firm, who fell for Matt. Eventually, Karen’s dad became a supervillain, died saving his daughter from his own death trap, and Matt thought it was as good a time as any to reveal the fact he’s Daredevil. Eventually, this gets to be too much for poor Karen, and she runs away to be an actress, and yet pretty quickly becomes a drug-addicted prostitute. Eventually, she’s forced to trade Daredevil’s real name to her dealer for heroin, and the dealer eventually passed the information to Daredevil’s nemesis the Kingpin. The Kingpin uses the info to freeze Murdock’s bank accounts, get his apartment foreclosed on, and then uses one of his minions on the police force to frame Murdock for bribing a witness, causing him to lose his law license. Just for funsies, Matt’s other girlfriend Gloriana dumps him and immediately starts dating his best friend and law partner Foggy Nelson.


The Day His Girlfriend Died

You may have noticed that, while having the biggest crime lord in New York City knowing his secret identity is clearly a bad thing, it’s Karen Page who seems to have had the worst experiences in it. Karen’s life is actually comically miserable, and almost entirely due to her involvement with Daredevil. Not only is she eventually murdered by Daredevil’s archenemy Bullseye — thanks to her skull intercepting Daredevil’s own billy club — but just before that, the villain Mysterio disguised himself as a doctor and changed some blood test results and told her she has AIDS. Just to mess with DD. So when she dies right in front of Matt, she’s also needlessly miserable. It’s bad day for Daredevil. A worse day for Karen, absolutely, but still a bad day for Daredevil.


The Day His Other Girlfriend Died

Karen Page was hardly the first of Daredevil’s girlfriends to be murdered. Although the two had become lovers, eventually the Kingpin hired Elektra to be his chief assassin, which put a bit of a damper on Daredevil's and her relationship. The two clashed until Elektra was hired to murder Matt’s friend Foggy, but couldn’t go through with it. Shortly thereafter, Bullseye stabbed her in the gut with her own sai in order to get back in the Kingpin’s good graces; Elektra had just enough energy to crawl to Matt’s house and die in his arms.


The Day He Went Insane

Okay, this wasn’t so much a day as a series of days, chronicled in Frank Miller’s early ‘80s run on DD. However, “The Week or So Where Daredevil Lost His Home, His Job, His Office, Tried to Fight Kingpin, Got His Ass Kicked, Was Thrown Into a Taxi Which Was Rolled Off a Pier, Managed to Escape, But Once He Got Back to Land Was Stabbed by a Thug and Then Hit By a Random Car” seemed a bit unwieldy to me.


The Day His Wife Went Insane

Yeah, Daredevil decided to shake it up a little! Rather than kill one of Daredevil’s girlfriends, writer Brian Michael Bendis introduce Matt Murdock to Milla Donovan, allowed them to fall in love and marry before Daredevil went crazy for a second time. This second bout of insanity involved Daredevil taking over as New York City’s Kingpin in order to control crime as best he could, being constantly attacked along with all of his loved ones (as the press had revealed his secret identity, also for a second distinct time), all while still mourning over Karen Page. Milla, believing that she was merely a rebound marriage for Matt after Karen’s death, had their marriage annulled, which shockingly did not improve Daredevil’s mental health, either. But this is merely a prologue to them getting back together, while Milla underwent therapy for all the horrible trauma she endured as DD’s wife. It should go without saying that her therapist ended up being Daredevil villain Mister Fear, who used his fear gas to slowly drive her insane until she finally pushed a random civilian in front of a train, killing him, and was committed for it. On the plus side, she’s not dead. Yet.


The Day He Went to Prison

While in prison himself, the Kingpin Wilson Fisk manages to get Matt Murdock caught and arrested by the FBI. He’s sent to prison with Fisk, in hopes that they’ll basically kill each other — oh, and Bullseye is in jail too, because that’s how Daredevil’s life works. Bizarrely, this little event would be pretty benign if Matt best friend Foggy hadn’t gotten himself murdered by inmates while visiting his incarcerated law partner.


The Days His Other Girlfriends Died and/or Tried to Kill Him

Let’s just run down the rest of them, shall we? Matt’s Murdock dated Maya Lopez, who fought with the Avengers for a time as the deaf superhero Echo. She was killed by Matt’s resurrected ex-girlfriend Elektra, who was leading a group of evil magic ninjas at the time. Matt dated a wealthy heiress named Heather Glenn, who committed suicide immediately after Murdock ignored her pleas for help. Next is Gloriana O’Breen, who is murdered by one of Kingpin’s assassin’s (not at Kingpin’s orders, believe it or not, but it’s still more or less because she was hanging out with Murdock at the wrong place and wrong time). Honestly, one of Daredevil’s healthiest relationships is the one he had with Mary Walker, the “nice” side of multiple-personality disorder-suffering villainess Typhoid Mary, who frequently tried to kill him, and even once set him on fire.


The Day the Punisher Made Him Realize His Life Was a Lie

Here’s a fun little moment in Daredevil’s life, courtesy of Garth Ennis’ run on Punisher. Obviously, the Punisher is all about killing his bad guys, and Daredevil — one of those superheroes who (usually) tries to not kill villains — was giving the Punisher some guff about all the murder he commits. So the Punisher knocked DD out, chained him to a pole, gave him a gun, and told the Man Without Fear the only way to stop him from killing a certain bad guy was for DD to shoot him. As you can see Daredevil agonized through the decision, and was forced to break his own rule and shoot the Punisher — or try to, since the Punisher removed the gun’s firing pin because he isn’t an idiot. Suffice it to say, Daredevil didn’t act so high and mighty after that.


The Day He Was Possessed By an Actual Devil

Daredevil got rather literal in 2011, after Matt Murdock took charge of the evil magic ninja clan the Hand in hopes of making them less evil. It may shock you to know that this did not completely work out, as Daredevil’s tenure started good — killing bad guys — and ended less good — namely, with DD being possessed by a demon named the Beast. This was part of the Shadlowland series, in which the other heroes of the Marvel universe get a bit concerned about Daredevil’s descent into evil, and DD responded by his his magic ninja to kill them. It all ends up with a big fight where Iron Fist magically punched the demon out of him.


The Day He Died

Like many Marvel characters, Daredevil has died several times over the last 50 years of his comics career, including the time Typhoid Mary tossed him off a bridge and he had a conversation with Mephisto, the Lord of Hell for an entire issue. However, he definitely died in Nighthawk #1, when Nighthawk choked him to death. Nighthawk decided to carry Daredevil out of hell in the next issue, which is nice, but honestly, being defeated and killed by the nth-tier ‘90s hero Nighthawk may be the most depressing day in Daredevil’s entire life.


Based on an article originally posted on June 18th, 2013.