That time Daredevil was an actual demon
Spider-Man is usually the one portrayed as down-on-his-luck, but Peter Parker’s financial issues and girl troubles pale in comparison to the apocalyptic gas station toilet that is the life of Daredevil. For decades, writers/sadists Frank Miller, Brian Michel Bendis and Ben Affleck have been putting poor Matt Murdock through a physical and psychological wringer that would have toppled almost any other hero. The problem is, comics universes don’t end — after seeing the world shit on Matt’s soul year after year, you start to get some diminishing returns.
In an effort to give DD a soft reboot (a.k.a. writing him out of a corner), Marvel released a miniseries that saw Daredevil possessed by a demon. A demon that could suck the hellfire off of Ghost Rider’s head.
See, just before this, Daredevil had assumed control of The Hand, an evil ninja organization that had previously terrorized New York and the greater Marvel Universe. Though he wasn’t thrilled with the idea of leading a band of murderers, it was either that or let them run amok in his city. It was kind of a deal with the devil, which became all the more literal when The Beast, a demon which The Hand had spent centuries worshipping, decided to take up residence in the body of one Matt Murdock.
This not only made Daredevil act like a prick, but it also dressed him up like an Evanescence music video. The whole mystical angle of the storyline is very strange and uncharacteristic for a hero who has been grounded and street-level for so long. So it’s probably for the best that Matt got the asshole punched out of him.
After Iron Fist used a ki-infused super punch, Matt Murdock was back to normal and even had a spring in his step. The comic that came after this reboot has a refreshing outlook and an engaging personality, but it took a lot of ridiculous and awkward preening to get to that point. We humans call this phase of our lives “puberty.”
Daredevil battles Stilt-Man
Batman has some corny villains for sure, but at least The Joker showed up in Batman #1. Daredevil, on the other hand, had to wait over a hundred issues for Bullseye and Kingpin to show up. Instead, for years DD was plagued with an awful rogue’s gallery, with one of the key players being none other than the dastardly Stilt-Man. At some point, an editor thought “Hey, remember that story where Daredevil battled a guy whose main power was extending his legs like Inspector Gadget? Let’s bring that guy back.”
The worst part? Despite the fact that Stilt-Man’s biggest defense is ducking really fast, even that throws Daredevil off his game..
It’s unclear as to whether Stilt-Man was always a joke, or if there was a turning point somewhere along the line. Either way, he’s shown up a to battle DD several more times, mostly the remind us the the vast majority of Daredevil’s best villains are from other comics. Not only has Stilt-Man gone on to fight other superheroes, the maniacs at Marvel even went so far as to create Lady Stilt-Man.
Then again, that did bring us Deadpool riding Spider-Man in a sea of glue.
Alright, sometimes comic books aren’t so bad.
“Feeling” color with his fingers
Part of Daredevil’s appeal lies in the fact that his weaknesses and strengths go hand-in-hand. Matt Murdock is technically blind, but he also has the benefit of super radar senses. In other words, Daredevil has the ability to sense whether you’re lying by the pace of your heartbeat, but he’s absolute dogshit at Mario Kart.
The latter weakness is particularly inconvienent for writers when it comes to something like say, Daredevil making his costume for his origin story. You’d think this would make the writers reconsider their whole concept of the character and his abilities, but nope, Stan Lee just muttered through his demi-Hitler mustache: “The blind guy can feel color with his fingers.”
It’s one of those wacky throwaway scenes that you just accept because it was written in 1964 and people still smoked on airplanes. But then they brought it up again.
To recap, Daredevil knocked out a living Xbox Live username called “Shades McGraw,” recognized that the two of them looked alike (presumably after groping his unconscious face), decided to disguise himself this man to get into a second location, proceeded to pet this man’s head to get a “feel” for his hair color and then dyed his own hair to match his victim using pocket chemicals he keeps on his person for just this purpose.
Whew! That’s almost as stupid as feeling colors through the heat on your gloves.
God dammit, Daredevil.
Ultimate humiliation, courtesy of the Punisher
Cult favorite writer and barfight enthusiast Garth Ennis is known for taking the piss out of the world’s most famous superheroes. Just about the only one Ennis really took seriously was the Punisher, and that’s mostly because Frank Castle actually puts an end to his enemies.
In one of Ennis’ best stories, the Punisher illustrates the difference between him and non-lethal capes. In this scene, Daredevil is trying to stop Punisher from assassinating a mobster, but Frank gets the upper-hand and knocks out his fellow vigilante. When DD wakes up, he’s tied up, with a gun strapped to his his hand. The Punisher stays in the line of sight of the pistol; if Daredevil wants to prevent the killing, he’s going to have to put Frank down permanently.