by Martino Martinez
For the longest time, Batman has been my favorite superhero. I was fascinated by how dark this superhero was, while also admiring his resolve to face far more powerful opponents. But recently, I have grown to be even more fond of another superhero: Daredevil, or blind attorney Matt Murdock. Now, both characters have much in common. Both are tragic figures, having suffered deaths of loved ones, and represent the dark superhero archetype of becoming just like their greatest enemies. Both are underdogs without any impressive superhuman abilities such as flight or strength; they endure through willpower alone. However, all of these traits are much more prevalent in Daredevil.
People go nuts over how Batman is a dark character on the edge of becoming just like his enemies. But in Brian Michael Bendis’ Hardcore story, Daredevil viciously beats the Kingpin and declares himself the new one after carving a bullseye onto another enemy’s forehead with a knife. In response to numerous traumas, Daredevil crossed the abyss. He is a vulnerable man who has been pushed to the edge. For the next year, he controls his neighborhood through intimidation. Fortunately, his friends help him see that he is going down a dark path and he stops being the crime-lord he once would have fought. The story proves Daredevil even more likely than Batman to submit to darkness.
Something everyone loves about Batman is how he is the underdog without super strength. But he might as well have powers, what with all his gadgets and fortune. Daredevil is a blind man. Despite his other senses being heightened, allowing him to perceive the world as well as someone with sight, it requires a truly strongwilled individual to fight crime despite being blind.
Daredevil has suffered considerably more tragic and traumatic events than Batman. Admittedly, Batman’s parents were murdered while he was a boy. Many years later, his close friend is shot and crippled by the Joker just before the second Robin (Jason Todd) is beaten to death. But Daredevil’s losses are much greater. His mother abandoned him, his father was murdered, and his vision was lost after his eyes were painfully burned in an accident. He had similar bad luck with romantic partners. The list includes an estranged girlfriend who is brutally murdered, and a fiancée who commits suicide. His next girlfriend (Karen Page) sells his secret identity to gain money to feed her drug addiction, and is later violently killed while he is incarcerated. His later wife is driven insane and committed to an asylum, and….I’m sorry, just give me a second to think about cute cat videos before I become an alcoholic or something. In spite of all the personal pain it causes him, Daredevil continues to fight injustice.
In conclusion, Daredevil is similar to Batman, but with details that are all enhanced. He has less and has lost more than Batman, but he still soldiers on with commendable willpower. But most of all, it’s his humanity, how he can be hurt and pushed to insanity that makes him identifiable and more interesting.