Daredevil's life is a mix of joy and tragedy. The story of Matt Murdock began with his father. "Battlin'" Jack Murdock raised his son alone, claiming Matt's mother had died. Jack wanted his son to be more successful than him. He impressed upon Matt the need to constantly study instead of playing sports with other kids. Jack hoped that Matt would become a doctor or a lawyer instead of an "uneducated pug" like himself. This led the neighborhood kids to taunt the "cowardly" Matt as "Daredevil." Matt took out his frustrations by secretly training in his father's gym.
One day, Matt saw a blind man walking towards an oncoming truck. Matt pushed the man out of the way. The truck crashed and a radioactive isotope spilled out, striking Matt across the face and blinding him. While recovering in the hospital, Matt discovered his hearing, smell, taste, and touch were amplified to superhuman degrees. He also developed a "radar sense" that formed a mental picture of his surroundings.
During his time in the hospital, Matt was visited by a nun wearing a gold cross. Long thought dead, Matt would one day find his mother, "Maggie", was living as a nun. Matt wouldn't know who this woman was for many years.
Years later, Matt received training from the ninja master Stick. From Stick, Matt learned how to control his new abilities and honed his skills in acrobatics and martial arts.
Matt continued to study and entered Columbia Law School. At Columbia, Matt met and fell in love with Elektra Natchios. It was a first love for both of them. When Elektra's father was accidentally killed by police, she retreated from the world and Matt.,
Meanwhile, Jack Murdock was desperate to get fights. He reluctantly joined with a crooked fight promoter known as "The Fixer." The Fixer set up Jack to be a heavyweight contender, just to have him take a dive. Jack refused and won his fight. Later that night, Jack Murdock was shot dead by The Fixer and his men.
The now orphaned Matt earned his law degree and opened a practice, Nelson and Murdock, with Franklin "Foggy" Nelson. Karen Page was hired by Foggy as their secretary. Karen was attracted to Matt, and found it a pity that such a wonderful, handsome man could be so handicapped.
He also searched for his father's killers. Matt made a yellow and black costume out of his father's old boxing robes. He finally found the Fixer's gang and confronted the Fixer himself. Matt chased The Fixer until he died from a massive heart attack.Although his father's death was avenged, Matt continued to fight crime as Daredevil.
Though some of his early enemies were considered laughable, (Matador, Stilt Man, Leap Frog), Daredevil gathered an impressive and dangerous rogues gallery. Electro was the first costumed villain Daredevil faced. The Purple Man was a spy for a foreign country. When he was accidentally doused with experimental chemicals, they turned his skin purple and gave him the power to control people's minds. His power wasn't very effective against Daredevil since it worked best when people could see him. Mister Fear seemed like a natural enemy for a "Man Without Fear". He was a wax museum curator obsessed with bringing his statues to life. Instead, he discovered a gas that filled people with terror. He used this gas as Mister Fear to commit daring crimes.
Murdock moved to San Francisco with Natasha Romanova, the Black Widow. Although their relationship later ended, they remained friends. But sometimes Natasha wished they were more. While living in San Francisco, Matt worked for another law firm. He left when he realized his bosses were more concerned with their careers than with their clients.
Bullseye was the world's deadliest assassin. He had perfect aim, a backbone made of unbreakable metal, and the uncanny gift to turn anything into a weapon. His hatred for Daredevil stemmed from his many defeats.
Matt was reunited with Elektra under the worst circumstances. After college, Elektra became an assassin. She had trained with an evil ninja cult called The Hand. Although she left The Hand, she had become cold and violent. Elektra was killed by Bullseye. Fortunately, ninja magic and Murdock's love brought her back to life and "cleansed her spirit". She moved to a remote mountain retreat to live with The Chaste, the Hand's heroic counterpart.
Heather Glenn, Matt's one-time fiance, was the heiress to Glenn industries. After Elektra's death, Matt proposed to Heather. He then went to work proving Glenn Industries' board of directors were involved in illegal dealings. He found enough proof to ruin the company, and leave Heather with no choice but to marry him. Foggy saw what Matt was doing was wrong. With the Black Widow's help, he broke up Matt and Heather. Years later, a drunken Heather called Matt for help. When he learned she was lying, he angrily left and ignored her. Days later, she hanged herself.
Karen pursued an acting career in L.A., but ended up a porn star hooked on heroin. She sold out Daredevil's secret identity; information that eventually reached the Kingpin. The Kingpin of crime, took a piece of every illegal deal on the East Coast. It was Fisk who systematically destroyed every piece of Matt Murdock's life; who was indirectly responsible for the deaths of Elektra and Jack Murdock; who knew Murdock is Daredevil, but never told anyone, just to play power games with the hero. Matt took Karen back and they built a life together.
Typhoid Mary was the living embodiment of the Madonna/whore complex. Mary was a sweet but frightened woman who had been a successful actress. Typhoid was the trashy, cruel killer with telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers. The Kingpin hired her to make Matt Murdock fall in love with her, and then drive him crazy. Typhoid Mary succeeded in getting Matt to cheat on Karen Page and nearly beat him to death.
Glorianna O'Brien was an Irish photojournalist who met Matt when he fought an IRA terrorist. But Matt's decent into poverty and madness, brought about by the Kingpin, pushed her away. She later moved in with Foggy Nelson. Years later, Glorianna was killed by Victor "Kruel" Krueller, a madman trying to remember his past by beating witnesses to his attempted murder.
Matt created an imaginary twin brother, Mike Murdock, to protect his secret identity. He would often pretend to be "Mike" to act like the confident, cocky Daredevil for his friends. "Mike" would die in a fight, allowing Matt to become the "new" Daredevil.
The Kingpin destroyed Matt's life, taking away his home and livelihood. But Matt put his life back together. He opened a free law clinic in Hell's Kitchen where he lived with the newly returned Karen Page.
Matt's secret identity was threatened by a New York tabloid. Though he protected himself, he still faked his death. Even Foggy and Karen were fooled. Matt now lived as a street hustler named Jack Batlin. He kept fighting crime as Daredevil, this time with an armored costume and a meaner attitude. This led to an identity crisis, although he eventually overcame this and cleared up rumors of his identity, subsequently beginning work at a law firm run by Nelson's estranged mother.
Guardian Devil, Identity revealed and eventual Breakdown
Mysterio was one of Spider-Man's most persistent enemies. But when he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he conceived an elaborate "final performance". Although he initially planned to target Spider-Man, when he read reports about the new wall-crawler, he dismissed Spider-Man as a target, seeing no point in driving a 'clone' insane. Recalling a prior confrontation with Daredevil, he decided to turn his attention to Murdock after paying the Kingpin for information, seeing in Daredevil a kindred spirit as both were 'second stringers' with little reputation outside their homes. With Fisk's information, Mysterio devised an elaborate plot to pretend that the Second Coming was taking place, leaving Daredevil in the custody of an infant who had been reportedly identified as both the new Christ and the Antichrist, Daredevil also being tricked into coming in contact with an associate-suggestive toxin that would make him violent if anyone suggested that the child was innocent with the toxin being both odorless and tasteless so Daredevil could not tell he was drugged. At the same time, Foggy Nelson was framed for murder and Karen Page was tricked into believing that she had AIDS due to her old porn star career. Despite having been pushed to breaking point, with Dr. Strange's help, the toxin was removed, and Murdock overcame Mysterio's traps and illusions, bluntly informing the villain that his entire plot was nothing more than B-movie cliches and old tricks. With nothing left to live for, Beck committed suicide. Although still shaken by Karen's death, a conversation with Spider-Man helped Matt see that the baby he had saved represented something positive that had come from this whole mess, inspiring him to use Karen's life insurance- which she had asked him to use on something that would benefit him rather than give it to charity- to restart Nelson & Murdock.
Maya Lopez was born deaf. She also had the gift to recreate any physical motion she sees. The Kingpin used her in another plot to destroy Matt Murdock. First, he arranged Matt to meet her, knowing Matt was lonely after the recent death of Karen Page. Then he tricked Maya into thinking Daredevil killed her father. Maya created the identity of Echo and fought Daredevil. She didn't know he was Matt and he didn't know why she now hated him. Matt soon explained himself and Maya attacked the Kingpin. She left him blinded for many months.
Murdock was outed by the press as Daredevil. He publicly denied this and sued the paper.
The latest woman in Matt's life was Milla Donovan. Like Matt, Donovan was blind. Matt saved her life and a year later they were married. Milla eventually learned their marriage may have be part of Matt's mental breakdown. She filed for an annulment.
Murdock continued to fight crime, ultimately defeating Wilson Fisk and claiming the title of "Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen", preventing any crime from being committed in the area, although Matt's own mental state was rapidly going downhill after the death of his true love, his lies to the public, and assuming the alias of his greatest enemy. During this time frame, Matt was briefly invited to join the New Avengers when he aided them in the latest attempted break-out from the Raft, but refused the offer because he didn't want to affect their reputations in the public eye , although he did suggest Maya as a replacement member .
Matt was eventually captured by the FBI and sent to prison for his actions. Foggy Nelson was believed to have been killed and a Daredevil impostor was sighted.
Matt learned the Kingpin, Bullseye, and Punisher were also serving time. An attempt at a breakout was made by Black Tarantula. Matt was able to stop Fisk and Bullseye and saved the warden. He and Punisher then escaped.
The impostor was confronted, revealing himself as Iron Fist and that he had been hired to do so. The two and Ben Urich searched for information. The employer seemed to be an injured but very much alive Foggy Nelson.
Daredevil then set out to Europe to trace the figure who had had Foggy killed and employed a fake Daredevil. Much to his surprise, this was the Kingpin's wife Vanessa Fisk, who was dying after she killed her son and wanted revenge on Daredevil, who, along with Kingpin, she blamed for her situation. She offered to solve his secret identity problems once and for all if Matt would corrupt himself by fighting as a lawyer to free Kingpin from prison. Matt refused, but Vanessa had already set her plan in motion, having the FBI director who imprisoned Daredevil killed, leaving a suicide note saying he had framed Matt. Matt was able to return to his life in New York City, reunited with Foggy and Milla. Matt decided to honor Vanessa's last wish out of respect for the person she used to be before the Kingpin's influence corrupted her and had the charges against the Kingpin revoked, although he lost his U.S. citizenship and left the country. Vanessa died of her terminal illness.
Hell to Pay
With the charges against him for being Daredevil cleared, Matt decided to move his office to a new location due to constant threats from his enemies and resumed his life as a lawyer with Foggy and Becky Blake where their law firm would not be listed in the phone book and take referrals only to help avoid being easily located. Matt also moved to a different apartment as well. Disaster struck when he went up against the new crime boss The Hood. Mister Fear who was working with him at the time, poisoned Milla with a psychedelic drug which he did with the help of Lily Lucca, a young woman in love with Matt whom he met while in Europe. This put Milla into a mental institution with Matt accepting the fact that he ruined Milla's life when Mr. Fear told him there was no cure for her.
Out of grief for what happened, Murdock accidentally had sex with Dakota North and recently he went up against Lady Bullseye and The Hand, where in her civilian disguise as a Lawyer, Lady Bullseye showed the pictures of Matt and Dakota together to Milla's parents, resulting in them being granted full custody of their daughter with Matt regretting that he had betrayed his wife. Matt decided to sign for divorce.
The Devil's Hand
A drunken, blind and immortal sensei Master Izo targeted Murdock in his war against The Hand - and Murdock was forced to team up with his old enemy; the Kingpin to take the Hand down. However, the price that was paid for this, is that this agreement combined with his ever-growing irrational behavior resulted in Foggy firing Matt from the firm when he found out about the arrangement. The Kingpin attempted to betray him, but Murdock beat him and his assassin, Lady Bullseye, and seized control of the Hand, with Izo's help on the condition that they are to never be involved with either Lady Bullseye or the Kingpin again.
Lady Bullseye, sent by the Kingpin, killed two associates of Norman Osborn, H.A.M.M.E.R. director and leader of the superhuman community. Enraged, Osborn sent his to assassin, Hawkeye (the original Bullseye), to kill Daredevil, whom he suspected was responsible for the kill. Bullseye lured Daredevil to a trap, detonating a bomb in an apartment building full of families that were holding out against an OsCorp development site.
Pushed to the brink by Osborn and Bullseye's acts, Daredevil rallied his associates in The Hand to "send a message" - and take back the streets of New York from Osborn's corruption. He then traveled to Japan to unite the five warlords of the Hand while a splinter group worked to corrupt his soul. Murdock returned to New York City and built a large fortress over the spot where Bullseye destroyed the apartment building and called it Shadowland.
When Daredevil erected his fortress, it began to unsettle some of the heroes, like the Avengers. Bullseye entered the fortress and challenged Murdock to a battle. Murdock arrived dressed in a new black Daredevil costume and ordered a group of ninjas to attack. Bullseye defeated all of these ninjas, but soon faced Murdock himself. Murdock brutally broke both his arms and then used a sai to stab Bullseye through the chest; effectively killing him. Although Daredevil was possessed by The Beast due to actions by Snakeroot, it is unclear whether Bullseye's murder was an action of Daredevil's own will. After the final battle- where he was cured of the Beast thanks to Iron Fist striking him with a 'chi punch' that healed the spiritual damage the Beast had caused to his soul-, Matt left New York on a journey to mentally re-train himself that would place him back on the right path by rediscovering himself, while Black Panther took over his role as the protector of Hell's Kitchen.
During that same time, Matt wandered in Mexico to escape his life as a hero, but despite his best effort to stay out of heroics, he ended up foiling a corrupt police force operating in the small New Mexico town, saving its residents in the process and defeating a local drug lord named Calavera whom the cops were working for. Though Calavera's mysterious telepathic abilities which exploited Murdock's fears of his past mistakes, this ordeal left him reassured in himself, his abilities and his duties as Daredevil, after which he was able to defeat Calavera. Matt since then had made his way back to New York City to rebuild both his superhero and legal careers.