7 Worst Things That Have Ever Happened To Daredevil In Marvel Comics

Though Marvel's Daredevil initially started as a more upbeat, adventurous, and swashbuckling superhero, comic book artist and writer Frank Miller redefined the character with gritty, crime-noir undertones. As such, the Man Without Fear got some incredible story arcs that simultaneously put the hero through the wringer.

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Fans often cite him as one of the comic publisher's characters who has received the most grueling punishment throughout their vast mythos. These tragedies have often come in the form of the deaths of loved ones, leaked secrets, and his arch-nemesis Kingpin systematically dismantling his life.

Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada's Guardian Devil is undoubtedly one of Daredevil's darkest comics for its tragic final act. The overarching premise of the arc was already grim, but the death of Karen Page was one of the most brutal and emotionally resonant things to happen in Matt Murdock's life. Surprisingly, it's also a rare case of comics sticking by their word and letting dead characters remain that way.

It's a brutal loss that affected him so deeply that it was still a mental block of his throughout Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's acclaimed run on the Daredevil series. On top of the death itself, the way she was killed was even more insulting. Karen was murdered by Bullseye using one of Daredevil's signature billy clubs. Despite the controversial use of Karen as a character, Guardian Devil is regarded as an essential read for understanding his lore.

Similarly, but to an admittedly lesser extent, the death of Elektra not long after the anti-hero debuted was a landmark moment in Daredevil's life. The assassin resurfaced into Matt's world and ended up locked in battle with Bullseye over who has the right to be Wilson Fisk/Kingpin's top assassin, which was captured in one of the most iconic Daredevil comic book covers.

Bullseye murdered her using one of her sai, with Elektra mustering whatever strength she had left to drag herself to Matt's apartment before dying in his arms. It happened well before Karen's death in the '90s, and while cruel, Elektra did have the benefit of being resurrected later on by the Hand. Interestingly enough, she was initially intended to be a one-off character for that arc in Miller's run.

As is the case with many superhero characters, Matt Murdock's origins came with plenty of tragedy. One of Daredevil's original setbacks was the assassination of his father, Jack Murdock. "Battlin' Jack Murdock" was a professional boxer and single father to Matt after the latter's mother mysteriously left them, and Jack met his untimely end after he refused to take a dive ordered by the Irish mob.

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They lived in a troubled neighborhood, as they stayed in the Irish slums of Hell's Kitchen. From then on, he was effectively orphaned, and it's what inspired him to take up a legal profession. However, once Matt saw how the law doesn't always favor what's just, he was moved to create and don the Daredevil persona.

The aforementioned Bendis and Maleev run on Daredevil proved to be one of his greatest comics ever. It's exceptionally high praise given how so many writers like Miller, Nocenti, Brubaker, Waid, and now Zdarsky have made Daredevil the most consistently well-written heroes in comics.

A pivotal point in this run was the Out plotline, which sees Matt Murdock's identity as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen get leaked by a desperate FBI agent. This kicked off a brutal year-long slog of Matt and Foggy being swarmed by the press and the public of Hell's Kitchen to get the two to slip up and legally admit that Murdock and Daredevil are one.

Even before Jack Murdock's death, Matt was already burdened with the disadvantage of missing one of his parents. Not long after Matt's birth, Margaret Grace succumbed to post-partum depression and ran away from her family out of fear that they wouldn't be safe with her around, with the tipping point being when she attempted to assault an infant-aged Matt Murdock. But it wasn't until the Born Again arc that the now-Daredevil discovers that Sister Maggie was his mother.

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It was a straining set of circumstances for everyone involved, but it was a tragically resonant piece of social commentary on the traumatizing aftermath inflicted upon a child from having a parent abandon them. Likewise, though, it served as equally important commentary to shine a light on the importance of mental health and dealing with something as sensitive as depression.

Also during Miller's acclaimed Born Again arc, Matt Murdock experiences one of the most thorough systematic dissections of his life. Unsurprisingly, Wilson Fisk once again serves as the dark architect of Matt's sorrowful life. After Karen sells Daredevil's secret identity out of desperation, it eventually finds its way upward to Kingpin in New York.

Having the most powerful weapon against his arch-rival imaginable, he frames Murdock as a murderer, his bank forecloses his apartment, and Kingpin has his apartment firebombed for good measure. Born Again shows fans a Daredevil that is angrier and more vengeful than before, gradually descending further into a blind rage. Kingpin even leaves just enough of Matt's suit intact to let him know he has the now-destitute lawyer's life in a vice grip. The three succeeding images of this scene have become one of Daredevil's most iconic comic book panels.

Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto's current run on Daredevil is being celebrated not only as one of the titular hero's finest stories, but the best in contemporary comic books as a whole. The run opens with one of the most genuine stakes the character has faced, which speaks volumes considering what he's had to deal with in prior runs.

After the climactic events of the last tale, Daredevil is still recovering physically and shows his wear-and-tear after he finds out he accidentally killed a thief. Given his Batman-like no-killing rule, it presented Matt with a shocking crisis of identity; what he is (and isn't) still capable of, and whether his presence does more harm than good.

NEXT: 7 Comic Book References From The Netflix Daredevil Show

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