Why I love Matt Murdock

by Kalem Lalonde on March 16, 2015

Hello CTG readers! To prepare for Daredevil’s upcoming Netflix series, we here at CTG will be writing various pieces on the character. Everything from retrospectives on our favourite runs, to more personal articles about Matt Murdock. To kick off our Daredevil coverage, we have an article about why I personally connect to Matt Murdock and why he is my favourite Marvel hero. Enjoy, and stay tuned to Comics: The Gathering for more Daredevil coverage!

Matthew Murdock.

It’s really hard to think of a character I feel more attached to.

When I was a kid, I breezed through a lot of comics. My favourite hero was Spider-Man and I remember looking through a Spider-Man comic that my mom’s boyfriend had given me. I saw Daredevil. It was weird. Why would a superhero dress up like a devil? I was immediately captivated by this character. Shortly after, he became my favourite hero. There was always something that made me feel attached to Matt.

I picked up comics again about 3 years ago when my life wasn’t going so well. I wanted to find somewhere I could escape and shun the world around me. In bad times I had the idea to get back into superheroes. Like a lot of people, I was looking for an inspiration, something to look up to. I read a lot of comics, Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and I liked them all. But I still couldn’t find a flawless escape, or inspiration. I never found what I was looking for in those comics.

Then I found Born Again. I looked at the cover and I remembered Daredevil, I remembered him from my childhood and I was so enticed by him.

I recall the first time I read Born Again and saw Daredevil rise from the flames after having faced the greatest challenge of his life. I saw it as a resurrection. It touched me like no other book had. I connected to it in a way that would make me fall in love with Matt Murdock’s character forever.

There are so many reasons why I love Matthew Murdock but I don’t want to go into all of them. There is one fundamental aspect of his character that has made me come back to him over and over again all these years. To go deep enough into this character trait, we have to go all the way back to Jack Murdock and Matt’s childhood.

Matt was born into a family of three that struggled to get food on the table for their little boy. Then his mom left him for unknown reasons (until the Waid run), so he was left alone in the world with his dad. Jack Murdock. I don’t care what he thinks of himself, I like Jack. In the Man Without Fear, Jack keeps telling Matt that he’s sorry that he’s a scumbag and he doesn’t want Matt to be anything like him.

What admirable courage in a man. He’s an alcoholic and a criminal and he looks at himself in the mirror and sees exactly what he is. And he has the responsibility to convince his son that he has to be nothing like him. If it were any other parent, he would neglect his son and mistreat him, likely turning Matt into a supervillain. But even if Jack loathed himself, he found the goodness to love his son and aspire well for him. He cared. He might not have been a good person but Jack Murdock cared.

His death is the single most touching moment between a father and son in any comic I have ever read. Jack decided in his final moments that he would show Matt that his dad never gives up. But what doesn’t he give up on? He’s obviously given up on himself a long time ago. It is Matt. Jack will never give up on trying to make Matt a good person. And so he ignored the fixers. He ignored the threat. He ignored his own life just to show Matt that he loves him. 

Matt didn’t directly know of Jack’s sacrifice but I think that subconsciously, somewhere deep within his mind, Matt knew. Because he honored what that sacrifice meant.

In Rick Remender’s Captain America run he states that Cap is who he is because he never gives up. Because he always stands up to evil no matter the consequences. While I respect Remener’s vision of Cap, I can’t help think that it’s overshadowed by Matt.

Matt was abandoned by his mom as a child. He lost his sight. He lost his father to crime. He grew up an orphan. He was abandoned by his mentor because he wasn't worthy. He killed an innocent woman on his first Daredevil outing. His first love died on his lap. His house was blown to pieces. He lost Karen Page. He lost his secret identity. He lost his wife.

Matt loses. Constantly. But he’s still a hero.  

That’s why when I grow into an adult, I want to be like Matt Murdock. The amount of tragedies that he has faced is astronomical. Any other human being could have collapse from one of these but Matt has persisted throughout all of them. There are so many reasons why Matt Murdock should have been a supervillain but he stayed good throughout his whole life.

To put it in the Shawshank Redemption’s words, "He crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side." Matt has kept fighting evil throughout his entire life, no matter the consequences, and they were huge. He has fought through his depressive nature and he has willed himself into happiness. Forget the superpowers and forget his intelligence, Matthew Murdock has tenacity. That is why he’ll always stand up to the bullies. That is why he has always been my favourite Marvel hero.
-Kalem, A fan of Matt now and a fan of Matt forever.  



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