Protecting the people of Hell’s Kitchen since 1964, the Man Without Fear has been a consistent part of the Marvel Universe. While he is not seen as a heavyhitter on the level of Captain America, Spider-Man or Thor; Daredevil has carved out his own niche in this world of superheroes. An undisputed fan favorite character, Daredevil is often cast as the biggest player in the community of Marvel’s urban-based superheroes. Beyond the comic pages, Horn-Head has been brought to both the big and small screen plenty of times. While he may not have saved New York from Loki who assembled against Thanos he can always be counted on to fight more grounded baddies or provide legal representation to his fellow heroes.
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk: After the classic Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno Incredible Hulk wrapped up two made-for-TV-films were produced to further the adventures of Jade Jaws. The second of which featured David Banner put on trial for his crimes as the Hulk, and the lawyer tasked with defending him is none other than Matt Murdock. Eventually the two have to put aside their difference and team-up in their superhero alter egos to stop the Kingpin (played by the great John Rhys Davies). The Trial of Incredible Hulk is most famous for introducing Daredevil’s black ninja-style costume which while ridiculed at the time has gained acceptance thanks to its use during Frank Miller’s comic run and the hit Netflix series.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends “Attack of the Arachnoid”: This Saturday morning cartoon favorite featured Spider-Man, teaming up every week with Ice Man and Firestar to battle supervillains and get into roommate hijinks. This particular episode sees Spidey framed by the Arachnoid and arrested. Of course, his attorney in this matter is none other than Matt Murdock though he only appears in costume in the briefest of flashbacks.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series “Framed” and “The Man Without Fear”: When a dense Peter Parker happily takes a job working for Wilson Fisk he ends up framed for treason. In need of a good lawyer, like everyone else in the superhero community he turns to Matt Murdock. Beyond the courtroom, Murdock’s red-costumed alter ego jumps into the fray as he searches for a mysterious crime boss known as the Kingpin. Together Spider-Man and Daredevil unravel a grand conspiracy crafted by Fisk. While done in melodramatic fashion, this two-parter not only gives us the origin of Daredevil but also the Kingpin. Though he is lacking his trademark “lie detector: ability this is the perfect introduction to the character for young fans.
Fantastic Four “And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them”: When Marvel’s First Family loses their powers in battle against Doctor Doom they find themselves at a loss. In need to someone to guide them now that they are powerless but still need to fight supervillain, The Thing’s girlfriend Alicia Masters asks her friend Matt Murdock to help them out and luckily he has a “friend” who can do just that. As Doctor Doom takes the battle to the Fantastic Four in New York, Daredevil steps up to help them out with his radar senses and resourcefulness. Naturally a guy who is good and acrobatics and martial arts may not have the easiest time fighting the greatest supervillain in the Marvel Universe, but he does teach Mr. Fantastic and crew how to adapt.
Daredevil (2003): This film hit right at the start of the superhero movie craze and for many in the mainstream served as their introduction to the Man Without Fear. Ben Affleck leads a star-studded cast of Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, and one of the architects of the modern MCU, Jon Favreau. Crusading lawyer Matt Murdock battles crime by night as Daredevil but his life becomes complicated when he falls in love with Elektra Natchios. His life as Murdock and Daredevil collide when Elektra becomes targeted by the Kingpin and his assassin Bullseye. The influence of the source material is all over this film and if you feel the need to watch it, be sure to check out the Director’s Cut for a far superior film experience.
Daredevil (2015-2018): With the Marvel Cinematic Universe tearing it up on the big screen, streaming giant Netflix wanted in on the action by bringing the smaller scale heroes to life on their platform. Kicking it all off is the best Daredevil adaptation to date starring Charlie Cox as the Man Without Fear trying to protect his community from the Kingpin played to absolute perfection by Vincent D’Onofrio. For three seasons the long-suffering hero protected Hell’s Kitchen both in the courtroom and behind a mask. Daredevil became an instant hit introducing a darker side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To this day fans clamor for this show to find new life on Disney +.
The Defenders: Netflix laid the groundwork with a group of superheroes operating around New York and the next step was to bring on a threat so grand they would have to unite against it. In the heart of New York City the ninja clan known as the Hand is preparing to unleash their greatest attack ever. This draws the attention of Daredevil along with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist. The Defenders not only stands as it’s own epic mini-series but also a follow-up to four of the five Netflix Marvel shows (sorry Punisher). In the end their little pocket of the superhero world is changed forever and sets up perfectly for the final season of Daredevil.
Spider-Man: No Way Home: After years of fans making their wishes known, Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock finally appeared in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a few brief moments he gets to demonstrate his radar abilities and his skills as a lawyer. Deleted scenes were even filmed featuring Murdock representing Happy Hogan who is ironically portrayed by Jon Favreau from the 2003 Daredevil film.