Daredevil was the perfect character to headline the Netflix stable of Marvel superheroes for serialized television. For one thing, he didn’t have crazy superpowers that would require crazy special effects the way, say Avengers: Infinity War had. The CGI budget on that one alone is probably more than a whole season of Daredevil!
Additionally, Matt Murdock is an extremely relatable, street-level guy who is almost ordinary in many ways. He’s not an Iron Man-style billionaire, nor a godlike Thor character, or even a cosmic Captain Marvel type. The dude is an attorney, a native New Yorker, who grew up blue collar, worked hard, and became a lawyer. On top of all that, he is an inspirational model for those who overcome adversity despite physical disabilities, even if his blindness is superseded by his radar sense.
The show became a hit, and with season 3 upon us, there is still plenty to like about it. Unfortunately, despite being enjoyable, the series is far from perfect. In some small ways – and in some very big ways – the show messed up some key elements of who Matt Murdock is, his superpower, and even his appearance. These are the problems that many fans must simply overlook in order to enjoy what is a legitimately very good TV series about the Man Without Fear. Nothing's perfect, but pointing out problems with Daredevil can give us a better understanding of the show.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Daredevil We All Choose to Ignore!
20 His Eyes Were Burned by Toxic Chemicals, but They Look Perfect
Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil on the Netflix series, is also an accomplished actor with a ruggedly handsome face. It may be for this reason that producers chose not to disfigure Daredevil’s eyes for the show. This seems like a glaring mistake when we all recall that he was blinded by chemical burns, resulting in no permanent scars!
Being blinded that way would almost definitely bleach the color out of the eyeballs, or at least leave the unseeing orbs less than perfect.
Not so on Netflix; Cox’s hazelnut peepers don’t even look in the wrong direction. It’s distracting and kind of hurts the idea of a sightless avenger.
19 He Can See in the Dark, But Rarely Uses That to His Advantage
In the comic books, and even in the dismal Ben Affleck version of Daredevil, Matt Murdock often uses darkness to his advantage. After all, he can virtually see in the dark while most of his adversaries cannot. It’s very common for him to use his billy club to smash lightbulbs, or even just flick off the switch in a room. In the Netflix series, he does this only a couple of times, allowing his foes to stage battles in areas where he has no leg up on them at all.
It’s not just about fights. He could sneak away from people, break into places, or simply hide safely in the pitch-black dark.
18 His identity is still secret
This problem is not exclusive to Daredevil, but there’s plenty of reasons to single him out for it. In the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, the choice was made early to not give most superheroes secret identities. Spider-Man may be the only major exception. While it’s up for debate why that happened, it does help us ignore a huge plot hole in any of these stories.
In the age of cell phones and cameras just about everywhere, there’s no way anybody could hide their secret identity.
That’s especially true for Matt Murdock, who doesn’t even have massive metahuman powers. He would have been outed in public long ago.
17 He Can Identify People by Their Heartbeat, but Rarely Does
One of the coolest things that Daredevil can do is use his super-hearing to actually identify individual people by the sound of their heartbeat, much in the way most of us can tell who is speaking by the sound of their voices. In the comics, Matt Murdock often guessed superhero secret identities in this way, but always kept those secrets.
On the Netflix show, Daredevil could be saving himself a whole lot of trouble by using this ability a lot more often than he does. He could figure out who hidden foes are, follow people around even if he’s not within “sight” of them, and probably even solve a mystery or two on the way. It’s another great plot device which the writers of the show should consider employing more often than they have.
16 He Should Have a Lot More Broken Bones
The whole idea of the Netflix heroes, even superpowered ones like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist is that they are “street-level” heroes. This is supposed to allow for a little more realism than we might get in, say, Justice League or Wonder Woman.
While Matt Murdock says he meditates to increase his healing, that doesn't explain why he takes on so little damage in the first place.
Besides the beatings he gets, this man falls off buildings, gets slammed into walls by villains, and gets thrown through the air. Sure, he bleeds, he bruises, and perhaps cracks a rib or two, but in real life, this guy would be covered in casts, with more bones broken than Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable!
15 His Face is Covered in Bruises, but People Still Trust Him as a Lawyer
So there you are in court. You’ve got some serious charges laid on you. A serious potential sentence hangs over you for robbery, illicit substances, or perhaps assault. The only thing standing between you and three to five years in prison is a smart, tough attorney who is going to cop a plea and ensure you won’t have to do time. In walks Matt Murdock. He’s got a black eye, a broken nose, ten stitches over his brow, and his arm in a sling. Still feeling confident about your lawyer? Of course you’re not.
The clients in Daredevil seem to overlook his smashed face. Some gentle advice if ever this comes to pass for you in real life: request the court grant you a new attorney!
14 He Teams Up with The Punisher
Matt Murdock is a passionate lawyer. Matt Murdock respects the law. Matt Murdock is devout in his spiritual faith. Matt Murdock believes nobody has the right to take the life of another. But Daredevil hangs around with the Punisher. The Punisher shoots people, he stabs people, he blows people up, and they're never coming back from his brand of violence.
Clearly, Frank Castle has committed many mortal sins.
Obviously, they are allied in this war on crime, but at least in the comics, Punisher often uses “mercy bullets” which hurt but don’t end lives. This moral contradiction for Murdock is blatant and hard to ignore.
13 He Wants to Protect Karen, but Tells Her He’s Daredevil
No superhero wants their arch villains to know where they live and come for them in their sleep, but there’s another more important consideration. Once evildoers know who you are, they can go after your loved ones. So it’s very, very important to maintain that secret, especially from said loved ones. In trying to help you, they may inadvertently expose you and put themselves at risk.
Regardless of this very good practice, Matt Murdock confesses to his gal pal Karen Page that he is indeed Daredevil. This is a terrible move, making Daredevil less of a selfless superhero and more of a needy slouch.
12 He betrays his faith
We are not here to judge others, lest we be judged. But Matt Murdock makes a very big deal out of his faith, and when he goes against it, it’s fair to call him out.
Just looking at the Ten Commandments, there are some important rules that Daredevil breaks.
Obviously, he’s lying just about all the time about who he is and what he does. Then there’s that whole thing about “thou shalt not commit adultery,” but he is surely far from alone in that regard. Most interestingly, this superhero seems to be involved with a cult led by his mentor Stick, which absolutely delves into black magic and alternate deities. It would quite interesting to listen in on the more candid parts of his confession!
11 For a Selfless Guy, He's Very Selfish
As is the case with a lot of superheroes, Daredevil can be pretty self-righteous. Seeing himself in that whole “with great power comes great responsibility” thing, he’s extra straight-laced through his worship of the rule of law and defense of the weak. However, Matt Murdock can be short-tempered, deceitful, and incredibly selfish. W
hen he puts his own life on the line, he often places those close to him in danger.
Yet, he’s often dismissive of friends and allies alike, opting to be prideful and rejecting help when he desperately needs it. This is tough to reconcile with the persona he projects. Maybe he got hit in the head once too many times.
10 He Really Should Use the Police Force More
Over the years in the vast mythology of superheroes, our favorite masked vigilantes often had tricky relationships with cops. Many are treated as criminals and can never count the police as allies. Batman, on the other hand, is close pals with Commissioner Gordon and even coordinates supervillain-takedowns with the Gotham PD. Somewhere in between lies Daredevil, who isn’t that cozy with a high official, but does have his allies among the police.
He should be tapping into this more often, especially when fighting those enemies who don't have superpowers that would endanger the cops. Once again, this may be the sin of pride.
9 Matt Treats Foggy Like Dirt
If anyone refers to someone else as their “best friend,” they hopefully treat that person much better than Matt Murdock treats Foggy Nelson. The two have been pals since they met in university, partnered up to start their own law practice, and trust each other implicitly. Except that Matt doesn’t.
Even after Foggy learns the truth and tries to help his old pal, Murdock is mean to him, rejects him, and hurts his feelings.
Down the line, Matt breaks his word to Foggu, doesn’t show up when promised, and clearly doesn’t appreciate how lucky he is to have a buddy like Foggy.
8 Ninjas Should Be Better at Fighting
Let's take a look at The Hand. We have here a veritable army of highly trained assassins, apparently with some supernatural forces giving them additional advantages, and yet Daredevil sometimes seems to bowl them over like so many pins in a lane, just a little too easily.
We get it – this is a comic book thing, and filmmakers can’t stage every fight perfectly. Still, it seems like Matt should have faced a lot more close shaves and used more innovative tactics to get past such an elite fighting force. With a little more choreography, those battles could have been much more entertaining and believable.
7 Kingpin Says He Wants to Save Hell’s Kitchen, but Creates Crime
Vincent D'Onofrio probably provides the single best performance of any actor on Daredevil. His take on Wilson Fisk (aka The Kingpin) carries incredible gravitas and we fall for i hook, line and sinker-- except for this whole “I want to save Hell’s Kitchen” routine he often spouts.
Supposedly, his neighborhood revitalization plan is meant to prop up The Kitchen and ensure its economic future.
In order to do this, he gets involved with organized crime, which, last we checked, is usually not really a good thing for any neighborhood. If he was saying that just for optics, it would make sense. but he seems to believe it himself and that’s just weird!
6 The Daredevil costume
Hollywood often seems to have a problem with superhero costumes. Rather than just following the incredible designs from the source material, many times heroes' signature suits become more "realistic," which usually means generic and basic.
For the Daredevil series, it was seemingly decided Matt Murdock can’t just have cool clothes. There needed to have some kind of functionality, so his outfit it was designed to have “armor” and ended up looking like something that belonged in an odd European fashion show than in the middle of a fight. It looks clunk and doesn’t seem to offer much armored protection. We wish they just stuck to the garish but lovable spandex tights from the comics!
5 He's so disconnected from other MCU heroes
There seems to be some measure of ambiguity about whether or not the Netflix universe really exists within the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Officially, it is, but other than a few scant references – like conversations about “the Incident” that happened in the first Avengers movie – there’s no crossover or meaningful interaction with the film version of Hulk, Spider-Man or even Black Widow, who was Matt Murdock’s girlfriend in the comics.
While it may be too much to see a guest appearance from one of those stars, it would be nice to see a little more robust presence, even if it’s just seeing Iron Man fly by once in a while!
4 He Survived the End of The Defenders
As already mentioned, it’s unlikely that a normal human being like Matt Murdock would get through his many battles without fracturing a whole bunch of his bones. At the end of the first season of The Defenders, an event occurs which truly stretches believability. The gathered heroes – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist – are engaged in a final, subterranean conflict with the Hand, kicking ninja butt and taking names.
When it’s all over, the whole underground hideout is about to be blown up, and Matt Murdock insists upon staying behind in an effort to save Elektra. His allies leave him behind and an incredible explosion occurs. The kind nobody would come out alive from. Daredevil does in the end, and that’s just tough to believe.
3 He’s Really Bad at Stopping Crime
Nobody can truly wipe out crime forever. It’s not a single confrontation of good vs. evil, but a never-ending fight where you see some wins and some losses. When it comes to Daredevil, he tends to lose a lot more than he wins. Yes, he puts the Kingpin behind bars, but when he goes to confront Wilson Fisk in jail during season two, it’s very obvious Fisk is still building a criminal empire from prison. As mentioned, he does little to stop The Punisher, The Hand isn’t really defeated, and Hell’s Kitchen still faces an incredible amount of violence.
Is this guy really making a difference out there?
We know Daredevil is gritty and serialized, but the writers might want to throw Murdock a few more wins.
2 Stick's training wasn't that effective
Daredevil’s mentor is a mysterious old man named Stick. He is also blind, as well as an incredible fighter with an uncanny ability to beat people up. Along with Elektra, he trained Matt Murdock, whom he praises as one of his best students.
There’s just one problem with all this: Daredevil gets the stuffing kicked out of him all the time. This would make sense if he was facing superpowered villains way out of his league, but he’s usually not. Instead, regular humans get in their shots like Matt Murdock wasn't trained by the incredibly powerful leader of the Chaste.
1 Hell’s Kitchen Has Been a Good Neighborhood for Years
For those who know the publication history of Daredevil comics, it’s no secret that he wasn’t exactly the most popular character in the Marvel bullpen. Multiple creative teams have tweaked his storyline from traditional supervillains to sci-fi type adversaries, and there was even a stretch of horror-like situations. It was only when the legendary Frank Miller took over that Daredevil became the character we know today: the gritty defender of Hell’s Kitchen.
In the 1980s, when Miller wrote the comic, that neighborhood was scary, crime-ridden, and in need of help.
Fast forward to today, and you ahve to be a millionaire to afford a decent apartment over there. It’s tough to watch the Netflix series now and believe that Hell’s Kitchen still lives up to its nefarious hype!
What other problems with Daredevil do fans ignore? Let us know in the comments!