YMMV / Daredevil

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  • Broken Base: The post-Secret Wars Daredevil series: Fans might be happy that in the new series Matt is reinstated as a lawyer in New York, Foggy's cancer is seemingly cured, and his civilian identity a secret once more but since it comes from a Cosmic Retcon, it feels more than a little contrived...
    • Not to mention fans of the Lighter and Softer run of the series were disappointed to see a return to a Darker and Edgier tone, uprooting a relatively stable life for Matt in exchange for more tragedy and brooding.
      • The addition of a sidekick for Daredevil was initially a controversial decision, but Blindspot has proven to be a popular character.
  • Complete Monster: Daredevil has fought several abhorrent monsters, but a few have gone the extra mile
    • Besides The Kingpin, Daredevil’s Arch-Enemy is Bullseye. One of the world's most talented, famous and feared assassins, Bullseye has revealed he rarely spends the money from his assassinations, preferring to kill because of the fun involved. Bullseye led a string of murders and assassinations that culminated in the death of his nemesis Daredevil's lover Elektra. Consumed with hatred after being defeated by Daredevil, Bullseye made it a mission to murder any of Daredevil's friends or loved ones, including his later girlfriend Karen Page. After Bullseye was killed by Daredevil and revived, he was rendered a paralyzed invalid in a metal case. In retaliation, Bullseye recruited several killers to his cause and began a systematic campaign to drive Matt insane by threatening the lives of his friends, lovers, ex-wife and anyone he held dear, proving that even being a cripple does nothing to stop his evil or his willingness and ability to destroy whatever Matt loves. When recruited by Norman Osborn, Bullseye took advantage of his position on the Dark Avengers to torment and kill innocents on a whim. Combining sadism with twisted narcissism and Lack of Empathy for anyone, Bullseye sets the standards of evil for hitmen in the Marvel-verse and serves as an inspiration to many of its killers and monsters.
    • Purple Man (aka Zebediah Killgrave) might not have the most intimidating moniker, but he more than makes up for it with what he does. During his first outing he took control of Matt's girlfriend, Karen Page, and tried to rape her. He's only gotten worse since. Later on, revamped by Brian Michael Bendis in his series Alias into an amoral sociopath, Killgrave defeated the young superheroine Jessica Jones and made her his mental slave, forcing her to watch him commit crimes and assist him, while he heaped physical, verbal and mental abuse on her, but stopped short of outright rape because she "wasn't worthy" of him. Not content with humiliating her, he forced her to watch him do things like mentally order people to stop breathing when it annoyed him. He forced Jessica to stand at his bedside and watch as he used his powers to date rape women, helpless to do anything about it. Killgrave is what happens when you give someone who thinks It's All About Me is a code to live by, remove any empathy for other beings, and give them mind control powers and a serious desire to hurt others.
    • The third Mister Fear, Larry Cranston, assumed the identity of Mister Fear after the deaths of the first two holders. A college rival of Matt's, Cranston resents Matt Murdock for having done better in law school than he did, and tries to ruin his life, using fear gas to induce panic attacks in his victims. Following his return in the 90s after a lengthy hiatus, Mister Fear III triggered a prison riot with his fear gas and escaped, leaving numerous dead. He also freed Serial Killer Charles Burroughs and supervillain Molten Man, and caused them to both go on rampages, while framing Karen Page, Matt's then Love Interest for murder to boot (he later executed Burroughs for "going off script"). It was during Ed Brubaker's run, however, that Fear III showed just how low he could go. He provided Lily Lucca with a perfume that permanently altered her body chemistry the men around her to go insane and kill each other, promising to fix her if she aided him (he lied; there is no cure). He then used his fear gas to drive reformed supervillain Melvin Potter/Gladiator into a psychotic break, leading to the deaths of dozens after a rampage through Chinatown. While all this is going on, he takes the place of Milla Donovan—Matt's wife's—psychiatrist, and drives her into a paranoid breakdown, leaving her institutionalised. This is without getting into his discovery that he can use his fear gas (which he now secretes from his pores) to force women to sleep with him, something he does many times through the arc. Effectively impossible to punish, Mister Fear III was last seen in prison, forcing the other inmates to do his work, and raping a female prison guard.
    • Copperhead started off as Lawrence Chesney, son of a man who modeled for the cover of a pulp magazine called Copperhead. Lawrence's father felt the publishers cheated, so after his death Lawrence took the mantle of the Copperhead character and enacted his revenge. Copperhead began killing criminals and killed a cop who tried to stop him, but quickly establishes himself as a creepy Serial Killer, who puts pennies on the eyes of the victims he just killed. After Copperhead killed one of the publishers for revenge, he was stopped from killing the other publisher by Daredevil, and died while fighting him. Copperhead went to hell after he died and made a Deal with the Devil, returning to Earth as an undead lich. At this point, Copperhead, who lost any of his Knight Templar qualities or possible love for his father, and was fueled by a burning hatred of Daredevil, gathered other B-list Daredevil villains (Owl, Gladiator II, and Stilt-Man), and began a violent turf war with The Kingpin, which cost the lives of many people. Copperhead used those deaths as sacrifices to the Devil, gathering power from those deaths and using it transform part of New York into a version of Hell. Copperhead plans to sacrifice Dardevil and Spider-Man to open a portal to Hell and cause the downfall of mankind. Copperhead also torments his allies with nightmarish illusions, intending to do the same the rest of the world.
    • Coyote started off as a small time unnamed criminal, who volunteered for an experiment that would duplicate the powers of the Spot, a D-list teleporting Spider-Man villain. This experiment involved putting Spot into a contraption that causes him pain, in order to power the machine that gives Coyote his powers. Coyote uses his new powers to become a professional criminal contractor. He assassinates a drug lord by teleporting the blood out of his body. He is hired by a Middle Eastern warlord to open up a weapons supply route, which he does by teleporting a moving truck through a blocked off tunnel, killing several of the warlord's men in the process, just for kicks. Bullseye hires Coyote to mess with Daredevil, so Coyote plays mind games with Daredevil and tries to drive him insane, by teleporting his dead father's skull into his desk drawer. Daredevil soon discovers Coyote's most depraved scheme: Coyote manages to use his powers to remove people's heads without killing them, leaving their bodies intact and able to perform tasks. Coyote kidnaps several people and removes their heads, sending out these headless bodies to be slaves. The male bodies are sent off to perform manual labor, while the female bodies are sent out to be sex slaves. This process causes extreme pain to Coyote's victims. When Daredevil manages to free the slaves and Spot, Coyote's former victims want to get revenge and try to kill Coyote.
  • Evil Is Cool: Kingpin, Ikari.
  • Growing the Beard: Under Frank Miller.
  • Ho Yay: Between Matt and Foggy on occasion. Matt isn't generally comfortable with anyone touching him unless it's a girlfriend, or Foggy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kingpin, Depending on the Writer.
    • Also Stilt Man who's such a Butt Monkey it's impossible to not pity him.
    • Gladiator. No matter how hard he tries he just can't escape the supervillain lifestyle.
    • Typhoid is a manipulative, psychotic, and bloodthirsty on par with Wolverine. However, her other personalities only emerged as a coping mechanism for her horrible upbringing; and as a way to protect herself from the seemingly endless abuse. Furthermore, she cannot control the actions of her Typhoid, or Blood Mary, personas; and is often forced to take responsibility for them. More than a few times "Mary" has reemerged to find herself cover in blood, or forcibly institutionalized.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Under Mark Waid's pen, Matt himself has slowly became one. For starters, he beats five of the most feared organizations in the Marvel U to get the Omegadrive, a device that has the location and names of everyone involved in the aforementioned organizations, providing enough evidence to take them down completely, warning them that if any of them come after him or his family he'll take the info to SHIELD and wipe them off the face of the world. Neither can go after him without either facing this threat or making themselves a target to the other organization, their only solution is to work together, something none of them are capable of doing. When Black Spectre breaks rank and goes after it, he acts on his threat, utterly destroying them.
    • Then, as the stress of everyone wanting it gets to the breaking point, Matt arranges for them all to come out and face him for it, only for Black Spectre, the guys who supposedly no longer exist, to come out and utterly beat everyone, taking the device from them. But, its all part of his plan, however, as its not really Black Spectre, its Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Mockingbird, all pretending to be Black Spectre. Now, the whole world thinks that that the guys who no longer exist have he device, meaning they'll turn their attention over to finding them, with no idea that the device is now in the hands of the Fantastic Four.
    • Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin as well. No matter what the hero community does, The Kingpin will always return, more powerful and more in control than ever. A brilliant chessmaster and emotional manipulator, and one of the best non-powered fighters in the Marvel Universe, Fisk's more than a match for Daredevil, and is capable of rolling with any result however unexpected. As "Born Again", "Devil in Cell Block D", "Return of the King", and numerous other arcs demonstrate, he's fully capable of turning any situation to his advantage, regularly hijacking other supervillains' plans, and despite Daredevil's best efforts, can never be put away for good.
  • Memetic Mutation: Matt's crappy life. It is very well known among the comicbook community that Matt has the crappiest life ever. Ever.
    • The "dating Matt" joke, which states that any woman who dates Matt not called Black Widow will meet a horrible fate.
  • My Real Daddy: Frank Miller more or less rebuilt Daredevil from the ground up, introducing most of the elements that readers associate with the character. Acclaimed runs like Brian Michael Bendis' and Ed Brubaker's all build on the foundation that Miller laid, rather than Stan Lee's original version.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Believe it or not, the Spot, as rendered in the first issue of Waid's run by Paolo Rivera. When you see him the way Matt does, you see a creature with chunks bitten out of him.
    • When the Spot shows up again around issue 20 when it's revealed that he's powering the Coyote, it gets even worse.
  • Recycled Premise: The story in Mark Waid's run where Matt thinks a villain is trying to kill Kirsten to get to him, only to find out the villain is targeting Kirsten to kill Kirsten! Waid used the same story in his Flash run with Wally West/The Flash and Linda Park in place of Daredevil and Kirsten, respectively.
  • Stoic Woobie: Matt. As mentioned, his life is hell but he'll pretty much never wangst about it.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Denny O'Neil's run. O'Neil was Frank Miller's direct successor and he just didn't connect with readers the way Miller did. To be fair, Miller had, at that point, basically defined the book, so whoever followed him was probably going to come up short.
    • Ann Nocenti's run. She was the second person to succeed Miller and Miller had basically stripped Daredevil of many of his defining elements, such as his licence to practice law. Fortunately she was able to work wonders by pushing the book in a drastically different and unique direction with atypical villains for the series and exploring different themes.
      • DG Chichester's run, following Nocenti. While he wrote a good story in "The Fall of the Kingpin", after that the book sort of began to deteriorate, ultimately leading to the Iron Devil arc.
  • The Woobie: Matt's crappy life is memetic among comic fans. His mother abandoned him, his father was murdered by the mob, his life is a complete mess from his superheroics, he's had his identity exposed and his life destroyed by the Kingpin, the women he's loved always meet a brutal end if they don't betray him first, and if he ever does find happiness, it will almost certainly be taken away in the most vicious manner possible very quickly.
    • Milla Donovan, Matt's wife for a time. She was driven to insanity by Mister Fear just to spite Matt.

  • Better on DVD: The director's cut is far preferred over the theatrical cut.
  • Complete Monster: Bullseye, like his comic book counterpart, is a swaggering Psycho for Hire who prides himself on his unerring aim and his total lack of regard for human life. Retained by Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk as a troubleshooter, Bullseye is a mess of barely contained violence, who regularly murders in his off time. Over the course of the film he kills a man for insulting him in a bar, chokes an elderly woman to death for talking too much on a plane, murders another man in order to steal his motorcycle, and stabs one of Fisk's guards to death with pencils after deciding he'd rather not go through security. That's in addition to killing Nikolas and Elektra Natchios (and two of their bodyguards) on Fisk's orders, and trying to hunt down an already wounded Daredevil for the heinous crime of making him miss. An arrogant braggart who loves showing off against weaker opponents, and who is reduced to a sniveling wreck when beaten, Bullseye is completely void of redeeming qualities.
  • Critical Backlash: Thanks to the director's cut.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Fittingly for a film about a superhero with enhanced hearing, the music is hugely prominent in the film. The soundtrack is also arguably one of the best collections of Nu Metal ever assembled.
    • Bullseye being introduced with House of Pain's "Top o' the Morning To Ya."
    • Drowning Pool & Rob Zombie's "Man Without Fear," written especially for the film (Although the title being Daredevil's Red Baron probably gave it away) & was Drowning Pool's first song to be released following the death of original frontman Dave Williams in 2002.
    • Fuel's "Won't Back Down"
    • The Calling's "For You," which was written especially for the Daredevil/Elektra ship.
    • Seether's "Hang On."
    • Evanescence's "My Immortal" and "Bring Me To Life" featuring Paul McCoy.
  • Cult Classic: Thanks to the director's cut, this movie now has a cult fanbase who see this as one of Marvel's most underrated movies and that it really needs a sequel.
  • Fridge Brilliance: At the end of the movie, Bullseye hits a fly. In Brazil, the expression "na mosca", which roughly translates into "at the fly", is used for the same meaning Americans say "bullseye".
  • Ham and Cheese: Colin Farrell as Bullseye. Bullseye really enjoys killing people, and it shows in how much Colin's enjoying this role.
    Bullseye: *after being shot in the hands* 'You took me hands! You took away me haaaaands!!!!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: For years, a popular argument from the film's defenders was that knowing Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner met while making the film makes the romance between Matt and Elektra quite sweet to watch. Their nasty breakup means the movie doesn't even have that going for it anymore.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The scene with Matt and Elektra on the rooftop, and Matt's monologue near the end, about how positively Elektra's love has affected him, seems a lot more meaningful now that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are married in Real Life. The fact that they met each other while filming this movie just makes it sweeter. The note about how his life has improved is also given further enforcement with the Career Resurrection that Affleck managed following his decision to go into directing.
    • They're divorcing now, following multiple allegations of Affleck's cheating, gambling and other assorted problems.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The psychopathic and cartoonish criminal that Matt faces down in the film's first act is named Jose Quesada. At the time of the film's release, it was merely one of several ShoutOuts that referenced the names of creators who'd worked on Daredevil's comic book, but in hindsight, after the massive fan revolt against Editor Joe Quesada's ill-received "Civil War" and "Spider-Man: One More Day" storylines, many of the fans who who were left unamused by Quesada's antics tend to find this sequence hilarious. (The fact that Daredevil hunts him down definitely works as a Moment of Awesome for them as well).
    • Kingpin's Race Lift from white in the comics to black in the film, thanks to the little known fact that the character was originally supposed to be black in the comics but was changed to white to avoid accusations of racism.
    • During Daredevil and Bullseye's fight inside the church, a number of bats interrupt after they pull down a pipe in the organ. In 2013, it was announced that Ben Affleck was going to be the new Batman.
    • Affleck's adamance after the film's release (and backlash) that he wouldn't play another superhero.
      Affleck: "By playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero... Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn't want to do again soon."
    • The mere fact that Ben Affleck can now boast having played Batman and his Marvel counterpart Daredevil.
      Honest Trailers: So, settle in, for what's basically Ben Affleck's really disappointing audition to be the next Batman!
    • The film has often been mentioned on This Very Wiki as being similar to and a pioneer for Nolan's Batman films. (Look on this page under Seinfeld Is Unfunny.) Given their adherence to a sense of realism about vigilantism. Maybe Zack Snyder is a troper.
    • Jon Favreau acting in a movie based from a Marvel Comic, years before he would go on to direct two Iron Man films and play Harold "Happy" Hogan in them.
    • Early on, Bullseye jokingly states ''I want a bloody costume.'' Characters not visually resembling their comic book counterparts would become a prevalent complaint through Marvel's later films.
  • Love It or Hate It: The movie is either an underrated and faithful adaptation, or an insult to not only Daredevil fans, but to the general moviewatching audience (who generally didn't like it.) Although the movie has gotten more love thanks to the director's cut.
  • Memetic Mutation: Quoting "Bring Me to Life" in Daredevil discussions, even if they're not about the movie.
  • Moral Event Horizon
    • Murdering Matt's father was already low, framing his former friend and having him killed made it worse, but the Kingpin crosses when he admits to Matt he had Bullseye kill Elektra simply because of his rule to kill off an entire family, or has he puts it "in the wrong family in the wrong time".
    • Bullseye. Killing off an old lady and murdering Elektra's father, framing Daredevil in the process, was bad enough, but he crosses it further when he kills Elektra, all the while taking her down with few hits received, mocking her by hitting on her during the fight and kissing her to add insult to injury while gutting her. (Latter in Director's Cut.)
  • Narm: A big complaint is that the acrobatics are hard to take seriously, thanks to the obvious special effects, the most cited being Daredevil somehow leaping off the top of a skyscraper, falling several floors, and landing on a window cleaner's platform... Somehow not breaking his legs in the process.
    • Many lines from Bullseye, particularly "He... made me... miss."
    • Most of Jennifer Garner's fight scenes fall into this, especially her practice session against a dozen helpless sandbags.
      • Plus her breathless delivery of "Liar!" like she's in a shampoo commercial.
    • The young Matt fighting back against a bully by lightly slapping his face with his cane.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Whatever the film's faults, it does do something rare for a comic book film in that, unlike Spider-man and the X-Men, it can make you forget you're watching a comic book adaption. Some scenes feel like they're from a different film (in the best possible sense). It's only when Bullseye shows up it starts to slip (it's not easy to make a realistic film involving a man who can go on killing sprees with paper clips and peanuts). Since other films, most notably Christopher Nolan's Batman films and the eventual Daredevil Netflix series, have done this more successfully, Daredevil is unlikely to get credit for trying it first.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Kingpin being black is a notable aversion; most feel that, regardless of race, Michael Clarke Duncan turned in such a great performance that it wasn't a problem.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Foggy Nelson was Demoted to Extra in the theatrical version. Averted with the director's cut which has a lot of scenes developing his and Matt's friendship.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Elektra thinking Daredevil killed her father could have been stretched out longer. She could've gone to Fisk to get his help, working for him in the process along with working with Bullseye, the man who killed her father. Instead, it's resolved within 10 minutes and gets killed.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Ben Affleck took great care to provide a respectful portrayal of a blind person, including wearing blinding contact lenses for all the scenes that didn't require complex physicality from him. All the little things we see him doing to get ready for his regular day at the beginning of the film, such as braille tags on clothing, dollar bills in braille-labeled boxes, folding the bills in different ways to be able to tell the denominations apart, are all Truth in Television.
  • Tough Act to Follow: With the death of Michael Clark Duncan, the producers of the Netflix series version likely decided that there was no point trying to find other qualified actor as big as him to be the Kingpin and decided to cast Vincent D'Onofrio to play Wilson another way. Thankfully, D'Onofrio turned in a performance that won almost everyone over.
  • Values Dissonance: Now that we have Action Girls aplenty in all kinds of entertainment, it's pretty weird to see Matt be so utterly mystified at the concept of a woman who knows martial arts. Though, its very likely that Matt wasn't so much amazed that a girl could fight so much as he was that anyone could fight as well as she did, given how well she did during their fight.
  • Vindicated by History: Many fans and critics left cold by the theatrical cut were far more receptive to the Directors Cut which reinstated a lot of the classic elements of the comics (Matt's Catholic faith and his legal skills). It is now considered a decent film, and the 2008 Blu Ray release conspicuously lacks the theatrical cut of the film, with the director's cut in its place - and notably, nowhere on the case is it stated that it's the director's cut of the film.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: All-American Jennifer Garner as a Greek? Indian-American Erick Avari as her father? Hm? At least Micheal Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin makes sense: even if he's black, he's huge and intimidating, and that's what's important.
    • In Erick Avari's case, it leads to many What the Hell Is That Accent? moments. Very jarring, considering Elektra is a second/third generation immigrant, therefore her accent, not to mention her command of the Greek language, should be worse than his.