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YMMV: Daredevil

The Comic Book:

  • 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. When recruited by Norman Osborn, Bullseye took advantage of his position on the Dark Avengers to torment and kill innocents on a whim. After Bullseye was killed by Daredevil and revived, he was rendered a paralyzed invalid in a metal case. 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. 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—psychatrist, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and ultimately pushed the book in a different and unique direction.
      • 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.

The Film:

  • 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 just as big a part of this movie as the costumes or the background sets.
    • 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.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Michael Clarke Duncan plays Kingpin to perfection in this movie and many cite him as the best part.
  • 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!!!!
  • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The psychotic 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, a lot of the Quesada-haters (and even a lot of people who don't mind Quesada) probably find this sequence hilarious (and the fact that Daredevil hunts him down is probably a considered a Moment of Awesome by the Quesada-haters).
    • 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.
    • 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 onto direct Iron Man
  • Love It or Hate It: The movie is either an underrated and faithful adaptation, or an insult to not only Daredevil fans, but to humanity itself (those people didn't like it.) Although the movie has gotten more love thanks to the director's cut.
  • 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Ellen Pompeo as Karen Page.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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,

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