I respect Daredevil, I even like him. I like Matt Murdock better. The determined lawyer, the smooth talker, and the overachiever who never stops trying to make his father proud – he’s so… well, human.
It’s taken me too long to include superhero comics with the independent titles in my pull list. One reason for the decision is because I felt like I could better relate to characters in indie comics, and that it wasn’t the same for superhero stories. I want to be dazzled by amazing powers, sure, but I want something real I can connect to. That makes the reading experience more enjoyable for me. However, my reasoning was faulty. Characters like Matt Murdock are changing my mind with every issue, and my heart is expanding to include more characters in costume.
I’m learning that there are often humans under the outfit, utility belt, and weapons. Humans just like you and me who have been changed by extraordinary circumstances. Matt was blinded in his youth and gained super senses. The act of his father being killed was the catalyst for him to become Daredevil. He embraced the identity. He might have put the costume on out of a sense of responsibility at first, and though I think some of that is still there, I think he mostly is Daredevil because he enjoys it.
Some heroes take the alter ego part literally and change personalities as soon as they slip on the mask. Matt Murdock gains seemingly infinite confidence when he leaps above the streets as Daredevil. The cares of the world fall away. He doesn’t have to worry about letting down his father’s memory, about upsetting Foggy because they’ve love the same woman, about hurting the people he’s close too, etc. He truly becomes the Man Without Fear. A lot of Matt is still present once the costume’s on, but it’s like all his traits are exaggerated into overdrive.
The slightly quieter Matt is more appealing to me. He’s not always easy to be friends with, but he generally cares about the people in his life. They change almost as quickly as you turn the page; Foggy is the one constant. Despite that constant fluctuation and losing many loves, he doesn’t stop himself from starting new friendships and relationships. That takes some bravery. As does his entire life. His other senses may be heightened, but he’s still blind. He still moves through a world without eyes. Yet he keeps going. He keeps fighting.
I also like that he’s confident enough as Matt to do things like flirt with women at bars (Daredevil of course doesn’t have any fear in that arena either). He’s not weak without the costume. He doesn’t use it as a crutch or wear it like a heavy chip on his shoulder. At heart, Matt’s a good person. The kind of person who takes blind children on field trips. It wouldn’t hurt any of us to be a little more like Matt Murdock.