Matt Murdock isn’t afraid to show his feelings. Well, except for the whole “I love Karen, but I don’t want to tell her how I feel and I’d rather just keep wondering if she feels the same way” bit from the beginning issues. So perhaps he’s a bit angst-ridden, but he’s hardly devoid of feeling. He comes off as the swashbuckling, romantic type; that side shows a little more when he’s in costume, but he’s flirtatious as Matt Murdock too. Strip away all that pretense, and Matt’s actually had a fair number of serious relationships.
Some of the women, like Karen Page, fell for Daredevil first. And why not? A costume adds allure, and an acrobatic hero in spandex literally sweeping you off your feet and out of the path of danger only strengthens attraction. It’s easy to love a person who is always saving the day. Who doesn’t want the ideal? The safety of anonymity can sometimes mean a personality change that grabs more attention, too. You might walk with a noticeable swagger or flirt more if no one could see your face.
Elektra Natchios fell in love with the man first. She met Matt during college; he hadn’t even dreamed about becoming Daredevil yet. Alas, Elektra was torn away from him by tragedy. Her father was killed and she left Matt to follow a path to revenge. I think Matt’s life would have taken a very different path if Elektra had stayed. She comes back into his life as a deadly assassin, no longer the woman Matt fell love with but a criminal Daredevil must apprehend. Before they can consider reconciling, she’s killed by Bullseye. She dies in Matt’s arms.
Karen Page (around since issue #1) is the most on-again, off-again female companion. After a considerable amount of wishwashiness, they finally get together. Matt eventually reveals to Karen that he’s also Daredevil. She later sells that secret to the Kingpin for heroin. He in turn destroys Daredevil’s life (in Born Again). Matt forgives her though (wow, he’s a nice guy), and they reconcile. Rinse and repeat that cycle one more time, and then Karen also dies at the hands of Bullseye. He used Daredevil’s billy club to commit the deed. Someone really should give poor Matt a break.
Unfortunately, the tragic track record continues. Having a long-term relationship with Matt Murdock seems to be a shortcut to an early death. He dated or almost married a few other women. Heather Glenn, who he was engaged to, committed suicide. Glorianna O’Breen was randomly killed off; she was the only steady girlfriend who didn’t know about Matt’s secret identity. Natasha Romanova aka the Black Widow actually made it out of their entanglements okay. Milla Donovan (also blind) married Matt, and as of right now, she’s in a mental hospital thanks to being driven insane by Mr. Fear.
Let’s review the numbers. Six serious relationships, six women. Four of them are dead, one is mentally incapacitated, and one survived. The one who survived is a super spy. It’s not the best track record. I wonder how many dates is the right number to tell a potential girlfriend, “By the way, you should probably know that your chances aren’t so great.”