The Worst Kept Secret in Town

Over at his site, Kuljit Mithra has put together this hilarious (because it’s true) list of all the people who have been made aware over the years of Daredevil’s (not so) secret identity.

In the Fall From Grace storyline, DD had convinced everyone he WASN’T Matt Murdock. After one paper ran a speculative story, various reporters saw MM’s apartment and concluded he was an ordinary blind man. Despite that, MM faked his own death.

Currently, after his identity was apparently published again in the paper, Matt is denying he’s DD, but lots of people suspect he is.

How many times has DD’s identity been blown? Let’s try to count.


9 Dr. Van Eyck, famous eye surgeon, figured out Matt’s secret. Van Eyck had examined Matt Murdock and later saw DD in action. Van Eyck died disabling an atomic pile.
24 Spider-Man sends MM a letter stating that he (Spidey) knows DD’s identity but won’t tell anybody. Foggy and Karen read the letter ‘cuz Matt has disappeared and they’re worried. Leads to the creation of the Mike Murdock identity (issues 25-41). DD and Spidey tell each other their secret identities in the Sin-Eater storyline in Spectacular Spider-Man later on.
27 Matt “tells” the Masked Marauder that Mike Murdock really is Daredevil (part of a gambit to defeat the villain, naturally). The Masked Marauder appears to die in this story but comes back a few years later in Iron Man and still later in Spectacular Spider-Man (in a story that features the very first time Frank Miller drew DD). In neither appearance, does he ever make any reference of this “knowledge.” If he hadn’t been killed, you’d think he would have sought revenge on Nelson & Murdock.
51 Starr Saxon, a villain, discovers Matt is DD.
52 The Black Panther discovers Matt is DD.
54 MM fakes his own death to avoid blackmail by Starr Saxon. Spidey concludes he was silly to have written that letter back in issue 24.
57 DD tells Karen Page he is DD.
84 The Black Widow discovers Matt is DD.
85 Ivan, Natasha’s sidekick knows Matt is DD, presumably having been told between issues.
85? Matt and ‘Tasha were on a flight which was skyjacked by the Gladiator. During the course of the ensuing melee, a passenger on the plane, Nathanial Taggart, discovers that Matt is DD. His help allows DD to save the people on-board and he pledges to keep Matt’s secret.
92 His identity is blown by a San Francisco TV station. TV reports go out saying that Matt is Daredevil. Matt solves the problem by having the Black Panther dress up as Daredevil and fight a battle while Matt looks on for the TV cameras. Matt explains that the original Daredevil was Mike Murdock and the new Daredevil is someone else. This issue ties up most of the unresolved identity stories from the issues before it.
149/50? Matt tells Heather Glenn his secret.
154/55? The Purple Man discovers Matt is DD.
158 The Death Stalker knows. He’s toast by the end of the issue, though.
164 Ben Urich figured things out.
168 Elektra knows Matt is DD.
195 A drunken Heather Glenn spilled the beans on Matt’s ID to Tarkington Brown. Brown had died of cancer by issue #200.
209 Johnny Squarejohn, a man who grew up with Matt, makes the connection, but dies at the end of the issue when one of Mrs. Sterling‘s robots explodes. Mrs. Sterling of course was Death-Stalker’s mother. So, she may have known Matt was DD, or she just programmed the robots using data Death-Stalker collected about where DD usually was etc. and what he looked like.
210 Micah Synn uses his sense of smell to determine that a scarf worn by Matt Murdock has the same scent as a piece of Daredevil’s costume.
223 The Beyonder tries to understand Matt’s motivation to be DD.
227 Kingpin finds out through Karen Page.
254 Typhoid Mary is told by the Kingpin.
298 S.H.I.E.L.D. lets Matt know they know he’s DD.
319-325 Matt’s identity is revealed in a tabloid, but he manages to convince reporters he’s not DD. However, several people in the “Fall From Grace” arc know for sure… Eddie Passim probes DD’s mind and realizes DD is blind. Erynys, Snakeroot, and John Garrett all know, by way of Elektra’s ‘essence’.
348 Foggy Nelson finds Matt in his costume.
352 Mastermind tricks Matt in order to save Foggy.
371 X-Man Cecelia Reyes sees Matt without his mask on.
Vol. 2 #1-8 We learn that Gwyneth, the girl who gives Matt the child, knows he is DD. She’s killed in later issues though. We also learn that Mysterio knows, as does Mr. Gabriel and the rest of Mysterio’s henchman. But all the henchman are killed by Mysterio too, and Mysterio takes his own life while fighting DD.
Vol. 2 #15 Echo (Maya) finally realizes Matt and Daredevil are the same person when she notices DD’s blood on his cheek forms a question mark, like Matt had in earlier issues.
Vol. 2 #30 Richard Fisk and Kingpin’s men tell Silke that they’ve known that Matt and DD are one and the same for a long time. All are killed in later issues.
Vol. 2 #32 FBI finds out, but are ordered to keep it under wraps. Yet, the info is leaked by one of the agents and the Daily Globe prints that Matt Murdock is Daredevil. Matt holds a press conference in later issues denying he is Daredevil, but many people still believe the rumours. Subsequently, Vanessa Fisk lets Matt know who sold out his identity.
Vol. 2 #38 Luke Cage and Iron Fist confirm their suspicions while trying to convince Matt to defend the White Tiger in a trial.
Vol. 2 #41 Milla Donovan knows that Matt and DD’s voice are from the same person… and her friend Lori clues in as well.
Vol. 2 #50 Patrons at Josie’s Bar get an earful from an unmasked Daredevil as he proclaims he’s now the ‘Kingpin’ of Hell’s Kitchen. Wilson Fisk lays unconscious on the floor, after DD drove him through the window after their battle earlier.

Who else?

Ben Reilly, Peter Parker’s clone.
Nyla, from Matt’s ‘amnesia’ days probably does know but she knew Matt as ‘Jack Murdock’.
Reed Richards definitely knows, as was shown in DD II#56
Wolverine probably knows by his sense of smell, but it’s never been shown.
Bullseye has made the connection, dismissed it, and now definitely knows (see Vol.2 #49)
Captain America has seen Matt (during Born Again) out of costume, and now he knows for sure (issue #65)
Dr. Strange also knows, having probed Matt’s mind in one of the Annuals.
Sister Maggie obviously knows.
Stick and the rest of The Chaste know, as does The Hand.
Mr. Fear (III) (Larry Cranston) discovered Matt’s identity while working as a law partner of Murdock’s in S.F..
Underground Dwellers from the Humanity’s Fathom storyline all know.
Falcon, Tork and Black Cat, during the Gang War story in Amazing Spider-Man, all saw Matt without his mask on.
Captain Marvel (I) knew as well.
Crossbones unmasked DD during the Streets of Poison storyline in Captain America.
Moondragon knows from issue 105.
Mandrill and Nekra both know from issue 110.
Mephisto most certainly knows from DD’s adventure into Hell.
Timmy, Leap-Frog’s son sees DD without his mask on, from the ‘Wake Up’ storyline by Bendis/Mack.
Batman knows from the crossover one-shot.
The Watcher obviously knows.
Doctors from the Inferno storyline have seen Matt without his mask on, after they help him heal from his beating at the hands of Bullet, Bushwacker, etc.
Mary Jane Parker has probably made the connection, but it’s never been shown.
Voodoo Priest Mambo from 243-244 knew as well. Her knowledge is confirmed when she has the Nameless One leave Matt’s glove, dripping with blood, hanging in Matt and Karen’s apartment. It’s unclear if the Nameless One knew, or was just following orders.
Jessica Jones reveals to the reader that she knows Matt is DD (in _Alias_), and is upset that Matt never told her while she was his bodyguard.
Yakuza try their best to take over Hell’s Kitchen, convinced that Matt Murdock is DD.
Jessica Jones and Dakota North both know, having worked for Matt

The Daredevil movie also had its share of people who know Matt is Daredevil:

Elektra, Kingpin, Ben Urich and Father Everett all know, while Foggy Nelson, Bullseye, Jose Quesada and the kids in the playground would have to be really naive not to make the connection.

Thanks to Kuljit for permission to reprint his piece. Go take a look at his site!

One Response to The Worst Kept Secret in Town

  1. Oygen March 27, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Daredevil’s always been one of my fteoriavs. And while the movie wasn’t stellar, I can’t help but watch it like a dozen times a year because I love the character so much. Plus, Michael Clarke Duncan was the ultimate Kingpin IMHO.

Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.