In creating Daredevil, Stan Lee originally had the idea of creating a hero that would be defined by limitations. He wanted a hero who actually worked within the system, and that description fits Matt Murdock well, as he is also a lawyer.
In the first issue, we learn that Matt’s father Jack Murdock was a boxer who refused to throw a fight, causing him to be murdered. Matt was driven by this memory, leading to both his profession and his superhero identity. The issue also introduced Karen Page, Matt’s secretary, and Foggy Nelson, his partner and best friend. As a child, Murdock was hit by a radioactive liquid when he saved a man. This caused his blindness. However, Murdock learned that the liquid had heightened his other senses, as well as granting him a “radar sense”, which allowed him to sense his surroundings around him.
Although Stan Lee wanted Bill Everett to be Daredevil’s artist to give him a comic, Everett was only able to draw the first issue. This was because he was also art director at the Eton Paper Corporation. After 3 issues by fill-in artists, Wally Wood (who had also worked for EC) was hired as his replacement. Wood would play a big part in establishing the mythos. He suggested that Murdock’s costume should be red instead of yellow, feeling that someone dubbed “The Man Without Fear” shouldn’t be wearing a color associated with cowardice. Wood was also responsible for the concentric circles that symbolized his radar sense, and even the double-D logo on his chest. Issue #16 began his friendship with Spider-Man, which continues to present day. Eventually though, Wood quit the series, feeling he wasn’t getting enough compensation for his ideas. He was later replaced by Gene Colan.
Stan Lee considers #47 to be one of his favorite stories. In it, Daredevil helps a Vietnam veteran who was framed. Issue #50 has Murdock reveal his identity as Daredevil to Karen Page.
As with the X-Men, big changes would happen when Daredevil was written and drawn by Frank Miller in the 80’s.
Next: Batman in Color!
One thought on “History of Comic Books: The Silver Age Chapter XX: Blind Justice”
This is good, except that the last sentence kind of makes it sound like Frank Miller wrote both the X-Men and Daredevil in the ’80s.