Daredevil turns 50 this month, and to celebrate, Marvel Comics just gave us a reminder of his first, rather improvisational, triumph over a villain.
It was about this time back in 1964 that Daredevil #1 by writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett hit comics stands everywhere and gave us a different kind of Marvel superhero. The creation of Matt Murdock was designed both as a follow-up to Spider-Man's success the year before and as a chance to tell the tale of a hero with what seemed like a very particular disadvantage: He was blind. Of course, we all know how it turns out for anyone who underestimates Daredevil.
In the first issue, we see Murdock's origin story, including the death of his father, "Battling Jack Murdock," who is killed by gangster after he refuses to throw a boxing match. To avenge his father's death, Murdock crafted the classic yellow Daredevil costume and set out to get the man responsible: The Fixer. As Marvel's Brett White reminded us today, Daredevil's creators might not have had all of the character's hallmarks in place in that first issue, but they did already know how to depict a true "daredevil" of a hero, a guy who would use anything at his disposal to hurl himself at villains.
In this case, what Daredevil had to hand was a trash can, and as the Fixer pulled ahead of him in their chase, he used the trash can to wheel himself forward, scaring the villain so badly that he suffered a heart attack. It's a classic Marvel moment, so take a second to re-live it.
And with that, a Marvel hero was born. Fifty years later, Daredevil's going stronger than ever, with an Eisner-winning creative team on his book and new adventures in San Francisco coming later this year.
Happy birthday, Daredevil!