> Daredevil Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"It's my one chance! Maybe my last chance....to do something to make my son proud of me! I'm not gonna fail him! I'm gonna win...do ya hear?!?!I'm gonna win!”

-- Battlin' Murdock, p. 12

Young Matt Murdock leaps headlong into Marvel history.

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Daredevil #1
April 1964 • 22 pages

Script: Stan Lee • Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Bill Everett • Inks: Bill Everett

Title: “The Origin of Daredevil”

First Appearance: Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Battlin' Murdock (in flashback), Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Karen Page, The Fixer, Slade, Porky, Sam

Villain: The Fixer, Slade, Porky & Sam

Guest Appearance: Battlin' Murdock (in flashback), Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Karen Page

Death: Battlin' Murdock (in flashback),The Fixer

Innovations: Ajax Atomic Labs

Letters Page: (no letters page in this issue)

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

Synopsis: At Fogwell's Gym, a group of the Fixer's thugs play cards. In walks a man in a red and yellow jumpsuit, asking for the Fixer's whereabouts. The thugs spring into action to take on the costumed man, but his acrobatic skill easily disables the lot of them. He also employs a billy club that unerringly sails through the air and knocks a shotgun out of a thug's hand. After dispatching them, he declares his name as Daredevil.

He then recounts his past, as he considers how he got to the point where he is now. He looks back to the day when his father, a pug named Battling Murdock, took him aside as a young boy and told him that he needed to study hard and make something out of himself, unlike his old man. The young Matt Murdock took this advice to heart and avoided sports and physical pursuits, instead studying and honing his intellect, but it meant sacrificing play time with friends and and caused him to be ridiculed as a wimp. His peers sarcastically called him "Daredevil." Nonetheless, young Matt wanted to make his dad proud, but while his father would go on the road to fight, Matt would practice with his natural athletic ability in the gym.As his father's career wanes, he's offered a chance to get management with the Fixer, the only ring boss who will take him on. He accepts the offer. Meanwhile, Matt is walking down the street when he sees an old man about to get hit by an oncoming delivery truck transporting radioactive materials. He pushes the old man to safety, but the truck knocks him aside, a canister of a radioactive isotope falling from hitting him in the face. It blinds him, but Matt takes quickly to reading by Braille, and continues his athletic training in the gym. Unbelievably, his other remaining senses seem to be approaching peak capacity, to compensate for his blindness.He finally graduates from high school with high honors, and goes to university where he rooms with Franklin "Foggy" Nelson. Matt breezes through school, and he seems to understand that his senses have been taken to super-human levels: he can hear heartbeats, recognize people's individual smells, sense the weight of a gun and tell how many bullets are in the chamber; he can also walk through a room as easy as you please by an enhanced "radar" sense that tells him where solid objects are.

His dad, Battlin' Murdock, has been winning fight after fight. Unbeknownst to him, all the fights are fixed. His ring boss, the Fixer, tells him to take a dive in his next fight, but Matt is there to see him fight and the dad doesn't want to let his son down. He wins the fight despite the order to take a dive. Later that night, Battlin' Murdock is gunned down. Young Matt is devastated, but picks himself back up to graduate from college on time. He and Foggy Nelson open up their own law firm- Nelson And Murdock, and they hire Karen Page, a beautiful blonde that will be their secretary.

Matt's thoughts understandably turn back to getting vengeance for his father. After much contemplation, he realizes that with his great athletic skills and ultra-sensory abilities, he can seek out his father's killers as a costumed hero. He knits together a yellow and black outfit, and takes the name "Daredevil" in honor of his nickname he picked up as a child. He develops a club out of his cane, with a hinge located in the middle that will allow him to deploy it as a supple weapon in his fight against the bad guys. He begins his search for the Fixer.

And now, this brings him to Fogwell's Gym. After wiping the floor with the Fixer's goons, he duns them for information. But suddenly, the Fixer walks in with his right hand men behind him. Daredevil demands to know what arrangement he had with Battlin' Murdock. The Fixer doesn't cooperate, and a fight breaks out. DD's sensory abilities allow him to dispatch his foes quickly and efficiently. The Fixer threatens to call the cops to protect him and his "innocent" associates from Daredevil. DD knocks the phone out of his hand, then uses his ability to sense human heartbeats to determine if the Fixer is telling the truth. Slade, the Fixer's top goon, is worried that Daredevil will find out that he was the triggerman, and he pushes him out the window. DD grabs a flagpole on the way down to save himself from splatting on the sidewalk, then swings himself back up into the room and knocks Slade down to the floor.

Meanwhile, Foggy and Karen worry about their blind friend, concerned about where he is and how he is faring without his sight.

Daredevil has finally figured out, through gauging heartbeats, that the Fixer gave the orders to kill Battlin' Murdock, but Slade pulled the trigger. The two admit it, but demand to know what DD will do about it. DD tells a fib that he's got a secret recorder in his billy club that he will turn over to the police. The Fixer and Slade take off running, blending into the crowd outside, but DD dresses down as Matt Murdock to follow them unerringly into the subway. Dressing quickly again as Daredevil, he chases them into the subway tunnel, where they are stunned to their enemy once again. He chases down the Fixer, who dies from a heart attack. He catches up to Slade, who admits that he pulled the trigger under the Fixer's orders. Daredevil has found justice for his father and turns over Slade to the police.

He returns to his office as Matt Murdock, where Karen informs him that a fellow named Slade has called for representation. Foggy tells Matt that he turned him down because, according to the police report, he was convinced Slade was guilty. Foggy is worried what Matt will think about his decision, but with a twinkle in his eye, Matt says he doesn't mind at all.

--synopsis by Gormuu

--panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

--house ads provided by Karl

Issues Reprinted
Daredevil #1-11

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

DD #1DD #2DD #3DD #4DD #5DD #6
DD #7DD #8DD #9DD #10DD #11


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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