Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Birth of the Marvel U's Greatest Villain - Will Daredevil Actually Go Bad?

With Shadowland approaching within a month, more teasers have hit that Daredevil might just become the Marvel U's newest, and greatest, villain. It's an interesting premise  and one I would like to explore just a little bit more. Just what would it mean if Matt Murdock were to suddenly become the bad guy?

There’s always that great Frank Miller quote to fall back on. Given Matt Murdock’s history, the absent mother, the brutal and then dead father, the sight robbed from him because of a dodgy situation and he being so inherently selfless, everything has been taken from him. He should have been a villain. It does make sense and it’s why Daredevil make’s such a good hero because he does it in spite of what life gave him. His location of living, his life, his problems. Daredevil always struggles against the world and says he must be good because somebody has to be. If he doesn’t perhaps no one will.

But it’s been nearly 50 years. Daredevil has seen two lovers killed (by the same man, natch), and he’s lost other lovers to suicide, and mental destruction. Anything he loves turns to dust given enough time, the only ones to escape have been his ever-present man-at-arms Foggy Nelson, and his once paramour Natasha Romanoff, and probably only because she upped and left him; a smart move. Matt Murdock’s life is officially harder than anyone else’s and all of that grief and trauma has to eventually resolve or manifest itself. No man can stay the same under it all.

Though, Murdock has tried his best through it all. Sure, he’s had a few mental breakdowns in this time, he’s declared himself the Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen before, a move his friends thought he was crazy, and perhaps wrong, to do. So watching him take over the ninja assassin clan The Hand has almost made perfect sense. He’s always dabbled with the evil side of life, never certain to commit. Now, Marvel says he might just finally tip the scales and become one of the greatest villains of the Marvel U. It’s an interesting premise, this is a man who walked into a hospital and pulled a gun on an incapacitated Bullseye, talked his ear off and then pulled the trigger. Sure, DD’s gun had no bullets, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t still pointing it around.

If DD were to actually become a villain, what would that look like? He’s already dressed like a devil. He already knows how to brutally and personally take his enemy down, see what he last did to Bullseye, or the Kingpin, or the Owl if you don’t believe. He’s got no compunction is severely incapacitating the enemy. What choices will DD make that will pit him against Marvel U?

Personally, I’d like to see Daredevil become a villain. Or let me rephrase that; I’d like to see him become a villain in the eyes of the Marvel U. I’d like to see people disagree with his ways and methods. I’d like to see heroes not appreciate the goals he is after. Heroes have had goals of good for years and it’s mostly got them nowhere, they keep the status quo, barely, and they always have the threat come back. Perhaps Daredevil is sick of the game and is after his final solution. And though the Avengers, or other true do-gooders, might not like that, perhaps they will be wrong.

Other heroes would have a hard time dealing with Daredevil if he were doing the wrong thing. It would make for some great character moments between him and old lovers like Elektra or Black Widow. Men like Peter Parker or Luke Cage would have to go about fixing the perceived problem in very interesting ways.

That would be the ultimate end to this little saga that Andy Diggle, with able assists from Antony Johnston, is cooking up. In the end, DD is right. He fixes some major problems but ends with blood on his hands. And in the end, is that worth it? We expect young soldiers to do it on older generals’ orders, why not have the hero do it himself for once?

Perhaps now DD’s gun will finally have bullets. May his aim be true.

What do you think of DD becoming a ‘villain’? Could they ever do that with such a large character, even for just a short time? Would you buy a comic about a 'bad' Daredevil? Let us know in the comments.

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grifter said...

at heart, Matt Murdock is still a lawyer. his sense of justice will always win out in the end, never mind what the law says. that being said, it would be very interesting to watch him turn into a "villain", as you say in the eyes of the public. this is one way of telling stories of a 'bad Daredevil' without eventually using the overused bullshit explanation that he was mind-controlled or it was his evil clone. Matt's been walking more and more into the gray area in recent years, and i'd like to see him dabble in the black, out of personal curiosity and with a little mischievous twinkle in my eye.

Wez said...

I like the idea of DD becoming a 'villain' but more in the way that his reason for being that way seem almost justified to the reader.
His wealth of a backstory and connections to the rest of the Marvel characters would give him a depth that doesnt exist with alot of other villains.

Chris said...

I can see Matt getting frustrated with the legal system - seeing murderers and maniacs go free time and again - and deciding to use his army of ninjas to enforce law in his own way. A very permanent way.

Who better to dish out justice than a man who's well accquainted with the justice system?

Plus, DD "becoming a villain" because he does what, kills Bullseye? How many people has Wolverine killed? HE'S ON TWO AVENGERS TEAMS! Killing killers does not a villain make.

artfuldodger4 said...

My prediction is that Daredevil will go to the very edge, but stop there. Then, the Hand will kill him and resurrect him, which allows Marvel to have him as a villain for a lengthier period of time, yet still allow an 'out' for redeeming his character. I think it would be interesting to have the Daredevil title post-Shadowlands be about how Matt's friends try to undo the Hand's ritual; I can see this storyline continuing for a year or so.

Brian Dickey said...

If they do end up turning him into a villain, I can see this path leading to a good amount of fandom outrage, such as when Hal Jordan was villianed-up into Parallax. Then, about five years down the road, we can all find out it wasn't his doing, he was possessed by the avatar of the ninja, the great Imoogi.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

If they used some Hand resurrection means to make him a true villain I just hope they are explicit about that with the reader, and then, as artfuldodger4 says, focus more on his friends trying to fix the problem. I'd still buy a DD comic that was more about Foggy and Dakota, and Becky, and Danny Rand. It'd have some DD in it as well, as the villain, and I'd still buy it.

Yeah, Chris, I don't see killing Bullseye as being the worst thing in the world. I'm sure plenty would do it.

Steven said...

I doubt that a sai through the torso is going to kill Bullseye. And if they actually do kill him that way it will be extremely lame considering the catastrophic injuries they've inflicted on Lester over the years. He survived far worse often just during his recent time with Dark Avengers.

Kirk Warren said...

I think the Hand control would be a pretty good way to go about it, but I somehow see this as just clever marketing on Marvel's part. With the board of shadowy figures revealed as manipulating Matt and the Hand in recent issues, I figure Matt will get some sense beat into him by his numerous friends (Cage, Iron Fist, Spidey, etc) and they then turn on the behind the scenes guys.

However, if they really wanted to go full villain with him, or at least a shade of grey/Punisher-like anti-hero, I'd be interested in reading it. Things like killing Bullseye, as teaser images suggest, or what not would fall under this for me. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out though.

MC Nedelsky said...

"I figure Matt will get some sense beat into him by his numerous friends (Cage, Iron Fist, Spidey, etc) and they then turn on the behind the scenes guys. "

My worry is that this is exactly what will happen, in which case, it seems completely derivative of when he was the Kingpin. Slightly more extreme, but the beats remain the same.

For that matter, what exactly is the rationale for what has "pushed him over the edge"? He seems to have snapped rather suddenly, or at least buckled when he previously didn't. I found joining the Hand sudden, but this darker turn seems to have unclear motivations.

My hope though is that it's not all attributed to some shadowy hand plot. That was my worry at the end end of DD 507, and even the multiple tie-ins have me worried. I was hoping for something simple an non-convoluted - like "Born Again" - and am slightly anxious it will more resemble Siege.

That said, yes, I would love him to be the villian, or at least, villianous. Kill Bullseye, or maybe cut off his hands. Have it be like a bit of mini dark reign admist the heroic age. I don't think we ever believed Osborn was making the world a better place. If DD could be a brutal dictator, but make the trains run on time (and have readers care about trains) it would be an interesting story.

Russ said...

With all of the trauma that Matt/Daredevil has lived through,I think he would feel validated and free. He could break free of what everybody has expected him to do,"The right thing."He deserves the right to make his own way finally.He would make an awesome villain!Just like he's been an awesome hero.

Anonymous said...

Didnt We See This Possession Storyline With Wolverine's Enemy Of The State During The Millar/Romita Run?
I Hope DD Turns Into A Villain & Marvel Kills Him. Then Marvel Can Relauch DD AGAIN With Some Big Guns Writing & Drawing It With Quesda Covers THEN The Real DD Comes Back By Issue #13. That Is Marvel's Style And That Will Give Everyone Here Something To Complain All The More! LOL

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