The son of a prize fighter named Battlin' Jack, Matt grew up in the relative poverty of Hell's Kitchen with much reverence for his father, who constantly pressed him to study instead of playing with his friends. In turn, they
taunted him with the nickname, 'Daredevil', since he always went back to studying, (or secretly training in his father's gym) instead of doing things with them.
As a boy, Matt witnessed a man about to be hit by a truck, and pushed him out of the way, just as the truck crashed and spilled its cargo, extremely toxic chemicals, into his face.
He awoke in the hospital, now blind from the toxins, and learned that his other senses were amplified as a result of his loss of sight. He was able to see by a radar-like sense using natural sounds around him, giving him ultimate confidence in his surroundings.
He would later become a lawyer, opening a law firm with Foggy Nelson, and taking on the mantle of 'Daredevil' after his father's death, in order to protect the citizens of Hell's Kitchen and bring justice to the streets as well as the courtroom.
Powers and Abilities
Superhuman Sensory System: Daredevil has superhuman senses of smell, taste, touch, balance, and hearing.
- Superhuman Sense of Touch: Daredevil's sense of touch is so acute that his finger can feel the faint impressions of ink on a printed page allowing him to read by touch, though laminated pages prevent him from touching and thus reading the ink impressions at a much faster pace than a normal person would be able to read. The rest of his skin is equally sensitive, enabling him by concentration to feel minute temperature and pressure changes in the atmosphere around him. Even with his senses of smell and hearing blocked, he can feel the presence of a person standing five feet away from him simply by his or her body heat and disturbance of air. A side effect of his sense of touch is Daredevil's ability to manipulate his muscles and internal organs. The sense of touch is not just external, but internal too (central nervous system), thereby giving him the ability to have total body control, increasing his strength and reflexes to near peak human levels and increasing his agility to enhanced human levels.
- Superhuman Sense of Smell: Daredevil's sense of smell is so acute that he can distinguish between identical twins at twenty feet by minute differences in smell. He can detect odors of an atmospheric concentration of thirty parts per million. Further, his ability to remember smells enables him to identify any person he has spent at least five minutes with by smell alone, no matter how he or she might try to camouflage his or her natural odor. His powers of concentration are such that he can focus upon a single person's smell and follow it through a crowd of people at a distance of fifty feet.
- Superhuman Sense of Hearing: Daredevil's sense of hearing enables him to detect an acoustic pressure change of one decibel at a pressure level of seven decibels (whereas the lowest threshold for average human hearing is twenty decibels.) He can hear a person's heartbeat at a distance of over twenty feet, or people whispering on the other side of a standard soundproofed wall. Through practice, Daredevil is able to control his hearing acuity, mentally blocking out specific sounds like his own breathing and heartbeat, all ambient sounds to a normal human level of perception, or all sounds but a particular sound he is concentrating upon.
- Lie Detection: Daredevil can tell whether a person is lying by listening to changes in his or her heartbeat (though he can be fooled by a pacemaker or those able to control their own heartbeat.)
- Person Identification: Daredevil can identify people by the specific patterns of their heartbeats.
- Superhuman Sense of Taste: Daredevil's sense of taste enables him to detect the number of grains of salt on a pretzel. His ability to remember tastes enables him to determine every ingredient of a food or drink he tastes, as long as there are at least twenty milligrams of that substance present.
- Superhuman Sense of Balance, Agility and Reflexes: It is a common misconception that balance isn't a sense, but Daredevil's balance centers give him equilibrium on par with Spider-Man.
Radar Sense: Daredevil can also sense the proximity and arrangement of objects about himself. According to one theory, Daredevil's "radar sense" functions via his brain's generation of energy within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The signal emanates from sending regions of his brain, after which it travels outward, bounces off objects around him, and returns to receiving regions of his brain. Another theory is that this sense functions more closely to sonar in which Daredevil hears the faint echoes of sounds as they bounce off nearby objects. His sense may operate by a combination of these techniques or by other, unknown means. In any event, via this ability, Daredevil synthesizes a very close analogue of three-dimensional human sight. After he lost the Radar, Matt's instructor Stick retaught him his Radar/Senses through special training. Stick told Matt the radiation gave him a "free ride" but now he must develop it like everyone else. Its resolution is not very fine, probably on the order of several feet at a distance of one hundred feet. By repositioning his head and adding input from his other senses, Daredevil is able to resolve the image of an average flagpole (three-inch cylinder) at a distance of over eighty feet.
Telepathy: Due to Stick's training Daredevil has displayed minor telepathic abilities.
Demonic Powers: While he was possessed by The Beast (not to be confused with Hank McCoy) during the Shadowland arc, Matt's physical abilities combined with his combat capabilities were enhanced to where he could overpower fellow martial artists Iron Fist and Shang-Chi, both of which whose combat skills are on par with Matt's. He also gained other demonic abilities as well, such as regeneration and possible immortality having surviving from being stabbed by Wolverine`s claws. After the Beast was removed, Daredevil's physical abilities returned to their original statistics.
Gifted Intellect: Matt has a high IQ; he's an accomplished strategist as well as an expert in interrogation, disguise, medicine, science and detective work.
Expert Detective: Daredevil has shown to be an expert detective using his intellect to figure out complex problems and hyper-senses to find clues and evidence to crime scenes.
Expert Tracker: With the aide of his hyper-senses Matt is able to track objects and people from miles away with ease.
Interrogation Expert: Matt uses many different interrogation methods to extract information from criminals. His knowledge of criminology and torture is unerring and often overwhelming. As a lawyer, cross-examining a witness or the defendant is a very vital skill set to interrogation. Matt is also more than likely an expert or at least highly trained in the use and interpretation of polygraph testers.
Professional Lawyer: He is a skilled lawyer, specializing in criminal justice.
Master Acrobat: Daredevil is classed superb-Olympic athlete, gymnast, acrobat, and aerialist due to constant training and exercise since his preteens. His reflexes and agility are equally remarkable and are on par with the finest human athletes.
Weapons Proficiency: Thanks to his martial arts training, Matt is extremely proficient in wielding various different weapons. Since Ninjutsu is the only identified discipline that teaches weapons, it would indicate he is trained in the use of most Japanese-themed melee weaponry.
Expert Marksman: He is very dead on accurate in throwing most projectile-like weaponry along with his sticks.
Expert Stick Fighter: Matt is an expert in wielding all types of stick weapons which include staffs, batons, nunchaku, and paired short sticks due to training from Stick.
Master Martial Artist: Daredevil has also been very thoroughly trained in the ninja arts by Stick, a senior master and member of the secret order The Chaste. Nick Fury, former director of S.H.I.E.L.D, commented that there are only a handful of individuals that know what Matt Murdock knows, referring to the Chaste. Stick helped Daredevil control his powers and taught him valuable fighting techniques with stealth, vanishing, to even life-energy(chi/ki)control. Matt is well educated in the functioning of the human body as well as martial arts techniques that target pressure points enabling him to paralyze limbs of an individual's body or the entire body altogether. He's disabled eye sight, speech, induced pain, and even has knowledge of pressure points inducing death. Daredevil's fighting style blends Boxing with Ninjutsu, Judo/Jujutsu and Aiki-Jujutsu, but he had been trained in several styles of Kung Fu, Savate, various styles of Karate, Muay Thai, Hapkido, Filipino martial & stick fighting arts, and Capoeira to varying degrees by Stick to compliment Matt's strengths as he has been seen employing other sophisticated techniques such as jumping and ground-level kicks and jumping takedowns. Being that Ninjutsu seems to be the martial art that Matt seems to have mastered the most, he more than likely possesses at least a grandmastership level rank black belt(at least 10th degree)in Ninjutsu. His skills have proven so exceptional so as to enable him to easily defeat or stalemate some of the greatest fighters on Earth. He has fought opponents such as the Black Panther, Taskmaster, Sabretooth, and Wolverine to standstills, even impaling Wolverine with a sword while the mutant was in a feral state due to brainwashing by the terrorists known as Hydra.
Devout Catholic: Matt's true source of his strength and success as a crime-fighter and superhero is his dedication to his religious practice and it's philosophical tenets. As a devout Roman Catholic, Matt has the mixed benefits and access to certain resources and contacts/allies through the Catholic parishes of Hell's Kitchen (modern day Clinton). As a lawyer, Matt can also access additional assets in the form of safehouses and sanctuary of the Church for his clients should local law enforcement resources become either compromised and or cannot be relied upon in witness protection cases. Matt also can make use of contacts in the form of the Catholic Clergy giving Matt vital information regarding the movements of street gangs, the various mafia of the NYC area, pimps, and other elements of the criminal underworld in order to allow Matt to be more successful in battling the criminals of Hell's Kitchen.
For a "normal" human, Matt has demonstrated remarkable physical strength. Daredevil is an Olympic-level weightlifter and possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build that exercises intensively and regularly. Matt has demonstrated that he can lift and handle a 400 lbs. barbell as though it were fifty pounds, has overturned a limo full of people, and has picked up and used a mail drop-box as a blunt instrument. At his peak, Daredevil possesses sufficient strength to press lift approximately 450 lbs.
- Radar Sense Limitations: Daredevil is unable to discern pictures or video images, and he can only guess at colors based on the amount of heat they are absorbing or reflecting. If anyone or anything is not emitting anything that would trigger his heightened senses Daredevil wouldn't be able to detect it, such as Mysterio's hallucinogenic toxin, which was devoid of taste or smell, or prior to his capture by the F.B.I., when a sniper bullet fired outside the range of his sense of hearing was able to badly injure him. He can't target objects that are moving too fast even if they are in the range of his senses, such as Spider-Man or Thor.
- Radar Sense Disruption: Daredevil's superhuman senses render him extraordinarily vulnerable to excessive sound, odors, etc., which can temporarily weaken his Radar Sense or if he is bombarded by too much sound at once, Daredevil can easily be immobilized, which causes him great pain and leaves him disoriented. Once the disruptive effects wear off, Daredevil's Radar Sense is able to return to its normal calibration. Crowds of people or too many objects around him creates too many sensory impressions for Daredevil to sort through, making it harder to detect any oncoming enemy attacks.
- Non-Superhuman Physical Conditioning: As Daredevil's powers do not give him any kind of superhuman physical ability, Daredevil is as susceptible to physical injury and disease as any other normal human, often having to rely more on strategy than strength when up against a superhuman opponent.
- Blindness : Daredevil is blind. While his Radar Sense helps him navigate, this becomes a problem for Daredevil to navigate and track his opponent when his heightened senses are scrambled or can't detect anything which diminishes Daredevil's ability to be able to fight back when in the middle of a battle.
- Daredevil has used four costumes in the course of his career as a crimefighter: his original yellow-and-black costume, his modern red costume, a black-and-red armored costume that was used temporarily, and a newer black-and-red costume which was used during the Shadowland saga. When Murdock experienced a psychological break, each of his first three costumes came to be focuses for three distinct separate, distinct personalities within Murdock. Since that time, Murdock has resolved his psychological problems, and now exclusively uses the red costume. The horns on his costume are antennae that can pick up radiowaves, allowing them to serve as a police scanner. While possessed by The Beast the horns on his costume were transformed into larger devil horns when it fully awakened, and were reverted back to normal when The Beast was removed from Matt Murdock's body.
- Daredevil usually travels by foot across city rooftops through the art of parkour (the art of movement), and by the grappling hook and cable in his Billy club.
- Matt currently wields a multi-purpose cane that has many different modes. Its initial form is two short sticks held together by an extendable cable. It can be configured into a nunchaku- like weapon to a manrikigusari(a long rope/chain weapon with two weights on its ends), dual short sticks which can be wielded in a pair, staff, or a cable with a grappling hook. The weapon can also be adjusted to combine both sticks into a larger stick. The weapon is held by a holster on the side of Matt's left leg.