Daredevil Month: The Man Without Fear…Powerless?!

Posted: April 1, 2015 in Comic Book Study
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Image taken from theothermurdockpapers.com

Welcome back to Daredevil Month everyone. After our trip with the Exiles, I thought it’d be fun to continue exploring alternate universes and see as many different Daredevils as we could cover before Daredevil Month is over. That having been said, let’s take a look at the 2004 series Powerless, a comic set in a world where Marvel’s superhumans existed in a more realistic setting, without their abilities.

In this series, Daredevil is simply Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer. He first appears in issue #1 defending Frank Castle in court, calling on William Watts (this world’s version of the Watcher) for help. Castle is accused of killing the man who killed his family, something the latter confessed to after 36 hours of interrogation. Watts, in true Watcher style, ignores Murdock’s pleas and goes on about his business.

In issue #2, Murdock’s ex-girlfriend Karen Page is attacked by a bald man, later revealed to be someone working for the Kingpin. In the same issue, Murdock calls Wilson Fisk to the stand and begins verbally battling the man. By the end of his accusatory statements, Fisk is dismissed and tells Murdock, “I hope you had fun today.” Murdock discovers his apartment has been ransacked before being beaten during a sparring match against a man he thought was his friend Foggy (Foggy himself was actually tied up and left in a locker at the gym).

Image taken from marvel.wikia.com

The same bald man from earlier kills Page before Murdock can make it to the hospital, then takes Murdock on a drive to intimidate the lawyer from trying to attack Fisk again. Left in the middle of a cornfield, the blind lawyer still manages to find his way back into the city, where he is found by Watts. Watts and Foggy watch over Murdock while Foggy explains some of Murdock’s history (all of which is more or less the same from the 616 universe: the blindness, the boxer father, etc.) before Watts goes off to talk to Castle on his own.

During the visit, Watts discovers that one of Castle’s interrogators wasn’t actually a police officer, giving Murdock a solid chance at defending the man in court. During the day in court, Murdock manages to present enough evidence to where the prosecution has to change up their entire case. Murdock’s actions were enough to anger Fisk, who orders a hit on Murdock. After having his men clear the room, Fisk presents evidence that shows Murdock being his ex-girlfriend’s introduction to hard drugs before bashing the lawyer in the head with his cane.

Murdock is later revealed to be dead, to which Fisk gleefully adds information (like the drug abuse) that tarnishes Murdock’s reputation. Fisk is killed by a vengeful Castle soon after, who then questions if anyone else deserves punishment.

My Thoughts

It’s interesting to see a world without super powered individuals, but still with heroes and villains. Even without radioactive waste or a blind martial artist strengthening his body and mind, Matt Murdock was still as strong as he is in the 616 universe.

One other thing I want to point out is that, in this universe, Murdock actually wins against the Kingpin. He may not have the advantages super powers give you, but Murdock isn’t a slouch in the legal department. Fisk had him killed yes, but that doesn’t make a difference. In my book, Matt Murdock won their decades long struggle. It doesn’t hurt that his death motivated Frank Castle to become the Punisher and take out Fisk either.

Do you think this powerless Daredevil should have done something different against a man like Fisk? How do you think this version of Matt Murdock would fair in a universe like 616? Leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out the Comic Books vs The World Youtube channel. Keep returning to the blog to enjoy daily content during Daredevil Month!

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