Boy, if you watched Daredevil season two on Netflix (and who didn’t), you might have noticed that Matt Murdock’s love life is a bit of a train wreck. Yeah, he has a sweet little romance going with his assistant Karen Page (that pool table scene was adorbs!) but he also has that heated relationship with one Elektra Natchios. It’s like a Betty and Veronica sort of thing but with ninjas! If you thought Daredevil’s TV love life was a mess, wait until you witness the drama that has taken place in the comics. Really, once you get a load of this dating profile, you will really think that the Man Without Fear just needs to keep his billy club in his pants. So join us if you will as we take a look at the many disastrous relationships of Matt Murdock – the many girlfriends of Daredevil. Seriously, homeboy needs to close his OKcupid account right now!
First Appearance: Daredevil #1 (April 1964)
Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett
If you think TV’s Karen has it bad, wait until you get a load of the mental drama comics’ Karen Page went through. Fair warning, some of these events might happen on Netflix, so be aware of potential spoilers ahead. So the comic book Karen Page appeared in the very first issue of Daredevil. She was Matt Murdock’s first love and kind of played the same role (but the doting 1960s version) she did on TV. Here’s where things get weird. To protect his secret ID, Matt creates a new personality, that of his twin brother Mike. Karen falls in love with Mike and basically, Matt just plays along, completely lying to his closest confidant. Eventually, Matt phases out the Mike identity and hooks up with Karen but soon, it is revealed that Karen’s father is the villainous Death’s Head. Confusing? Just wait.
Death’s Head dies saving his daughter and Matt reveals his DD identity to a despondent Karen. For awhile, the two are happy until Karen almost has a nervous breakdown because of the constant danger her love is always in. She leaves Matt and moves to Hollywood to become an actress. There she falls on hard times and becomes a heroin addict and a porn star.
Dark enough for you? Just wait. Karen sells Matt’s secrets to her H-dealer who in turn sells them to the Kingpin. This leads to Wilson Fisk completely dismantling Murdock’s life. This dark period was told in Frank Miller’s classic “Born Again” saga and one really gets a feeling that we will be experiencing “Born Again” on Netflix sooner rather than later. Poor, poor Karen. When Matt gets his life back together, Murdock forgives Karen and the two move in together until Matt has an affair with the villain Typhoid Mary. Yes, Matt Murdock has affairs with villains. Karen leaves him and moves back to LA where she becomes a radio talk show host. There, the villain Mysterio tricks her into believing she is HIV positive and she dies saving Daredevil from Bullseye. So, super-villain father, heroin addiction, porn star, cuckolded by a super-villain, a pawn in Mysterio’s game, and murder victim. Maybe she should never have answered that help wanted ad for Nelson and Murdock. Let’s hope TV’s Karen has a happier path.
First Appearance: Daredevil #126 (October, 1975) Created by Marv Wolfman and Bob Brown
Heather Glenn was a flighty socialist who funded one of Murdock’s legal practices. The two began dating and things went well until (you saw that one coming, huh) Glenn’s billionaire father began behaving erratically. Glenn’s papa was under the control of Kilgrave the Purple Man until DD was able to free the elder Glenn. It was too late, though. Ashamed of his actions, the head of the Glenn clan killed himself.
Glenn blamed Daredevil and things turned even darker when Heather found out that Murdock was the Man Without Fear. Glenn blabbed DD’s identity a few times but Murdock found it in his heart to forgive her and the two became engaged. The naïve Glenn allowed her business to fall into the hands of crooks and her on again, off again BF was forced to bring the whole thing crashing down. Feeling that Daredevil did it all on purpose so he would not have to marry her, Glenn blamed Murdock.
Finally, the whole thing ended when Glenn hung herself. Jeez. Was there a moment’s pleasure in that entire romance? Fun fact, Glenn was also an alcoholic and briefly dated Tony Stark during his days of heavy drinking. So Glenn was romantically involved with two of the most toxic males in the Marvel Universe. At least Glenn’s relationship with Stark didn’t lead to a hanging. Seriously Matt, you’re supposed to have heightened senses, so why do you keep walking into romantic car crashes?
First Appearance: Daredevil #155 (November, 1978) Created by Roger McKenzie and Frank Robbins
Matt Murdock has had two stand-out secretaries over the years, Karen Page and Becky Blake. Thankfully, the climax to Blake’s tale does not end anywhere near as tragically as Karen’s; most of the tragedy in Blake’s life happened before she joined Nelson and Murdock.
Becky Blake was brutally attacked by an assailant and was confined to a wheelchair. She was every inch as capable as any of the women in DD’s life and served both Foggy and Matt very well. She had feelings for Matt but they went unrequited (lucky for Becky). She left Murdock and Nelson to get her law degree and rejoined Matt and Foggy years later as a law partner. A capable lawyer, Blake became good friends with Murdock and then he was possessed by a demon and became the head of a ninja death cult. Now, in all fairness, Daredevil’s time as a demon really wasn’t his fault and Becky Blake wasn’t one of Murdock’s lovers, but still, you get a law degree, become a part of a firm, and then your former boss, friend, and new partner becomes a violent hell beast. What are the chances? Pretty damn good if you are a woman in Matt Murdock’s life.
First Appearance: Daredevil #168 (January 1981)
Created by Frank Miller
Elektra Natchios is the ultimate survivor, a highly skilled assassin, a chosen leader of the Hand, a worldly woman who has seen and done everything, a master at most every form of combat, and one of the world’s greatest martial artists. She could survive anything- except dating Matt Murdock. Fans got to experience Elektra for the first time recently on Netflix but the comic version of the ninja killer is a bit different.
Things go pear-shaped for Matt and Elektra after her billionaire father is killed.
Despondent, Elektra flees that country and travels the world. During this time, she gets involved with the Chaste versus Hand rigmarole and ends up siding with the Hand. She is first trained by Stick and the Hand and she eventually returns to Hell’s Kitchen. Now, I don’t know about you, but when my ex shows back up – wielding sai – I might not be too eager to begin the romance again. Plus, she was now the Kingpin’s head assassin so you would think that might throw some cold water on Daredevil’s passion. Nope, not our Mattie; he picks things up where they left off and the biggest ill-advised relationship in comics begins.
Of course, all this leads to Elektra getting killed by Bullseye so there’s another RIP notch on Murdock’s bed post. Then she’s resurrected and basically becomes a mindless ninja death zombie. Then she gets her senses back and becomes a killer for hire, and then she’s kidnapped by Skrulls and replaced with an alien doppelganger. Then she came back and became a killer for hire again. All this she STILL makes Murdock’s heart go pitter-patter. Boy, what’s wrong whitchoo?
First Appearance as Madam MacEvil: Iron Man #54 (January 1973)
As Moondragon: Daredevil #105 (November 1973)
Created by Bill Everett, Mike Friedrich, George Tuska, and Jim Starlin
Moondragon never actually dated or otherwise made the beast with two backs with Matt Murdock, which probably explains with this ex-member of the Avengers, Defenders, and Guardians of the Galaxy is still alive. First off, I think it’s important to mention that when Heather Douglas first appeared in the Marvel Universe, she used the name Madam MacEvil. I don’t even know what to say to that.
Later, she took the name Moondragon and met up with Daredevil. The bald-headed cosmic know-it-all instantly fell in love with Murdock, but before she could be run through with a sai or blown-up or something, she went off into space to combat Thanos. She later joined just about every non-Mutant super-team Marvel published before striking up a romance with the daughter of the original Captain Marvel, right before finally transforming into a dragon. So the moral of this story is, if a woman dates Matt Murdock, she dies or goes insane. If a woman admires him from afar, she becomes a space dragon. And that’s your moment of Zen.
First Appearance: Daredevil #285 (October, 1990) Created by Ann Nocenti and Lee Weeks
At some point, because reasons, Matt Murdock suffered amnesia and believed he was a boxer named Jack Murdock. At this point, he met Nyla Skin and the two formed a romantic bond. No, Nyla doesn’t get stuffed into a blender, but she does get kidnapped by the Kingpin who tries to use her as leverage to get Murdock to throw a fight. Becoming the second man named Jack Murdock who refuses to throw a prize fight, Murdock defies Kingpin, wins the fight, and rescues Nyla. Maybe Nyla survived her ordeal because technically she never really dated Daredevil. But she is kidnapped by the most notorious gangster in the world so it wasn’t exactly Netflix and chill for Nyla.
First Appearance: Daredevil #205 (April, 1984)
Created by Denny O’Neil and William Johnson
Glorianna O’Breen was a native of Ireland who dated Matt Murdock for quite some time. O’Breen was tough and capable but she was usually thrust into the role of damsel in distress. She dated Murdock when Karen Page was out of the picture and never found out Murdock and Daredevil were one in the same. When Matt got back together with Karen, Glorianna began dating Foggy Nelson. It will come to the surprise of absolutely no one that Glorianna was murdered by Victor Krueller, an operative of the Kingpin. Guys, I’m not making this stuff up.
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964) Created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck
Hey, a survivor! Not only did Natasha Romanov, the super-spy and Avenger known as the Black Widow, survive her romance with Matt Murdock, she even co-headlined his book the better part of four years. Daredevil and Black Widow was a Bronze Age staple in which Natasha and Matt shared their lives and adventures.
Soon, the two went their separate ways and the Black Widow went on to become a high-level SHIELD operative and a key member of the Avengers. It says something that one of the few women to survive a romance with Daredevil intact also happens to be the deadliest woman in the world. So I guess to survive dating Matt Murdock a woman has to be trained in espionage, fifteen forms of martial arts, heavy weapons, and survival skills. Constantly being surrounded by Asgardian gods, super-soldiers, and Hulks probably doesn’t hurt either.
First Appearance: Daredevil #254 (May 1988)
Created by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr.
So Typhoid Mary is still alive but she is also a deadly assassin and suffers from multiple mental illnesses, and hey, a complete (and somewhat expected) descent into madness at the hands of Matt Murdock. You see, one day, Daredevil was beating the stuffing out of a criminal inside a brothel. Poor Mary was one of the girls working in the house of ill repute and was knocked out of a window in the fight. This trauma caused her to develop telekinesis and a dissociative identity disorder. Poor Mary has three personalities:
1. Mary- a shy, timid woman.
2. Mary- a sexually adventurous free spirit.
3. Bloody Mary, a psycho killer.
And Murdock has been involved with all three. Oh yeah, Mary also has the power to make things burst into flames. So Typhoid Mary has three personalities, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and is a favored assassin of the Kingpin. Yet, Murdock still dated her.
First Appearance: Daredevil #9 (Dec. 1999)
Created by David Mack and Joe Quesada
Maya Lopez, the hero known as Echo, began her career as an enemy of Daredevil. Her father was a career criminal killed by the Kingpin. Dying, her father begged Kingpin to take care of her deaf daughter Maya. Kingpin agreed and sent Maya to the best school. The deaf girl soon revealed herself to be a prodigy and could replicate any physical action just through observation. When she watched a fight between Daredevil and Bullseye, her reflexes and muscles were able to match their movements and she became a deadly fighter. With all her training in place, Kingpin told Maya that Daredevil killed her father.
Swearing vengeance, Maya became Echo and hunted the masked vigilante. But hey, at this time, she also started to date a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock, so the ‘ol Murdock love-luck strikes again. Soon, Maya realized that Kingpin was lying (imagine that) and swore to bring the master criminal down. Guilt-ridden, she traveled the world to find herself. Eventually, she joined the Avengers in the guise of Ronin. Happy ending, right? Nope, eventually Maya was murdered by Count Neferia. In fairness, her death was all kinds of Moon Knight’s fault – not Daredevil’s – but listen, Maya dated Murdock and she was killed by a gangster. Even her amazing abilities did not protect Echo from the Murdock curse.
First Appearance: Daredevil #41 (March 2003)
Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Milla Donovan is a blind woman who Murdock saved from being hit by a truck. The two struck up a romance and were quickly married. Oh, the poor woman. Milla soon discovered that Matt was suffering from a nervous breakdown, which was the reason he agreed to marry this kind woman. Milla sought to annul the marriage and was almost killed like fifty-eight times.
Bullseye went after her because I suppose he thinks killing Daredevil’s girlfriends is part of his job. After all, he killed Elektra and Karen and now he wanted poor Milla. But Milla survived Bullseye. And Typhoid Mary. And Kingpin. It looked like despite her marriage going south, Milla might escape the Murdock meat grinder unscathed. Oh, not so. Milla went hopelessly insane when she was exposed to Mr. Fear’s fear toxin. According to doctors, the effects of the fear gas were irreversible so poor Milla will spend her life in a cloud of abject terror. Over the years, Milla’s condition improved, but seeing Daredevil or Matt would cause her to spiral. This means the loyal and brilliant ex-wife of Matt Murdock can never again be around the hero. Milla, you’re better off.
First Appearance: Daredevil #1 (September, 2011) Created by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
Kirsten McDuffie began her romance with Matt Murdock at the beginning of Mark Waid’s brilliant run on Daredevil. She survived. She set up a law firm with Murdock, dated the man, and did not find herself hung, impaled, decapitated, drowned, shot into space, disintegrated, run over, bludgeoned, defenestrated, or harmed in any mortal way. As far as we know, she still lives even though Murdock abandoned the practice to move back to Hell’s Kitchen.
McDuffie hasn’t been mentioned in Daredevil’s latest series, but she seems like she has survived the romantic encounter with Daredevil. If I was this brilliant lawyer, I would wrap myself in bubble wrap and never leave the home. But hey, at least she made it. For now.