Friday, October 24, 2014

My Favorite Superheroes - Daredevil

Daredevil has absolutely no business being a superhero, and that's what makes him so great.

There's really no advantage to being Daredevil. He lost all of his sight, but gained a superhuman sensitivity in his other senses, which is of absolutely zero use to crime-fighting. He has super hearing, but this doesn't really help him fight, except for maybe hearing someone sneak up on him or attack him from behind or something. Most of the time, this serves more as a disadvantage that anything else. Being super sensitive to sound means that he can be defeated by a subwoofer.

Daredevil also has super taste ability. Super taste ability! He can taste shit real good. There does absolutely nothing in a fight.

He has a super sense of touch, which means he can read books from feeling the ink on the page. Have you ever been losing a fight and thought, "Damn, if I could only read I could win this." No. No you haven't, because neither reading nor a super sense of touch is very useful.

Daredevil has a super sense of smell. Not only does this not help in a fight at all, but because his sense of smell is so acute, this means he can be defeated by a fart.

Yes, Daredevil is operating at a complete disadvantage when it comes to fight. It's not even that his super senses supercede or even cancel out his blindness; they are actually a disadvantage on top of the difficulty of fighting blind.

On top of all this, there is also the mental pressure of taking in all of these sense to an extreme degree all the time. Imagine trying to sleep in the same room as a mosquito. Just that quiet buzzing is enough to drive you nuts. Now imagine trying to sleep, except now you can hear every insect and person in large radius around you. Having super hearing is not cool.

And yet, Daredevil still fights.

Like Chamber, part of the reason why I like Daredevil is thanks to a certain writer having built up the character extremely well. A lot of people in this situation would point to Kevin Smith and Frank Miller as being the exceptional Daredevil writers, but I submit that Mark Waid is superior to them both. Waid focuses on two things in his writing: the relationships between characters and overcoming adversity. Whenever something is happening in a Waid-penned book, it is either two characters being forced to talk to each other, or a character experiencing the worst thing imaginable, and these two things happen over and over again. Seeing Daredevil face seemingly-impossible odds all the time makes for an interesting story. (Compare to current issues of Uncanny X-Men, where they seem to never be in any real danger or experience any character development.)

One thing that sets Daredevil apart from other superheroes is the relationship with his father, which is largely a positive one. Putting aside the relationships between certain X-Men and Charles Xavier -- who serves as a father figure -- there are not many positive paternal relationships in the Marvel universe, so Daredevil and his dad are unique. His father told him to concentrate on studying so that he didn't turn out to be an idiot like he did, and he did. He became a lawyer, which is hard enough for anyone, but he did that on top of being blind, which makes it harder, and on top of that mental stress from super senses mentioned earlier. That's a pretty awesome thing, and I always liked that Daredevil's first costume was made from his father's boxing garbs.

But the key to Daredevil is really that he has no business being a superhero. You became a lawyer, dude. Take a break. There's no need for you to fight crime.

He is walking around, disabled, and yet can still fight crime better than any of us could, simply because he set his mind to it. Plus, he's not all dark and brooding like Batman. The Daredevil comics are largely upbeat, positive and the character of Daredevil himself actually seems like the type of guy you would want to hang out with.

No comments: