Marvel Database

Quote1.png What was it you called me? "Matt Murderdock?" I dig it. Makes a nice hashtag. Quote2.png
Matt Murdock[src]


Matt Murdock was born to former workman/boxer Jack Murdock and paralegal/actress Maggie Murdock. One evening when he was accompanying his mother home from rehearsals, the two were involved in a truck accident. Maggie was left in a coma, and Matt discovered that, while the chemical waste spilled by the truck in his eyes had rendered him blind, it had also enhanced his remaining senses to superhuman levels.

With his wife hospitalized and his son disabled, Jack worked his way up boxing ranks filled with determination to pay the medical bills that were burying him. However, he soon discovered his fights had been rigged by the crime boss Silvermane. Initially agreeing to lose the final match in exchange for a payoff, Jack instead knocked out his opponent as a consequence of both pride and frustration, costing Silvermane a small fortune.

When Silvermane's men attacked Jack and Matt in revenge, they only managed to fatally injure Jack before being stopped by the vigilante known as Stick. Recognizing Matt's superhuman abilities, Stick took the boy under his wing and started training him to help him in his war against New York's crime syndicate. Matt's mentor was killed in battle against Silvermane's ninja allies, the Hand, and Matt slaughtered the ninjas responsible before being defeated. Impressed with the blind boy’s skill, the Hand took Matt into their fold, training him in Japan into becoming a deadly assassin.[4]

From Assassin To Kingpin

Matt rose through the ranks of leadership as a feared assassin of the Hand and eventually returned to the United States as an adult as ordered by the Hand where he completed a law degree at the Empire State University. Desiring more power, he started working for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of crime.[5] Matt proved his worth to Kingpin after killing the international burglar Le Chat Noir, who had stolen Fisk's first dollar.[2] Upon graduation, Matt became Fisk's chief advisor and personal counsel.[5]

Following Fisk's arrest at the hands of Captain George Stacy and subsequent imprisonment, Matt started running the weakened remains of Fisk's criminal syndicate. Unsatisfied with his new control over New York’s crime syndicate and disgusted with his own corruption, Matt attempted to commit suicide before witnessing the new vigilante Spider-Woman. Sensing a kindred spirit, Matt attempted to earn the favor of the new vigilante and mold her into his new apprentice.

Motivated to avenge his boss, Matt ordered an attempt on Captain Stacy's life via the hit man The Rhino, in order to also get him off the back of Spider-Woman, who was being investigated by Stacy and was secretly the Captain's own daughter Gwen. The hit failed as Spider-Woman obviously saved her own father.[6]

After his first battle against Spider-Woman, Murdock's men captured the criminal known as the Vulture,[7] and sent him to corroborate a suspected connection between Captain Stacy and Spider-Woman. The Vulture was defeated,[8] and Murdock's law firm represented him to ensure his silence.[5]

Soon after, Murdock was targeted by the daughter of Le Chat Noir, Felicia Hardy. She stole Fisk's first dollar again, and lured Murdock to her concert in Madison Square Garden. Spider-Woman intervened the ensuing fight between Murdock's ninjas and Hardy's men, and knocked down Felicia. Murdock confronted and tried to recruit Spider-Woman, but she rebuked Matt's efforts and fled as the police arrived, with Murdock promising to see her again [2]

Manipulation and Blackmail

Having confirmed Spider-Woman’s identity, Murdock later went to work attempting to gain control over Spider-Woman, first confronting Captain Stacy with a proposition: Murdock would have his Hand assassins kill the nearby zealous Detective Frank Castle who was hunting Gwen and use his law firm to help Stacy in exchange for Stacy’s cooperation and blessing in having Stacy’s daughter as his new pupil. Stacy refused the deal and Murdock flippantly called off his assassins that were attacking Castle.

After Stacy had been arrested for false charges, Murdock approached Gwen and offered her a deal: He would work to free George if she promised that she would work for him. Gwen took the deal, and Murdock offered his service, along with Spider-Woman offering hers to him. [9]

After Spider-Woman had become inactive for sometime, Murdock broke into the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. prison to pay a visit to Cindy Moon (who he was romantically involved with), with her asking why he wants Spider-Woman around. After Gwen was injured by an ambush led by Otomo, who also removes her web-shooters and her power-ups, Murdock (who was present the whole time) revealed that he knew about Gwen recently losing her powers from the beginning, as Moon told him herself. Instead of allowing her to quit, he offered her a surplus of Radioactive Spider Isotopes in exchange for servitude, knowing he is her only hope of being Spider-Woman.[3]

Murdock later ordered Gwen to prove her loyalty by killing rogue SILK operative and crime boss, The Scorpion. Gwen refused to follow the order and Murdock expressed his disappointment that Gwen had not honored their deal by providing George's cooperation or the Scorpion's head. He ordered her to suit up and come with him to Oscorp Tower where the two of them meet with Dr. Elsa Brock and Norman Osborn. Brock revealed a connection between Cindy Moon's radioactive isotopes and the Lizard Formula: combining the two items creates an ooze that grants powers to its host, but also releases deadly radiation called Venom. Murdock ordered Gwen to capture Harry Osborn in Madripoor and planned to transform the Lizard Formula in Harry's blood into Venom, draw it out of him, and give the parasite to Gwen to restore her powers and corrupt her. [10]

After Gwen managed to find Harry, she was phone called by Murdock and voiced her refusal to hand Harry over to him, much to his displeasure. As punishment for her disobedience and Captain Stacy’s refusal to cooperate, Murdock orders the Rhino to beat Stacy to near death in his jail cell, putting him into a coma. Murdock later confronts Gwen in Madripoor as the symbiote has begun taking her as a host, mocking her for not accepting his help and becoming overtaken by the symbiote.

When Gwen overcomes the symbiote’s control, Murdock is incredulous at her ability to resist the symbiote's bloodlust. Gwen retracted her mask and stated that Murdock himself gave her the key to that: using music to suppress the symbiote and let her control it. Murdock sarcastically congratulates her for finally winning before revealing that he's still ten steps ahead. Revealing he stole her portal device, Murdock mocks her for losing track of it and the other important things in her life as he opens a portal to George Stacy's hospital room. Horrified and enraged, Gwen tightens her grip on Murdock's throat as the symbiote shifts back to its dark appearance. Murdock chokes out that Captain Stacy's coma is her fault since she trusted the police to protect him instead of being there to do so herself, causing her to flee to Murdock’s amusement.[11]

Murdock’s Downfall

Later in the Jack's on Yancy's pub, Rhino laughs at Murdock asking if he is afraid, as he declares that he attacked Captain Stacy like Murdock had told him to and is now a wanted man, so it makes sense for him to lie low. Murdock notes that it looks like Rhino is scared now that Spider-Woman is on a warpath, while Rhino smugly tries to blackmail Murdock by threatening to provide evidence that he is the Kingpin of Crime unless he pays hush money; but Murdock laughs and informs Rhino that Captain Stacy wasn't just any cop but a father-figure not only for half the NYPD but for Spider-Woman herself, and that there's only so long that even the Kingpin can protect him from her rage.

Annoyed by the Rhino’s attempt at extorting money from him, Murdock leaks Rhino’s whereabouts to Spider-Woman by having Otomo toss her a matchbox from Jack's on Yancy's pub and inform her that he bears a message from the Kingpin: the Rhino is no longer under the Hand's protection and if she wants him she's welcome to him. Murdock notifies the NYPD that Spider-Woman is headed to Jack's on Yancy Street, causing the officers to break out riot gear. In Jack's pub, Murdock smugly offers to buy a drunk and depressed Rhino another pickleback round, Aleksei lamenting how easy he is to be manipulated. Venom arrives and furiously confronts Rhino, shouting that he owes her blood and she's come to make him pay for harming her father. Murdock cheerfully stands up and says this is his cue to leave as Rhino incredulously asks what happened to her. Venom snarls that she's not letting Murdock go anywhere and that he's next; but Murdock uses the dimensional portal watch to make his escape, remarking that he was the one who gave her the power to seek revenge in the first place and asking her whether she's going to use waste this moment to avenge her father pursuing him or punish the person directly responsible for her father's coma.[12]

Wanting to tie up loose ends after the Rhino’s death, Murdock has Officer Richie Rogers captured and tortured for his role in allowing the Rhino to attack Captain Stacy. In Matt Murdock's apartment, Richie Rogers - a katana impaling him and pinning him to a chair - asks Murdock why he doesn't just let him die. Murdock chuckles and notes that secrets have a way of keeping Rogers rather than the other way around, taunting his self-loathing and regret for what had happened to Captain Stacy. Murdock remarks that he understands the burden of knowledge and the inner war between the artiste and the entertainer; adding that the only reason Rogers is still breathing is because he's going to die soon anyways and because Murdock is more like him than anyone will ever know. Stating that he needs an audience and a "priest" to confess to, Murdock launches into his backstory and his obsession with Spider-Woman.

Murdock tells a dying Rogers about how he became obsessed with making Spider-Woman understand what it feels like to wield real power and have it corrupt her. Growing angry, Murdock rants about how he doesn't understand why she continues to resist and cling to her morality no matter how much he's tormented and taken from her; and that while he wanted her at his side he refuses to be the only one who power has corrupted. Slitting Rogers' throat with a katana, Murdock thanks him for listening as he cleans the blade and turns to look out across the night-time cityscape while contemplating the dinging portal-watch. Murdock later detects screams and gunfire coming from outside and downstairs, and Otomo appears to inform him of an intruding Frank Castle murdering his minions. Murdock tells Otomo to ready his ninja and give Frank Castle the war he wants.[4]

Murdock decides to deal with Castle himself, and Otomo tries to stop him from exposing himself as the Kingpin and ruining the Hand's work in New York, but Murdock refuses and proclaims he is in control of things. As Castle attempts to blast Murdock with his War Machine gauntlet, Venom arrives, grabs Murdock and snarls that she wants to be the one to kill him and is not going to let him get off so easily. Murdock draws his katana and cuts the web-line she used to secure him, dropping back down to the roof and saying that an easy death his the last thing he wants. Captain America arrives at the last second and punches Castle out before turning to confront Venom and the Kingpin. Murdock affects a fake Southern accent and mockingly thanks her for saving him, but she kicks him in the face and tells him to shut up. Captain America states she knows all about what Murdock has done and promises Gwen that he'll see justice. Enraged, Gwen transforms back into Venom and furiously punches Samantha, snarling that Murdock will never see justice because he owns both sides of the law; stomping on her shield before she can reclaim it. Captain America tells Gwen to stand down and that the symbiote is making her sick; but the Venom attacks her instead, using the symbiote's tongue to break Samantha's arm before knocking her out, stating that she has to kill Murdock.

Murdock quips that he's proud of Gwen punching the American flag in the face, but Venom grabs him by the throat and tells him to shut up and die. As she prepares to drop him off the edge of the building, Murdock states that he's succeeded in showing her what true power is and can die happy knowing he's not alone. Realizing that this is what he wants, Venom angrily tosses him aside and snaps that she won't be like him, and Murdock incredulously asks if she truly didn't enjoy indulging her rage and hatred by fighting him as she leaves.[13]

Sometime after Spider-Woman disappeared, Captain America angrily confronts Murdock, who is moving out of his penthouse suite. Murdock sarcastically remarks that moving seems perfectly reasonable now that Spider-Woman has become ruthless and is out to get him, and that he was attacked in his own home by the Punisher. He mocks her for being knocked out and asks if she knows what happened to Spider-Woman; but Captain America turns the tables on him and states that that it must gall him that all the effort he put into trying to corrupt Spider-Woman was wasted, revealing that S.H.I.E.L.D. now has evidence of his membership with the Hand. Murdock calls her bluff, remarking that she suspects he has a way of bringing Spider-Woman back from wherever she disappeared to; and adds that for once he's just as lost as anyone as to what happened to his nemesis.[14]

Murdock is later interrogated via conference call by the leaders of the Hand - who berate him for putting them at risk of exposure through his public conflicts with Spider-Woman and the Punisher. Murdock sneers at them, and when they berate and threaten him for his irreverence he tells them to bring it on. As the Hand leaders snap that he's nothing without them, Murdock hangs up on them and tosses his smartphone into the garbage as it starts ringing, bitterly thinking that he's seen worse than anything they can throw at him and waiting for their response.

Elsewhere, Murdock - covered in cuts and stabbed in the gut by a katana - cuts down a squad of Hand ninja sent to assassinate him. As he checks the sword impaling him, Spider-Woman appears out of the shadows and hisses that she'd love to rub salt in his wounds. When Murdock quips about her obsession with him, Gwen remarks that his criminal empire is crumbling around him like a house of cards but he makes it sound like a game of 52 pick-up. Murdock mocks her smug attitude as he pulls the sword from his abdomen, stating that he could have gone anywhere he wanted with his portal watch but that he chose to stay and keep trying to teach her how power corrupts. Gwen mocks Murdock for lying to himself and secretly wanting to be stopped, for being so bored and empty that only other people's misery is interesting, and for thinking himself caged when he's the freest person in the world. Enraged, Murdock attacks her, but she easily evades and says she's done playing his games. Gwen pulls out a music player and activating it, the Mary Janes' music blaring loud enough to incapacitate Murdock and blast the symbiote from Gwen's body.

As Gwen notes that it must be terrifying for him to be so overwhelmed and drowned out, Murdock threatens to kill her unless she shuts it off. Gwen tells Murdock that in telling her that sound was the Venom symbiote's weakness he gave his own critical vulnerability away, noting that deep down he wanted her to figure that out and stop him. Turning off the music, Gwen states that the world now knows the truth about the both of them, and that her love for her friends has helped her truly tame the Venom symbiote - which she transforms into a replica of her original costume. Asking Murdock what she should do with him, she transforms her left hand back into Venom's claws and tells him to give her a reason to not end things in bloodshed. Murdock swears he'll never surrender to her or the Hand, telling her to kill him or he'll never stop tormenting her. Gwen unceremoniously takes her dimensional portal device back and tells an injured and defeated Murdock he picked his fate before leaving him to wait for more Hand ninja to arrive to end his life.[15] According to Gwen, Murdock apparently survived his encounter with the Hand, but was arrested and is currently indefinitely imprisoned by S.H.I.E.L.D.[16]


Murdock after becoming the Kingpin

Murdock is outwardly smug, manipulative, arrogant, sadistic, and sinister, and delights in playing mindgames to psychologically torture people -- with his main target being Spider-Woman. Inwardly, however, Murdock is filled with self-loathing and despair at having let power corrupt him into the very antithesis of what he had originally sworn to stand for -- and had been on the brink of committing suicide before being inspired to attempt to drag Spider-Woman down to his level.[4]



Seemingly those of Matt Murdock of Earth-616.


Seemingly those of Matt Murdock of Earth-616.



  • Multi-purpose cane
  • Murdock also possessed a concealed cane sword disguised as a walking stick


  • Matt is stated to have American and Japanese citizenship in the profile of Spider-Gwen (Vol. 2) #3. In real life, dual citizenship is currently not allowed under the Japanese Nationality Law.[17]


  • Murdock was the lawyer of the Storm family.[18]

See Also

Links and References


Like this? Let us know!