With the upcoming Daredevil series, I have been reading a lot of Daredevil comics. As one of the most tragic figures in Marvel, Matt Murdock has gone through numerous love interests, most of whom have perished. Still, here is a summary of the love Interests of the Man Without Fear.
I would argue that Karen is the most dynamic love interest in all Marvel. She was first the secretary for Nelson & Murdock. There was a love triangle between her and the duo of lawyers, which Matt eventually won. During their engagement, however, Karen decided to opt out and leave, both leaving the engagement and leaving Nelson & Murdock.
Through a string of bad luck and several compromises, Karen became a drug addict and a porn star. In pursuit of a drug fix, she sells Matt’s identity, which ends up in Kingpin’s hand. She eventually finds her way back to Matt, who was rebuilding his life, and was saved.
After years of an on-again-off-again relationship, Karen was killed by Bullseye. Her death wrecked Matt’s psychological state. He went through a nervous breakdown, which reverberated through the next 50 issues of Daredevil.
Elektra is the love interest that most people know, largely due to her portrayal in the 2003 Daredevil film. Elektra first met Matt in college. They began a relationship and were getting serious, until Elektra’s father was killed. She ran then, breaking it off with Matt and becoming a ninja assassin.
Elektra returned to Matt’s life in the first issue of Frank Miller’s run. Daredevil attempted to save her, while she ended up becoming Kingpin’s assassin. Eventually, her battle with Bullseye led to her death. She was resurrected shortly, but her first comic run was her most famous.
In the following years, Elektra became the leader of the Hand, a dark ninja cult. She was replaced by a Skrull during the secret invasion. She also entered Matt’s life on several other occasions.
Before she was even an Avenger, Black Widow was romantically involved with Daredevil. At an early point in Daredevil comics, writer Gerry Conway (18 years old at the time) took over the writing of the comic. He moved DD to San Francisco, introduced a robot from the future in a scifi story arc, and brought Black Widow as a primary character. She even shared the masthead with Daredevil for a period of time.
Her connection to DD was never her most famous spot, but she was continuously brought back into the series in later years, especially in volume 2 (late 90’s and 2000’s). She was working for SHIELD at the time, but both went to the other when they were in trouble. Also, Black Widow dropped in every now and then with a friends with benefits relationship.
Milla Donovan did what no other love interest actually did: She married Matt Murdock. In the days after Karen’s death, during Matt’s mental breakdown, Matt’s identity was revealed in the press. Although there was not yet conclusive evidence (he would later go to jail for that evidence in a great story arc), most believed it to be true. Milla was a blind woman who had been saved by Daredevil. To thank him, she went to Matt.
Matt began a relationship with her. They were married in secret, largely due to the public attention Matt was receiving. When she later discovered that their marriage was probably a result of Matt’s mental breakdown, she requested an annulment, which Matt gave to her. They later reconciled, unfortunately on the day Matt was imprisoned.
Milla is a latter-day interest who has nonetheless been very influential in Matt’s career.
Matt has dated numerous other women, but these are the ones who are most iconic with Daredevil or had the lasting impact on him. As for the Netflix series, we already have confirmed a Karen Page. If they go multiple seasons, expect to see an Elektra. Unfortunately, I don’t see Scarlet Johannson stepping into the series for Black Widow, but only time will tell.