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Daredevil (Charlie Cox on Netflix) season 1

Daredevil

(Netflix version) (Season 1)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“A blind lawyer, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a costumed superhero.”


Context

This profile described Daredevil (Matt Murdock) as depicted in the 2015 Netflix TV series. This highly successful show was an adaptation of classic Daredevil comic book stories.

This write-up only covers the first season of the serial, and was written before the second season was announced.

Netflix’s Daredevil is one of the most enjoyable series I’ve watched in several years – it does justice particularly well to the Miller and Bendis eras of the character!!


Background

  • Real Name: Matthew “Matt” Murdock
  • Other Aliases: Mike, The Man in Black, The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil
  • Marital Status: single
  • Known Relatives: Jack “Battlin’ Jack” Murdock (father, deceased), unnamed mother (still supposedly alive)
  • Group Affiliation: Nelson and Murdock – Attorneys at Law (at the end)
  • Base Of Operations: Hell’s Kitchen, New York City
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 200 lbs?
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Video

First trailer for the Daredevil Netflix series :


Powers & Abilities

Matthew, in addition to having the numerous superhuman sensory abilities, is in excellent physical health thanks to a rigorous physical training regiment. He can take a beating real well courtesy of his father’s genetics and he heals very fast too!

A brutal vigilante, Intimidation is often done together with a Force Maneuvre (and he knows when you lie too!)

Matt is a smart guy with street savvy, has great people skills and is also an extremely promising defense attorney (like Foggy) bound to win a lot of cases.

Devil of Hell’s Kitchen

Matthew, nicknamed the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen by the general public in his secret guise, has numerous sensory powers in addition to his extensive combat training. All of his senses are supercharged, which well compensates for a complete physical blindness, granting him a uniquely acute view of the world surrounding him at all times. He can tune down his senses enough to sleep deeply and function as a normal being at will.

He constantly senses the world close to him as “a world on fire”, pertaining to objects and people, thus discerning temperature variations, movement and physiological states (in DC Heroes terms, Thermal Vision).

His hearing can be focused to pick up individual voices at least a mile away, and more acutely he can detect changes in a subject’s heartbeat when he/she is lying or hear when somebody is agitated (only one ever capable of fooling him was Stick), in love, afraid, sleeping or unconscious.

He obviously “sees” through walls using a combination of his abilities (range-limited Sonar Power) and hears and smells everything using his Extended Hearing/Directional Hearing and Analytical Smell Powers. His sense of touch goes far beyond reading the print on papers and is good enough to feel the color of objects or differences in air pressure; his skin is sensitive enough that he has to sleep on silk sheets since normal cotton would feel like sandpaper on his skin.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox on Netflix) smile and bloody knuckles

As taught by Stick, he can facilitate his already naturally remarkable self-healing abilities as a low-level Regeneration power when he concentrates/meditates deeply and spends HPs to use it (further enhanced by the Edge schtick if desired); this way he can recover at astounding rates from day to day as seen in the series.

As a fighter he is very well trained and can take a tremendous amount of physical beating, enabling him not only to survive, but to fight on even when lethally injured (BODY, Regeneration, Edge). While most single opponents are quite easily defeated (and often interrogated too), he has to struggle beating other well-trained combatants.

He will take great use of the terrain whenever fighting. When facing groups of opponents he is usually in for a long fight and while often completely exhausted after a while he still astonishingly and stubbornly struggles through it until all enemies eventually lie defeated.

His sense of balance is superb, even though his acrobatics are quite limited (with superior climbing skills), and he can throw objects making them ricochet on surfaces until his intended target is struck out. He prefers to dodge attacks completely in favor of blocking them, although he is very adept at blocking incoming attacks with melee weapons or his hands if needed in close quarters.

By running and jumping along rooftops he is often capable of traversing faster than cars in the city; his makes his tracking capabilities superb as he can pinpoint his hearing to the ones he pursues.

Now Matt can stand on any rooftop in Hell’s Kitchen in his armored Daredevil costume and focus to listen, hear, feel and smell everything going on in his city. Matt has just started to tap into the great potential of all his remarkable abilities and his true form, supposedly the legendary superhero Daredevil, will likely be much more experienced and powerful than the current iteration, suitably referred to perhaps only as the Year One Daredevil.


Video

The famous hallway single-take fight scene is the best example of Daredevil’s fighting style and the show’s approach to violence.


History

Matthew Murdock was raised by his boxer father, Battlin’ Jack Murdock, in the poor suburb of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. He became blind during a car accident with chemical spills at the age of nine, but since his father wanted him to succeed, Matt continued to study hard using Braille reading in order to not become a failure like his father (as per Jack).

Jack Murdock sometimes bet on his own matches and in the end went against the wishes of the local mob as a matter of pride. The mob wanted and had instructed him to loose the match against Crusher Creel, but Jack instead chose to bet everything he had on himself winning and then went on to win the match with Matthew cheering for him in front of a television set.

Jack thus won back his own pride and great bonus winnings (added to Matt’s account), but he was soon killed by the mob for going against their wishes. Matt, who heard the shot, went out to the find him dead in the alley.

Matt was then taken care of by an orphanage, but they were at a loss to help him as his senses slowly became excruciatingly acute and overwhelming. Soon, however, a man named Stick showed up to train and focus him, and they soon became student and stern mentor.

Stick taught him to use and focus his senses, to fight, to meditate and heal properly, but when Matt started to look for a new father in Stick, Stick – looking for a warrior – instead opted to leave him as an unfinished project.

Rule of law

Matt later went on to study law at the university, which he met his best mate and fellow law student Foggy Nelson, with whom he also shared living quarters. For a while Matt dated a Greek student. Matt and Foggy passed with excellent grades they returned to Hell’s Kitchen to set up a law firm, which was about twenty years after Matt had been trained by Stick.

Matt had kept his superhuman senses a secret all along, but could every night hear everything going on in the neighborhood, all the police cars, all the gun shots, all the misery, etc. One night when he started hearing a young girl being abused by her own father he had decided to later stalk the man and to punish him for the deed. Clad in a black mask he delivered a severe beating and a warning and then slept the sleep of the just.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox on Netflix) in black in the night

This set him onto a path to take the law into his own hands and slowly become a full-fledge vigilante; he could right the wrongs in his world!

As Foggy and Matt set up their law firm in Hell’s problems arouse in the neighborhood. A powerful criminal cartel consisting of the Chinese (Madame Gao), the Japanese (Nobu), the Russians (Vladimir Ranshakov, Sergey and Anatoly) and two respective American groups led by Wilson Fisk (and his right hand James Wesley) and Leland Owsley (the financier).

Man in Black

Adopting a black costume as disguise Matt started fighting crime in his ’hood. When a young boy was kidnapped he managed to track down the Russian kidnappers and eventually, after physical confrontation, beat them all up and liberated the boy, returning him to his father.

Around this time he also met a nurse named Claire Temple as she found him dying in a dumpster and nursed him back to health. She would need to nurse him several other times as well and they even developed a kind of romantic relationship for a while.

The Russians struck back at the Man in Black while Wilson Fisk, a native of Hell’s Kitchen, began consolidating his power. Matt and Foggy and their secretary, Karen Page, whom they had defended from wrongful accusations of murder (later revealed to be by Wilson Fisk), started taking on cases, including the defense of Mr. Healy, who had killed a man on Fisk’s orders, as well as helping tenants victimized by a slumlord.

The man in black confronted the Russians, and obtained valuable information, before all the Russians seemingly died by various causes.

Against the Cartel

Matt, now aware of the criminal activities of Wilson Fisk, takes up the fight against the Cartel, resulting in chaos and death. Meanwhile, veteran reporter Ben Urich started digging around the same criminal activities.

As Matt had tracked down Owsley, his former mentor Stick unexpectedly showed up. Together they stopped a threat against the city called the Black Sky who had been brought in by Nobu. They parted on quite poor turns after Stick had killed Black Sky against Matt’s wishes.

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen often delivered criminals to one incorruptible cop on the force, Sgt. Brett Mahoney, who eventually became a contact.

As Matt, Foggy and Karen focus their mission of justice Fisk faces numerous problems in his criminal activities. Fisk and Nobu then lured the Man in Black into a trap by killing one of the tenants Matt and co. had worked for before.

Nobu very nearly killed Matt in combat when a desperate measure burned Nobu to crisps. The lethally wounded Matt then had to face Wilson Fisk and his right hand James Wesley.

Fisk beat up Matt further and then ordered Wesley to kill him. In desperation Matt throw a bit of wood at Wesley’s hand just as the shot went off after which Matt jumped out the window down in the river.

Showdown

Dragging himself home using his last reserves of power he was found by Foggy, who thus discovered his dual identity, and called Claire to fix him back up. Foggy was deeply upset about all the secrets Matt had been holding from him all of their lives, and this nearly broke up the law firm and their work for the common good.

With Matt healing up and Foggy out of the activities, Karen and Ben started digging more information about Fisk’s activities. Karen was found out by Wesley personally, and she was forced to kill him in self defense. Ben was found out by Fisk who then went on to personally murder him.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox on Netflix) main cast

Wilson Fisk, Claire Temple, Matt Murdock, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson.

Matt destroyed the narcotics factory of Madam Gao, who then opted to leave the country. As Fisk found out that Owsley and Madam Gao had made some power plays behind his back, including almost murdering his beloved Vanessa, the enraged Fisk threw Owsley down an elevator shaft.

Eventually, as the evidence summed up, arrests were sent out for Fisk and all others involved, including a senator. When Fisk managed to escape during his trip to the prison, Matt, now in the guise of Daredevil, using an armored costume obtained from Fisk’s involuntary associate Melvin Potter, stopped Fisk after in a vicious fight in his first public outing as Daredevil.

Matt, Foggy and Karen could finally celebrate victory and enjoy a better neighborhood as the Cartel had been broken up and Fisk was sent to prison.

And thus…

The first season of Daredevil is essentially Daredevil Year One. While it would be excessive to call him a superhero at this point of time, he is a full-fledged, successful vigilante and is clearly headed towards becoming a real superhero in short time. At the end he donned the red and black costume to regularly patrol Hell’s Kitchen and safeguard the innocent (Season 1).


Video

Matt Murdock vs. Nobu. This scene constitute a S P O I L E R for this season.


Description

Matt Murdock, a fairly attractive male, is often seen in a suit and wearing black glasses and a white stick. His voice is relaxed, controlled and friendly and he has got good people skills.

As the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen he wears all black and is then practically always unshaved as he wears a black cowl covering all but his lower face, and sometimes has wrapped fists. His voice is serious, grave and deep, which instils fear in and shows confidence for his opponents.

His later Daredevil costume is armored, padded and red and black in colors with small horns in his forehead.


Personality

Matt burns to bring justice to the world, but would prefer that it could be doable without violence, which it cannot; still a part of him greatly enjoys beating criminals and he often considered if he had to kill Wilson Fisk to properly protect Hell’s Kitchen. His discussions with Father Lantom (who knows of his dual identity and also knew his father) may have been instrumental in him finding the heroic path.

Matt is excessively brutal with criminal elements (and he is not beyond torturing criminals for vital information) which no doubt yields the results he wants most of the time. Insults or excessive trash talk by criminals will promptly earn them a trashing, but he refuses to cross the line to start killing his opponents.

Matt is extremely observant during combat and takes care to optimize the use of his environment (sometimes spending HPs on Environmental effects). While Matt is never visibly afraid — he truly is the man without fear — he will eventually escape only when clearly overpowered and very close to death.

Anything else would be foolhardy at that point, and he will eventually heal up, return and defeat the foes later. He will only use melee or thrown weapons if overpowered, otherwise preferring to use fisticuffs at all times.

Matt enjoys to regularly practice boxing in his father’s old gym for recreation and practice, and also enjoys reading as a hobby (no movies for obvious reasons). Matt occasionally meditates to clear his mind and focus and stabilize his body. His living quarters are quite frugal and quiet and he sleeps on soft cotton since normal fabrics would feel like sandpaper on his skin.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox on Netflix) with a priest on a bench

Matt was very close to his father Jack who tried to give him a real chance in life despite their meager life and resources. Jack and Catholicism served as the teachers of his conscience and morals, but his hard track in life has also infused Matt with the will to see true justice done. He regularly visits Father Lantom of a Catholic church, over some latte, to ease his heart and discuss his concerns (Lantom has concluded that Matt is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen).

Matt’s best friend is Foggy Nelson, who was his roommate during his university studies in law. They are very close, share a lot of happy memories and while Matt had to hide his secret life from Foggy, Foggy now knows the truth after he found the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen severely trashed in Matt’s apartment.

That (apparent secret-keeping) initially strained their relationship a lot, but they have since regained their trust in each other Foggy now also functions as Matt’s informal confidante regarding his activities as the Daredevil. They now together keep the firm “Nelson and Murdock – Attorneys at Law”.

Matt has dated a lot of (hot) women but never managed any relationship for longer than two months, including a certain Greek woman at the university. Matt cares a lot about his secretary Karen Page, but it’s not clear if he also has romantic interests in her.

He did have a romantic relationship for a while with Claire Temple, a nurse that found him lethally wounded in an alley one night, and who could return to become a part of his life in the future.

His relationship with his old mentor Stick is complex; Stick started Matt on the road to greatness – for which he no doubt is grateful – but Matt wanted a father and Stick only wanted a warrior. They are always at odds principally, morally and ethically and unable to agree even on the most basic things in life.

Sadly, Matt gained some modicum of respect from Stick only after he finally defeated the old man in combat. Matt knows basically nothing about Stick, but their paths are sure to cross again and the outcome cannot be known beforehand.


Quotes

Claire: “You know, the only thing I remember from Sunday school is the martyrs. The saints, the saviors. They all end up the same way… bloody and alone.”
Matt: “I never said I was any of those.”
Claire: “You didn’t have to.”

(Interrogating a blackmailer) “Save your excuses for the jury. Personal reasons, whatever it takes, after that she never sees you again. And you better leave my city… tonight…” (whack !)

(Busting a drugdealer after a severe beatdown) “Shut up ! You have to turn yourself in… Sgt. Brett Mahoney at the 15th precinct. If you don’t, I’ll find you, and the next time I’m not gonna stop !” (whack !)

“Let her go. No, you aren’t [walking out of here]. Put the gun down… or I promise you you’ll never hold anything in that hand again.” (hostage taker does not comply; crick-crack) “It hurts, doesn’t it ? Being in pain. Being afraid.”

“Matt’s final defending words in the courtroom) “Yes, your honor, thank you. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, forgive me if I seem distracted. I’ve been preoccupied lately with questions of morality. Of right and wrong. Good and evil. Sometimes the delineation between the two is a sharp line, sometimes it’s a blur. An offense like pornography you just know when you see it.” (the jury murmurs)
“A man is dead, I don’t mean to make light of that, but these questions… these questions… are vital ones because they tether us to each other, to humanity. Not everyone feels this way, not everyone sees the sharp line, only the blur. A man is dead… I… a man is dead, and my client John Healy took his life. This is not in dispute. It is a matter of record. A fact. And facts have no moral judgement they merely state what is. Not what we think of them, not what we feel, they just are.
What was in my client’s heart when he took Mr. Prohaska’s life, whether he is a good man, or something else entirely, is irrelevant. These questions of good and evil, as important as they are, have no place in a court of law. Only the facts matter. My client claims he acted in self-defense. Mr. Prohaska’s associates have refused to make a statement about the incident. The only witness, an afraid young woman, has stated that my client was pleasant and friendly, and that she only saw the struggle with Mr. Prohaska after it had started. Those are the facts.
Based on these, and these alone, the prosecution has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client was not acting solely in self-defense, and those, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, are the facts. My client — based purely on the sanctity of the law we all swore an oath to uphold — must be acquitted of these charges. Now, beyond that, beyond these walls he may well face a judgement of his own making, but here in this courtroom the judgement is yours. And yours alone.”

“This is my city !! My family !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Daredevil (Netflix version, Season 1)

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Lawyer, Vigilante
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 045

Powers:
Analytical Smell and Taste and Tracking Scent: 10, Detect (Lies): 07, Directional Hearing: 09, Extended Hearing: 10, Hypersensitive Touch: 07, Sonar: 08, Regeneration: 02, Thermal Vision: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Detect (Lies) will only work with subjects having a heartbeat and physiological responses (0) and is only used in Conjunction with Extended Hearing (-1)
  • Regeneration is a Skilled Power
  • Thermal Vision may only be used in Conjunction with Sonar (-1), and essentially provides him with a rudimentary sense of sight
  • Sonar, which is essentially a sixth sense, has a Range of 04 APs only (-1)

Skills:
Accuracy (Perception): 11, Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging, Gymnastics): 04, Acrobatics (Climbing): 08, Charisma (Intimidation, Persuasion): 05, Charisma (Interrogation): 07, Detective: 06, Martial Artist (AV, RV): 06, Martial Artist (EV, OV): 05, Medicine (First Aid): 03, Military Science (Danger Recognition): 06, Thief (Stealth): 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 06, Weaponry (Melee, Thrown): 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Martial Arts includes Techniques (+1)
  • Military Science (Danger Recognition) is a Powered Skill

Advantages
Area Knowledge (Hell’s Kitchen), Confidant (Foggy Nelson), Edge (BODY, Regeneration), Iron Nerves, Language (Braille reading, Spanish, possibly also some Greek), Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye

Connections:
Claire Temple the nurse (High), Karen Page the secretary (High), Father Lantom (High), Sgt. Brett Mahoney of the New York City Fifteenth Precinct Police (Low), Benjamin ’Ben’ Urich the investigative reporter of the New York Bulletin (Low; until the end of Season 1 only)

Drawbacks:
Mistrust (during the entire season 1 until the last episode), Secret Identity, SPR (Blind; while normally a CPR Matt’s combined senses decreases the severity)

Equipment:

  • Daredevil costume [BODY /06/, Blunting: 04, Note: He started using this astonishing light-weight fiber creation by Melvin Potter only in the season finale of Season 1]
  • Stick weapon (x2) [BODY 08, EV 03 (04/w STR, 06 w/Martial Artist, Notes: these two metallic stick weapons are individually suitable as dual melee weapons; the sticks are excellent for Blocking or as bludgeoning weapons or as throwable and ricochetable weapons with a Range equal to Matt’s STR attribute.
    When attached together they constitute one longer fighting staff with a fighting range of 0 APs; this is useful for fighting stronger opponents at a slight distance and it can also be used as a pole vault. He started wearing these sticks only at the very end with the Daredevil costume, which has a side pocket for carrying them (previously only occasionally having carried a set of wooden sticks).]

Designer’s notes

  • Matt’s HPs started out quite low, but never lower than 25 and were seemingly up to around 45 at the end of the season. These will no doubt rise by quite alot during the coming season(s).
  • Matt’s BODY is a tricky thing. He can take punishment like nobody else, but he is not bullet-proof or stab-proof but still a human being. This is the reason he eventually got himself some armor. His BODY seems to be fixed at 5.5 APs, which is what the Edge advantage simulates; he can LDD more and raise his RV higher when needed than a mere 05 BODY character.
    His healing abilities are similar in that they require concentration and the expenditure of HP(s) to be of any real and noticeable use, which again is simulated by the Edge ability, allowing for a Regeneration ability of more than 02 APs. While this ability – particularly if boosted – could help him recover some Bashing Combat in a scene that is unusual, other than to wake up in time.
    There were instances were obvious Killing damage were practically healed up already the next day, which is the biggest help he gets from this, the ability to stay in action day after day.
  • We opted for BODY, Regeneration, Edge. Another option would be to instead of Edge give him a few APs of Mind over Matter, perhaps even allowing him to continue activities for a while he would technically be unconscious
  • Matt’s INFL is no doubt higher than that of his supporting cast, but he still falls short in comparison to the likes of Stick and Wilson Fisk who both have at least 06 APs. Nobu may also have been a 05, while Vladimir Ranshakov was a likely 04 APs. Foggy is an INFL 03 at most.
  • At the start of the series Matt’s DEX score may have been only 05 APs to later grow due to vast combat experience.
  • In contrast to classic Daredevil who is said to have a radar sense (i.e. the Radar power), the Marvel Cinematic Universe Daredevil instead has the Sonar power, which can be used to sense through objects and which is closer to what Murdock uses in the series.
  • Matt probably also has several other abilities courtesy of his superhuman senses, including Thief (Locks and Safes, Pickpocketing), but these have yet to be demonstrated in the series.
  • Murdock’s perception is absolutely overwhelming and set by the APs of his Accuracy (Perception) subskill plus the, in his case ironically named, Sharp Eye advantage. These together constitute the sum total of all of his enhanced senses and focus.
  • His skill at detecting lies is very evolved and only Stick – who no doubt has high APs in all of his Attributes – managed to fool him throughout the entire series.
  • Matt is mentally supremely disciplined and focused and possesses very strong mind, spirit and resolve – even though his personality forces him to constantly evaluate his growing roll in the affairs of Hell’s Kitchen – all of which translate into very high MIND and SPI scores.
  • Matt probably also has the Tracking Scent aspect of his Analytical Smell and Taste power (as noted above) even though it was never demonstrated; he could likely track anyone easily by their unique smell even at very long distances.
  • His uncanny ability to somehow sense danger, for example when a bomb he knew nothing about detonated, translates as the Powered Military Science (Danger Recognition) subskill.
  • Matt’s AURA may have risen to a full 05 APs by the time he dons the Daredevil costume, at which points his Mistrust Drawback was also lost.
  • I’d love to see Matthew interact with the rest of the characters in the Marvel Cinematic universe: Tony Stark, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, Peter Parker, SHIELD, etc., but even the mere speculation of such matters is beyond the scope of this writeup! We will, however, at the very least see him in the Defenders later on with Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, which will be great!

By Dr. Peter S. Piispanen

Source of Character: Daredevil Netflix TV-series Season 1; Character played by Charlie Cox

Helper(s): Tom Eilers, Adam Fuqua, Bryan Gittens, Sébastien Andrivet

Writeup completed on the 26th of June, 2015.

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