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One of Matt Murdock's key personal rules is that he never kills anyone, even if they deserve it. This plays a big part, for example, in the Netflix series Daredevil, where he struggled over his decision to kill or not kill Kingpin, but this aspect of his hero persona is present in every incarnation I am aware of.

However, he seems to have very little problem beating the hell out of anyone who gets in his way, including people who haven't committed a crime. As badly as he tends to beat people, I can't imagine that not a single one of them has ever died from their injuries.

All it would take was an errant cracked rib puncturing the lungs, or severe internal bleeding, or damage to a kidney or liver. Even worse, Murdock knocks out countless low-level thugs long enough to fight off the rest of their crew, rescue hostages, have long chats with dirty cops, etc. If someone is rendered unconscious via head trauma, and doesn't wake up very quickly (second to minutes), at best they're going to suffer permanent brain damage, and possibly won't ever wake up.

Has there ever been a case where Murdock inflicted lethal injuries on someone, without intending to, and we (or even better, he) found out about it?

(N.B. I'm assuming he has never purposefully killed someone, but if he has, that's not what I'm asking about here.)

  • Does this sound a little too obscure to answer? Daredevil has to beat someone up, and that person has to later die of his injuries? Is that even a storyline that would be covered? Plus I reckon Daredevil would know exactly how much damage each strike would do. – Daft Apr 20 '15 at 14:53
  • Good thing you put that last bit in, because he did try to kill someone at the beginning of the Miller run, or at least his dialogue indicated as much. – FuzzyBoots Apr 20 '15 at 14:59
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    @Daft nothing is too obscure for Thaddeus – KutuluMike Apr 20 '15 at 15:55
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    You dont think he purposefully killed Nobu? On the Netflix series, that is. I dont remember the scene perfectly, but I thought it was unclear when I first saw it. – Dodgie Apr 25 '15 at 17:32
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    that's what I was going to say. His fight with Nobu led to Nobu catching on fire and burning to death, and DD did nothing to try to save him. I was surprised he wasn't torn up about it in later episodes – childcat15 Apr 28 '15 at 18:09
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Daredevil has had wide array of writers with different takes on the character. While the Daredevil portrayal on Netflix has a strong "Code vs. Killing" the character's comic history is a little less stringent in that regard, depending on his opponents, his mental state and his frustration levels... But given the sensory nature of his powers, it is unlikely he could accidentally harm someone mortally and not be aware of it.

  • The answer unfortunately is YES. He has killed someone accidentally and did not know it because it was early in his career and the use of his powers was still less than perfect.

  • In The Man Without Fear mini-series #1-5, (which retcons the previous accidental death) during the ensuing commotion, young Matt - raw in his abilities as a fighter and still many months removed from the creation of his superhero alter-ego - panics and accidentally kicks a young prostitute named Mary Walker out the window.

  • It was presumed Walker fell several stories, presumably to her certain death. Through the power of a minor retcon, she did not die and instead became Typhoid Mary, a bitter foe and deadly enemy.

enter image description here

  • Could Daredevil kill using his fighting prowess accidentally? Unlikely. The description of his powers by Marvel in the early days of Daredevil indicated he had nearly perfect control and placement of his blows due to his enhanced senses and radar sense. He never broke anything he didn't mean to and rarely crippled anyone he didn't intend to.

enter image description here

He is generally aware of the physical health of anyone who attacks him and can generally determine what it takes to put that person out of commission. This does not include the traditional "accidental deaths" common in the comic genre.

  • However, as his career progressed (and more writers/editors took control of the character) Daredevil became more inclined to cause greater harm and perhaps even kill members of the Ninja cult, the Hand.

  • In addition, Daredevil's psychological health has been impaired/destabilized and he has become more brutal in his crime fighting efforts. He has tortured criminals and supervillains in the past.

enter image description here

  • Given Daredevil's mixed status as a popular, yet dangerous, vigilante, if he had actually killed anyone and it could have been pinned on him, it would have, especially after his secret identity becomes public knowledge.

  • To be fair, Daredevil has tried to kill both the Kingpin and Bullseye (Bullseye didn't stay dead), unsuccessfully, so the idea he could kill someone or be driven to the act is certainly possible, in regard to his psychology, he is still mostly human.

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    I'm confused. You say he has killed someone accidentally, but the story you tell makes it clear that the person didn't actually die. – Wad Cheber Jun 22 '15 at 4:09
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    It was retconned away. Meaning though the story where he killed someone DID happen, it was later altered and the woman was NOT killed. – Thaddeus Howze Jun 22 '15 at 4:36
  • Ahh, got it. Mayhap you should add that to your answer? – Wad Cheber Jun 22 '15 at 4:51
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    In The Man Without Fear mini-series #1-5, the ensuing commotion, young Matt - raw in his abilities as a fighter and still many months removed from the creation of his superhero alter-ego - panics and accidentally kicks a young prostitute named Mary Walker out the window, causing her to fall several stories, presumably to her certain death. She did not die and instead became Typhoid Mary, a bitter foe and deadly enemy. (I did not use the word retcon because among comic readers it was a known retcon.) – Thaddeus Howze Jun 22 '15 at 6:37
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Yes, until it was later retconned that the person had lived. The events in question were the subject of a detailed article just yesterday.

In short, in the Man Without Fear mini-series by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. Matt accidentally kills a prostitute by knocking her out a window in a panic. That story and later stories in Daredevil issues 347 and 350 made it clear that the woman had definitely died.

enter image description here

Later, in a crossover with Deadpool, Joe Kelly retconned things to establish that the woman survived and became Typhoid Mary.

3

From one point of view, yes. In Daredevil #27, Daredevil is trying to break through The Masked Marauder's force field, and accidentally knocks the M.M. into his own device, causing his death. This was later retconned with the device actually being a teleportation machine, but this was a case where he unintentionally caused a death, at least up until the staff at Marvel decided that the guy wasn't dead after all.

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I have one instance where Daredevil undoubtedly kills someone. In issue #233, following extremely rough times and a period of unstable mental health (thanks to the Kingpin after he discovered Daredevils secret identity of Matt Murdock), Daredevil fights the supersoldier Nuke. As you can see in the picture below, Nuke's backup helicopter is firing at Daredevil, hits Glori, and so Daredevil uses Nuke's gun to fire a missle at the helicopter. We can presume, without doubt, that the pilot of the helicopter was killed.enter image description here

  • Great answer, but the person who asked the question specifically said he wasn't asking about intentional killings. – Wad Cheber Jun 22 '15 at 4:06

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