As far as secret identities are concerned, Daredevil‘s is pretty foolproof, but it helps that Matt Murdock uses actual Marvel Comics to help keep it a secret. By night, he’s the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, jumping from building to building and coming out on top in hand-to-hand combat. By day, though, he’s seemingly just a mild-mannered lawyer named Matt Murdock who happens to be completely blind.
Sure, his other heightened senses allow him to “see,” so to speak, but try explaining that to any street thug that he’s beaten up on a nightly basis. The average person won’t be so willing to admit they were duped or defeated by a blind man in a costume. And even if they are, very few people are going to believe them. As far as anyone in the Marvel Universe is concerned, a blind man becoming a superhero is only plausible in a comic book story.
The idea of Matt Murdock being Daredevil is actually brought up in an in-universe comic story. In 2006’s Young Avengers #12, the backup story “Masked Marvel” by Karl Kesel and David Hahn confirms that the real-life comic book publisher Marvel Comics also exists within the 616 Universe. In a world where superheroes exist, the company’s editors make a point that they only write stories about “real superheroes.” They take liberties to fill in the blanks about things they don’t know, specifically secret identities, but they refuse to publish anything outlandish that insults their readers’ intelligence (like Daredevil becoming the mayor). However, they have published Matt Murdock being Daredevil’s secret identity, without knowing that actually is his secret identity because the concept of a blind lawyer being a superhero is too ridiculous to be true.
While the existence of Marvel Comics within the Marvel Universe itself raises a lot of questions, this also confirms that Daredevil truly does have the perfect secret identity. In fact, it can be argued that he has the best secret identity that any hero in the Marvel Universe could ask for. It’s a secret identity where he can literally hide in plain sight with the world technically knowing who he is, but in the confines of a comic book. Thus, nobody treats this idea as anything more than a work of fiction.
It’s worth noting that Daredevil’s secret identity has been revealed to the world and leaked through the press a handful of times, but each of these times, Matt Murdock was able to clear his name and cover his track with help from his friends. This has never been too hard to disprove because, of course, a blind man being a superhero is hard enough to believe. The fact that his identity was never proven makes it easier to publish in a comic. This story establishes that only superheroes whose identities are not known fall under public domain, according to the “Lee-Infantino Act of ’64” (a reference to Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee and DC Comics artist, editor and publisher Carmine Infantino).
It’s almost ironic how, in the Marvel Universe, the comic book medium works more like Greek mythology or folklore that documents actual events with the truth stretched in spectacular fashion. However, even in this universe, a blind superhero is too spectacular to believe. Not only does this help showcase how a world where superheroes exist utilizes the comic book medium, but how the in-universe version of Marvel Comics assists in keeping Daredevil’s secret identity a secret.
Comics help keep Daredevil’s identity a secret. Read More