Writer Ryan K. Lindsay, in conjunction with Sequart, has put together a book of essays on Daredevil and Matt Murdock, called The Devil is in the Details. It’s available right now. And if this is the kind of thing you might be into, it’s available right now.

Maybe you’re not sure if you want to read a lot of essays on Daredevil though. Here’s an excerpt from Lindsay.

cover front 1000Does how we love define us as people?

Matthew Michael Murdock is a man who seems only to know how to love completely.  He has never let go of the perfect image of his parents, even though they both failed him in many ways.  Every woman he has ever been serious about has resulted in tragedy.  He still expects to find a peace in Hell’s Kitchen that doesn’t want to be found, click here to read the last article we wrote about the whole subject.  Matt sees everything in the world as pure until proven tainted – except for himself.  Matt doubts and berates himself constantly, so finding acceptance and love in the arms of another person is a quest for which he will always battle.  For this hero, it may be the ultimate battle, even more important than saving innocent lives or stopping deranged maniacs.  Filling the gap in his soul is Matt’s true pursuit.There have been five major women in Matt’s life.  Each partner represents a different love: true love, first love, convenient love, nasty love, and self love.  There have also been other ladies but they’re of lesser concern and were certainly banal in comparison to the main five.  Heather Glenn and Glorianna O’Breen might have been interesting, but they aren’t stellar.  And while Echo had potential, it was left sorely untapped.  You can’t say Murdock hasn’t tried.  But you have to wonder, is Matt Murdock searching for true love or does he float through a haze of sex and intimacy without believing in its existence?Matt is also a character who has been active for five decades.  His relationship with relationships is often a product, in any given story, of the time as well as his major creators.  Since love is a social construct rather than a concrete commodity, this means Matt is a great indicator of how love has been viewed over the years.  What does it then say that he predominantly peddles in tragedy?  Does it take the Devil to prove that “there is no evil angel but love?”

Karen Page

It all begins with Karen Page, Matt Murdock’s true love.  How interesting that we don’t save the true love for the end.  Stan Lee, huckster and mastermind that he was, did not bury the lead.  From the very first issue, we are delivered the woman to whom Matt would always compare all others.  After a handful of obligatory pages filled with text-dense, expository narrative, Lee instructs his artist to drop a blonde onto the page.  Karen Page gives herself away with her first line spoken to Matt Murdock in Daredevil Vol. 1 #1 (Apr 1964): “I hope you’ll be pleased with me!”This bombshell of coy pomp and big hair is initially a token for the hero to collect.  This working girl shows no hint of being independent in thought or action; she is merely the prize.  She waits for her chosen man to make his move.  While he idles, she keeps a photo of him in her desk drawer.  She obviously cannot bear to be far from him.  In retrospect, Karen can come off as a female stereotype, and she receives not a whiff of characterisation that doesn’t involve fawning or yearning.Karen is a stranger to New York, further allowing Matt can swoop in and play the gilded saviour.  Today, it’s hard to understand why Matt would be interested in such a paper-thin construct as Karen.  For this to make sense, you must take into account the fact that Matt isn’t a modern man.  He’s an alpha male from the ’60s, via the ego and hype of Stan Lee, and a romantic conquest is exactly what it sounds like.  This is not a union on equal ground but a passionate climb with Matt at the pinnacle for both parties.

This excerpt from The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil, to be published by Sequart in early 2013 and debuting at ECCC in Seattle with Ryan K Lindsay at Table G-01. This essay is also to be published as a standalone Sequart Single, slimline single volumes of shorter analysis, with a $4.99 price tag and will also debut at ECCC.


  1. Just ordered my copy!

  2. Sounds awesome, but unfortunately not available in Canada (except on kindle)

  3. Ryan’s from my city in Australia. Great guy. If you’re at emerald city comic con (Eccc) he has a table.

  4. I didn’t plan on reading this book until I finished the article; now I’m intrigued. Matt Murdock compared to how society has shifted its perception of “love”? I’m in. I honestly never saw what was so great about Karen, I’m still hoping Matt gets back together with that blind woman he married. Hopefully, the whole character gets mined in the book as Matt is pretty unique for all kinds of reasons.