Superheroes have struggles and conflict. Their stories need this. Without conflict, they wouldn’t have any reason to wear spandex and go jumping off rooftops. But not all conflicts have to be outlandishly dressed villains. The Marvel character Matt Murdock/Daredevil has his share of foes (mostly ninjas). Matt’s crusade against Wilson Fisk, the criminal Kingpin of New York, and the other villains who invade his ninja-filled home in Hell’s Kitchen is fantastic, and his representation of disability as a blind superhero (albeit with some fun powers) makes for some fun adventures. But this is not all of what makes this character so great.
Daredevil struggles with depression. This is a comic book character who has openly confessed to struggling with clinical depression; this is a comic book that has treated depression as a mental illness and has portrayed it realistically.
It didn’t start out that way. In his early stories, Daredevil was…
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