Daredevil was one of Stan Lee’s earliest creations. He has been around since the 60’s, which is time for a ton of stories and comics. Of course most of us have recently spent 13 hours watching the Netflix series. With the shows amazing quality leading to a huge boost in the characters popularity and another season of stories to look forward too, we have decided to point out some of the top ten villains old hornhead has had to do battle. While he may not have as many well-known villains as, say, Spider-Man, he still has a fairly diverse base to choose from, many of which have destroyed his life many times and in many ways.
10. Gladiator (First Appearance Daredevil #18, 1966)
As you’ll see, many of Daredevil’s villains don’t necessarily have any superpowers, but happen to think they are badass either way. Gladiator has been in as many as 14 Daredevil stories. It makes him one of his most consistent bad guys. His name is Melvin Potter and he used to be a costume designer until he turned to a life of crime. He is an excellent martial artist and uses a variety of edged weapons. He has been teamed up with many other villains including Masked Marauder, Electro and the Beetle. He makes the list because he has tried and tried again but has been bested by Daredevil many times. Even though they have battled many times over the years, Daredevil has actually helped and been helped by Melvin, who suffers from a mental illness that causes him to turn into the Gladiator when he is unbalanced.
9. Mr Fear (First Appearance Daredevil #6)
So who do you use to fight the “Man Without Fear”? Well obviously Mr. Fear. Mr Fear has actually been three different men. Zoltan Drago was the first Mr. Fear and he gave Daredevil grief all the way back in Daredevil #6. He had created a fear gas pellet gun in install fear into his foes. Zoltan (which is a name only Stan Lee could use) met his end at the hands of Starr (Machinesmith) Saxton. Saxton took the identity of Mr. Fear and attempted embarrass Daredevil in televised battles. Like other bad guys he failed to win and was outed by Daredevil as the villain. The next, and probably most important Mr. Fear, was Larry Cranston. Cranston was a rival lawyer of Matt Murdock’s in college. He had blamed Matt for his failures in life. Daredevil defeated him at every battle. Even when he teamed up with the Enforces Daredevil still bested the cad. He forever left his mark on the world by giving a drug to Matt’s then wife Milla that drove her permanently crazy. Alan Fagan was the last Mr Fear but became more on a foe of Spider-man. I guess getting your butt kicked many times means switching enemies.
8. Stilt Man (First Appearance Daredevil #8)
Some say Stan Lee had created some of the greatest heroes and villains ever. Well Stiltman. Really? It’s a villain only Daredevil fans can love and appreciate. Anyways, Wilbur Day was the inventor of the “Stiltman suit”.Wilbur had developed the suit based on designs he had stolen from a former employer. He had telescoping legs that helped him commit high-rise robberies and easily escape capture. He faced Daredevil on many occasions only to face defeat every time. He thought making the suit out of impenetrable adamantium would help him defeat The Mighty Thor, but no. Eventually he decided it was time to call it the quits when Matt Murdock was exposed as being Daredevil. Wilbur went to Matt’s law firm and turned in his armored suit. The Civil War story line had called him back into action. Unfortunately The Punisher made sure that the original Stilt Man wouldn’t do evil again. There have been other Stilt Men to fight old horn head but none as persistent as Wilbur.
7. Owl (First Appearance Daredevil #5)
Leland Owlsley was a brilliant financial wizard or the “Owl of Wall Street”, but like many sharp businessmen he was caught for crooked dealings and tax evasion. Yeah, I know where’s Daredevil? I’m getting to it. The Owl had pulled a decent amount of cash in researching super powers. He had a serum developed that gave him the ability of flight. In an effort to become New York’s undisputed crime boss he captured Daredevil. He planned to kill Daredevil at a gathering of crime bosses. Like many stories our hero got the better of the Owl and escaped. The Owl had been major Daredevil villain during the 60’s and 70’s. He even started a gang war in the 90’s. Maybe you recognized his name as the same Leland Owlsely in the Netflix Daredevil series, even though they are physically quite different.
6. Coyote (First Appearance Daredevil vol 3 #18)
Why does a villain that has only been in four issues of Daredevil appear on our illustrious list? Comics always need a growth spurt. Coyote is a new bad guy with an old trick. He has the power of The Spot. He was put through the same procedure that originally created the Spot. Coyote used his powers to drive Matt Murdock mad and even appearing to cut off his head in the process. At this point Coyote is being handled by an unknown power.
5. Ikari (First Appearance Daredevil vol 3 #25)
Ikari has only been around for a very short time. His costume is the Japanese opposite to Daredevil’s original costume. He was trained by Lady Bullseye and has the same radar sense that affects Daredevil. The thing is that his sight and his radar sense were brought upon him on purpose. Ikari nearly killed Murdock during their first battle. He let him live as a reminder of his skills. Little is actually known about Ikari’s identity but it seems that he will be featured again soon.
4. The Hand (First Appearance Daredevil #174)
You have to feel sorry for Daredevil when an entire group of ninjas are out to get you. At one point The Hand was more focused on taking over Japan after World War II. They even created Hydra, which was problematic since Baron Strucker was more focused on world domination. The Hand happen to be a group a mystical ninjas that happen to be able to bring people back to life. This was most notably done to Elektra. This caused more grief to Matt than any group of ninjas ever could have, since Electra was once Daredevil’s lover. At times the group has been used as little more than cannon fodder in taking on Matt, but they have proved many times how dangerous they can be.
3. Typhoid Mary (First Appearance Daredevil #254)
When talking about Mary, I wasn’t really sure who I should talk about since Mary is victim of multiple personality disorder. So we will begin at the start. Typhoid Mary was an assassin that was hired by Kingpin to kill Daredevil. To make the story interesting and unique, one personality was trying to kill Daredevil and sleeping with the Kingpin, another dating Matt Murdock. She is a skilled martial artist, a low-level telekinetic, and a pyrokinetic as well. She eventually tried to get her personalities under control with hypnosis. She began a normal life as a soap opera actress, but was brought back into the villain gig by Dr Doom during the Acts of Vengeance story line. She has had a love/hate relationship with Daredevil over the years.
2. Bullseye (First Appearance Daredevil #131)
So this guy has been a pain in Daredevil’s butt for an extremely long time. He actually has no super powers, but is an expert in hand to hand fighting. He has the most lethal skill at throwing objects, whether they be lethal objects or simple objects like pencils or cards. He became almost a running gag in the Daredevil series, trying to prove himself to the Kingpin. One of the more famous story lines involves Bullseye trying to reclaim his role as Kinpin’s head assassin. He went up against Elektra and impaled her on her own sai. It was one of those stories that pushed Daredevil to a more gritty storytelling. If that wasn’t enough to permanently cement him as one of Daredevil’s main villains, he even killed Karen Page later on, who was not lucky enough to be resurrected as Elektra. Bulleye has been in several other story lines including a core membership with the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. As an Avenger under Harry Osborn he was ordered yet again kill Daredevil. This attempt failed but many people were killed in a building Bullseye had set to destroy. During this time frame, Bullseye was sent to the Raft and escaped only to be killed by a ruthless Daredevil who been leading the Hand. Daredevil attempted to resurrect Bullseye only to be stopped by several heroes. Bullseye was left paralyzed, clinging to life, but had a plan to plot his revenge against Daredevil recently that once again failed.
1. Kingpin (First Appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #50)
Wilson Fisk originally made his first appearance in Spider-Man, but became more of a villain to Daredevil. He became prominent during Frank Miller’s run during the 80’s as the crimelord of New York. Fisk has had a long history of fighting with Daredevil. Perpetually he is the puppet master behind the strings, having hired several assassin to kill Daredevil including Bullseye, Elektra, and Typhoid Mary. He found out Matt’s secret identity and tried to destroy his life, almost successfully so during Born Again. At one point at the request of his wife Vanessa he was going to give up a life of crime and move back to Japan. He had best laid plans, but ended up having to deal with the X-Men. He returned to New York to reclaim his title and power base, eventually taking control of the Hand. It seems his life and Daredevil are forever linked in the Marvel Universe as though it was meant to be.