The MCU Daredevil is different from the Netflix version - but he comes straight from comic books

Daredevil in Marvel Comics and in the MCU
(Image credit: George Marston / Marvel Entertainment)

After what seemed like an interminably long wait for many eager fans, Daredevil has made his MCU debut in She-Hulk episode 7 (it's technically Charlie Cox's second appearance as Matt Murdock, following his non-costumed appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home). 

And though questions linger about whether or how the three seasons of his previous Netflix show may play into his presence in the MCU and the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again streaming series, there's no question that the Marvel Studios Matt Murdock is markedly different in tone from his more gritty Netflix progenitor. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

But if you're worried about what that might mean, rest assured - the MCU Daredevil takes his cues from one of his most beloved comic runs of all time by critics and fans alike: Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Chris Samnee's 2011-2015 stint on Daredevil.

Just like with that now classic Daredevil run, the MCU seems to be signaling that rather than thrusting Matt Murdock into the depths of despair, their version of 'Born Again' might bring DD back into the light as a full-on swashbuckling superhero, right down to a more explicit version of his comic book radar sense.

Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Chris Samnee's Daredevil run started on the back of one of his darkest periods ever, as a brainwashed member of the Hand running a brutal secret prison in the middle of New York City in the story 'Shadowland' - which itself followed a series of deep tragedies in Matt's life including the deaths of loved ones, his own imprisonment, the reveal of his secret identity (again) and more.

But with his 'rock bottom' behind him, Matt turned back to the almost happy-go-lucky superheroics of his early adventures, even bringing himself to crack jokes and have a little bit of fun while patrolling Hell's Kitchen.

Though the stories of the Waid/Rivera/Samnee era eventually did take a deeply serious turn - pitting Matt against the deadly ninja known as Ikari, and of course a knock-down-drag-out throwdown with his nemesis the Kingpin, with plenty of other villains in between - Matt never lost the spark of adventure that inspired his renewed superheroics.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Similarly, Charlie Cox's MCU Daredevil goes all-in on superhero antics, flipping, fighting, and Billy-Clubbing his way through Leapfrog and his henchmen in a hallway fight that seems like the MCU version of the fan-favorite scene from season 1 of Netflix's show - but with much more colorful, heroic flair.

Through the course of She-Hulk episode 7, Matt Murdock and Daredevil's involvement partially revolve around him keeping a secret identity, whereas most MCU heroes -including She-Hulk - publicly reveal theirs.

While that does call back to the original comic book 'Born Again' story, Matt Murdock's concern with keeping his identity as Daredevil secret also resembles a story by Waid and Samnee in which Matt is outed as Daredevil, leading him to move to San Francisco, and begin operating openly as Daredevil in a sharp red business suit while also practicing law.

One thing that is clear: whether Matt's Netflix history as Daredevil specifically counts in the MCU, he's definitely got some kind of reputation somewhere in the MCU, as he seems to expect She-Hulk to have heard of Daredevil before - indicating he's at least known to people in Hell's Kitchen and possibly beyond.

Daredevil in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Waid and Samnee's big Daredevil finale also resembled a bit of the original comic 'Born Again,' pitting Matt against Kingpin, his classic arch-enemy and the architect of Daredevil's downfall in 'Born Again.' 

We know Kingpin will be back in the MCU in Echo - which will also likely feature Daredevil. So there's a chance that Marvel Studios will split the difference with a 'Born Again' style teardown and build-up of Daredevil and Matt Murdock based around a reveal of his identity in the Daredevil: Born Again streaming series. 

But there's also a building indication that the MCU Born Again will take a much more gentle hand with its hero, bringing him even deeper into the vibe of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe - meaning they could lean further and further into the full-on superhero Daredevil seen in the Waid/Rivera/Samnee comic book era.

Read the best Daredevil stories of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)