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10 Best Daredevil villains of all time

Marvel Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix/Marvel)

Daredevil's best villains are a varied bunch, including a master of illusions and a dude named after a really smart bird. Many of the motley crew below will be recognizable to fans of the Netflix series, and others are just begging for their own TV show. I would watch a whole season just about Typhoid Mary. 

The Devil of Hell's Kitchen's enemies may not be the most iconic villains in comic books, but they are some of the most interesting. 

10. Punisher

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Punisher may be something of an anti-hero, but when it comes to Daredevil, their relationship is purely adversarial.

Of course, Punisher debuted as a villain trying to take down Spider-Man, but in the intervening years, Spidey and Punisher have begrudgingly worked together - while Punisher and Daredevil have clashed time and time again.

Daredevil is simply unwilling to tolerate Punisher acting as judge, jury, and executioner, while Frank Castle refuses to compromise his one man war on crime for anyone.

The dynamic between the merciful Daredevil and sadistic Punisher is on perfect display in Daredevil season 2, in which Frank Castle is portrayed by Jon Bernthal.

9. Mysterio

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Over the years, Daredevil has fought numerous villains who usually find themselves in conflict with Spider-Man. In fact, one of his very first enemies was Electro. So why is Mysterio on this list?

Two words: "Guardian Devil."

When Marvel relaunched Daredevil under the Marvel Knights imprint, Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada tapped into Matt Murdock's religious background, sending him head to head with a group of seemingly divine beings. Beings that, in the end, turned out to be machinations of Mysterio, the master of illusions.

Mysterio makes this list because of that definitive story - and who knows. Now that Marvel has access to Spider-Man, maybe Mysterio and Daredevil could even square off on the small screen.

8. Jester

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Jester is one of Daredevil's weirdest foes, from his gimmicky weapons to his bizarre career trajectory.

Jester started out using his weapons, based on gags and novelties such as fake hands and exploding yo-yo's to challenge Daredevil, but eventually aligned himself with the Hand and became possessed by a demon.

Most recently, Jester got beaten to a bloody pulp by the Superior Spider-Man, and played a big role in the end of Mark Waid's first volume of Daredevil, working with the Sons of the Serpent.

7. Typhoid Mary

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Typhoid Mary suffers from a unique form of split-personality disorder tied directly to her powers, allowing her to use a variety of psychic abilities based on which personality is dominant at a given time.

Typhoid Mary has had something of a love/hate relationship with Daredevil, having been both his lover and his enemy. She's also often worked with the Kingpin in attempting to take Daredevil down.

6. Purple Man

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Zebediah Killgrave's power may be terrifying - but it's his sadistic demeanor that makes him a true threat.

Over the years, Purple Man has used his mind control powers against numerous heroes, but he started out fighting Daredevil when an experimental nerve gas turned his skin violet and granted him mind control powers.

Most recently, Purple Man was almost killed by his own illegitimate children who banded together after their abilities manifested.

The creepy, obsessive Purple Man also became one of Marvel's greatest cinematic villains in Jessica Jones's first season, where he was portrayed by David Tennant.

5. Mr Fear

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There have been several criminals known as Mr. Fear, but the two most important are the second, Starr Saxon, and the third, Larry Cranston.

Saxon took a novel approach to villainy, by humiliating and defeating Daredevil in the public eye as often and as soundly as possible, while staging events to make himself seem like a hero. He eventually plunged to his death in battle, but his loyal army of robots preserved his mind and he became the Machinesmith, arch-enemy of Captain America and Bill Clinton.

Next came Larry Cranston, whose first few appearances were not very special, except that he apparently died after jumping off a building because he assumed he was wearing his jetpack (he wasn't).

Later on he came back with a whole slew of henchmen and turned Daredevil's life upside down by removing the fear of death from almost everyone in Hell's Kitchen, including Daredevil's wife, becoming the most effective Mr. Fear of the bunch.

4. The Owl

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Leland Owlsley, A.K.A. the Owl, has the distinction of being Daredevil's first original foe, debuting in Daredevil #3.

Until that point, Daredevil had faced enemies usually found in the rogues galleries of other heroes, but Owl was the first to specifically challenge Matt Murdock.

Owl makes up for his weird appearance and underwhelming powers (he can glide, and has super eyesight) with incredible cunning and ruthlessness.

Owl has never been the most popular of Daredevil's villains, but he's experienced something of a renaissance of late, currently appearing in Daredevil, and also appeared (albeit in a different form), played by Bob Gunton in Netflix's Daredevil season 1.

3. The Hand

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Ninjas are cool. Undead ninjas are cooler. What else needs to be said about the Hand?

Over the years, this cabal of master assassins have used their talents to subvert their enemies, turning everyone from Wolverine, to Elektra, to Daredevil himself into villains.

They've also aligned themselves with numerous villains over the years, including Silver Samurai, Lady Bullseye, and the Gorgon. Still, their greatest strength is their ability to throw, well, bodies at any problem, only to resurrect their fallen warriors later on.

Time will tell if their mystical abilities are intact when the Hand appears in Daredevil season 2.

2. Bullseye

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In the Marvel Universe, there's no one deadlier than Bullseye.

This cold-blooded killer never misses his mark, but his talents go beyond his infamous accuracy. Bullseye is capable of turning anything, from a paperclip to a chair, into a weapon of lethal potential.

Killing without mercy, Bullseye even killed Matt Murdock's one-time flame Elektra, allowing the Hand to resurrect her.

1. Kingpin

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No one, not even Daredevil, is more feared in Hell's Kitchen than Wilson Fisk, A.K.A. the Kingpin of crime.

Kingpin is arguably Marvel's biggest street level villain, having faced everyone from Spider-Man to Luke Cage, but his rivalry with Daredevil is the stuff of legend.

And don't let his bulk fool you - under that suit, Kingpin is all muscle, wielding unparalleled power, both physical and political. Fortunately, Daredevil had better luck ending his reign in Netflix's Daredevil season 1, where Kingpin was portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio.