Daredevil’s Grin: An Unsent Letter to J. David Weter

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J. David Weter hosts a sensational podcast about Marvel’s Daredevil called Dave’s Daredevil Podcast.  I sent him a letter on December 13, 2013 that can be read here: Iconic Daredevil.  The letter concerns why Matt Murdock takes on the image of a devil.  After listening to a few more episodes of the podcast, I wrote this follow-up email:
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Dave,
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A sneaky lawyer’s trick. That is clever! I never thought of Daredevil as a legal loophole. I like that! It certainly answers the question (1) how Matt thinks of the alter ego that he has adopted as an alter ego.
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You answered a couple other questions that I had, too, in episode ten or earlier.
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One question is easy, of course. (2) Why does Matt choose Daredevil as the name of his alter ego? He chooses it because of “what the kids used to call him,” as Elijah Price says in Unbreakable. In The Man Without Fear, Frank Miller shows that the nickname cut him deep, as if he did not have (a) the courage to go to “the edge” (as Elektra speaks of it in TMWF) or the necessary (b) boldness or (c) “devil-may-care” attitude as regards consequences.
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Another question I was happy that you touch on is (3) why Matt wears a devil costume. As far as I could tell, you conjectured that his creators played on the “devil” part of “daredevil” without seeing any deeper connection between the two for their creation. That seems true to me, too. I don’t know any better, to be sure. I haven’t researched the matter, but, to my mind, that answer squares with how much time (or thought?) Stan and Bill could (or wanted?) to put into creating him.
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Still, the wordplay between “devil” and “daredevil” only answers part of the question. It answers (3a) why Stan and Bill gave Hornhead his devilish appearance (at least to some extent), but it does not answer (3b) what the devilish appearance means to Matt.
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