Blinded in his youth but somehow secretly gifted with enhanced non-visual senses, Matt Murdock also lost his boxer father, murdered for refusing to go along with a fixed fight. At university, Matt dated Elektra Natchios, whose friend Mel was raped. Trey went free because of his father’s connections, and Elektra threatened Trey, leading him to hire thugs to burn down her father’s business. Matt forced the thugs to confess, implicating Trey, but Trey went free, again, and attacked Mel, again. Elektra trapped him and intended to kill him, but Matt intervened. Matt removed his mask to show that he trusted her, but Elektra told him it was too late. She cut Trey’s femoral artery and gave Matt a choice; save Trey from bleeding to death or go with her. Matt chose to save Trey.
Matt and his friend Froggy Nelson interned at the firm of Summers and Lyall, where gunmen tried to kill Cullen, a mob bookkeeper turning States’ evidence. Matt easily overcame them by switching off the lights. Later, he learned that Cullen worked for Leander Natchios, cousin of Elektra’s father Dimitris, who was an unwilling part of Leander’s money laundering schemes. When Dimitris was wrongly arrested for Cullen’s murder, Matt worked with Elektra to learn the true killer was assassin Benjamin Poindexter, who had been sent by the Kingpin. Poindexter next targeted William Savage, Cullen’s attorney, who had been blackmailing the kingpin with a copy of Cullen’s ledger. Matt and Elektra drove Poindexter off, but not before he killed Savage, however, he left behind the ledge. Elektra sucker-punched Matt and traded the ledger to the Kinpin for her father’s freedom. Matt later confronted her with information showing that her father would have been cleared anyway.
Matt formed a law partnership with Froggy in Hell’s Kitchen and protected the area as the costumed Daredevil, encountering Spider-Man while pursuing the killer vigilante known as the Punisher. Daredevil dismissed Spider-Man as too immature to be a crime-fighter. Months later, Daredevil reluctantly teamed with Wolverine and Spider-Man to protect Hell’s Kitchen from rogue Weapon X agents.