In 1602, Matthew Murdoch was an adventurer for hire, who charged reasonably excessive prices to anyone who had the money, for any job. As a child, Matthew was a fearless boy who would explore anywhere, eventually finding himself in a dark cave that glowed inside from a green substance. Young Matthew thought nothing of tasting it, and so he did, and then continued to explore the dark cave. He soon walked back the way he came, assuming when he felt the pebbles of the beach beneath his feet that it was nighttime, but his mother later found him fevered and muttering about darkness, as well as completely blind. Though he lost his sight, the rest of Matthew’s senses became extra-sharp. Matthew traveled the land as a blind beggar and bard, singing songs of heroes, and appearing weak and helpless until he was either on a job or attacked.
The Queen of England’s head spymaster, Nicholas Fury, later paid him to hunt down and protect Donal, the Templar keeper of Thor’s staff. On the way he encountered Natasha, whom he called the most dangerous woman in England. Ironically, she soon turned on him and smashed a bottle over his head and pushed him off a bridge into a canyon below. But Murdoch survived, and appeared in time to attack Natasha’s men, and attempt to rescue Donal from her, though she soon surrounded him with a garrison worth of men, sent by Count Otto von Doom of Latveria to capture the old man’s treasure; the old man himself; and Matthew Murdoch. Doom imprisoned them in one of his castle’s cells and worked to uncover the secrets of the golden bauble that Donal gave to him to distract him from the true treasure: the staff. Donal was also in contact with Dr. Strange, the former Queen’s court magician and physician, who informed them that a group of heroes were on their way to the castle.
When the imprisoned Captain of the Fantastick railed against his stone prison, it shook the castle from its foundations and freed Murdoch and Donal. Murdoch used his abilities to carry the old man and leap from wall to wall to the courtyard many feet below. When Doom’s men cornered them, after Donal demanded to find his staff, the old man used it to transform himself into the Thunder God, Thor. Thor used his immortal powers to stop Doom’s men and assist Carlos Javier’s witchbreed in their attack on Doom’s castle, finally allowing Doom to use Thor’s electricity to explode the golden sphere that Donal had given him, scarring Doom and bringing him to the brink of death. Then, while Donal-as Thor-joined the group aboard their ship, headed to the New World to fix the tear in their universe, Murdoch used his own means to leave Latveria.
Murdoch later appeared to King James, in the dark, threatening to cut his throat if he ever attacked the old monarch’s spymaster, Fury. He then disappeared through the window, promising to return again if James was untrue to his word.