While he’s mainly known as the man who trained Daredevil, Stick is a character who has his own rich history of fighting evil. After all, Matt Murdock wouldn’t have become the hero that he did if not for the discipline taught to him by the elderly leader of the Chaste.

Ancient Origins

According to himself, Stick was born “on the street,” possibly in New York. Supposedly the reincarnation of Yamato-Take, a Japanese hero who lived nearly two millennia ago and whose soul imbued the sacred sword Kusanagi-No-Tsurguri (aka “Grasscutter”), Stick may have demonstrated martial arts skills at an early age despite being blind since birth.

By his mid-teens, the future warrior was undergoing mystic training from the Ancient One (Yao), Sorcerer Supreme; it was perhaps under this tutelage that Stick honed his remaining senses to super human levels, since he easily concealed his blindness from others.

Stick clashes with Master Izo.

Later, while still a young man, Stick was mentored by Master Izo, a blind, centuries-old martial artist and a former member of the demon-worshipping Hand, who subsequently joined the Chaste, a mystic order devoted to keeping evil (particularly the Hand) in check. At some point Stick developed a “proximity sense,” enabling him to detect his surroundings’ details; he later claimed that anyone could develop such an ability with sufficient training, but whether he learned it from Izo or developed it independently is unrevealed.

By adulthood, Stick had joined the Chaste, which Izo led as head of the inner corps called the Seven. He rose through the ranks quickly, and although it was his right to bear the Grasscutter in battle, Stick instead used a wooden battle staff, from which he drew his name, claiming a weapon made of natural material better suited him than one forged by man. After Izo was voted out of leadership, Stick became head of the Seven and repealed the group’s injunction against training women.

Sensational Skills

In life, Stick’s “proximity sense” enables him to perceive surroundings despite his blindness; his senses of hearing, smell, taste and touch are highly developed, possibly to superhuman levels. He can telepathically communicate with others, project illusory scenarios directly into surrounding minds, and mentally drain life force from his foes, killing them if he so chooses, although he can only absorb so much before overloading his system and perishing. Stick apparently ages little if at all over several decades, during which his fighting skills remain undiminished, suggesting a slow maturation process. In his ghostlike state, Stick demonstrates an apparently unlimited ability to materialize wherever he chose and is seemingly immune to any physical injury. Whether living or dead, Stick is a master hand-to-hand combatant trained in multiple martial arts forms; he wields a long wooden bo staff in battle.

Stick, Daredevil, and members of the Chaste versus the Hand.

Differing Opinions

As a member of the Chaste, Stick’s biggest enemies are those associated with the Hand. The organization of deadly ninjas worships a demon they simply dub “the Beast.” Over the centuries, the Hand tries to spread chaos, woe, and destruction wherever they decide to set up shop.

Stick’s protégée, Elektra Natchios, starts out as a talented fighter on the side of the Chaste, but is asked to leave when her need for vengeance outweighs her pure and virtuous qualities. She fails to bring down the Hand single-handedly and later accidentally murders Stick.

Stick expels Elektra from the Chaste.

Powerful Pupils

As a young man, Stick joined the Chaste, an ancient society whose sole purpose was to defeat the Hand. He eventually became a leader of the Chaste, training several of its most talented fighters: Claw, Shaft, and Stone.

He later senses great potential in a young blind boy named Matt Murdock. Under Stick’s tutelage, Murdock learns to hone and control his newfound abilities (similar to his teacher’s proximity sense) and grows up to become the vigilante known as Daredevil.

Matt Murdock introduces Black Widow to Stick and a few allies.

Stick’s protégée, Elektra Natchios, started out as a talented fighter on the side of the Chaste, but was asked to leave when her need for vengeance outweighs her pure and virtuous qualities. She failed to bring down the Hand single-handedly and later accidentally murdered Stick.




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Universe, Other Aliases, Place of Origin, Identity, Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Powers

A Lifetime as a Warrior

Circa 1919, the Ancient One and Stick sought to retrieve a mystic artifact from the Japanese military in Shanghai, China. Confronted by soldiers, they were rescued when Logan (James Howlett, later Wolverine) intervened. Impressed by Logan's bravery, military officer Ogun allowed the three to depart. Stick was tempted by Logan’s wandering life, and the Ancient One predicted his protege would eventually stray from his current disciplined existence, only to eventually renew his dedication.

During World War II, Stick and the Chaste fought evil abroad, including the Hand, which also clashed with Captain America (Steve Rogers) and other heroes; both Chaste and Hand sought recruits during the war, and in Japan, Stick’s group encountered an African-American soldier with innate martial arts talent, although he did not accompany them back to their home. At this point, Stick resembled a man in late middle age, and he aged little over the next several decades.

After a young Matt Murdock was blinded by radioactive material, the boy developed enhanced senses and a “radar sense” much like Stick’s proximity sense. Informed by Izo of Murdock’s condition, Stick, sensing the boy’s great potential, trained him in mastering his new abilities, as well as acrobatics and martial arts that almost surpassed human achievement.

Stick trains Matt Murdock.

Although Stick admitted Murdock might help him later in life, he never told him of the Chaste, Izo, or anything else regarding his past. Stick intended for the boy to integrate his new senses into his everyday life, but Matt, whose father was killed by gangsters, soon took to anonymously harassing criminals, wearing a mask to hide his identity. When Murdock inadvertently almost killed a young prostitute, Stick deemed him too undisciplined to serve the Chaste and departed.

At college, Matt fell in love with Elektra Natchios, herself an accomplished martial artist in whom Stick saw the same potential he had initially seen in Murdock. He also saw the possibility for great evil, however, and he warned Murdock to stay away from her. Murdock ignored Stick’s advice, but the relationship ended anyway when Elektra’s father, ambassador Hugo Natchios, died while being held hostage, and she broke up with Matt. While tracking those responsible for her father’s death, she was approached by Stick, who warned her the path of vengeance and hate might destroy her. She ignored Stick, and tracked the man who hired her father’s abductors to a church where she killed him, but his henchman overpowered her and almost killed her before a Hand assassin killed him instead.

Following Elektra’s departure, Stick confronted the Hand agent, who disintegrated before him. Now aware the Hand also realized Elektra’s potential, a troubled Stick returned to the Chaste retreat. Months later, Elektra, still rebuilding her life, climbed the Chaste’s mountain in an effort to reach the retreat, a typical test of a would-be acolyte’s drive. She faltered near the top but was assisted by Stick, who, despite his misgivings, allowed her to study with the group.

A year later, Stick concluded that, despite both his and Elektra’s best efforts, she remained too driven by anger, and he sent her away. Thinking to prove herself, Elektra joined the Hand, intending to use their secrets against them, but the ninjas corrupted her, and she served them for years before becoming a freelance assassin. Stick returned to New York, where Murdock, now a lawyer, had formed a firm with classmate Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. Stick warned Matt against complacency, reminding him he had failed to meet his mentor’s standards.

Following a Hand-planted explosion meant for Foggy, Matt temporarily lost his radar sense. He found Stick back in New York, eking out a living as a pool hustler. Forcing Daredevil to face his own insecurities via apparent telepathic projections, Stick guided him in redeveloping his radar sense. Stick, realizing a showdown between Chaste and Hand was imminent, remained in New York to prepare.

Stick helps Daredevil redevelop his radar sense – or work without it.

Weeks later, after summoning his six fellow Chaste leaders, Stick was attacked by four Hand assassins; he drove them off but knew their boldness heralded more combat. The Hand having slain three Chaste leaders, the three survivors—Claw, Shaft, and Stone, all trained by Stick—arrived, and Stick met with them at the apartment of Daredevil. When a Hand attack interrupted Stick’s telepathic haranguing of Daredevil, Murdock overcame his fear and regained sensory control, emerging and helping defeat the ninjas.

More Hand assassins swarmed Daredevil’s apartment, and Stick and Shaft killed the ninjas by draining their life force into themselves, the resultant energy overload also killing both men. Claw was also slain, but Daredevil, Black Widow, and Stone subsequently defeated the Hand; however, having ascended to metaphysical planes beyond most mortal minds in life, Stick retained this transcendant state even in death, surviving as neither mortal nor ghost but an undefined, perhaps undefinable, amalgam of the two, able to interact with the physical world as easily as ever.

Years later, Daredevil, having faked his own death and attempted a new identity, suffered a nervous breakdown, and Stick appeared to him for the first time since his death, again putting his student through physical and emotional ordeals that Daredevil overcame to regain his sense of identity.

Elsewhere, Elektra sought to help Wolverine, by now himself a martial artist and enemy of the Hand, overcome a physical and mental descent into brutality. Knowing Logan would be a necessary ally against the impending return of Ogun, who in the intervening years had acted as Wolverine's sensei and was now, as a demonic samurai ghost, bound within the mystic artifact Stick had retrieved almost a century earlier, the spirit of her old trainer advised Elektra during the process. When Wolverine, still struggling with inner turmoil, entered a burning building to rescue a child, Stick led the two to safety, then confronted Logan with the knowledge that only the mutant himself, not Elektra or Stick, could retrieve his lost humanity. As Elektra continued seeking inner peace and a comparatively nonviolent path in life, Stick continued to advise her. Later, the revived Ogun taunted Wolverine with the apparent resurrection of Logan deceased lover Mariko Yashida, but Stick guided Yashida’s spirit back into death, and the hero prevented Ogun from gaining additional power.

Stick beats some sense into Wolverine.

When Elektra’s protégée Nina McCabe was killed by Hand warrior Kuroyama and then resurrected in the Hand’s service, the reformed assassin took the youth to the Chaste retreat to heal, but Nina allowed entrance to Hand warriors. With the Chaste seemingly slain to the last acolyte, Stick’s form went silent and unfocused before seemingly passing from the material world entirely. Stick’s spirit supposedly reincarnated in Karen, an infant girl whose life became entwined with Daredevil’s via the machinations of super villain Mysterio (Quentin Beck). When the Hand stole the Grasscutter sword, which would presumably allow them control over Stick’s soul regardless of its vessel, Daredevil, Stone and Chaste acolyte Trahn retrieved it.

fighting skills