Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia
perpetual

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Hypersensitivity

I was trying to ease up on the Daredevilmania, and then I realized, wtf, this is a fandom LJ, it's supposed to be used for gushing about TV shows and superheroes.


Marvel has a nice knack for matching up superpowers with the personality of the character who wields them. Sometimes it's just an obvious connection to make - Nightcrawler is mischievous, Captain America is brave. Sometimes there's a pun involved, such as a pyrokinetic having a fiery temper. Sometimes it's a direct result of how the power affects the character's life, like Rogue's inability to touch someone without hurting them. Sometimes it's a subtle analogy that you can only pick up on after getting to know the character.

The first time we see Matt as an adult, he's in a confessional booth with tears streaming down his face. Later on, he's on his knees sobbing when he finds Stick's bracelet, and soon after, he's laid up on his couch crying because Foggy is so angry at him. This is a lot of tears for a warrior. Personally, I'm an old-fashioned gal, and while growing up, I took to heart all those societal cues about how boys don't cry. I like my men, especially my fictional heroes, stoic, and media being what it is, usually they are. And yet I'm completely in love with Matt Murdock and if anything it swells up tenfold when he starts crying. How is he getting away with this?

To understand it, we have to look at his superpowers, which are also superweaknesses. (That in itself is extremely satisfying, since it makes such a complete package without needing unrelated details to complete his depth.) Remember when he said he slept on silk sheets because cotton feels like sandpaper? I winced at that, because it brings to mind all of the minor discomforts we tolerate on a daily basis, which to him, aren't minor. There's loud noises, bad smells, everything but visuals; all of them are worse for Matt. And on top of it all, throw in the frequent beatings that he's getting because he only has human strength and durability, magnify them by his enhanced sense of touch, and the amount of suffering he endures on a daily basis - without complaining - must be staggering.

Daredevil's power can be summarized as sensitivity. His most distinctive personality trait is the same thing.

People don't always have the right idea about what emotional sensitivity means, in the real world. It's often applied to someone who's easily upset, with the implication that she's upset for the wrong reason - "Don't be so sensitive, I was just joking." Well, if she misinterpreted what she heard, that's the opposite of sensitive. If she really is sensitive, she probably picked up on something nasty in your humor that most people would miss, and/or the pain that it causes her will be proportionately greater. How she deals with that pain is another matter entirely.

Matt Murdock picks up on a lot of nasty things that most people would miss, and he deals with it by doing what he can to change it, bottling up his anger to release on criminals, and occasionally, sobbing it all out. This ties right into one of his other major themes, the Murdock get-back-up philosophy. During fight scenes, we keep seeing him knocked down, bloody, exhausted; not what the warrior is supposed to look like. The emotional breakdowns are the same. It looks like he's hitting rock bottom, because he is. Then he gets back up.

I haven't read the comics and I don't know if they ever went this way with his character, but if they did, I kind of doubt that they pulled it off this well. Tortured heroes are everywhere, but how many of their tortured origin stories involve an actual inability to ignore cries for help? Because that's what this is - the more intense a sensation, whether physical or emotional, the harder it is to block it out. Maybe that's why Daredevil is the Man Without Fear: he goes into everything already prepared for it to hurt, and prepared to recover from it in due time.


I'm already rewatching, big surprise. More icons coming, too, although I need to think of some way to dress them up myself instead of just marketing them as bases. And I know what song I would use if I was going to make a vid. And it's getting harder to write fanfiction for the obsession that came before this one...
Tags: marvel cinematic universe, the defenders, x-men
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