Daredevil has a lot of interesting villains, but there are definitely some that are less intimidating than others.
In the world of Marvel Comics, fans are pulled in not just by the heroes, but their villains as well. Some of the most iconic comic villains exist in this world and the rogue’s galleries of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men to name a few, stick out. Yet, there are some heroes Daredevil, a character who created one of Marvel’s best shows, are great while his rogues are less so.
While the Guardian of Hell’s Kitchen has plenty of legendary and stand-out villains, a good percentage have either been lost to history or are seen as absolute jokes in the world of comics and villains.
Out of all of the foes for Daredevil to fight, one would not expect the likes of Stilt-Man. One of Daredevil’s first villains, appearing in his eighth comic, Stilt-Man has literally the power of a ladder: able to rise to great heights and not do much else.
Beyond his goofy look and bringing about a spin-off character called Lady Stilt-Man, anytime Stilt-Man appears to either fight Daredevil or another villain, he always loses much to fans’ enjoyment and laughter.
Funny enough, Stilt-Man’s armor and costume were once stolen by a low-level criminal named Turk Barret. Instead of becoming a threat to be reckoned with, Barret has been seen as a dim-witted criminal who’s always being beaten by Daredevil.
That’s not to mention that Barret is always copying or stealing from someone else. Besides Stilt-Man, Barret stole the armor of Mauler, a Daredevil and Iron Man villain, and failed just as fast. There was even a time when Barret got the Mind Stone and became a powerful crime lord… only to outsmarted by Stephen Strange and return to his old status.
Even a clan of badass ninjas can get stale and old after a while. The Hand, an organization that’s crossed paths with Daredevil countless, time is cool in concept. But whenever they are used, they’re almost always stereotypical henchmen and cannon fodder.
The Hand has had good comic moments, but they’ve mostly been used as simple baddies by a number of characters.
It’s always interesting to see characters go from villain to hero and vice versa. Gladiator was once a costume designer who created an outfit equipped with deadly saw blades among other weapons. After failing time again to beat the Man Without Fear, Gladiator reformed.
Aiding Daredevil and other allies at times, Gladiator stayed reformed a good while before switching back. The villain/hero would continue switch ingback and forth, muddying his character despite good potential.
There are times when comics tend to “borrow” aspects and characters from other comics. Mister Fear is Marvel’s version of Scarecrow, a villain who utilizes a fear pellet gun to spread terror in the hearts of his enemies.
Despite the similarities that Fear gives off, he does have some interesting qualities to him. He’s not incredibly complicated character-wise, and Fear’s weapon and spooky feel makes him a decent foe.
Sometimes, even Marvel can copy themselves. Although Lady Bullseye isn’t a direct knock-off of Bullseye, having been inspired by the villain when he slaughtered Yakuza in front of her, Lady Bullseye has a lot of similarities to him.
Again, she’s not a direct knock-off and like Mister Fear, has fascinating qualities to her. However, her perchance to constantly switch sides and bizarre costume choices have placed her lower on the villain rung than she belongs.
What’s nice about comics is as the years have gone on, many villains have evolved. In the beginning, Leland Owsley, a crime boss known as the Owl, was seen as a joke villain, with wild hair and ridiculous outfit choices.
Yet, in more recent comics, the Owl’s become more of a serious crime boss. Taking over New York when Wilson Fisk becomes Mayor and having a generally creepy and intimidating nature, Owsley won’t escape his cheesy shadow but has redeemed himself in some ways.
Daredevil has always stood for something better in Hell’s Kitchen. A hero who almost never kills and tries to find the good in others. In contrast, Frank Castle, the Punisher (who’s been played brilliantly by Jon Berthenal), has always seen the evil in the world and believed no criminal can be saved.
Although Punisher has become an anti-hero, he and Daredevil have clashed repeatedly with him in an antagonistic light. There have been many times where Frank has pushed Matthew Murdock to his limits and forced him to make tough decisions on multiple occasions.
The likes of Typhoid Mary can be said to be an incredibly deadly and yet intriguing villain. A mutant with telekinetic abilities Mary suffers from dissociative identity disorder giving her three different identities, a soft-spirited one (Mary), a violent one (Typhoid), and a sadistic and brutal one (Bloody Mary).
Mary has faced down and even been a lover of Daredevil many times over the years. And most of the time, Daredevil tries to get her the help she needs. Unfortunately, Mary always goes back to her old ways.
Romantic relationships in comics can always be strange. The likes of Elektra and Daredevil are the epitome of that. A ruthless assassin who at one point joins the Hand, Elektra over the years has been an on and off villain/hero/anti-hero/lover for Daredevil.
Constantly switching sides like many other villains and always walking an extremely grey line, Elektra has cemented herself as one of Daredevil’s greatest foes and characters. Currently, she’s even serving as Daredevil while Murdoch is locked away in prison.
Without a doubt, one of the best Daredevil (and maybe MCU) villains will always be Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Starting in Spider-Man’s world, Fisk became synonymous with the name Daredevil and proved himself a worthy adversary due to his strength and intellect.
Destroying Daredevil after discovering his identity, Fisk has always managed to outsmart and maneuver his way around the hero. He even became the mayor of New York, beating Daredevil yet again.
Not every fan will agree with some of the placements of villains or lack thereof on this list. Many would argue that the Kingpin deserves the top spot. But the truth is, as good as Fisk is as a villain, he pales in comparison to the likes of Bullseye.
A psychopath and assassin, Bullseye has, like Fisk, pushed Daredevil to his very limits. With a kill list including Elektra, Karen Page, and an entire New York block, Bullseye’s always been known for his vile nature and deadly aim that can turn even a playing card into a weapon against the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.