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Why Charlie Cox’s New and Different Daredevil in She-Hulk May Be Brighter

Charlie Cox is rumored to appear on She-Hulk as a different take on Daredevil. Here’s how the comics may have hinted at the superhero’s new direction.

While Charlie Cox has been rumored to reprise his fan-favorite role as Matt Murdock in December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, repeating his acclaimed superhero starring role from Netflix’s Daredevil television series, a new rumor has suggested that Cox may also appear as Daredevil in the upcoming She-Hulk live-action series coming to Disney+. More intriguingly this rumor alleges that Cox’s character will be Matt Murdock, albeit a different one from the version audiences saw for three seasons on Daredevil and the crossover event series Defenders.

And given the overall tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this iteration of the Scarlet Swashbuckler may be channeling a specific, celebrated Daredevil comic book run to inform the superhero’s portrayal. For years, Daredevil comics followed the tonal example set by comic book creator Frank Miller that repositioned Daredevil as something of a noir figure, constantly torn his own guilt while enduring a whole battery of trials in his personal and superhero lives as he defended his hometown neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen from villainy.

This gritty portrayal would inform subsequent creative teams with their own approach to the superhero, from Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr. to Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev culminating in the 2010 crossover event Shadowland by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan, bringing Murdock to his lowest point. And from the ashes of Shadowland, Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin, and Chris Samnee would forge a brighter path for Daredevil in a widely acclaimed run.

RELATED: Devil’s Reign: Zdarsky Unleashes a Wild Wilson Fisk on Marvel’s Daredevils

Daredevil Samnee

After picking up the pieces of his life following Shadowland, Matt Murdock returned to Manhattan and his superhero mantle as Daredevil with a considerably lighter outlook on his life and approach to crimefighting. Murdock would relearn to appreciate the small joys in the unique way he saw the world around him, without much of the deeply held guilt and self-loathing that had informed his life and worldview.

The superhero stakes remained as high as ever, of course, including several major supervillains gunning for Murdock as he continued to defend New York City from the forces of evil. Though occasional cracks in his mental health would emerge, Murdock had truly gained his second wind and a renewed appreciation for his superhero alter ego as Daredevil.

RELATED: Daredevil Finally Gives Matt Murdock a Break and Sets Up Marvel’s Devil’s Reign

Daredevil’s appearance on his eponymous television series and Defenders was largely influenced by the harder-edged, noir-tinged approach to the character that began with Miller and was expanded upon by subsequent creative teams before the launch of Waid’s run in 2011. Cox’s Daredevil was a tortured, driven character whose entire life and career were put through the wringer, with the Man Without Fear barely surviving in the more low-level superhero skirmishes he would become embroiled in over the years. And with a potential Cox return as Daredevil, this might provide the perfect opportunity for Waid’s brighter Daredevil to make his MCU debut.

While Daredevil may have since returned to his usual, self-flagellating ways in the comic books following Waid’s run with the character, a live-action iteration of the character more influenced by Waid, et. al would certainly make more tonal sense for a more prominent role in the MCU. The various Marvel Television series had been MCU-adjacent at best, allowing for darker tones and more mature subject matter while the Disney+ programming produced by Marvel Studios directly has leaned into the world created and expanded upon by the films. And in Waid’s celebrated run, Marvel Studios has a perfect template to potentially reimagine Cox’s return as the Man Without Fear.

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