The Marvel superhero Daredevil has been adapted into numerous television shows and movies, and each has shown its own version of Matt Murdock and how he percieves the world. Created by Stan Lee, Bill Everett, and Jack Kirby, Daredevil debuted in Marvel Comics in 1964 as the world’s first blind superhero. As a child, the young Matt Murdock was doused in the face with toxic chemicals, causing him to go blind – but this also had other side effects.

Matt’s remaining four senses would be heightened to superhuman levels, while his sense of hearing granted Matt a “radar sense”, enabling him to perceive the world around him despite his blindness. After training in martial arts under his mentor Stick, Matt would become a lawyer by day, and the masked hero Daredevil by night, aka The Man Without Fear. Daredevil would eventually make the leap from comics to other mediums, including the popular Marvel-Netflix series Daredevil, which featured Charlie Cox as the titular hero. Though all of Marvel’s Netflix shows were eventually cancelled, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that Cox will return as Daredevil in Marvel Cinematic Universe.


News of Cox’s MCU return has been very warmly greeted by fans of Daredevil, but Matt Murdock also has a lot of history in adaptations outside of the beloved streaming series. With Daredevil’s powers deriving from his super-senses, the comics have shown Daredevil’s famed radar sense in numerous different ways, while each Daredevil adaptation has put its own unique spin on it, too. Here’s every movie and TV Daredevil adaptation and how each has portrayed Matt Murdock’s radar sense.

Daredevil “Saw” Green On The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk

Daredevil was first seen in live-action in the 1989 made-for-TV movie The Trial of The Incredible Hulk, with Rex Smith portraying The Man Without Fear. The story saw Matt lending a hand to David Banner (Bill Bixby) to exonerate him from a subway assault, and the duo teaming up to bring down his archenemy, the Kingpin (John Rhys-Davies). The Trial of the Incredible Hulk also presented Matt’s radar sense as a green outline of sorts, with people and buildings shown in black silhouette.

For the visual effects that were possible at the time, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk did an overall decent job in showcasing Matt’s radar sense. The film’s main departure from the Daredevil mythos was in Matt’s black ninja-style suit, which bore no resemblance to his red horned suit in the comics. Nevertheless, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk‘s version of the radar sense hasn’t been shown in the same way again, making it unique to the film, while Matt’s black suit later became a core element of Daredevil, appearing in the comics and also featuring prominently in seasons 1 and 3 of Netflix’s Daredevil series.

Daredevil’s Radar Sense Went Red In Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Daredevil was one of many Marvel superheroes, such the X-Men, Captain America, and the vampire hunter Blade, to make a guest appearance on Fox Kids’ Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which aired from 1994 to 1998. Voiced by Edward Albert, Matt Murdock becomes the attorney for Peter Parker (Christopher Daniel Barnes) after he’s framed for a crime. As Daredevil, he joins forces with Spider-Man to exonerate Peter and stop the Kingpin (Roscoe Lee Brown), and the show depicted Daredevil’s radar sense with an infrared-like view of the world, along with a heartbeat sound effect. Unfortunately, the show didn’t go that in-depth with Daredevil’s radar sense, essentially showing Matt as seeing the world in red. This might have been due to limitations in the show’s animation budget. Still, while it was very basic, Spider-Man: The Animated Series gave its own perspective to Matt’s signature power.

Matt Perceived A “Shadow World” In The Daredevil Movie

2003’s Daredevil movie was the adaptation to utilize Matt’s radar sense the most extensively. The film showed the origin of the future Daredevil, Matt Murdock (Scott Terra), being blinded in a chemical spill and gradually discovering his newfound ability to perceive the world around him, with Ben Affleck portraying Matt as an adult. For the Daredevil movie, the radar sense was shown as a blue landscape with white waves showing sound vibrations passing over people and objects.

See also  Age of Ultron: Why Thor Looked Worried When Captain America Tried to Lift Mjolnir

The visual effects team for Daredevil dubbed this effect “the shadow world“, a quite fitting encapsulation of what Matt’s radar sense relays to him. Daredevil wasn’t warmly embraced upon its release, though it’s 2006 director’s cut has received a much better reception. While it was effectively a one-and-done superhero story (aside from Ben Affleck’s deleted cameo from the Elektra spin-off), it showed a very enveloping version of Matt’s radar sense.

Matt Murdock Lived In “A World On Fire” On Netflix’s Daredevil

Netflix’s Daredevil series was the adaptation of The Man Without Fear’s adventures that the world had been waiting for. Daredevil was acclaimed for its nail-biting one-shot fight scenes, Vincent D’Onofrio’s chilling portrayal of the Kingpin, and Cox’s performance as Matt, which he also carried over into The Defenders crossover. Daredevil‘s version of Matt’s radar sense was also markedly different from past versions, with Cox’s Matt describing it to Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) as “A world on fire“.

Glimpsed in season 1’s fifth episode “World on Fire”, Daredevil‘s depiction of the radar sense put a golden hue on what the world looks like to Matt Murdock, showing him perceiving a shadowy outline of Claire’s face and body. This quick look at the world through Matt’s eyes was the only time Daredevil showed his radar sense, but the effect itself was a memorable depiction of his point of view through his enhanced sense of hearing. With Charlie Cox’s Daredevil return in the MCU, it also seems very likely season 1 will not be the last time the show’s version of Matt’s radar sense will be seen. While Daredevil took a minimalist approach to showing Matt’s trademark superhuman ability, hopefully audiences will get the chance to see it a bit more when The Man Without Fear suits up again.

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
Thor: Love & Thunder Trailer Reveals How Big The Guardians’ Role Really Is

About The Author