Karen Page is a very important figure in Matt Murdock’s life. And, for a long time, she’s been a very important figure in his second life as Daredevil, too – she just never knew it was the same person. In the popular TV show, ‘Daredevil,’ and Marvel Comics, Karen eventually finds out about Matt’s secret identity. But when and how does it happen?
In the comics, Matt Murdock tells Karen Page that he is Daredevil at her father’s funeral in ‘Daredevil’ #57. It ends in a hard distancing in their relationship. On the other hand, Matt does the same thing and tells Karen he’s Daredevil in the Season 2 finale, and we don’t get to see how she reacts until Season 3.
I’d say that the show kind of followed a similar narrative as the comics, with Matt and Karen nearly in love. And, although her reaction in the show wasn’t that horrible – it was so much worse in the comics. Not only immediately, perhaps, but Karen’s drug addiction and the crucial information she now knew about Matt would make his life pure Hell.
Is Karen Page in both the comics and the TV Show?
Karen Page – Matt Murdock’s associate, love interest, and friend, is present both in the Marvel Comics and the TV show. Matt Murdock shared a law practice with his best friend and partner, Foggy Nelson, whereas Karen Page started off as their secretary. She was always willing to learn and help but also adapt and call the two out when she saw fit.
Her tenacity and hard work soon turned Karen into a close friend of Foggy and Matt, and later, she even became Matt’s girlfriend. That being said, as we mentioned, Karen had no idea Matt Murdock was actually Daredevil, and neither did Foggy for a while, so it was naturally a tumultuous time when she found out.
Before we get into it, let’s briefly gloss over both the comic book and the Netflix TV show Karen Page. In the comics, Karen was what you’d consider the ‘perfect’ student. She had straight A’s, but at the same time, she was her school’s cheerleading captain – the whole package, one might say.
And it didn’t stop there. At the University of Vermont, Karen graduated summa cum laude, meaning with the highest distinction. The reason why Karen worked so hard was, in fact, due to her family already being very rich. Page didn’t want to be handed everything in life – she was set to create her own path, which is why she moved to New York to find a job.
Karen could’ve just stayed and inherited all her family money, but instead, she started working as a secretary for Matt and Foggy – a position she was vastly overqualified for. Over time, Karen and Matt fell in love and started dating, but a tough stretch saw Page fall off the deep end and start taking drugs – especially after finding out Matt was lying to her for so long.
The ‘Daredevil’ show, on the other hand, followed a similar narrative. Karen came to work for Matt and Foggy, but in the show, she wasn’t just a secretary. She had more law-related responsibilities and was an invaluable asset for the partners to have in their corner.
Karen Page helped defend Frank Castle when he got into legal trouble and also helped Matt take down the Kingpin – basically his arch-nemesis. The trouble she got into in the comics was more or less her own doing, but in the show, she was targeted by the Kingpin and the Hand multiple times.
There’s clear romantic tension between Karen Page and Matt Murdock in the show throughout all the seasons. They’re both clearly interested in each other, but it seems they were never really in tune so that romantic tension never materialized into a physical relationship, especially not after Matt’s reveal.
When & how does Karen find out Matt is Daredevil in the comics?
Karen Page’s father, Paxton, was a big reason why Karen wanted to leave everything behind and make a name for herself instead of taking the family heirloom that belonged to her. Paxton was not a great guy – he was a villain, in fact – but Karen still loved him, even if it didn’t seem so.
In ‘Daredevil’ #57, though, Paxton dies for the second and final time (he was presumed dead, then came back, only to die again within a couple of issues). Karen was struck with grief, and Matt, in a ‘let’s rip off the bandaid’ kind of move, decides it would be a good idea to also tell her about the fact that he’s Daredevil – right at her father’s funeral.
His idea was to actually spare Karen some pain and grief, as everyone thought Matt Murdock was dead at the time – so when he appeared at the funeral as Daredevil and had Karen take off his mask, it was a huge shock. Naturally, Karen spirals and their relationship ends yet again, but soon, their affection reignites.
It lasts only for a couple of issues, as Karen can’t get over the fact that Matt was alive this whole time and for years kept his secret identity from her. He promises to leave being Daredevil behind, but when he fails to keep that promise, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and Karen leaves him, Foggy, and the law firm behind and moves to LA in ‘Daredevil’ #63.
It took a long time for Karen Page to return to Marvel Comics, and when she did, she made one of the biggest mistakes she could ever make and probably put the biggest target on Matt’s back ever.
You see, during her time in LA, Karen started doing drugs. By the time she returned to ‘Daredevil’ #227, she was going through a crisis, so she literally sold Daredevil’s identity for some heroin. She didn’t know at the time, but she sold the information to Kingpin himself.
Now knowing who Daredevil is, Wilson Fisk did everything he could to destroy every facet of Matt Murdock’s life. It was a breaking point for Karen Page as a character, and her relationship with Matt was never the same.
When & how does Karen find out Matt is Daredevil in the TV show?
As I’ve mentioned, Matt and Karen didn’t have a physical relationship in the TV show, although there was clear chemistry between them. We knew that Karen was in love with Matt for a long time, but he never acted on it despite knowing how Page felt.
Then, as Matt started having feelings towards Karen, she already lost interest in him, and they ended up being just friends. But when did she find out about Matt being Daredevil?
Well, just like in the comics, Matt decided to tell Karen his secret. It wasn’t at a funeral this time but in the Season 2 finale. The big reveal happens late in the episode, and we don’t see how Karen reacts for a long time.
After Season 2, Daredevil appeared in ‘The Defenders’ first – and nothing about Karen Page was indicated then. Fans had to wait for ‘Daredevil’ Season 3, just to get confirmation that not much changed in their relationship afterward. Matt and Karen were still just friends and remained such until the show was canceled after Season 3.
So, in the comics, when Karen finds out Matt is Daredevil, she’s baffled because she didn’t even know Murdock was alive, let alone him being Daredevil. They date for a while after that, but the reveal and the lies eventually break them apart, and they end their romantic relationship and seemingly their friendship as they go their separate ways.
On the other hand, the reveal was built up for so long in the TV show, leaving us with a cliffhanger, only not to have that big of an impact on Matt and Karen’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong, some things did change – but Matt and Karen kept not being together, as they did in the first two seasons.
Now that we know that Charlie Cox’s Daredevil is getting another TV show – now on Disney+ – who knows? Maybe the couple finally finds their stride, and we see Karen and Matt together.
After all, Cox did hint at Page’s potential return in ‘Daredevil: Born Again,’ so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when it drops.
Although, that could kind of complicate things with Jen Walters, aka She-Hulk…
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