Daredevil is one of the most intriguing superheroes in the Marvel universe. He is a blind lawyer who fights crime using his enhanced senses and martial arts skills. But what exactly does he see? How does he perceive the world around him? And how does his vision differ from the comics to the TV shows? In this article, we will explore these questions and compare the different interpretations of Daredevil’s sight.
Despite being blind, Daredevil does see in his own unique way
Daredevil was never exactly among the most powerful superheroes in Marvel Comics, but he does have superpowers. When he was a young boy, Matt was involved in an accident with a truck carrying radioactive materials and while trying to save an old man from the truck Matt was doused in radioactive chemicals that blinded him but also in a way changed him on a molecular level.
You how blind people apparently compensate for their lack of sight with other senses? This is what happened with Daredevil as well but on a superhuman level. The mutations of his sensory system allowed him to perceive the world differently through his senses and he suddenly found himself being able to do everything better than before the accident. Daredevil has superhuman touch, smell, hearing, and balance. He also became highly tolerant of pain despite his sense of touch going haywire. But amongst these enhancements, none was as powerful as his “radar sense.”
How does Daredevil’s radar sense work?
The exact mechanism of how it works is similar to bats. Daredevil uses the echolocation of low-frequency radio waves that bounce off specific regions of his brain that, allow him to receive to create inside his mind a 3D 360-degree image of his surroundings even if he doesn’t possess a healthy pair of eyes. Daredevil’s radar sense is by far the most useful and potent ability. If you translate this to regular speech, this means that Daredevil can actually see without having a working pair of eyes, only the image that he projects within his head is quite different from our own sight.
How does Daredevils see in a TV show?
We’ve had a live-action representation of Daredevil’s “sight” over the course of three seasons of Netflix’s ‘Daredevil.’ In the show, it appeared as Matt sees the whole world on fire.
This is the product of Daredevil being able to detect objects and people based on echolocation and temperatures. It appears as if the world is on fire because the temperature aspect of his superpowers has been focused on. By focusing on sounds bouncing off different surfaces, as well as body temperature Daredevil can “visualize” what’s in front of him, and next to him as well as all around him. Daredevil can also recognize people based on their heartbeats and smells.
This representation of his sight is not the most accurate because it seems like Daredevil’s sight works as a thermal camera when it doesn’t and it implies that Daredevil can “see” finer details on people’s faces when he logically shouldn’t be able to. Daredevil cannot “see” through temperatures, he can only use this superpower when he is directly touching an object or a person, and his “sight” and echolocation don’t have a thermal aspect to them.
But, this is where a comic version of his radar sense comes in.
What does Daredevil see in the comics?
As you can see, in the comics, Daredevil sees as a true radar. There are no finer details to be detected there’s simply sound bouncing off different surfaces producing “blips” in what otherwise appears as a blank space. Each wave of sounds that returns to him is different based on what it bounced off and this is capable of generating an approximate image of what surrounds him.
Also, take a look at this statement. The more sounds there are in a certain space, the more Daredevil struggles to generate a clear detailed image of what is around him and people on his radar look like simple figures with mostly indiscernible features.
Here, with only one person and relatively few objects in the room Daredevil’s echolocation can pick up on the details as well. The lamp, the headboard, the hair, nose, slightly parted lips, the hips, the bed covers, book. The fewer sounds there are in the mix the more accurate and detailed the image will be inside his head.
So, which representation of his sight is better?
The comics did better justice when it came to Daredevil’s sight since they are more accurate. Daredevil is still at the end of the day blind, and he sees nothing but black space interrupted by pulses of sounds that are able to detect objects and persons around him. In the show it appears like Daredevils sees everything in 3D and is able to even detect somewhat detailed faces, it also looks like Daredevil relies on thermal features to detect people and objects when in reality he needs to touch something to feel the heat.
By far the worst representation of Daredevil’s sight was in the live-action movies which showed far too many details as too much creative freedom was taken.
Based on this image alone, Daredevil would be able to identify people’s faces based on echolocation alone and that’s not how it works. The sound bouncing off of human eyes cannot give an accurate representation of distinctive parts of human eyes for example, I mean Affleck’s Daredevil can apparently see that Elektra is wearing makeup that her lips are slightly parted, and that she is smiling. This is a bit much.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!