Wouldn't it suck to be Daredevil?

I searched the board but couldn’t see a thread like this one.

This is along the lines of the famous “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” analysis that was done for Superman - how if he actually tried to have sex with a human female, he more than likely rip her in half as he thrusted, etc…

So - what if Daredevil really existed?

  • Smell: farts, body odor, bad perfume, you’d know what everybody had eaten for the past week - you’d know if someone who was about to shake your hand had washed their own hands and if not, what they had recently done with them - and don’t get me started on junkyards, burning tires a random skunk attack, etc…

  • Touch: would any person feel attractive? You’d feel every blemish and bump. Could you touch anything in a public area without grossing yourself out?

  • Hearing: oh man, where do I start? Wheezing, sniffling, hawking up stuff - sharp noises, bad music a block or three away. You could do the “heart as a lie detector thing” and learn wayyy too much about anyone you are talking with.

  • Taste: I sure as hell suspect I wouldn’t want to do anything sexual with my tongue…or how about bad-tasting foods?

You get the idea. I mean, this was somewhat addressed in the movie, where Matt Murdock sleeps in a deprivation tank. But overall, his elevated sense just seem like a recipe for insanity more than a cool power…

I am sure this concept can be extended for any superhero with their super powers - perhaps that warrants a thread - but DD seems to stand out to me…

I mentioned this in a thread (that I can’t find now) a while back. I figure sex for Daredevil would be ungodly as his penis would be super-sensitive, and he wouldn’t last more than one thrust.

I haven’t read comics for a while and was never an enormous Daredevil fan even then, but IIRC in the comics he had the ability to selectively ignore stimuli, specifically so he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the constant bombardment. I seem to remember a storyline involving DD’s losing this ability and retreating to a sensory deprivation tank, only to be helped by his former teacher, a gentleman called “Stick.” As for the movie, the kindest thing to say about it is that it’s not continuity for the books.

Well, DD was just a boy when he lost his sight and gained super-sensitivity in other areas. So perhaps he’s just, you know, used to it all.

So, are Superman’s super-senses more acute than Daredevil’s?

The awful effects of hypersensitivity showed up in a couple of science fiction stories, too. Alan E. Nourse wrote one where people are cured of a cold that has been plaguing mankind for millenia, although we didn’t know it. The resulting acuteness of smell makes many “cured” people gag – they can’t stand the smell of perfumes or of food. Eventually, scientists re-infect people with a new strain of cold to make life bearable.

Someone else (Vonnegut?) wrote a similar story, I hear.

Sight, obviously.

Hearing, definitely, but it (and sight) are also weaknesses, since while he’s using them in their super-vision he’s more vulnerable to intense stimuli.

Smell and taste, probably, but he’s nowhere near as skilled. On the other hand he’s a quick study.

Touch, almost certainly inferior; the pre-Crisis Superman’s sense of touch was markedly inferior even to a normal human. (Lex Luthor once used a bit of Kryptonian metal to scrape off skin from his palm to make a clone, knowing Supes wouldn’t notice such a stimulus even though a mortal would.)

O Say Can you Smell is referenced in Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mister Rosewater as a story by Kilgore Trout in which a society that passionately hates odours is “cured” by a dictator who decides to eliminate noses.

Yeah. Having to be a lawyer.



Also, there’s Telempath by Spider Robinson; it’s set in a post apocalpyse world after a virus ( IIRC ) is released that gives everyone a sense of smell 1000 times better than a wolf. Everyone flees the cities and all technology; billions starve, suicide or go mad.

Around the time the movie came out, Frank Miller did a great interview with Elvis Mitchell where he talked at length about DD. One point he made quite emphatically was that “Matt is crazy”—his world takes such a monumental effort to hold together that he’s constantly on the verge of cracking up.

BTW, the movie demonstrated his ability to focus on only one stimulus at a time: in his hospital bed after recovering from his accident, he’s assaulted by all kinds of noises from the streets outside. When he hears the church bell ring, he focuses on it and the other noises fall away. (Say what you like about the movie, it did a great job of “showing” how Matt’s powers would work.)