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A section from

‘A Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fear… nor love.’ from Star Wars Episode II

AMAZON (USA)

&

A1BOOKS (INDIA)LINKS

THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR - Frank Miller

PART ONE: ELEKTRA

 

Before Matt Murdock turned crimson crusader he was a blind kid with some dangerous skills. Frank Miller’s The Man Without Fear traces the evolution and maturing of Matt Murdock; from a spineless kid to vengeful assassin & reckless lover to attorney-at-law by day and masked lawman by night.

 

Contents

Childhood

Foray into the Dark

Columbia University, One Year Later

The Wrong Kind of Woman

The Emasculation of Matthew J. Murdock

All’s Fair in Love & War

The Voices in Her Head

If It Seems Too Good To Be True...

 

Childhood

 

Battlin’ Jack Murdock boxed in back-alley clubs way past his prime and well into his middle age. He provided for his son’s schooling and education through legitimate means and never threw a fight; this put Battlin’ Jack at odds with the movers and shakers of the boxing clubs. Young Matt had a tough time with social life in school himself and often at the wrong end of taunts and fights. And as if things weren’t bad enough he loses his eyesight in a horrible accident with toxic material.

 

Something in Matt changes. He begins to see sounds, and his sense of hearing and touch is amplified manifold. At first he cannot cope with his senses and the flood of information they bring in, and he would have lost touch with reality had it not been for a mysterious foul-mouthed teacher named Stick who trains Matt to cope with and control his situation. Matt finds escape and purpose in his training, along with confidence, strength and skill. Under Stick’s uncouth tutelage Matt becomes a dangerous fighter under a veneer of calm.

 

Soon enough the facts of life and situation catch up with Battlin’ Jack; and after refusing to throw one fight too many he is killed to make an example of.

 

The loss of his parent is hard to anyone. Matt’s anger takes over and he makes his way to the dark side. He believes that revenge on the murderers will give him closure.

 

Foray into the Dark

 

In the small and poorly-lit streets of Hell’s Kitchen, Matt stalks the killers. He draws the first two into poorly lit areas where he will be at an advantage despite his blindness and makes short work of them. Similarly all others are dispatched with. But he makes a mistake - in his fury and thirst for blood he kills a girl and this pointless kill jolts him back into reality. But for a while he is lost completely. Stick abandons Matt because of the way Matt lost control, and has no room for Matt’s repentance afterward.

 

Stick makes his exit after telling another mysterious warrior - Stone, that Matt has failed in his training because of these murders, and he will be of no use to them. The reader is left with a sense of Matt’s failure - that the opportunity given to him was relinquished in a fit of rage, and that the nobler purpose that was sought out for him by Stick is no longer his.

 

Columbia University, One Year Later

 

At law school Matt is an enigma of sorts. Despite his confidence he doesn’t make friends easily, some girls consider him inanimate while others think he’s intense. But he does make a friend for life - the unputdownable Foggy Nelson - plump, perpetually lost but loyal and a brilliant legal mind. The brilliance doesn't prevent Foggy from becoming a target for the new bullies.

 

But one day it all changes and the frat-boys who ran him off sidewalks and pushed him around suddenly stop and become friendly. WTF?

 

The explanation is simple. The big-dick from all the frat-boys was abducted in the thick of night by a pair of strong hands and given some time to think. Outside in the snow. Naked. Hands and legs bound. Face-down. With freezing extremities.

 

FactBehindFiction.com isn't alleging that Matt Murdock had anything to do with it; but Matt did hate bullies and had a strong history with them.

 

The Wrong Kind of Woman

 

It didn’t take long for Matt to meet Elektra - the woman who would dominate the beginning of his adulthood and career. Much before running across rooftops and other hurdles was called parkour it was known as running across rooftops and other hurdles. This is what Matt and Elektra were simultaneously engaged in at different places one fateful night. She sensed a man several paces behind her; he smelt a woman’s body and gave chase. Despite his physical prowess Matt found it difficult to catch up with her; this effortless skill of Elektra versus the Matt’s dogged pursuit of her would be the hallmark of their relationship over time.

 

It’s possible that Elektra felt Matt begin to give in, so she motivated him by leaving behind a trail of her clothes for him. In this manner she leads him into a park and has him exactly where she wants. Matt thinks he’s finally got to her when there isn't’ anything left to add to her trail but ends up facing a police patrol car with some explaining to do. It doesn't take his prodigious hearing to know that somewhere this girl is laughing at him.

 

The next day a red Corvette convertible grinds to a questionable halt beside Foggy and Matt near Columbia. Matt recognized the scent and without question jumped into the passenger seat. With Matt right where she wanted, Elektra does her best to intimidate him with her driving but Matt remains unmoved. They’re away from the city now and Elektra drives off the road and stops near a sheer cliff above a river.

 

‘This is where we belong. Always on the brink. The rest lead safe lives, but you… when I saw you on the rooftops I knew we’re two of a kind. Drawn to the edge… and past it.’

 

And with those words she jumps over and into the freezing waters beneath.

 

The Emasculation of Matthew J. Murdock

 

All that time spent alone thinking about the innocent life that he had ended made Matt a changed man. He was a little more mature and understood the value of a life and would not be responsible for another death. There was something wrong with this girl and he wasn't going to be the one to let her die.

 

He dove in behind her.

 

It was many minutes later that he ran out of lung capacity and had to break the surface of the water. And then he heard the same feline laughter, this time coupled with the throaty engine of Elektra’s sports car pulling away. Matt was done playing her games. Time for keeping the ball in his court.

 

Matt Murdock prepares to teach Elektra a lesson, and his first stop is Elektra’s home - a well guarded mansion on the outskirts. Security in mean looking suits and earpieces don’t see him as he squeezes through the gates and scales walls to enter Elektra’s room. He is greeted with her scent but the room is empty. The first thing he discovers is her martial arts training and physical prowess.

 

‘Daddy’s little girl can fight.’ he tells himself.

 

And then his luck runs out as a chance security detail finds him. Matt has dealt with the type before, and send the man crashing through a window and into an evening party hosted by Elektra’s father - a diplomat. The guard poetically lands on the piano being played by Elektra for her guests. Matt curses himself for not having dealt with the guard discreetly and dodges bullets to escape the compound. Some of the bullets find their mark and slow him down but he doesn't stop. Only when he’s clear of danger does he realize that not once did Elektra stop playing.

 

All’s Fair in Love & War

 

‘Clean the wound, stop the blood, stay conscious.’

 

Matt repeats to himself while he drags himself back to his rooms, and barely stays out of shock while he manages to stop bleeding and bandage up. Then he realizes he isn't alone, and it isn't his roommate Foggy. Its Elektra and she’s in his shower. A while later Foggy’s pleas to enter go unanswered. Hours later Elektra walks out without saying a word, and Foggy enters to see the room wrecked and Matt is sprawled on the floor, hands behind his head looking up at Foggy and smiling.

 

‘She’s really a very nice girl, Foggy.’ Matt tells his friend.

 

The Voices in Her Head

 

Elektra couldn't handle being at home after screwing Matt’s brains out so she went to Times Square to have some fun. By drawing unnecessary attention to herself she pretends to get cornered by hoodlums. Voices in her head convince her to behave this way, and she obeys. She has come to accept these voices as a part of her life; and now she will satisfy them. The goons don’t understand the absence of fear in her. The mere sight of them brings the terror of rape and murder to their usual fare, but they rationalize and call her a crazy uptown broad.

 

Ten seconds of control. That is all she allows the five would-be rapists before she unleashes herself on them, using all of her skill and some of their own weapons but betraying no effort of hers. Five dead bodies in an alley that no one will miss. The voices have their innocent blood and are happy for now.

 

If It Seems Too Good To Be True…

 

Stick warned Matt. He returned to his former student in the dead of night and warned him to stay away from the girl; a warning that would cost his life is he didn’t take heed. Then Matt’s lights went out; and when he woke he brushed it off as a dream. His world began and ended with Elektra at the cost of everything else.

 

Elektra and Matt are carefree lovers who spend all their free time together. A perfect fit to one another, their life is idyllic but only one of them knows it won’t last.

 

Every time Matt broaches the subject of their life together her only reply is the sinister laugh he comes to dread. Matt is so enamored that he fails to notice his own instincts and plays along waiting to break down her defences. Elektra’s apologies to Matt are cryptic and ambiguous. She fails to explain herself and confesses her sins to him. In her own way she tries to push him away because she can’t break away from him. He is a challenge that she can’t overcome.

 

But things change once her father is killed and the voices in her head overwhelm her. His death brings a trace of reality to Elektra who decides to escape from the life she has; she remains unconvinced by his consoling and reasoning and in the end leaves him for an undisclosed location.

 

_____________________

 

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