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Why Fantastic Four Chose Daredevil Over Spider-Man as Marvel’s Greatest Superhero

Fantastic Four’s Human Torch and Daredevil. Two characters who are worlds apart. What happens when their worlds collide and their paths coincide? Probably a humbling experience for Johnny Storm. Who knew being the Daredevil is a challenge so tumultuous that it makes the Human Torch bow down to Matt Murdock’s greatness? In Daredevil’s comic book issue #261, we see writer Ann Nocenti emphasize the vast difference between the two iconic characters; who, albeit sharing a heroic legacy, belong to opposite extremes.

Johnny Storm as the Human Torch.
Johnny Storm as the Human Torch

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The Human Torch Is Daredevil For A Day

Human Torch in Fantastic Four
Human Torch learns what it is like to be Daredevil

In the issue, the Fantastic Four hero learns what it is like to walk on the same path as Daredevil; it is an experience that is groveling and arduous, which leads him to declare Daredevil the greatest superhero, surpassing the likes of the greatest Marvel superheroes, including Spider-Man.

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The Human Torch is unquestionably known as one of the most significant parts of the Fantastic Four; a team of superheroes who embark on intergalactic quests and work towards protecting the world; much like most superheroes. Johnny Storm is known to be hot-headed and impulsive, harboring a deep love for adventures — such adventures also include being a serial flirter.

Daredevil
Daredevil

On the other hand, Daredevil is known to be a street-level, whose character traits have played into the “tragic-hero” trope. As Matt Murdock, he’s a charming lawyer. As Daredevil, he appears above the law, as a snarky, yet mysterious vigilante, who by the way, is blind. The two characters are extremely different from one another, having lived through the most contrasting lives. However, in issue #261 of Daredevil, we see Johnny Storm (try to) follow in the path of the tragic hero.

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What Made Fantastic Four’s Human Torch Think So Highly Of Daredevil?

In the previous issue of the Daredevil comics, we saw a riot occur in Hell’s Kitchen. The Human Torch initially bears witness to this but leaves the scene only when he knows he can entrust Daredevil and the officials with the mess. However, upon the Fantastic Four hero leaving, we are shown that Daredevil is missing and it must’ve been because of Typhoid Mary. Karen Page decides to request the aid of the Human Torch, to avoid Hell’s Kitchen realizing that their defender is absent. They set on a mission to rescue Murdock.

Daredevil
Daredevil issue #261

Before setting out to find Daredevil with Page, The Human Torch dons a tremendously over-the-top tough-guy attire. Later, the two pursue Daredevil through Hell’s Kitchen. Ultimately, the Human Torch starts a bar brawl and manages to miraculously defeat a man, who happened to be twice his size, without the help of his powers. This experience is not free from its additional hurdles, as shortly after, the mob threw bottles and food and attacked the Torch as he tried to escape.

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The Aftermath…

Afterward, we see a worn-down Johnny Storm as the bar is destroyed. The Fantastic Four hero decides he has had enough. The Human Torch abandons the search after realizing that his staying there for long would not be fruitful. Before he does so, however, he realizes and acknowledges that Daredevil is special and much different from him. Only he could successfully live through such chaos, without feeling the need to give up. He’s “the man without fear” indeed.

Daredevil Marvel Comics
Matt Murdock aka Daredevil

This issue of the comic made it distinctively evident that the path followed by Matt Murdock as a night-time vigilante is tough, and provides a contrast to some of the other majestic heroes in the franchise. The difference is so stark that it leads even the Human Torch to admit the street hero’s greatness.

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While involved in the humbling experience, Johnny Storm learns a lot about himself. The hero feels extremely belittled and realizes that many heroes in his world have it much harder. He gains awareness that the two heroes function in distinct universes, which are vastly separate from each other. This leads to greater admiration for the vigilante on Storm’s behalf, as he declared Daredevil as Marvel’s greatest superhero.

While the two heroes have crossed paths in the comics, it is yet to be seen in the MCU. For fans of both series, MCU’s Fantastic Four is set to release in theatres on November 8, 2024. Meanwhile, Daredevil: Born Again will be available for streaming on Disney+ in early 2024.

Source: Marvel Comics

Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Always having had a deep fascination for content creation and pop-culture, Debdipta joined as a writer at FandomWire in 2022. Currently pursuing an undergraduate Mass Communication degree, Debdipta enjoys the intricacies of cinema and film-making, with a year of screenwriting experience to account for. Besides her knack for writing, she's also an avid reader, a connoisseur of music across all genres, and a die-hard fan of Charlie Kaufman.