Incredible Coincidence: MCU Plagiarized the Plot of Daredevil Movie?

Charlie Cox made his first appearance in the MCU proper during Spider-Man: No Way Home, repeating a story from a Marvel TV movie 32 years previously.

Marvel Studios introduced Daredevil to the MCU in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, repeating a brilliant story 32 years after the Marvel Comics hero made his live-action debut in 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. Since Charlie Cox debuted as Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, in Marvel Television’s Defenders Saga, the blind lawyer-come-vigilante has become a fan-favorite character in the MCU’s roster. After Netflix’s Marvel shows were canceled, Charlie Cox reprised the role with a series of cameo appearances in various projects in Phases 4 and 5, ahead of the premiere of his upcoming solo MCU series, Daredevil: Born Again.

After portraying Matt Murdock’s Daredevil in three seasons of Daredevil and The Defenders miniseries, Charlie Cox’s fate as the Man Without Fear was uncertain when Daredevil was canceled in 2018. However, 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Charlie Cox make a surprise reappearance as Matt Murdock, and he has since made further cameo appearances in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Echo, and is set to star alongside Vincent D’Onofrio and several returning Daredevilcast members in Daredevil: Born Again. Interestingly, Matt Murdock’s appearance in No Way Home saw Marvel Studios repeat a 32-year-old storyline for the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.​​​​​​​

Matt Murdock Represented The Hulk 32 Years Before His No Way Home Cameo

The Hulk and Daredevil in a poster for The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock was introduced to the MCU proper as the lawyer who had taken on Peter Parker’s case after his identity was revealed to the world. Presumably, Murdock took Parker’s case because he could relate to the young hero on a deeper level than any regular lawyer, and this is perhaps the same reason that Matt Murdock took on the case of Dr. David Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk, back in 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. The 1989 TV movie saw Daredevil and David Banner’s Hulk team up against Wilson Fisk’s Kingpin.

In The Trial of the Incredible Hulk , Wilson Fisk was portrayed by John Rhys-Davies, star of the Indiana Jones franchise, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Aquaman franchise in the DCEU.

A continuation of the 1977 series The Incredible Hulk and its first TV movie sequel, 1988’s The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno as David Banner and the Hulk, respectively, while Rex Smith portrayed Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This marked the first live-action adaptation of the Man Without Fear, who debuted in Marvel Comics in 1964’s Daredevil #1. Although Charlie Cox’s iteration has certainly become more popular than Smith’s, Daredevil’s appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home repeated the story of Matt Murdock representing another hero from The Trial of the Incredible Hulk.

Matt Murdock Already Introduced Himself As A Lawyer To MCU Heroes

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in Peter Parker's home in Spider-Man No Way Home

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk’s storyline of Matt Murdock representing superpowered or superhero-related characters has actually now been seen twice in the MCU proper. Not only did Charlie Cox’s Murdock provide legal advice to Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, and represent Happy Hogan in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen also found himself in Los Angeles representing his own costume designer in a case against Jennifer Walters’ She-Hulk and Eugene Patilio’s Leapfrog. This means that Matt Murdock has already made his legal career known to several powerful heroes in the MCU, and more could easily follow.

The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk Shows How Daredevil Can Meet More MCU Heroes

She-Hulk learning that Matt Murdock is Daredevil in She-Hulk Attorney at Law

After having legal dealings with Spider-Man and She-Hulk, it’s very possible that Matt Murdock could be hired to represent a huge number of other superpowered individuals in the MCU. This would perhaps be the perfect way for Murdock to be introduced to a wider array of superheroes, as he has only met a few so far, despite being active in New York City for almost a decade. Superheroism in the MCU often walks the line between right and wrong, with many heroes being seen as nothing more than violent vigilantes, so this would certainly constitute them needing Murdock’s legal advice.

This is especially true as more and more superheroes in the MCU are adopting secret identities, just like Matt Murdock himself. In an effort to retain their anonymity, Murdock would surely jump at the chance to represent them, but this could lead to him having a starring spot in a future Avengers team or something similar. Murdock made very few superhero connections in the Defenders Saga, but now that he’s officially and firmly in the MCU proper, even more heroes will become aware of Daredevil, and could keep him in mind when needing legal assistance or another superpowered helping hand.

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