When it comes to characters who understand religious trauma, the one who has felt it the most is probably Matt Murdock. As we head into the holiday season—with Catholic families coming together to remember how much going to church every Sunday sucked when they were growing up—I’m thinking about Matt Murdock‘s hatred of his own upbringing. If there’s anything I love more than a superhero who is a mess, it’s a superhero who is a mess and has religious trauma to back it up.
Netflix’s Daredevil did not shy away from Matt’s relationship with religion. As an overtly Catholic hero, he struggles with the church and how he was raised. But throughout the series, he keeps coming back to the church to hide or recoup, and each time it brings him more information about his family.
Matt was always with his dad, Jack, but we didn’t get to see Matt’s mom until later in the series, when a whole new layer to his problems with organized religion was revealed. All this to say that I hope this very sad Catholic boy has a great holiday, but I also hope that his struggle with religion continues to be explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sorry to keep adding to your pain, Matty.
Bring the religious trauma to Daredevil: Born Again
With the new show comes the opportunity to continue Matt Murdock’s journey from the original series, which they can still make into its own thing. That said, they shouldn’t completely ignore what Matt has already gone through.
The Netflix series explored Matt’s relationship with his father and how that fed into how he functioned as an adult, which all played into his relationship with religion. Things got worse when Matt learned the truth about his mother, which continued to be a problem for him when the series ended. We didn’t get to see a resolution to that conflict, and I don’t think we’ll ever see it come to an end.
Religious trauma isn’t something you just simply get over, and I love that Matt is forced to continue to face it and unpack how he feels about it. So, if we are going to continue his journey from the Netflix series in Born Again, it makes sense that the series would continue to look into how Catholicism impacted Matt as an adult and helped make him into the hero we know him to be.
I hope that we’re not done with Matt’s relationship with religion because I still think that he has a long way to go in realizing how much Catholicism has messed him up, and it’d be nice to see that continued in Born Again—since that show isn’t going to be as violent as the Netflix series. Bring on the religious trauma and bring Matty Murdock back to me.
(featured image: Disney+)
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