Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of English

Committee Chair

Amanda Konkle

Committee Member 1

Michael Pemberton

Committee Member 2

Bradley Edwards

Committee Member 3

Hans-Georg Erney

Committee Member 3 Email



In Marvel’s Daredevil (2015), Matthew Murdock undergoes different phases of an antiheroic spiritual journey as his faith in the judicial system and his Maker is tested by evil in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. This thesis will dig deeper to reveal how the Daredevil series uses purposefully designed religious iconography and expressionist lighting to tell the story of Matthew Murdock’s antiheroic spiritual journey across three seasons. This thesis aims to prove that Daredevil is a complex and thought-provoking franchise that analyzes what it means to be an antihero, including the moral and ethical lines one is willing to cross to protect others and punish criminals while also maintaining religious faith and trust in a corrupted justice system. To do so, this thesis will answer questions such as: What does Daredevil reveal about the struggle of doing the right thing while living under flawed power structures? What does it take to remain “good” in a society filled with injustice where good people die, justice is failing, and evil is around every corner? How and why does Matt Murdock, a character with strong ethical and moral codes who struggles with losing his faith in the systems meant to guide and protect, appeal to viewers? Why does his spiritual journey and unwavering desire to achieve justice through righteous anger resonate with modern audiences?

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material