Superheroes can easily defeat criminals and supervillains, but most are powerless to thwart a cancer diagnosis. This conflict embodies Daredevil #23-26 (by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Javier Rodriguez) and forces Matt Murdock to depend more on his friendships than his fists.
In this tale, Foggy Nelson turns to Matt for more than mere friendship. After being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, cancer that starts in the hip, Foggy needs his own Man Without Fear. With his life on the line, he looks to Daredevil for inspiration and strength. As fans clamor for Daredevil: Born Again‘s release in 2024, let’s explore why this story should appear in the Disney+ series.
How Foggy Nelson’s Battle With Cancer Motivates Daredevil
One of the essential features of Daredevil Vol. 3 #23-26 is how it stages Foggy Nelson as a hero. By spotlighting Foggy’s courage in the face of death, the comic shows how Disney+ can elevate Matt’s best friend beyond the confines of being a legal sidekick. In an ironic twist, the story indicates that Foggy, not Matt, better understands Daredevil’s mission. While Matt remains bedside with him in the cancer ward, his best friend implores him to suit up and stop crime. As a mysterious presence threatens to end Matt’s life, Foggy, fresh from a chemo-treatment, helps him cool down and restore his sanity. With notebook in hand, he lists potential suspects, proving that not even cancer can stop him from being a loyal friend.
With a slew of villains on his heels, Matt struggles to be a friend and an unstoppable vigilante simultaneously. The fear of Foggy’s death fuels him to uncover who’s pulling the strings, setting him on a warpath of violence and paranoia. Foggy’s heroic fight with cancer also forces Matt to confront his greatest fear — losing Foggy. No longer does Matt fight for mere justice; instead, he fights for his friend. Although dangerous assassins like Ikari and Lady Bullseye stand in his way, Daredevil defangs them with vigor, strengthened by his resolve to protect Foggy from harm’s way.
Whether he realizes it or not, Daredevil is an inspiration to Foggy. Trapped in the fight of his life, he must turn to Matt to become a Man Without Fear. In issue #24, he asks Matt to teach him to be fearless. Foggy admires his resolve and needs the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen to strengthen him for the battle ahead. He must find his inner Daredevil to take a leap of faith and believe that he can — no matter how dark it may seem — defeat cancer.
Marvel’s Daredevil Inspires Foggy Nelson’s Heroic Fight
“Punching Cancer,” a backup story in issue #26, demonstrates how superheroes can provide hope in the bleakest times. Fresh into his chemo treatments, Foggy visits a children’s cancer ward. To his glee, he discovers the children creating their comic books, complete with the Avengers in a one-sided battle against a cancer-riddled dinosaur. While the Avengers quickly defeat the Cancersaurus, the children shout in celebration, overjoyed that their heroes have overthrown their worst enemy.
Daredevil #23-26 makes a case for why Foggy’s heroic fight against cancer is an important story for the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again. As his life hangs in the balance, Foggy realizes that he, too, can punch cancer. While the kids choose Iron Man and the Hulk to destroy their disease, Foggy elects his best friend to be his hero. Inspired by Matt’s fearlessness, Foggy imagines his own comic where Daredevil beats up the Cancersaurus. This encourages him to believe that, just like the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, he, too, can fight the darkness that lies ahead.