Part One
Marvelous, Fantastic Heroes



    The Daredevil----The man without fear.Tthe Daredevil's origins in the comics state that he was the son of a boxer, one reduced to being a sparring partner for up and coming boxers. The Daredevil, Matt Murdock was accidentally blinded by radioactive waste when he was a child. However this radioactive waste had given him super senses, it had heightened his taste, hearing, touch and smell to superhuman levels, it had also given him a radar sense so that he was in essence not blind at all, he just viewed the world through his entire body rather than just through his eyes. There is a grain of truth in this origin.

    In reality the Daredevil was part of a rather insidious program by the Nine. Matt Murdock was one of several individuals who shared similar gifts, most of whom were never known to the public at large, for they worked exclusively for the Nine.

    The Nine to which I am referring are the Stone-Age Immortals described by Philip Jose Farmer in A Feast Unknown, Lord of the Trees and The Mad Goblin. I have previously explored some of their activities in the Wold Newton Universe in the articles, Triple Tarzan Tangle, Tarzan? Jane? and Tarzans in the Valley of Gold.

    The Three core members of the Nine were the remnants of a Stone-Age tribe which had lucked onto an elixir which retarded their aging process, increased their stamina, recuperative and regenerative processes. They had been inspired to find such an elixir because they had an unaging person living among them for decades. This person was Tarzan or John Gribardson, the time twinned one send back to 28,000 B.C. (1)

    To the tribe he was known as the Undying God. Before succumbing to a wanderlust, Tarzan had written his memoirs which also included information about world history to come and all he knew about the Wold Newton family. These were known as the Books of Tharn and were kept as sacred by tribes of the Nine. Why Tarzan wrote them is a matter of speculation, perhaps he thought that his and the H.G. Wells earlier arrival date had altered history irreparably and he wished a record of his original timeline. Or he anticipated that the Nine would do what they could to preserve the timeline he had written about and ensure his birth.

    Using the Books of Tharn as a guideline, the Nine began their project of ensuring that their Undying God would one day be born in the future, to come to the past and give them Immortality. However dissension in their ranks lead to a schism of beliefs, one of the iconoclasts burnt the Books of Tharn. The Nine were without a guide book to the future, except for the memories from those who had memorized the Books of Tharn. (2)

    One of those who had committed the Books of Tharn to memory Balder, the son of Xauxaz. The Nine made every effort to protect him from any sort of harm. Another of Xauxaz's children was Hod, the blind seer. He had been having visions that Balder's memories of the Books of Tharn would ultimately mean doom for the tribe and humanity at large.

    Xauxaz's friend and ally, the shapeshifter Loki (3) convinced Hod that to save the Nine and the human race he must kill his brother. After several years of persuasion, Hod agreed. With Loki's assistance and direction, Hod fired an arrow of mistletoe into Balder's heart.

    Hod, Loki and several of their family members and retainers fled from the lands of the Nine after killing Balder. They fled deeper into the lands of what would later be known as Mycenea and Ancient Greece. Hod and Loki provided the ancient peoples of this area many of the innovations used by the tribes of the Nine. They also warned the people of the power and machinations of the Nine. Hod became known as Prometheus to the people of ancient Greece. To the people of upper Balkans he was Verbati. (4) The Nine eventually captured Hod, Loki and their families. Hod and Loki traded their lives for the lives of their families.

    Before Hod was to be put to the death, he was put to the question. He revealed his dreams of prophecy, that is he could, on occasion, see multiple pathways leading into the future from specific events. The Nine saw this as a talent to be refined and used to their advantage. In punishment Loki and Balder were bound to rocks by chains and tortured by searing poison, an acid of some type. Their regenerative abilities, courtesy of the elixir and Loki's innate, [possibly] Athanor heritage would heal their wounds overnight. Hod was also used as an unwilling stud by women chosen by the Nine. The women would wear masks resembling Eagles, Ravens or Vultures to designate to which totem or tribe of the Nine they belonged.

    This torture went on for a couple of decades until Hod's brother, Vali could no longer stand to see his brother suffer and killed him, or perhaps he was just tired that the justice for Balder's death was so drawn out.

    Loki remained chained and tortured until one of the heroes named Heracles found him and freed him, thinking he was Prometheus. (5) He would continue to work with and against the Nine in the years to come, depending how their goals coincided with his own projects.

    Using Hod's progeny and descendents, the Nine bred a line of blind seers. Although the gift of prophecy, seeing probable futures was not specific to the blind, it was most powerful when used by the blind.(6) The elixir also had an odd effect on the blind seers in that it increased their visionary abilities but over time the effect was cumulative so that the possibilities that the seers saw were not just the most probable ones but even the most minute ones. At this level the gift became useless to the Nine and the Seer usually went mad and became a liability.

    The Nine also discovered that the ability to foresee probabilities was strongest in those who were born sighted but lost the ability either over the years due to degenerative eye conditions or through accident. Also as the breeding program progressed over the centuries abilities of the blind seers broadened. When they became blinded neurological changes were triggered that heightened their capacity for sensory input. In other words their senses of hearing, touch, smell and taste were increased to almost a superhuman degree. The increased sensory and neurological abilities also increased their physicality and allowed them to channel their strength, stamina and speed. The heighten senses along with the gift of probabilities gave them a very accurate "picture" of their surroundings.

    The Nine eventually produced a lineage of blind seers which produced blind seers on an average in one out of four children, (some families were more productive, some were less). The "gifted" children were born sighted but would eventually lose their sight through a visual degradation. Those children with strong gifts were given the elixir until they went mad, they were then discarded. An odd side effect of the heritage was that those who had a strong case of the gift but never suffered sight loss could have their full abilities switched on when they were accidentally or intentionally blinded. The Nine learned to spot these people as children they would often have premonitions or hunches that came true. The Nine usually had them blinded so as to make them useful to the Nine.

    Although the gift was not gender specific, it ran strongest in the male children. A weird example of this was in one of the earliest successes of the breeding program. Tiresias, a grand-daughter of Hod and also of Loki. She was sighted and appeared to have no talent for prophecy. She was also extremely comely. Xauxaz (Wotan/Zeus) tried to seduce her and when she refused, he raped her. Shocked, Tiresias unconsciously used some of the shape-shifting ability she had acquired from Loki and became a man. In this form, Xauxaz' current paramour seduced Tiresias to have vengeance upon Xauxaz. Xauxaz responded by having Tiresias eyes put out. His gift of prophecy then manifested. Long lived because he had received the elixir, Tiresias later aided Odysseus.

    The breeding program of the blind seers was carefully controlled and regulated but rather than allow the small gene pool to stagnate, the Nine allowed for infusions of new genetic material by overlooking escapes from the Nine's lands in Greece (Olympus) or India (Meru), they would also at times exile blind seers to see how they would fare among the regular population, any progeny was of course noted and watched. (7)

    Phineas was a great grandson of Tiresias. Phineas still had his vision when he escaped from the Nine. He had a powerful prophetic gift which used to help people often in defiance of the Gods (The Nine among others). In retaliation for Phineas' defiance of the gods, Xauxaz had him blinded and sent the harpies to harass him, letting him eat just enough to stay alive. Jason and the crew of the Argo stopped to seek advice from Phineas and successfully drove away the harpies. The harpies were actually Phineas wife and daughter, who were members of one of the Nine sponsored cults in the area. They had been charged with the duty of harassing Phineas purporting that the punishment was supernatural in origin. Jason had made them stop by threatening to expose or kill them. In return for the Argonauts' help, Phineus foretold the results of their quest, and revealed to them how they should get past the hazard of the Symplegades. A descendent of Phineas was the blind poet, Homer.

    In my article Tarzans in the Valley of Gold I revealed that Ek Chuah was a member of the Nine. Ek Chuah was an Olmec. The Olmecs were an ancient race of Central America, although most modern day archaeologists believe that the Olmec were indigenous to Central America, the Nine knew the true origins of the Olmec.

    The Undying God (Tarzan) traveled from Africa accompanied by a group of Africans in boats of his construction and design. Once in Central America he stayed for a few decades. Legends about the Undying God became part of the group of legends about Kulkukan or Quezalcoatl. The African's intermarried with the indigenous peoples and formed a new society which became the Olmec. Agents of the Nine had followed the Undying God to the new world. They recruited from among the Olmec. The Undying God had taken a few of the Olmec and travel south to Peru. Here he met up with a group of people who where intermixtures of Polynesians and South American natives. The Undying God and the Olmecs traveled with the Polynesians. Agents of the Nine followed. They lost the Undying God's trail despite having one of the blind seers with them. Not wishing to report their failure to the Nine, the Agents of the Nine intermarried with the Polynesians. A descendant of the blind seer was known as Kahomovailahi A legendary Samoan navigator. Although blind and very old, he could tell the exact location of the craft by feeling the sea with his hand. Some of his descendants inherited his skill and were known as Fafaki-Tahi, "Feelers of the Sea".

    Other descendents of this blind seer were among the Pacific Island people who intermarried with the Jomon of Ancient Nippon. There arose a family of blind seers whose presence was eventually detected and manipulated by the Nine.

    In 2,800 BC the village of Sinanju in Korea was so poor that in times of famine it would send the baby girls back to the sea to be born in better times which was a nice way of saying that they drowned the girl children to save resources for the rest of the village. One day there came a strange man. He was from blind man from Japan and had been exiled for a serious crime. He told the Sinanju that he was being punished for unknowingly marrying his mother and had his eyes poked out for this crime as well. His foresight and great abilities soon made him an asset to the village despite his disability and his heritage. Among his predictions was the prophecy that that the people of Sinanju would be the arbiter of other peoples' problems  To this end he trained the villagers in the art of the assassin.

    This blind Japanese Master had told a smattering of the truth in his tale to the people of Sinanju. While it was true that he had "married" his mother , it was not by accident but on the orders of the Nine. This blind seer and his brothers all had the gift strongly, his was the most strong. The Nine wished this blind seer to reinforce the traits by marrying his mother. He accepted this task dutifully but with ill humor. After a child had been conceived he asked to be sent away from the shame.

    The Nine told him that if he committed ritual suicide his entire family would be slaughtered. They had another task for him, to create an independent group of assassins that the Nine could call upon when needed. He did as he was asked. After he had died however the Sinanju developed a belief system that kept the planned corps of assassins to one individual and his trainee.

    This was when the secret of the sun source was revealed to the Master Wang and the Great age of Sinanju was ushered and the Masterhood was then passed from father to son.

    Despite the Nine's manipulations, the family of the above blind seer committed ritual suicide to deprive their gift from the Nine. However one of the children escaped the slaughter when its mother switched the baby with another woman's child. The blind seer trait was dormant for generations in Japan until the early nineteenth century. One of the female Japanese seers, a sighted advisor to the main Japanese agent of the Nine, disobeyed her oath of betrothal and slept with one of the samurai of her Lord. Her transgression was discovered when she was spotted giving a baby to a peasant woman. The Samurai was put to death, female seer was also killed. The agent of the Nine was disciplined and deprived of the elixir.

    The female seer's child was a boy. He was sighted as boy but slowly went blind. Because his sense of touch was so keen he became a masseur, a zato. Always sensitive to slights about his blindness he became a master swordsman and eventually a wandering Yakusa. His name was Ichi and he became a legend throughout out Nippon. (8)

    Another descendent of Hod's in the Asian region was also free of the influence of the Nine. There were two Mongolian members of the Nine. One of them had been an advisor of Temujin. Blind seers had accompanied this Mongol as he remained an advisor to the Khans and the later dynasties. In the late 1700's a Princess of the Imperial family seduced the current blind seer. When it was discovered that she was with child, she was sent away by the Imperial family to give birth in secret. The child was given over to the Monks of the Shaolin temple to raise. The child became a Monk of the Shaolin and despite eventually growing blind, he became one of the Masters of the Temple. Despite being very wise in philosophical matters he was also a master of self defense in the marital arts. His name was Po and he would eventually teach the boy, Kwai Chang Caine.(9)

    His identity was discovered by accident by the current Imperial family in the 1870's and the Emperor's nephew took it upon himself to remove this embarrassment to the Imperial family and shot Master Po. Young Caine killed the Emperor's son and was forced to flee to America.

    One recent result of the Nine's Blind Seer program resulted in the terrorist/criminal organization known as the Union. Corisca had long been an important center for the Nine. The Union Corse or Corsican Mafia had been one of their most powerful and influential front organizations. In 1961, the Nine tried to "turn" James Bond by orchestrating matters so that he would marry Tracy de Venzio. They were certain he could be recruited shortly thereafter, however Ernst Stavro Blofeld ruined those plans by killing Bond's wife. (10)

    After 1970 when the Nine were purportedly all killed, their front organizations were left to fend for themselves. The Union Corse did not fend as well as some of the others its power and influenced waned. In the late 1990's that all changed, as a new personality seized power and control of some Union Corse families and of other terrorist and criminal organizations and melded them into one organization known as the Union. This personality was Le Gerant. It has been recently revealed that Le Gerant was Olivier Caeseri, son of a Union Corse leader and a Berber woman he had raped. Olivieri was a strong blind seer, manifesting gift for probabilities and heighted sensory skills at an early age without having been sighted first. His attributed his abilities to the Corsican "witches" in his family. Without a doubt this was a line of blind seers. Olivier and his organization were apparently destroyed in late 2000 but if he is like other Bond villains, we may yet see more of him.(11)

    Earlier in this article I mentioned that a few of the so called "escaped" blind seers were actually carefully noted, watched and often directed by the Nine as a means of understanding and expanding the seers' capabilites.

    One such family was the family of Matthew Murtagh, the Daredevil. The serious student of the the Wold Newton universe is no doubt aware of a couple blind detectives who also had very heighted senses, Max Carrados and Duncan Maclain. A couple of other blind men with heightened senses are the comic book heroes, Charles McNider and Matthew Murdock. Is it mere coincidence that their names all start with a M or have a Muh--K sound in their names? I realize that Max Carrados last name is actually Wynn and that he changed it to Carrados (according to Bramah to inherit from a cousin) However if you scrunch his assumed name together you get MaxCarrados.

    This is not a coincidence because these men all belonged to the same family and this family name was Murtagh.

    Max Carrados, real name Wynn Murtagh, went blind according to The Coin of Dionysus when a tree branch snapped his eye causing amaurosis, eventual blindess. He might actually have believed this but in reality he went blind because of his genetic predisposition to do so. His cases, as recorded by Ernest Bramah, demonstrate he was in full possession of the blind seer's gifts which he used as a private detective. For convenience sake I will refer to Wynn Murtagh as Max Carrados.

    Although Max Carrados (Wynn Murtagh) is portrayed as a bachelor, he was not always so. He had been married prior to his blinding to Sybil Koluchy. Their courtship and marriage had been orchestrated by the Nine, although without Max Carrados' knowledge. The Koluchy family had the blind seer gift strongly and was a family carefully watched and controlled by the Nine. Many of the Koulchy were active agents of the Nine. Sybil's sister Katherine was one of their best agents. After Katherine Koluchy's blinding she was known as the Blind Spinner, her ability to see probabilities gave her a reputation like the spinning fates.

    Max Carrados and Sybil Koluchy had one child Duncan Murtagh b. 1899. When Max Carrados was nearly blind, Sybil left him taking the child with him. She claimed that she could not stand to be married to a blind man. At the Nine's orders she went to America and raised her son, Duncan Murtagh. Duncan Murtagh did not suffer visual degradation until his mid-twenties. He was an Military Intelligence officer in WWI when he started go blind. He blamed his condition on a chlorine gas grenade. The grenade did not help his vision any but it did not cause his blindess, this was again genetic.

 After the war Duncan Murtagh became a private detective. His senses while more accute than most people's did not achieve the almost superhuman level of his father or of other blind seers. Although the innate abilities were there, he did not rigorously train them and hone the abilities to their utmost ability.

    Just prior to his going overseas, Duncan Murtagh married his girlfriend. She became pregnant during their weekend honeymoon. Although she does not appear that she was a Nine agent, she was a bit of a flake. She did not tell Duncan of the child because of the serious nature of his work, she thought the extra burden of worry might cause him to be injured. After he was "wounded" and began going blind, she achieved a quickie divorce and disappeared, never telling him of the child. It may be that she was coerced into doing so. She told her son that his father had died during the war. The child was Charles Murtagh, b. 1917.

    Charles Murtagh was sighted and did not suffer from visual degradation. He attended medical school and became a well regarded physician and medical researcher. Dr. Charles Murtagh saw a man gunned down by gangsters and rushed to give him emergency aid. The car drove back and tossed a grenade. The man Murtagh was working on was killed and Murtagh was blinded. He soon realized somehow his blinding had unlocked his other senses. Because he was legally blind he could no longer be a practicing physician so he took to writing mystery novels. Yet he also worked at honing his senses. Inspired by tales of other mystery men, he decided to become one. He invented a blackout bomb which was a sort of flash bomb followed by a thick black smoky cloud would temporarily blind most people. He could then use his super senses to locate and disarm them.

    As Dr. Midnight, Charles Murtagh had a short lived career as a mystery man. He was contacted by a mysterious organization known as The Seven. This organization was made up of renegade blind seers (or else it was a Nine front organization pretending to work against the Nine). They urged him to stop his vigilante activities because of the attention that they generated. The Seven told him about the Nine and their evil plans. Charles Murtagh ended up marrying into the organization of the Seven. His father in law was a man known as Stick Heldar, he was a master of bojitsu but his name came from his uncanny ability to play billiards.

    Charles Murtagh's wife Grace died a couple of years after giving birth to their son, leaving Charles to raise young Matthew Murtagh alone. Matthew Murtagh was one of those people that the Nine watch for with especial interest, those whose blind seer gift is so strong that it manifests early and while the child is young. When he was twelve he still had not experienced any visual degradation. The Nine took matters into their own hands.

    Matthew Murtagh saw a blind man about to be hit by a truck. He grabbed the blind man and pulled him back out of the way. The blind man jabbed Matthew with a hypodermic needle and sent him off into the land of dreams. Matthew Murtagh awoke when he felt searing pain in his eyes. The Nine had blinded him with a hot poker, although he was unaware of the exact circumstances.

    As Matthew's abilities kicked in, his father urged him to continue his studies and arranged for him to have instruction in how to best utilize his gifts. His grandfather Stick taught him all matter of martial arts and how to best enhance his gifts. Young Matthew went to Columbia and Columbia Law School and became a lawyer.

    His father was eliminated by being gunned down in the street possibly because his connection to the Seven was discovered or possibly as a warning to Matthew.

    Matthew Murtagh vowed to fight the Nine and their minions. He did so under the guise of the Daredevil. His garish costume was modeled after the Phantom (12) only yellow in color and possessing tiny cloth horns. He eventually discarded that one for one of a blood red color. His sighted associates told him the yellow was not only extremely noticeable but dangerous for it was highly visible.

    The Daredevil's primary stamping grounds was in New York City and although he primarily went after small time crooks and minions of the Nine involved in things like prostitution, pornography and drugs, he would on occasion go after some of the big fish like Wilson Fisk. Although generally a loner, he did at times work with his cousin, The Spider and a couple of times with Batman.

    You may view a graphic tree of Daredevil's lineage, however if you have not yet read the Spider-Man article, you may wish to do so first. Graphic family tree is here.


1. Gribardson's background is discussed in Time's Last Gift by Philip Jose Farmer. His time twinning is described in Triple Tarzan Tangle

2. The Book of Tharn is derived from the name Tharn which is how Tarzan was pronounced among these Stone Age Peoples. Tharn's exploits would provide the basis for some accounts written by Howard E. Brown in Warriors of the Dawn and The Return of Tharn.

3. This Loki may or may not be the same one characterized in Changer by Janet Lindskold.  That Loki was a member of the Athanor a group of Immortals descended from the shapeshifters Proteus and Poseidon. (these were names they were most commonly known as, they predated the age of heroes by millions of years.) What Loki was doing in the company of the Nine and what his purposes with them have yet to be discovered.

4. The ancient Albanian god of fire and the northern wind whose name means "the blind one". Although he cannot see, his hearing is absolutely perfect.

5. This was probably  not Tarzan but one of the other  Heracles whose exploits have been combined into a single narrative.

6. The sighted seers often had a knack for gambling or a gift of premonition. One of the Daredevil's relatives developed the latter and was often able avoid deadly entrapments.

7. Some of Hod's descendents, of those family members and retainers that  had come with him when he fled from the Nine, were sighted and still had the gift of prophecy were Cassandra, the Delphic Oracle, the Sibyl and even Michel de Nostre Dame. In one future timeline, a descendant of Cassandra and Agamemmon of the House of Atreus would become a blind seer. His name was Paul Atriedes or Paul Muadib.

8. This of course is the famed Zatoichi of Japanese legend and cinema.

9. Master Po was of course featured in flashbacks in the Ku Fu television series as he taught the young Caine

10. The marriage of James Bond and the death of his wife were recounted in On Her Majesties Secret Service by Ian Fleming

11. Le Gerant appears in the James Bond novels, Doubleshot and Never Dream of Dying by Raymond Benson

12. This Phantom was of course the Ghost Who Walks whose exploits were recorded by Lee Falk and others.

Created  8-5-01

All rights reserved. The text and design of this page are ©  2001 by the author, Dennis E. Power. No
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