This week’s assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers is to take the old Marvel Comics “What If…” concept and apply it to some part of pop culture. I’ve missed the last few League assignments, but this one was just too good to pass up.
What if…? — Write an alternate turn of events for a pop culture storyline.
My concept is simple. What if that old blind man hadn’t crossed the street?
In Marvel Comics Daredevil #1 in 1964, it’s established that young Matt Murdock notices a blind man walking across the street. The poor old blind man doesn’t see that a truck is racing around the corner. He’s going to be hit! Matt calls to him to watch out, but the blind man can’t hear him.
Matt, being the good Samaritan that he is, decides to rush into danger to save the old man. The truck tries to stop, but it can’t seem to brake in time.
Matt jumps in just in time. Unfortunately for him, as he does this, the truck swerves and a canister flies out of the back of the truck. Matt and the old man are lucky to not be ran over… But the canister of mysterious ooze strikes Matt in the eyes.
But what is that “radioactive substance”? Whatever it was, it blinds young Matt Murdock, but gives the rest of his senses superhuman ability. The result of which, creates the Marvel superhero we now know as Daredevil. Removing the old blind man from the equation would make it so Daredevil never existed. That in and of itself is a pretty big deal… But something else was going on that day.
You see that truck wasn’t carrying just any old “radioactive substance”. In fact it was actually carrying TCRI mutagen, as established in Mirage’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1984. You see, the Ninja Turtles were just simple pet shop turtles. But as the boy who bought them was walking out of the pet shop, Matt Murdock ran past him to save the old blind man. Murdock accidentally knocked the turtle’s bowl out of the boy’s hand, sending them careening into the sewer. Soon after, the TCRI canister also fell into the sewer, getting ooze all over the turtles.
The turtles were then found by Splinter, the wise rat from Japan. Splinter gathered the turtles up and in the process, got some of the ooze on himself. Eventually causing all of them to mutate into the Ninja Turtles we know and love today. Yes, both Daredevil and the Ninja Turtles were created in the same accident.
Granted, these things are not explicitly explained in either comic. The original Ninja Turtles comic doesn’t mention Matt Murdock by name, but it definitely implies that his origin is linked with the Turtles. Of course, the Turtles were supposed to be a parody of sorts to Daredevil, but that’s besides the point. Ultimately, some of the biggest and most famous comic book heroes of all time are owed to one accident… All because one old blind man decided to cross the road at the wrong time.
What would have happened if he didn’t? I suspect Matt Murdock would have went on to become a lawyer but likely would have done something like environmental law and he certainly wouldn’t have fought crime in leotards. Instead he’d have gotten married, settled down, had three kids and a beer belly. The Turtles would have went home with that kid in the pet shop and died shortly after as the kid failed to take care of them, because that’s what kids do. And Splinter? He’d have tried to avenge Hamato Yoshi on his own, as a rat. He would have failed miserably, but probably taken Shredder’s eye in the process.
Not very exciting, huh?
Thank goodness for old blind men!