Who is Daredevil?

He may be the Man Without Fear, but for most film fans he's the Man Without A Name. Unlike fellow men-in-tights - Batman, Spider-Man, Superman - Daredevil's never quite escaped from the comic book ghetto.

Judging by his name, he ought to be a motorcycle stunt rider, a fearless circus acrobat, or maybe a fighter plane test pilot. But the reality's far stranger...

First created in 1964 by Marvel Comics' legendary Stan Lee and Bill Everett, Daredevil is a super-powered vigilante who believes in upholding justice when the courts fail to protect the innocent.

Blinded as a child in a freak accident involving radioactive waste (isn't it always the way with superheroes?), Matt Murdock discovers that his other four senses have been heightened far beyond their normal levels. He may not be able to see, but his acute sense of hearing, touch, smell, and taste have given him a superhuman awareness of the world around him.

After the murder of his father by a crooked boxing promoter known as "The Fixer", Murdock trains to be a lawyer by day and a vigilante by night. He uses his heightened senses and martial arts prowess to bring justice to those who escape the courts.

So why isn't Daredevil as well known, or as popular, as his frequent collaborator Spider-Man? After all, he's got a nifty outfit (a red latex suit with a horned devil mask), some effective weapons (including a nunchaka-style billy club), an on-off romance with beautiful assassin Elektra (played in the movie by Jennifer Garner), and a veritable rogues' gallery of enemies - the 6' 7" fat mob boss Kingpin (white in the comics by played by Michael Clarke Duncan on-screen); supervillains like Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner; and colourful characters like the insane hitman Bullseye.

Maybe it's because he's not the most super-powered of superheroes. He's unable to shoot spider webs, too ordinary to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and far too normal to be an "X-Men" style mutant.

Matt Murdock has always a lacked a gimmick capable of hooking the general public's imagination. Plus, with his squeaky clean code of ethics, he's never been enough of a tortured soul to compete with the likes of Batman or The Hulk.

Still, with Ben Affleck donning the red suit, there may be hope for ol' Horn Head yet. Director Mark Steven Johnson is promising that he'll stick to most of the elements of the original comic, while updating and changing some of the storyline to suit modern audiences. Could "Daredevil" be the next Spider-Man?

Before you scoff, just remember - no one had ever heard of Blade until Wesley Snipes resurrected him from the comic book graveyard.