Karen Page is a crucial supporting character for Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, both in the comics and the Netflix TV show, later confirmed to be a part of the MCU. However, her comic history and the story we’ve seen on the small screen are quite different in many ways. Due to the late-90s classic Daredevil storyline, many fans wonder, does Karen die in Daredevil?
Karen dies in the comics at the hands of Bullseye while trying to save Matt Murdock’s life. However, in the TV show, she survives the encounter, and another character dies in her place, quite similar to how she died in the comics.
The Daredevil TV show loosely follows several epic comic book storylines. However, huge, crucial differences in the plot were made, and that includes Karen Page as well. Let’s compare who Karen is in the comics and the TV show and why the writers chose to keep her alive in the show instead of following the footsteps of the comic book writers.
Who Is Karen Page In The Comics?
Karen Page is a Marvel Comics character that first appeared in Daredevil #1 in April 1964. She started off as a classic “superhero girlfriend” character at the time, with no particular skills of her own apart from being incredibly smart and educated. Fortunately, her character became more complex and less sexist with time, albeit much more troubled.
Karen was a secretary in Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelsons legal firm office and was almost instantly enamored with Murdock and his brilliance. She was quite weak and had no particular skills or abilities, but that developed with time.
Both Foggy and Matt were Karen’s love interests at one point or another, but Murdock was by far the bigger one. They were together for a while, but when Matt decided to tell Page he was Daredevil, she couldn’t handle it, so they broke up. She hadn’t returned for years, but when she did, they had an on-again, off-again relationship for a while.
As the character grew, Karen wasn’t this infatuated, weak girl anymore. However, with more complexity to the character came a much more troubled Karen. She battled drug addiction for a long time, and eventually, one might say that she had done more harm than good for Matt Murdock.
Who Is Karen Page in The Daredevil TV Show?
In the show, Karen Page instantly started off as a strong, independent female character instead of just a classic superhero girlfriend type. She wasn’t a secretary for Foggy and Matt but rather their office manager, pretty well legally trained herself. Again, both Nelson and Murdock were her love interests at some point, but it never grew into a physical relationship with Matt.
She was also the one who represented Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, in court. After Nelson and Murdock’s law firm fell apart, Karen was hired by the New York Bulletin to do investigative work on Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, and she also wanted to publish Frank’s true story.
Finally, when her suspicions that Matt was still alive turned out to be true, the trio opened a new law firm, now called Nelson, Murdock, and Page.
Due to Karen’s character being much more professional and mentally stronger, she didn’t have the same troubles as her comic book counterpart.
Does Karen Die In The Comics?
Unfortunately, Karen Page dies in the comics, in quite a tragic storyline culminating with Daredevil Vol. 2 #5 in January 1999. There are events that preceded her death, though, that make it more tragic, but perhaps redemptive, in some ways.
As I’ve mentioned, Karen Page’s character in the comics went through major changes over the years and through a lot of turmoil. The most complex issue that she had dealt with was her own drug addiction. It became so serious that Page would basically do anything for a hit. She would sell out anybody – and eventually did.
You see, in the Daredevil TV Show, the Kingpin figured out that Matt Murdock was Daredevil himself. However, in the comics, it was Karen who sold that information to Kingpin’s men in exchange for drugs.
It ultimately led to Fisk gradually destroying Matt’s life, and Karen never forgave herself for selling him out. That brings us to the point of her death. There was a huge battle between Daredevil and Bullseye.
Just when the villain gained the upper hand and shot the deadly blow towards Matt, Karen threw herself in front of the projectile, dying in Murdock’s arms. It was incredibly tragic, but many fans saw it as Karen’s redemption for ruining Matt’s life completely.
Does Karen Die In The Daredevil TV Show?
The TV show version of Karen does not share the same fate as her comic book counterpart. Karen remains alive in the MCU, which is great news to her fans because it opens up the possibility of her character returning to the main MCU now that both Kingpin and Daredevil have made their official MCU appearances, too.
As I’ve said, the show did draw a lot of inspiration from the comics, and the fight that killed Karen in the comics was actually quite similar in the TV show. However, seeing that the MCU Karen didn’t sell Matt’s identity for drugs like in the comics, there was no need for her to sacrifice herself in redemption. So, the writers made a change to that big fight.
Instead of targeting Daredevil, Benjamin Poindexter, aka Dex (the show’s version of Bullseye, although he was never explicitly called Bullseye, nor did he don the traditional Bullseye costume), targeted Karen Page instead.
The fight happens in a church. So, instead of Karen throwing herself in front of Matt Murdock to save him, Father Lantom throws himself in front of Karen Page to save her life in the TV show.
It was an obvious homage to the comics, but with a happier ending. Well, for Karen Page, at least. I don’t think Father Lantom would agree that it was happier for him.
Whether Karen’s character will return to the main MCU as Daredevil and Kingpin did still isn’t clear. However, seeing that she remained alive in the Daredevil TV show, it definitely leaves room for such an appearance to happen.