by Saab Lofton


"Hello again, blasphemer -- he who would call himself a devil and do the work

of the just! Would that I could cross the threshold of this binding circle,

I would take more than your vision!"

-- Kevin Smith's GUARDIAN DEVIL, 1999


To stay sane, I kept reminding myself that the only thing I have in common

with the hairless monkeys in this pit is the man who put so many of us here,

Daredevil -- but after a while, even THAT didn't help. Mainly because doing so

only built up the bile in my already-hated filled system and made this body

of mine feel even worse. I HATE Daredevil... Therefore, I decided to commit

suicide in the hopes that that'll return me to my realm. This suicide note

(assuming ANYONE takes this the least bit seriously) violates the

long-standing rule against providing proof that an afterlife exists, but

then again, I never was one for rules, so...


It all started early one Sunday morning, when I looked in on one of my

favorite meat sacks, Matthew Michael Murdock; an Irish Catholic who

regularly commits blasphemy, an attorney at law who secretly moonlights as a

masked vigilante and a chronic, adulterous fornicator to boot. Spiritually,

he's on the fence. Were Murdock to die while dressed up in that libelous

costume of his (and by "libelous," I mean how DARE he dress like me and do

good deeds) and getting a cat down from a tree, no less -- he'd shoot straight

to Heaven, horns and all. However, were Murdock to hypothetically have a

heart attack at the point of orgasm while he was humping Typhoid Mary when

he should've been at home with Karen Page ..? Well, let's just say that

orgasm would be the last good feeling Matt Murdock would ever know ...


Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm known by many names. Within this

so-called "Marvel Universe," I'm known as Mephisto. Oh, your kind never sees

me until it's too late, because I'm the REAL devil that waits for you in

Hell (not this fool in the ghetto who thinks he's a modern day Zorro). The

reason for that is simple: Just as the rich disguise themselves as paupers

in order to gauge whether potential suitors want them for THEM and not their

wealth, deities like me are only allowed appear in mortal form on the

material plane so that faith is based on just that -- FAITH, and not facts.

Facts like video footage on the six o'clock news of a giant, red demon

storming the offices of Nelson & Murdock, for instance. Besides, even if I

WERE to go that route, an army of angels would immediately descend upon my

ass like a swarm of Biblical locusts and force me back home. So, like

Murdock and the rich in my parable, I have to wear a disguise whenever I'm

in public.


Despite his lack of church attendance, confession is one thing Matt Murdock

always tries to make time for. Listening in over the years, I know it

usually consists of him feeling guilty over having broken a mugger's jaw

when a bit more restraint would've simply knocked a couple of teeth out, and

so forth. To someone like me, such hair-splitting piety is as amusing as

old, campy movies are to drunken, drug-addled college students. Then it hit

me like an angel's flaming sword: Why not take the next week -- and while

invoking a different sin each day of said week -- to finally break Murdock's

spirit once and for all? Bit by bit, I'll wear him down until... Well,

honestly, the closest a superhero has ever come to breaking was when I was

able to goad Peter Parker into quitting his role as Spider-Man for a couple

of months. Then again, as my opposition up above often say, "It ain't easy

but it's worth it."




"Forgive me, Father. For I have sinned -- "


I don't even let him spit whatever it is out. It took so little effort to

take Father Everett's place I didn't even bother to kill him! To paraphrase

that character from Winnie the Pooh, shapeshifting is what us demons do



"Look, Matt. I don't want to hear it."


"Excuse me?"


"You heard me, Matthew. Sigh, you've been coming in here for years, looking

for advice, looking for permission to play God, looking for your long, lost

mother. Tell me: Had it ever occurred to you that maybe she doesn't WANT you

in her life? Nuns ARE allowed to leave the confines of the church, you know!

How many times has she visited you?"


I could tell I had to really pour it on because the next thing out of his

mouth was a snide, lewd comment: "I always assumed YOU were keeping her too

busy to see me, Father."


"I'm being serious, Matthew. Listen, you want to know what I REALLY think? I

think you're Hellbound. Period. End of story. You dress like a demon, you

call yourself a devil; you're the living embodiment of blasphemy."


"Father, we've been through this," he began. "Fast as my reflexes are, I

still need a edge over someone with a gun. So I... DRESS the way I do because

everybody -- especially a criminal -- is afraid of going to Hell. At the moment a

crook sees me, in the dark, dressed like a devil, he's scared or at least

stunned -- on a subliminal level, if nothing else. And as a result, someone

with ninja skills like me can USE that moment, that fraction of a second,

to -- "


"I've heard it and I'm tired, Matthew. No more," I cut him off. "I don't

want to waste any more of my time with you. I tell you to quit being

Daredevil and you dismiss what I say. I tell you to get married and settle

down, you dismiss that too. So if you're not going to listen to me then why

come here anymore? I think it's time you found another church, Matthew."

With that, I bolted out quick -- before those fourth-dimensional senses of his

can figure out I'm not who I appear to be. And he doesn't. From Hell, I see

him still sitting in the confessional booth an hour after I left. Not a bad





Too bad I didn't think of this scheme earlier. It turned out Matt Murdock

had scored yet another victory for the wretched masses he loves so much, and

I should've found a way of costing him that win, but even I can't be in two

places at once. Last week, I was trying to keep Amnesty International from

cornering a general who's a close friend of mine. Support your troops, and

all that, right?


It seems a wealthy woman had commissioned this starving artist from Hell's

Kitchen to paint her portrait one minute and then falsely accused him of

rape the next. Murdock saw through her racist lie from the beginning, but

unless he wanted to be strapped to a gurney in a government lab for the rest

of his life, Matt couldn't very well tell the judge, "Your Honor, due to a

bizarre accident as a child involving some toxic waste, I can hear this

bitch's heartbeat and can tell she's lying about the artist AND her age!" So

the case went to trial, Nelson & Murdock easily won, but all the kid could

do to pay the firm was paint a picture of the two Quixotic attorneys (a

picture one of them will never see). That's right, even though Matt Murdock

is as famous as Perry Mason or Matlock, he never cashed in on said fame.

Instead, much to the chagrin of his more practical partner, "Foggy," Murdock

insists on taking these pro bono cases and working for barter. Ah, that line

of Foggy Nelson's! What did he once say to Matt? "I go salsa dancing on the

weekends, but I don't shake my ass to pay my phone bill."


One of the things that makes Daredevil Daredevil is he's a symbol of hope.

This ties in with how -- even though he's blind -- Matt Murdock is a big Trekkie

(he LISTENS to "Star Trek" the same way one would a radio serial from the

1930s), which is to say he believes there's actually hope for the future of

Humanity. As I understand it, in the future "Star Trek" envisions, both

money and poverty will go the way of the dinosaur because everyone on Earth

will barter their labors of love for everything they desire.


Humph! Put ME out of a job, why don't you? I like today's economics MUCH

better: Dead end "day jobs," homeless PhDs, foreclosed farms, etc. As much

as I can "love" anything, I love capitalism! Contrary to popular opinion, in

my realm, tears are far more valuable than blood. Short of necromancy, a

tear from a broken heart is the most potent fuel you can possibly use in a

spell, and no force on Earth breaks more hearts than the American monetary

system. I never thought I'd ever say this, but God bless America!


By the time I got back from telling a bunch of Africans that condoms offend

Allah and not to wear them no matter how many cases of AIDS were reported in

their village, Nelson & Murdock were already walking out of the courtroom

amidst victorious cheers from the poor artist's family. When Foggy began

audibly complaining about having to pose for a portrait when he'd rather be

shopping for a new sports car, I saw my window of opportunity and made my



Taking the form of a stuck-up prick they both knew and loathed in law

school, I came around the corner as if I had just came from "the bathroom"

(Humans are such filthy creatures!) and pretended to rudely bump into

Murdock, who for his part, went ahead and let it happen since such things

perpetuate his carefully crafted image as a helpless blind man. Foggy

"recognized" me right away and venomously spat out, "Brad Sinclair! Did you

ever graduate? I thought they kicked you out of Columbia! You remember Brad

Sinclair, don't you, Matt?"


"Yes, quite..." Murdock droned. I could tell he was scanning me, so I got to

the point quick.


"Ah, Nelson. You know better than that. So tell me, in all these years, did

you ever get laid? How about just a girlfriend that'll hold your hand in

public? Ever get THAT far?" I can be such a bully! "Well, not only did I

pass the bar, but I'm working for a multi-billionaire who flew my firm to

Vegas where we spent a three-day weekend at a place called the Bunny Ranch.

You ever heard of the Bunny Ranch, Nelson?"


"We're well familiar with the world famous Bunny Ranch, Sinclair," Murdock

interrupted. "Now if you'll excuse us, we have a victory to celebrate."


"Yes, the FREEBIE!" When I'm good, I'm great, but when I'm bad, I'm BETTER.

"Don't spend your retainer all in one place... Oh, wait. That's right, you

can't SPEND a present! I forgot! Didn't someone pay you guys in FISH once? I

bet Nelson & Murdock ate good THAT week! Actually, I just HAD some fish for

lunch -- lobster and cracked crab. "Course, I've had it so often lately I think

I'll give caviar a try -- "


"Excuse us," Murdock almost betrayed himself pushing past "Brad" as he did

in order to hurry his victory party out of the courthouse, which is fine by

me. I may not have affected him but I certainly put a bug in Foggy's ear;

something I can definitely use later. Besides, I have a whole week to go...




As is usually the case after a big trial, Matt Murdock takes the very next

day off. During this down time, Murdock spends the better part of day either

meditating and/or working out, so there's not a lot for me to work with.

It's not until after dark, when that irritatingly inaccurate outfit of his

comes on and he hits the streets do I find a chance to pick at him.


I remember when Daredevil first began to appear in public. Murdock's first

couple of weeks as a crime fighter was spent in the shadows due to his

understandable desire for anonymity. As a result, he never really left a

lasting impression on anyone -- which was probably just as well. Being blind,

he couldn't have known his homemade costume made him look like a raggedy

cross between a ninja and John Shaft. As dumb luck would have it (fortune

really IS ally to the brave), a gay Frenchman took Matt in, flew him to

France, told everyone there they were designing a safer motorcycle jumpsuit

(MORE lying, I "love" it!), and before you could say "offensive to evil,"

these so-called devil suits were being discreetly shipped from Paris to New

York en masse.


So I want you to imagine the look on that cop's face -- the first cop to ever

be told by some damsel in distress that a man dressed like one of my people

showed up seconds before her virginity was about to be ravaged by a gang and

saved the day, or night, as it were. The Fantastic Four are a wholesome,

respected (albeit mutated) family of scientists and explorers who publicly

prevent global and extraterrestrial apocalypses on a monthly basis. They get

good press for the most part; they're physically attractive (except of

course for the Thing) and the law allows them to exist because -- since their

mutation -- they've all become deputized agents OF the law. Captain America

went a similar, legal route...


Daredevil, however, was NEVER so deputized, and there are only two reasons

why the NYPD hasn't tracked down and unmasked Murdock in the ten years he's

been hopping across rooftops. One, the cops love him (probably because he's

saved so many of their lives over the past decade). Some don't, but most do,

and they'll usually look the other way or simply not include his involvement

in any report they file as a result. "You're not here," is a refrain often

heard. "WHAT masked vigilante?" And so on. In fact, the running joke down at

the mayor's office is you could always tell the man without fear had put in

an appearance when a fat slob of a cop claims "the collar" for having

singlehandedly captured both the Cobra and Mr. Hyde.


And two, Matt's obviously kind of hard to pin down. He DOES hop from rooftop

to rooftop, you know...


But what if he were to run into a cop who wasn't intimidated by the horns or

the blank pupils or the blood red leather/Kevlar mesh? What if there was a

cop who actually did his job for a change and busted this so-called urban

legend who's guilty of innumerable counts of assault and battery, breaking

and entering, removing/tampering with evidence, fleeing a crime scene,

failing to appear before summons...


Say hello to Officer Buck Hammerschmidt! 'Course, I had to take out the REAL

Hammerschmidt in order to take his place since he was too close to an

alley where Daredevil had pounced like a cat upon someone who had just robbed

a liquor store. I could frame Daredevil for murder, but then, I wouldn't have him

all to myself, would I? I knocked Hammerschmidt unconscious, as opposed to simply

killing him, because I'd just as soon not show up on any angels' radar (if you've

ever been hit with a flaming sword, you'd understand).


"Hold it right there, masked man!"


"Officer, I'm glad you're here," Daredevil said in that smarmy, lawyer voice

of his. "'Nick's', on the corner of Miller and Frank, was just robbed by

this loser and the clerk he DIDN'T kill can easily identify him --"


"Get down on your knees and get your hands in the air! You're under arrest

for assault!"


The irony was simply delicious! The thieving murderer was scrambling to his

feet while shrugging off the beating Daredevil gave him and then chimed in

as if I had included his Hellbound ass in my plan! "Oh, yeah, man! This

f#@%ing guy! He jumps out of nowhere and beats the #@% out of me for no

f#@%ing reason, man! Look at his ass! He looks like a FREAK! A GAY freak!"


Daredevil didn't move. He's been in situations like this before and he'll

either bolt over the fence behind him or he'll try to slick talk his way out

of this. "Officer, I left something unattended to that's potentially

dangerous. You can come with me to help stop it or trust me to come back,"

and of course he never does. Another great one is the time he had the gall

to give this cop a business card from Nelson & Murdock! "Call my lawyer,

he'll explain everything," he says!


Since I'm not tolerating any of his tricks, he's as good as dead. Except

it's too soon. We have the rest of the week still, so what do I do? "Take

off your mask! NOW!"


Daredevil turned his head ever so slightly in the direction of the murdering

thief he had just caught and I read his mind, "I don't care if he's looking

or not, TAKE IT OFF AND TOSS IT TO ME!" It was at this point I cocked the

hammer back on my gun.


To my surprise, he did it. Granted, it was around midnight and there were

shadows everywhere, but one could still make out that Daredevil was in

reality a good looking white man with short cut red hair.


I stayed in character as I caught the mask, angrily flung it to the ground

beside me and slowly ground a boot right onto one of its plastic horns. "The

next time you want to stop a crook, join the police academy like a normal

person! The next time you want to wear a mask, it better be at a costume

party! Now get the hell out of here!"


Making him spirit away without his mask must have felt worse than


It wasn't enough to break him, but instead of getting another mask and going

back out, Matt got back home and took the rest of the night off.




I figured after a rough night like the one I just gave him, Matt Murdock

deserved a break, so I sent him several. I needed a break as well, so I

ordered some demons from Hell to come up and change into various women from

Matt's past. Heather Glenn, Karen Page and the Black Widow, specifically.

The real Glenn, Page and Widow were out of town this week, so as far as

Murdock was concerned, all of them simultaneously showing up at his doorstep

(while in heat, no less) was nothing more than the happiest coincidence a

man could ever ask for.


It may have seemed like I just did Murdock a colossal favor, but not really.

While his impromptu, six-hour-long orgy commenced, a building burnt to the

ground less than a mile away -- and guess who's super senses were so

preoccupied he didn't even notice the two people who died horribly in the

fire? I wish you Humans could feel emotions. Funny thing is, if you people

WERE empathic, you'd probably elevate yourselves beyond my reach, but those

who didn't would appreciate what I sensed after the blond, redhead and

brunette demons left and the news reported the fire. While eavesdropping on

his next door neighbor's TV (Could that be considered stealing cable?),

Murdock's heart cracked. A hairline fracture, spiritually speaking, but it

felt so... "good."




It seems I went too far in sending those three demon women. Murdock's senses

vibed in on their evil essences (funny how that didn't stop Matt from

enjoying himself...), and instead of going to court, he dressed as Daredevil

and went down to Dr. Strange's hovel in the hippie, artsy-fartsy side of

town. How I hate that neighborhood, but if my mark wanted knowledge of the

occult, I had to make sure I was the only one providing it.


So while I ordered those three demons from the day before to keep Strange

busy in a parallel dimension, I took the good doctor's form and welcomed

Daredevil in when he came through Strange's skylight just after dusk.


"You know, times are hard, Daredevil," I began. "Every time one of you... You

demi-gods in sprayed-on Spandex, needs to know whether some amulet or

artifact is 'magical' or not, I get called away from my work to 'check it

out.' And believe it or not, I actually AM a very busy man. I'm the Sorcerer

Supreme; do you know what that means? That means if a common stage magician

in Las Vegas is a statesman, then I'm the SECRETARY OF STATE, got it?"


Daredevil was really taken aback now. It's one thing to have an anonymous

cop or a bully you haven't seen since college ruin your day, but this was

Dr. Strange, a member of long standing in the superhero community. "Uh... Doc



"That's Dr. Strange, 'horn head,' or whoever you really are under there. I

didn't go to school for a decade to be called 'Doc.'"


"Sorry. I'll get right to the point: Lately, I've been sensing... what I can

only describe as an AFTERTASTE of evil. The last time I felt it was --"


Uh, oh! Better alienate him quick: "Good, now I'LL get right to the point:

Ever since that car accident, my hands can't hold a scalpel. I can cast

spells but can't perform brain surgery, go figure. Anyway, I need MONEY. I

can't maintain a place in the Village like this off of just 'consulting'

work, so how about it? If you've got six hundred dollars, I'll look into

this 'aftershave of evil' or whatever it is you're talking about --"


"Never mind," I hear as I look around and notice Daredevil scurrying back

out the same skylight he initially came through. Yesss... I'm sensing that

he's subliminally starting to question whether Humanity even DESERVES a

future, let alone a utopian one! Excellent..!




As lonely as Foggy Nelson usually is, it was nothing for the three demon

women to keep him occupied while I laid in wait for Matt Murdock to show up

at his place. Since Matt has always felt sorry for Foggy's lack of social

graces and horrible luck with the opposite sex, Friday nights were always

set aside so that these two bosom buddies from law school -- who swore to

always defend the defenseless -- could maintain the bond that made their small

firm legendary (and occasionally infamous). Often times, that bond consisted

of downing a few pints in an Irish pub one of Murdock's distant cousins runs

(there's poor Irish trash all over Hell's Kitchen and Matt Murdock's related

to at least half of them).


After I assumed the rather uncomplimentary guise of Foggy Nelson, I saw to

it it'd be a good long while before Matt will be in the mood to drink with

his best friend again. Here's the soliloquy I laid on Murdock when he came

to Nelson's Friday night and I was the one who answered the door: "I can't

go out with you any more, Matt. It hurts too much. We can still work

together, and so long as our relationship stays strictly professional,

that's fine by me, but every time I go drinking with you, I feel



Before Murdock can open his mouth to respond I continue: "I've been a

lonely, geeky, nerdy bookworm my whole life. I know you have too, but the

difference is you're slim and good looking. Whereas I'm just your chunky

sidekick -- good for comic relief, at best. In fact, I never told you this but

I always hated the irony of how you can't even SEE all the women who throw

themselves at you. And what do you do? Do you pick one and marry 'em? No,

you let them slip, secure in the knowledge that another's on her way. It's

almost as if you're rubbing my nose in it. 'Oh, look: I'm blind and I can

STILL hook up with more honeys than this fat slob will ever know.'


"It's like I tried to explain to you in college and you didn't listen: There

are three types of people in this world, the bullies, the nerds and the

beautiful people [Foggy Nelson never said this, but when Murdock searches

his memory and DOESN'T remember it, he'll feel even worse]. From now on, I

think I need to only hang out with people who understand what it means to

ALWAYS be alone on a Friday night." I made sure to slam the door as hard as

I could to punctuate things and it worked. I could FEEL it...




This is it! Sunday the sin was SLOTH, as in a lazy preacher who dismissed a

soul in need. Monday it was PRIDE, as in how proud that lawyer was of how

much more he makes than the perpetually pro bono Nelson & Murdock. Tuesday

it was FEAR, as in a cop who's afraid of the mockery a vigilante makes of

the justice system. Wednesday it was LUST... 'nuff said! Thursday it was

GREED, as in Dr. Strange's six hundred dollar "consulting fee." Friday it

was ENVY, as in how jealous Foggy is of Matt's pheromone output. And

finally, Saturday will be all about HATE, the final step before crossing

over into my world.


Frank "the Punisher" Castle had been hunting down a kidnapper for the better

part of this week. Thus far, the Punisher spent most of his hunt on the

docks. Except he was out of Daredevil's sensory range, so what did I do?

Find the kidnapper first, toss him into a pier, take his place, catch

Castle's eye and then RUN -- all so I could lead the Punisher straight into the

heart of Hell's Kitchen.


I respect the Punisher quite a bit. To me, the guy's like a pizza

deliveryman who shows up without having to be called or waited on first. At

first, I didn't know what to make of it. Was the Rapture approaching? Why

were all these Mafioso dying prematurely? When I looked into it, I have to

say I didn't approve of Castle's motives (avenging his dead family, SHEEESH!

That's as sickeningly pabulum as Murdock avenging dear ol' dad), but his

methods certainly produced results! What I can't wait for is the look on the

Punisher's face when his soul winds up in my realm for mass murder and he's

wondering why God didn't roll out the red carpet for him just because the

victims were criminals.


Problem is, this is where I went wrong. The plan was to goad Daredevil into

fighting the Punisher, and all the while, I'd cry out a lengthy litany of

all the horrible things this kidnapper has done to children. That way, what

Daredevil overheard would get him pissed off enough to the point where he'd

stand aside (just as so many cops have stood aside for him) and LET Castle

kill the kidnapper. Such a direct violation of Matt Murdock's moral code

would've widened that crack in his heart from a hairline fracture to a

fissure, but it didn't happen. Daredevil beat the hell out of the Punisher,

no one was killed and we were both arrested -- but that wasn't even the worst

part. The WORST part was the angels must have finally realized what I was up

to because, in their signature sense of irony, they did SOMETHING to keep me

trapped in this hairy, smelly Human shell! I CAN'T GET OUT! The angels have

seen to it I can't be in any other form besides that of this kidnapper!!


I wish either the Punisher or Daredevil or even an angry cop HAD killed me.

Hell is flames and tortures and nightmares galore, but a Human prison is a

thousand times worse. I'm not even going to get into what they put

kidnappers through here at Rikers. Suffice to say, I'm prepared to see if

suicide will send my essence back to the depths of Hell. If not, then

wherever I wind up couldn't possibly be any more harrowing than worrying

about dropping a bar of soap in the shower room...