In the 1964 debut issue of the “Daredevil” comic, Matt Murdock is set on the path toward becoming the titular Marvel hero when he saves a blind man from getting hit by an oncoming truck. Consequently, he comes into contact with a radioactive isotope that falls from the truck. Although his exposure to the substance results in his own blindness, it also heightens his remaining senses.
As noted by The Week, Eastman and Laird extrapolated that the canister containing the isotope also collided with a bystander who happened to be carrying his pet turtles in a fishbowl. Those turtles, of course, went on to become Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael — the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And while we probably can’t call the mutual origin canon, it remains a pitch-perfect homage to one of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
That’s not the only link to “Daredevil” to be found in “TMNT,” either. “Splinter’s name was a tip of the hat to the ‘Daredevil’ supporting character Stick,” recalled Laird, via The Week, referring to Murdock’s ninja master during the Frank Miller run. Meanwhile, the turtles’ nemeses, The Foot clan, were so named because Daredevil battled The Hand at the time.