Before completely losing his mind and trying to do the same thing to the goddamned Batman in All Star Batman & Robin, Frank Miller was actually a talented comic book writer who first gained fame by making Daredevil one of Marvel’s darkest and most troubled heroes. The modern Netflix series about the blind ninja of Hell’s Kitchen actually takes a lot of cues from Miller’s gritty take on the character. But not everyone was able to take it seriously.
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird actually found Miller’s ultra-gritty approach to Daredevil so hilarious that in 1984 they decided to parody it with their new comic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s how Daredevil’s the Hand, the secret ninja group controlling New York, became the TMNT Foot Clan. Matt Murdock’s mentor Stick then became a rat named Splinter, and the accident that gave Daredevil his superpowers was now also how the Ninja Turtles came to be.
The TMNT were born after a canister of radioactive ooze fell off a truck and mutated four ordinary turtles. But before it did, it also hit a young man in the face “near his eyes,” in a direct homage to Daredevil’s origin (not written by Miller). Obviously, the young man was meant to be Matt Murdock, meaning that, technically, the Ninja Turtles exist in the same world as Daredevil and every other Marvel hero, from Spider-Man to the Punisher. But they aren’t the only surprise residents of the extended Marvel universe.