Melvin Potter is a brilliant, but mentally impaired designer who was coerced into working for Wilson Fisk. Potter later created Daredevil's Suit for Daredevil when he was asked to make a suit that could protect him from injury, in exchange for keeping Betsy Beatty safe.
When Fisk was sent to jail, Potter retired from building suits for criminals and focused his efforts on Beatty and protecting Daredevil and Elektra as they continued to fight evil. However, Fisk managed to manipulate the FBI into becoming his private army and coerced Potter into recreating a duplicate Daredevil suit for Benjamin Poindexter, an action that would see him eventually be arrested after a scuffle with Daredevil and the FBI.
Protection for Leland Owlsley
A talented designer, blacksmith and armorer despite being mentally impaired, Potter was forcibly recruited by Wilson Fisk to design and build armor and protective suits for him. When Potter refused, Fisk warned him that he intended to hurt his friend and caregiver Betsy if Potter did not do as instructed. Fisk also made Potter build an armored suit and waistcoat for Leland Owlsley, after he was attacked by a masked man. Owlsley made a comment to Fisk calling Potter half an idiot, but Fisk assured him that it was the other half that mattered.
Working with Daredevil
Protecting Fisk's Secrets
When the man in the mask discovered that Potter was the person who had been providing the body armor for Wilson Fisk, he tracked down his warehouse and looked at Potter's designs. Potter arrived shortly after and prepared to continue his work on a new design; however, he quickly discovered the intruder. Potter panicked at the break in, knowing that Fisk had ordered that no one enter Melvin Potter's Workshop without Fisk's permission, and he was horrified when the man began asking about how exactly he came to work for Fisk's organization.
Potter told the intruder that he should not be there before attacking the masked man, revealing his combat skills and brute strength. Potter slammed the man's head hard against his work top while attempting to kill him with his strength, all the while telling him over and over that he should not be there. He began using items around his shop, such as chains and saw blades which he threw, to fight off the intruder. The man continued to fight back, however, and managed to get Potter in a choke hold until Potter was able to free himself and continue fighting the invader for as long as he could.
Eventually, Potter was defeated by the masked man and broke down crying, believing Betsy Beatty's life to now be in danger as Wilson Fisk would find out he broke his one rule that no one is allowed in the workshop. Much to his surprise, however, the masked man comforted Potter and assured him he did not work for Fisk and was planning on bringing down his reign of terror. The man told Potter that if he made an armored suit for him, he would ensure that Fisk never harmed him or Betsy ever again. When Potter asked the man what kind of suit he required, the man told him he wanted a symbol.
Delivering the Red Suit
Potter did as instructed and made a new suit designed around devil imagery and a specially designed Billy Club to the masked man's specifications. When the masked man came to collect the suit, Potter explained the design, noting which areas of the new armor were more protective against bullets and knives. The masked man later used it to fight Wilson Fisk, finally defeating him and putting him inside Ryker's Island.
While working, Potter was visited by Daredevil, who to recently being shot in the head by the Punisher, was seeking an upgrade on all of his armor. Daredevil stood within the shadows and brought his now severely damaged helmet to Potter's workshop, hoping that Potter could fix it. As Potter examined the damage, he guessed that the shot was not actually intended to kill him, but was carefully placed as a warning shot.
He then told Daredevil that the best thing to do would be to make an entirely new helmet, which would take him just a few days. Since Daredevil was anxious to get back on the streets of New York City that night, Potter also agreed to patch up the damaged helmet as best he could. Due to being aware of the gang wars going on in the city, Potter then threatened to cause violence if Daredevil had been followed, grabbing a nearby blade to use as a weapon. When Potter asked him if he was ready to go out again, Daredevil then asked if he looked ready, which Potter decided not to answer.
Handing over the Suit
While Potter was busy working by his desk, Daredevil quietly arrived at Potter's workshop a few days later, earlier than Potter expected him which he complained about as he did not like being rushed. Daredevil however explained that he needed the Daredevil suit so that he could go after and finally stop the Punisher and stop his rampage which was now endangering the lives of innocent civilians.
Potter eagerly showed Daredevil the new fortified carbon tube helmet, which he claimed was now very close to indestructible, noting that ever since Daredevil had recently been shot in the head, he had taken the chance to experiment with the suit to improve its capabilities. Although Daredevil had not asked him to, Potter was also inspired to also make him new reinforced alloy gloves, when he was asked how strong the uniform was, Potter jokingly told Daredevil he would leave the testing of its strength to him during all his next vigilante missions against New York City's criminals.
When Daredevil told Potter to be safe out there, Potter then also excitedly showed Daredevil his own protective armor, which he was wearing under his clothes. He remarked that he now wanted to stay strong for Betsy Beatty. While showing off the new armors, Potter noted that the Kitchen Irish were out on the streets causing havoc as well, so much so that many of his former contacts during his time while working for Wilson Fisk had now contacted him asking him to provide new armors, which he had now refused to do as he was no longer interested in assisting any criminals.
- "So, check it out. You could use it as a grappling hook, or, uh, close quarter combat. The possibilities are endless. Here."
"Melvin, I... I don't know what to say."
"Don't say anything. I mean, the papers might not report it, but some of us in Hell's Kitchen, we know who's really looking out for us."
- ―Melvin Potter and Daredevil[src]
Days later, Daredevil brought his newest ally Elektra Natchios into Potter's workshop, asking him if he could give her some body armor. Potter reluctantly lent her something he had made to keep Betsy Beatty safe, noting that he had not intended to just give the armors away. Daredevil and Elektra promised to return it to him without a scratch once they had finally defeated the Hand's army, although Potter remained less convinced due to the high level of danger.
In addition, Potter gave Daredevil a Billy Club of his own design, with a steel fiber composite cable, which he proudly declared was near indestructible. Daredevil was at a loss for words due to his gratitude for the weapon, but Potter reassured him that he made it just for him because he knew he was the one keeping New York City safe from enemies such as Wilson Fisk and Nobu Yoshioka. When Elektra then questioned where her Billy Club was, Potter noted that he had only made the one prototype as he had been unaware that Daredevil had started working with anyone new, although Daredevil simply told him to ignore her demands before they left for their mission.
Coerced by Kingpin
Some time later, Potter decided to burn down his workshop to prevent his creations from being used by criminals. Wilson Fisk had his fixer, Felix Manning, create a new workshop and coerce Potter with threats against Betsy Beatty. Potter created a perfect copy of Daredevil's Suit fitted for Benjamin Poindexter, complete with the perfectly balanced billy clubs. Additionally, Fisk ordered Potter to create a second copy of the suit as part of his plan to frame Daredevil.
Following the massacre at the New York Bulletin Building, Daredevil sought out Potter who said goodbye to Beatty. Potter informed Daredevil about the second suit. Potter took him to the new workshop and locked Daredevil in a cage with another copy of the suit, revealing that it was Fisk's plan to have him caught with the suit. Daredevil broke free of the cage and the two men fought as FBI SWAT teams closed in around them. Realizing their imminent danger the two men fought together against the heavily armed agents, until Potter was cornered by several agents and their machine guns. Daredevil used this opportunity to escape and left Potter to be taken into custody for parole violation and assaulting federal agents while he cried out for Betsy.
Despite being mentally challenged, Potter is extremely skilled mechanically and as an engineer, catching the eye of Wilson Fisk and Daredevil for manufacturing a material that was both light and bulletproof. He is somewhat artistic in this regard, creating a suit for Daredevil that is reminiscent to the look of the Devil, to be a symbol for his enemies, and advance his weapons further such as adding a grapple mechanic for his billy club. Though sometimes violent, as when he attacked the masked man in his workshop (although this was in self-defense at the time because he believed him to be one of Fisk's men), Potter is also highly emotional, breaking down in tears when he was overpowered. He carries a wide-eyed, almost childlike enthusiasm to his creations when revealing them to Daredevil. Potter is also smart enough to take advantage of an opportunity that comes his way such as assisting the masked man to protect him in the field so he would protect Betsy Beatty.
- Master Engineer: A genius mechanic, Potter is extremely skilled in designing all kinds of body armor and weaponry. He was able to invent an advanced synthetic fabric that is extremely durable yet very light, like cloth, and also endowed it with bulletproof and knife-resistant properties. He kept improving his designs on Daredevil's Suit, reinforcing it with a new carbon nanotube-based alloy to make it near indestructible.
- Master Combatant: Potter is very proficient in melee, close-quarters and unarmed combat, with his fighting style resembling wrestling. He was able to hold his own in a one-on-one fight with an injured Daredevil, using tools inside his workshop as improvised weapons, and came close to beating him. He was also capable of taking down several SWAT soldiers. Potter is very physically strong, as he could lift Daredevil off the ground with both hands and toss him around his workshops, throw his saw blades with force and accuracy, and he could also wield a hammer and a wrench as weapons. However, Daredevil defeated him with proper technique in both of their duels due to Potter relying on brute force. He was unfazed by the FBI agents' flashbang grenade and was strong enough to break several pallets and crates by slamming or throwing the agents into them.
- Melvin Potter's Suit
- Elektra's Suit
- Melvin Potter's Workshop: A small garage that Potter utilized as a work area to create his designs. After Wilson Fisk asked him to build a suit for him, Potter burnt down the workshop.
- Melvin Potter's New Workshop: A small section within a warehouse which was utilized as a work area for Potter to create his designs. It was built by Fisk after Potter burnt down the previous one in rebellion. Potter was forced by Fisk to create two new Daredevil suits, one of them for Benjamin Poindexter. After Daredevil found out that he created the suits for Fisk, he confronted Potter and fought him within the workshop.
|Appearances for Melvin Potter|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Melvin Potter is known as Gladiator and one of Daredevil's first enemies, eventually becoming his ally.
- The symbol that Potter uses on his costume in the comics can be seen in his workshop and on his personal body armor.
- Potter likes asopao, a Hispanic stew.
Behind the Scenes
- According to Erik Oleson, Potter's arc in the cancelled fourth season of Daredevil would have led to him assuming his identity as Gladiator from the comics.
- Anthony Mecca was a stunt double for Matt Gerald in the role of Melvin Potter.
- Daredevil: 3.07: Aftermath
- Daredevil: 1.11: The Path of the Righteous
- Daredevil: 1.08: Shadows in the Glass
- Daredevil: 1.13: Daredevil
- Daredevil: 2.02: Dogs to a Gunfight
- Daredevil: 2.04: Penny And Dime
- Daredevil: 2.13: A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen
- A Conversation with Daredevil Showrunners Erik Oleson and Steven DeKnight