Rev. Father Paul Lantom was a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York in New York City who had offered up moral guidance and confession to those who come to him, including Matt Murdock, whose identity as Daredevil Lantom identified and kept secret. Lantom had still continued to offer assistance to Murdock throughout his vigilante missions, as he and Maggie Grace nursed Murdock back to health in the aftermath of the Destruction of Midland Circle. However, when Murdock discovered that Grace was his long lost mother and Lantom had known this, he abandoned Lantom and his faith. Lantom still offered help to his community, offering to provide shelter to Karen Page when she was targeted by Kingpin, but this resulted in Benjamin Poindexter being sent to assassinate Page under Kingpin's orders, killing Lantom in the process.
Charity Work Overseas
As a young preacher, Paul Lantom perceived himself to be more skeptical than others in his faith, and would often debate his peers. He contended that the devil was inconsequential, as he translated the Hebrew word for Satan as an adversary, of which everyone had their own, rather than a single bringer of evil.
Years later, however, while overseas in Rwanda trying to help local churches provide food and care for people, he became friends with Gahiji. Lantom witnessed local gangs murdering their neighbors, but none would raise their swords to Gahiji. When soldiers were sent in to kill him, none of them wanted to kill him. The commander arranged to met Gahiji and brutally murdered him and his entire family in front of his village.
Helping Maggie Grace
As a priest at the Clinton Church, Lantom befriended Maggie Grace who was a nun and worked in Saint Agnes Orphanage. Lanton was informed by Ingrid and Ellen that Grace resigned as a nun and married Jack Murdock, however, she suffered from postpartum depression, believing she had turned away from God. Together with Ingrid and Ellen, Lantom came to Murdock Residence where he found Grace and took her back to the church, leaving Murdock alone with their son, Matthew.
Speaking with Matt Murdock
Once Matt Murdock lost his father, he was moved to the Saint Agnes Orphanage where Maggie Grace was taking care of him. However, Grace asked Lantom to keep the fact that she is Murdock's mother a secret, as she did not believe that she could be a good mother for him. Lantom agreed to keep her secret but prayed for Grace so she could reveal it to Murdock herself.
Worried that Murdock used to fight with other orphans, Lantom approached Murdock outside of the Clinton Church. Lantom admired moves that Murdock did with his cane, as Murdock guessed that Dora turned him in for losing her catechism lessons. Lantom asked Murdock about his fights with other kids in the orphanage, as they did not want to admit that they were beaten by a blind kid. Murdock was determined that Lantom cannot prove anything that was not Lantom's goal. Lantom told Murdock that argumentation is a skill while being argumentive is a sign that Murdock was angry, noting that this was an understandable but not a sustainable reaction to his situation.
While Murdock was listening, Lantom said that he is good at arguing and deflecting and denying his anger to other people, however, he needs to deal with it. Murdock replied that if all of that is God's plan for him then it supposed to work out what Lantom did not admit. Lantom told that God gave a free will to all people and they are making their own choices after all. Lantom proposed Murdock to pray from time to time, while Murdock said that he is praying all the time but God did not respond to his prayers. Lantom guessed that Murdock was thinking that God neglected him, and said that he needs to listen to him more carefully in the future and do not lose his faith.
Matt Murdock's Conffesions
- "Perhaps this would be easier if you told me what you've done."
"I'm not seeking penance for what I've done, Father. I'm asking forgiveness, for what I'm about to do."
"That's not how this works. What exactly are you going to do?"
- ―Paul Lantom and Matt Murdock
Years later, Matt Murdock kept attending Clinton Church for confessions and Lantom's advice. Visiting Lantom again, Murdock spoke to him about his past and his father, who Murdock claimed was a boxer who was known for not ever backing down from a fight. Seeing that Murdock was not telling him what he had done that needed to be confessed, Murdock however told him that he was not seeking forgiveness for what he had done, but instead was asking forgiveness for what he was about to do, which greatly unnerved Lantom.
- "I make a heck of a latte if you're interested."
"Some other time, maybe."
"Seemed you had a lot on your mind last time you were here. Sure you don't want that latte?"
- ―Paul Lantom and Matt Murdock
Just a few days later, Lantom had found Matt Murdock sitting outside Clinton Church, now with several heavy bruises on his face. Surprised to see Murdock back, Lantom sat with Murdock and told him that he knew he was Jack Murdock's son, however, Lantom also assured him that through the seal of the confession booth he was sworn never to tell anyone what Murdock had spoken to him about, commenting that Murdock could confess to multiple murders and Lantom would still not be allowed to tell anybody.
Murdock questioned if Lantom thought this was fair, to which Lantom casually noted that it was what it was and it would not be changing anytime soon. Seemingly not willing to have this conversation with Lantom outside of confession, Murdock told him that he had to get back to work, Lantom had noted that he needed to return to his own work as well but commented that he could do with a cup of coffee first. Lantom went on to tell Murdock all about the new coffee maker that had been donated to the church and offered to make Murdock a Latte so they could have a chance to talk more openly together.
Although he took a moment to consider the offer, Murdock, however, turned down the coffee, noting that he might take Lantom up on the offer some other time. While Murdock collected his walking stick and prepared to walk through New York City back to his Office, Lantom commented that Murdock had seemed to have a lot on his own mind when he had gone to confession and spoken to him, as Lantom then made a final offer to Murdock to come to join him for that cup of coffee, however Murdock simply told Lantom to take care of himself, before walking away, leaving Lantom sat alone on the bench outside.
Early Morning Latte
- "Do you believe in the Devil, Father?"
"You mean as a concept?"
"No. Do you believe he exists, in this world, among us?"
- ―Matt Murdock and Paul Lantom
As Lantom was arriving back at Clinton Church to continue his work, he found that Matt Murdock was once again sitting outside on the cathedral's bench waiting for him, as Lantom commented that he had begun to wonder if Murdock would ever come back to their church as he had not seen him in several weeks. As Murdock claimed that he had been busy, Lantom told him that he would be inside of the church if Murdock had then decided that he wanted to take confession.
This time, however, as Lantom collected his bag and prepared to go inside, Murdock awkwardly asked if he could still accept Lantom's offer for a latte. Knowing that Murdock was a complicated man who clearly wanted to have a more meaningful discussion with him rather than a confession, Lantom agreed as they entered the church and Lantom made lattes for them both, asking if Murdock took sugar in his coffee which he turned down. Lantom then questioned what was on Murdock's mind, while making it clear that he remembered Jack Murdock from his career as a boxer within Hell's Kitchen.
Lantom made it clear that he would still keep all of Murdock's secrets even if told to him outside of confession, before Murdock then asked Lantom if he believed in the devil, not just as a concept, but also as a figure who lived among them, as Lantom question if Murdock wanted a short answer or a long one, to which Murdock insisted that he only wanted to get the truth. Taking a moment to consider his response, Lantom then told Murdock how he had been more of a skeptic while training to be a priest since he used to believe the devil was a minor player in their faith, which Murdock joked was not very Catholic.
Lantom defended this concept of the devil's significance in their faith by noting how the Bible's word for Satan would actually translate into adversary or antagonist, and that the bible had been reinterpreted to see this as being about a single entity of pure evil, which Lantom had thought had been propaganda to just drive people into the church. Murdock questioned if all this meant that Lantom did not believe that the devil existed, but Lantom had insisted that he was not yet done talking, as he told Murdock how years later he was in Rwanda doing charity work to provide churches and aid for the refugees.
Lantom explained how while he was overseas he had become close friends with a village elder named Gahiji who had the respect of all the tribes. Going on, Lantom explained how the militia would force the tribes to murder their neighbors and when Gahiji tried to step in, he was brutally murdered by the militia's commander along with his entire family. Lantom had explained to Murdock how he had seen the devil in the eyes of that man who had killed Gahiji. Murdock asked him what he would have done if he could have stopped him hurting anyone, but he still refused to explain what exactly he meant.
- "Another man's evil does not make you good. Men have used the atrocities of their enemies to justify their own throughout history. So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you struggling with the fact that you don't wanna kill this man but have to? Or that you don't have to kill him but want to?"
- ―Paul Lantom to Matt Murdock
While he was sitting inside of Clinton Church and looking at the statue of Jesus Christ, Lantom was visited by Matt Murdock who was seeking guidance. Lantom spoke about his relationship with Jesus, noting how he liked to take a moment with just him and Jesus, before asking Murdock how he knew that he was there, which Murdock did not answer. Lantom asked if he had done anything foolish, but Murdock had insisted that he had not done anything yet.
Murdock told Lantom how he went to visit someone who was close to the devil, explaining that he did not want to hurt them but to learn more about his enemy and how he could hurt the devil himself. When Lantom questioned what happened during their meeting, Murdock had explained that had learned that the devil had someone he loved and who loved him. Lantom tried to convince Murdock to leave the judgment and punishment up to God as the murder was not in his heart and, as Murdock asked how Lantom could know this, Lantom noted that Murdock came to church for his mind to be changed.
They were interrupted as Foggy Nelson called Murdock, but he just ignored the call. Murdock argued that although his soul was damned if he killed the man, he could not stand back and watch as the devil destroyed New York City. Lantom suggested that Murdock's struggle was not that he needed to kill the devil, but that he wanted to and did not have to, commenting that another man's evil would not make him a good man. Lantom quoted the Bible to argue that committing that act of murder would poison Murdock's soul, and noted that Murdock was looking for a reason not to kill the devil and damn his soul.
The Devil Within Murdock
- "You're being called to summon up the better angels of your nature. Maybe that's the struggle you're feeling deep within you."
"And how do you know that the Devil and the angels inside me aren't the same thing?"
"I don't, but nothing drives people to the church faster than the thought of the Devil snapping at their heels."
- ―Paul Lantom and Matt Murdock
Arriving back at Clinton Church, Lantom this time had soon found Matt Murdock was waiting for him inside his church, now with noticeable injuries to his face. Lantom then noted that the morning service had already taken place some hours earlier, which Murdock said that he knew as Lantom offered Murdock either a confession or Latte, but Murdock simply refused both, as Lantom had jokingly noted that this was likely for the best as he had already had four cups of coffee, which Murdock smiled at.
Taking note of all of his new injuries, Lantom had then questioned if what they had discussed last time had not gone so well before then questioning if Murdock had done what he said he would do, to which Murdock revealed that he did not kill that Devil they had discussed earlier although he made an attempt. Lantom questioned if Murdock was disappointed that he had failed to kill the devil or if he was now in fact relieved. Instead of answering the question, Murdock instead explained how a friend of his told him if he continued all of the work he was doing, he would eventually end up bloody and alone.
When Lantom questioned if Murdock believed what his friend had said, Murdock had claimed that he was not afraid of dying, to which Lantom noted that a lot of people felt that way, as they were more afraid of living in this world. When Murdock questioned how much Lantom knew about him, Lantom simply confirmed that he knew that Murdock was indeed the Man in the Mask who had been going out and brutally attacking criminals including the Russian Mafia at night, noting that he would not tell anybody Murdock's secret although he did not know how he was able to do it despite his blindness.
Commenting on how he was blinded during a car crash as a child, Murdock told Lantom how he had previously believed it had simply been God's plan, although he then questioned why God had put the devil within him, which was making him question his faith. Lantom suggested that Murdock was instead being called to summon up the better angels of his nature. Lantom then discussed the concept that the Devil was a symbol created by God to drive the people to church through fear, as well as being a warning to all of his followers to tread the path of the righteous, which Murdock quietly considered.
Ben Urich's Funeral
Following the discovered that Ben Urich had been brutally strangled to death inside his own Apartment by an unknown attacker, Lantom personally held a funeral service for him which had been attended by Urich's friends and coworkers from the New York Bulletin, including Mitchell Ellison. While Lantom read from the bible, Urich's coffin was carried into the graveyard by Silvio while his friends and family mourned his passing.
Following the service Lantom approached Matt Murdock and asked how he was holding up after the death of Urich, to which Murdock jokingly commented he was doing as well as any good Catholic boy would be doing. Murdock made it clear that he felt responsible for Urich's death as he had failed to stop Wilson Fisk who he believed had murdered Urich, although Lantom insisted that Murdock could not blame himself, commenting on how much Murdock had done to try to stop Fisk. Lantom then watched as Karen Page then collected Murdock as they proceeded to leave Urich's funeral together.
- "Guilt can be a good thing. It's the soul's call to action. The indication that something is wrong. The only way to rid your heart of it is to correct your mistakes and keep going until amends are made. I don't know what you didn't do or what you should have done, but the guilt... the guilt means your work is not yet finished."
- ―Paul Lantom to Matt Murdock
A few months later, Father Lantom was called upon to preside over the funeral of Grotto, a driver in the Kitchen Irish who was briefly a client of Nelson and Murdock, but who was killed by the Punisher for his murder of an old lady who was in the apartment of another man he killed. With Grotto having been cremated Lantom provided the service, which was attended only by Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page who had all wished to pay their respects.
In his eulogy, Lantom described Grotto as a man who was looking for redemption but kept making the wrong choices in his life, as he also noted that one thing Grotto never was, was a saint but described him as a deeply flawed man. Lantom explained how every Sunday he had witnessed Grotto coming to Clinton Church to sit alone at the back, before donating every bit of money he had, once including a Rolex watch, to the church in the hope of finding some redemption which would never come for him. Lantom noted that Grotto had died in the darkness of his soul with nobody to mourn his death.
Lantom finished his service by commenting on how Grotto may have been a life lost, but every life was built on the connections made in it. Following the service, Lantom spoke with Page who commented that although they did not know Grotto well, they did not like the idea of anybody dying alone before they commented on the violence in New York City between the Irish and Dogs of Hell fighting the Punisher. As Nelson and Page left the church to return to the office, Murdock had stayed behind to speak with Lantom in private, as he told Lantom of the guilt he was feeling over not being able to save Grotto's life.
As Murdock had still claimed that Grotto's sudden death was not his fault as Frank Castle had just come into New York seeking to rid the city of the criminals. Murdock noted that he did everything he could to protect Grotto and had failed, as Lantom commented that at least Murdock had tried to save him, as Murdock asked for forgiveness for not doing more to save Grotto. Lantom counseled Murdock that guilt could be a good thing, a soul's call to action, while Lantom had also suggested to Murdock that the guilt he felt meant that his work was not yet finished as it was actually Murdock's call to action.
Matt Murdock's Regrets
Three days after his last confession, Matt Murdock returned back to Lantom to tell him he had lied to Karen Page that he was not missing his life as Daredevil, to which Lantom told him that acknowledging a lie was often the best way of finding the truth, and that this lie was a sign of Murdock's indecision. Lantom had encouraged him to open his heart for God to help him, even if his heart was damaged as Murdock claimed.
Speaking to him frankly, Lantom had then simply asked Murdock if he missed the life as Daredevil or did he miss Elektra who had been killed by Nobu Yoshioka during one of his vigilante missions he had done with her by his side, although Murdock confessed that although he missed her, he also knew that Elektra brought out the worst in him. Lantom and Murdock then discussed if Elektra would accept his new life or if she would say he abandoned it. Lantom told Murdock that he needed to let her go and he prayed he would find his peace, noting he was not abandoning Elektra but simply moving on.
Return of Daredevil
Matt Murdock's Recovery
To be added
Confronted by Murdock
- "All those times I looked to you for guidance. You saw me struggling and you chose to hide the one thing that could have changed everything for me. Please, Father, help me understand why you would do that."
"I prayed for Maggie to find it in herself to tell you years ago."
"She couldn't find it in herself to walk nine blocks to visit me as a kid. Or to comfort me when my father was murdered and I thought that... I knew that I was alone in this world."
"You were never alone–"
"Yes, I was! And you let me believe it."
- ―Matt Murdock and Paul Lantom
To be added
Meeting Karen Page
- "Well, I'm getting ready to say Mass. Um, you could come up if you'd like."
"Uh, no, no. Thank you. I'm not Catholic."
"Hell, if you get strict about it, neither are most of the people who come here. That doesn't mean you shouldn't join us. A little ritual, a little ancient wisdom. Not the worst medicine for a troubled soul."
- ―Paul Lantom and Karen Page
To be added
To be added
Remembered by Friends
- "He spent many years trying to get me to face my own fears. To understand how they enslaved me, how they divided me from the people that I love. He counseled me to transcend my fears, to be brave enough to forgive... and see the possibilities of being a man without fear. That was his legacy. And now it's up to all of us to, uh, live up to it."
- ―Matt Murdock to Karen Page
To be added
To be added
- Gahiji †
- Maggie Grace
- Jack Murdock †
- Matt Murdock/Daredevil - Parishioner and Friend
- Doris Urich
- Mitchell Ellison
- Karen Page
- Foggy Nelson
- Elliot Grote †
|Appearances for Paul Lantom|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Father Lantom is assigned to the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, and once refuged the Runaways inside the Cathedral.
Behind the Scenes
- Series writer Ruth Gage called Paul Lantom "almost Matt's therapist. He was used in a lot of different ways. We wanted him to be someone who would actually discuss the things Matt brought to him."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Daredevil: 1.09: Speak of the Devil
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Daredevil: 3.09: Revelations
- ↑ Daredevil: 3.02: Please
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.01: Into the Ring
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.03: Rabbit in a Snowstorm
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.11: The Path of the Righteous
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.13: Daredevil
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.04: Penny and Dime
- ↑ The Defenders: 1.01: The H Word
- ↑ http://www.cbr.com/lbcc-cast-writers-reflect-on-the-psychology-of-daredevil/