Marvel’s Netflix series, Daredevil, premieres on April 10th of this year, just a couple weeks from now. Not everyone is familiar with ole’ hornhead, so here are the top 8 reasons you should be excited about Daredevil.
- DAREDEVIL IS BATMAN, BUT WITHOUT A BILLION DOLLARS
That’s right. Both men were encouraged to fight injustice after they lost a parent (or parents) to crime, both men are brutal fighters, both men are detectives (Batman more so than Daredevil) and both men are just men, highly trained and lethal in their own right. The only real edge that Matthew Murdoch has over Bruce Wayne is his radar sense and heightened senses, though Bruce Wayne still has his eyesight and a billion dollars. All that being said, if you enjoy watching Batman beat the ever loving snot out of some two-bit criminal, mopping the floor with the mob or leaping off of rooftops to razzle-dazzle with some nigh-impossible acrobatics, then you’ll love Daredevil.The biggest reason this is exciting is the very brutal form of fighting we’ll get in this series. It’ll be bloody, Mortal Kombat level fights, elbows thrown, knees to the gut, sand in the eyes sort of brawling — very similar to Batman, you know, since they’re both more or less the same, minus the money… and the cape… but with super senses…
- DAREDEVIL’S RADAR SENSE (AND OTHER HIGHLY DEVELOPED SENSES)
When Daredevil was a boy, he saved an old man crossing the street and his reward was to have radioactive chemicals spilled on him, making him blind. However, this very same radioactive waste also raised all of his other senses along with giving him a “radar” sense. Much like a bat, Daredevil can see in the dark using his hearing to map his surroundings, giving him a full 360 degree view of every last detail in the room. This sense, along with his other senses and peak physical performance and years of martial arts training and mastery, has given him something akin to Spider-Man’s spider sense. In the comics, this radar sense has been portrayed a lot of different ways, with Mark Waid and Chris Samnee currently doing it like this.
Ben Affleck’s Daredevil did it this way.
Seeing this brought to life on screen, along with how they show all of his other senses, has the potential to be visually stunning and something we’ve never seen before. All that being said, it’ll be really freaking cool.
- DAREDEVIL’S ENEMY, KINGPIN, IS A FORCE OF CRIMINAL NATURE
Daredevil’s biggest enemy, Wilson “The Kingpin” Fisk is one of the biggest bad guys in the Marvel canon. He got his start in Amazing Spider-Man #50 and has been a bane of pretty much every hero since, certainly all the “street level” heroes, like Punisher, the Heroes for Hire, etc. Many of the times that villains like Bullseye, Elektra or even the Hand have attacked Daredevil, the Kingpin has been behind it in some way. In many ways, The Kingpin is the brain to a criminal hive-mind, capable of sending every last assassin and thug in the city down on any hero he wants, like having “Crime” fighting you all at once.He’s a complicated villain, as sometimes he can be as much of an ally as he is an enemy. In Frank Miller’s run, The Kingpin brought Daredevil to his knees by ruining Matt Murdoch’s life after he found out his secret identity. But when Daredevil figured this out and fought back, the two men gained a mutual respect for each other and, more or less, stayed out of each other’s way. He’s given up crime, moved to Spain to reform, been attacked, protected loved ones, etc. He is, very much, Marvel’s answer to The Godfather: every bit a criminal, but not without his code.
Casting Vincent D’onofrio was a stroke of genius as he will be absolutely perfect in this role, equal parts sophisticated and brutal.
- DAREDEVIL’S WAR OF IDEOLOGIES AGAINST KINGPIN
Daredevil’s biggest enemy, The Kingpin, is also his mirror image in a lot of ways. They both have the exact same goals in mind, to make their city a better place to live, with the biggest difference being that Kingpin’s goals are also to gain as much power and money along the way as he can. His argument would be that crime will always exist in this town, so he may as well be the one in charge of it as he’ll control it, channel it in a more “positive” way.Kingpin is a representation of who Daredevil could be if he chose a darker path, as they both use the same brutal, bloody means for the same end, their moral compass is the only thing that really separates them, though this is a fine line. Seeing this play out, watching Daredevil walk this line will prove an interesting philosophizing on the nature of right and wrong, what lines should be crossed, what justice is worth and what justice actually is. The question is always present: “Is Daredevil a righteous man or a bully with a stick?”
As the priest says in the trailer, “One man’s evil does not make you good.”
- DAREDEVIL’S SUPPORTING CAST
Like any well-established hero (or villain) Daredevil comes with a brilliant supporting cast of characters. He’s got Foggy Nelson, his best friend and law firm partner. Foggy, in many ways, is Murdoch’s Jiminy Cricket, never really nay-saying him so much as he doesn’t fear telling Murdoch where he’s wrong, how his vigilantism is wrong and how it could hurt him or those around him.
Then there’s Karen Page, Murdoch’s love interest pretty much from the very beginning. There’s initially a dramatic love triangle between Karen, Foggy and Matt, and if they keep that angle, it’ll add even more drama to Murdoch’s normal life, let alone what it could do to him as a crime fighter.
We’ve also got Night Nurse, the underground superhero doctor. As a medical student, she turned from being a doctor to a doctor for superheroes after she was saved by one. She’s healed Daredevil after a fight with the Yakuza, healed Iron Fist after a fight with HYDRA and has even developed a way to operate on Luke Cage’s unbreakable skin. Most recently, she teamed up with Doctor Strange where the two of them became romantically involved. In the comics, the Night Nurse is named Linda Carter. However, in the Netflix series, the Night Nurse is Claire Temple, another doctor in the Marvel universe.
- DAREDEVIL IS THE START OF SOMETHING NEW AT MARVEL
One would think with giant super hero teams, alien threats, invulnerable green goliaths, talking raccoons and space stations made out of the hollowed out severed heads of an ancient cosmic being, Marvel has covered all the bases, but they’d be wrong. There’s still a whole other side to Marvel — the street level vigilantes. Iron Man is great for fighting extraterrestrial threats and world-ending villains, but that leaves the justice of the streets off of his radar. That’s where heroes like Daredevil come in, to take a fist to the thugs and thieves on the streets. It’s a bloodier, more brutal type of fighting, closer quarters, on the ground in the corridors of the alleys, tunnels, sewers and avenues of day-to-day life. If a time traveling conquerer attacks, you call The Avengers. If some thug steals your purse, kills your dog or finds a way to take your house out from under you, call Daredevil.It’s at the street level that we also get heroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, the Punisher and the Heroes for Hire. It’s also here that we get more spectral, bloody fisticuffs from heroes like Blade, Ghost Rider and Moon Knight.
It’s this world that Marvel is building up with Daredevil, leading up to a Defenders series that will team up Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
And you thought Marvel had no where else to go after they made you fall in love with a walking tree that can only say three words.
- DAREDEVIL IS A NEW FORM OF STORY-TELLING FOR MARVEL
We’ve got Marvel on television in the hour long format, with Agents of SHIELD, and we’ve also got them in teh 30-minute format with cartoons like Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man. Obviously, Marvel has a grasp of how to do a 2-3 hour movie, but the binge-watching mini-arc is new territory for them.An open season allows for a lot narrative meandering, taking characters down roads that may, ultimately, not serve the story. And a film, though explosive and awesome and with a budget large enough to make it an exciting spectacle that fully realizes the dazzling visuals of a comic book, is a limited time frame that allows for little character development in a formulaic narrative plot. However, in a 13-episode mini-arc, we get to know our characters on a much more intimate level, get to see what make them tick, what makes them who they are, and we get a comprehensive story with a definitive ending since it was established from the very beginning. It’s like getting a 13-hour movie, involving us on a deeper, more emotional level.
Binge watching seems to be the narrative form of the future, so it’s not surprising that Marvel wants to engage their audiences in this way as well.
- DAREDEVIL IS AN ATTORNEY
As if we didn’t already have enough story with all of the brutal crime-fighting, Matt Murdoch and his friend, Foggy Nelson, also have their own law firm, representing the little guy in Hell’s Kitchen. This series promises to be not only a show about vigilantes and awesome punches to the face, but a detective and crime procedural show. A lot of the writers on the series have backgrounds in shows like Christos Gage and Ruth Gage, who got their start on Law & Order: SVU, which would indicate that we’ll get quite a bit of criminal mystery, intrigue and cases tried in court.In some ways, we’re getting two series all rolled in to one!
Daredevil’s Billy Club is an awesome weapon. It can come apart to create a hook and line that pulls criminals towards him, he can use it to swing from buildings similar to Spider-Man and can give a super brutal beat down with it.
It’s going to be awesome.
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