Finally, Marvel has made an attempt to match tones with Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Whether you think that’s a good thing or bad thing most likely depends on whether you prefer DC or a Marvel. I prefer neither.
My biggest complaint with the Marvel films is that they’re fluff–fun to watch but in no way meaningful. This isn’t to say DC hasn’t been much better, Batman aside. Having no expectations, but very much anticipation, I’m happy to say that the new show Daredevil finally brings some much needed weight to the silly superhero genre. The fight scenes are kickass too.
We all know the origin. A boy named Matt Murdock is involved in a car crash and is blinded by a mysterious chemical. Actually, I’m not familiar with the red devil’s origin at all, but I think I got the details right. The first episode is pretty skimpy on the details too, but I imagine we’ll learn more later.
Matt, now played by Charlie Cox, grows up to be a defense attorney by day, flanked by his quippy pal Foggy (Elden Hensen), and crime fighting vigilante by night. We see our hero masked with a with a black bandera (I can’t actually remember what the cloth is called–your correction in the comments is gladly requested) and dark clothing. My guess is we’ll see his red suit by season’s end.
What took me by surprise by the series premiere was how fucking violent it was. Daredevil bloodies opponents with pummeling punches and flips, at one point breaking a thug’s leg. I can’t count the times I winced as the fights brutally went on. This isn’t a hero who can just destroy his enemies. The fights are long. Daredevil gets the wind knocked out of him many times. This is as close as we’ll get to an R rated Marvel Studios production outside of Punisher: War Zone.
No doubt there’ll be many Marvel fans who’ll will decry the dour tone of the show. For whatever reason there’s a subset of nerds who hate any attempt to show a silly costumed character in a more realistic manner. Like every other aspect of life, there’s a need to politicize things. You can’t be realistic or gritty because comics are meant to light and fun. These side choosers might as well call themselves liberal and conservatives.
Enough grumbling. The show also doubles as a crime thriller, with hints of a crime boss and intrigue with companies profiting off the destruction of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. The episode revolved around the damsel in distress Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) who has been framed for murder. Matt and Foggy, looking for their first client, take on Karen’s case.
There’s hints to the first Avengers film with the aforementioned destruction. The writers wisely distance themselves from that universe, though, without any name drops. It’s for good measure because the show is so tonally different, it’s hard to imagine how they would make a crossover work.
After one episode I was hooked. I make a point not to binge watch, instead opting to watch one episode per week. This may make me behind the times, but for those who want to get a periodic review have much to look for. It’s also hard to review a show after one episode (imagine trying to review a novel off of one chapter) but I’d recommend you take a look.