Marvel’s Daredevil began streaming on Netflix last Friday and everyone is raving about it. Without a doubt, Daredevil is their best venture into television yet.
Daredevil is very much an origin story… until it isn’t. It begins with the familiar scene of Matthew Murdock, a small child that is blinded by dangerous chemicals. However, this exposure gives Matthew enhanced senses, at the price of his eyesight. Fast forward into the present, Matt (portrayed by Charlie Cox) is starting a practice with his friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). These quirky lawyers accept a strange case on behalf of Karen Page (Deborah Woll) that steers the rest of the series. The Netflix original incorporates frequent “flashbacks” that give us a look into the past of Matt Murdock and his rise to becoming a vigilante. With the looming threat of an unknown foe, Matt dons a homemade costume to take crime on the streets head on.
The new style of “street crime” in Daredevil is Marvel’s first venture in a series of Netflix originals (including Luke Cage, AKA Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist). When we say that Daredevil is the darkest Marvel comic adaptation there is, you better believe it. While Matt Murdock is an aspiring lawyer by day, his frequent outings at night as a brooding vigilante depict a very different Marvel hero. Though, some of the beauty of the show lies in its subtle connections to the Marvel cinematic universe.
Without spoiling any parts of Daredevil, there are some instances where the show references the Avengers and the battle of New York. The “incident,” which has destroyed parts of Hell’s Kitchen, allows Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) to capitalize on the city’s vulnerability. Although he is not referred to as “Kingpin,” Fisk is a strange and, sometimes, brutal adversary to Daredevil. Their story arcs are very much parallel to one another, and the series thrives on their distinct personalities and questionable motives.
Marvel’s Daredevil shines when it comes to its fight sequences and its character development. When trying to compare them to another Marvel property, I’d say that Daredevil‘s fight scenes feel a lot like the ones from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They’re heavy, sometimes brutal, and believable. Though Matt Murdock is a “hero,” his fights often leave him severely injured, which the audience continues to see for subsequent episodes. Charlie Cox’s Daredevil feels thoroughly developed over the span of the season, as he repeatedly confronts his inner demons.
Overall, Daredevil is a great first season to Marvel’s incarnation of “the Man without Fear.” While his abilities can only be described as superhuman, Matt Murdock is one of Marvel’s truly human characters. His humanity is spotlighted throughout the season, as well as his uncanny abilities. Marvel has also given his Daredevil costume a more practical purpose, which I will not spoil for those who’ve not seen it yet. Which means, binge-watch Daredevil now!
Watch Daredevil on Netflix.