Marvel’s Daredevil is an American web television series created for Netflix based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Daredevil shares continuity with the films of the franchise and is the first in a series of shows that will lead to a Defenders crossover miniseries.
Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night as a superhero. The first season sees Murdock use his heightened senses from being blinded as a young boy to battle crime on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil.
Daredevil is quite possibly the best superhero adaptation on screen since The Dark Knight. I just finished watching the entire Netflix series and am by no means a comic book aficionado. Before seeing the show I hadn’t read any of the comics, and I hadn’t even seen Ben Affleck’s often-ridiculed film version. I came into Daredevil with an open mind, but plenty of doubts.
We know Netflix has a track record of producing good programming with hits like House of Cards, and Orange Is the New Black, but adapting a superhero comic for the small screen? That seemed ambitious. It was, and they absolutely crushed it.
Murdock is surrounded by interesting personalities in both of his worlds. As the titular hero’s law partner and best friend Foggy Nelson, Elden Henson is affable and the perfect level of goofy. Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page finds herself drawn into Murdock’s world through tragedy but reveals herself to be intensely courageous and entertainingly headstrong.
Goddard’s Daredevil is gritty and realistic, no doubt a nod to the equally dark (both in tone and look) comic series that Frank helped establish.
Our hero doesn’t wear his shiny red Kevlar suit until the very final episode of season 1. The many fight sequences are beautiful but sloppy in a way that gives them a hint of gruesome realism rather than stylization. The blood and the pain are rendered with incredible, stomach-turning verisimilitude.
Murdoch cannot fly, and he does not shoot laser beams out of his eyes. He senses things, deeply everywhere, in every way. He is cracked, imperfect, makes some poor decisions, and often acts before thinking. But the intentions are always pure.
The entire first season is a meditation on these characters. We’re constantly getting non-linear flashbacks and dialogue that reveal both expositional plot information and psychological character development. It’s not all thrust at us in the pilot. We get to know these characters deeply over time, and that makes us care about them. As we learn more about them, the major narrative arc becomes infused with stronger meaning. Daredevil packs a psychologically rich superhero story with so much careful detail and ambitious realism that it’s hard to turn away.
Daredevil Season 1 and 2 are now on Netflix.
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