Some Quick Thoughts on Marvel's Daredevil
I started watching Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix over the weekend, and being a fan of "The Man Without Fear," I'm overall loving the show. It's pretty bleak, and I prefer Mark Waid's run on the comic, which is far more light-hearted. But it would be a disservice to fans if you glossed over the darker side of such an iconic character, especially since everything that occurs during Waid's run finds Matt Murdock in a very different place — literally and figuratively.
I'm not done with the season yet, but here are some various thoughts on the show.
1. The Avengers are jerks.
Sure, they've saved the world from evil organizations and beings bent on enslaving/destroying the universe, but what have they really done for New York City? I love how Daredevil focuses on NYC post-"The Incident" (aka. The Battle of New York). Since good portions of the city, including Hell's Kitchen, were destroyed, organized crime has moved in to make money off of the chaos. You don't see Captain America showing up to throw a few punches in his hometown. Instead, he's in D.C. saving millions of innocent people. OK, so they can't be everywhere, but there doesn't seem to be an acknowledgment of the consequences of their actions. Daredevil and the other "street-level" heroes are really all that stands between ordinary people and criminals like Kingpin.
2. The secret, secret origin of the Absorbing Man
Pitting Carl "Crusher" Creel against Jack Murdock in his final match was pretty cool. It reveals a little more about the future Absorbing Man (seen at the beginning of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two). Did losing the bout to Murdock turn Creel bitter, eventually leading to him becoming a HYDRA assassin? Will Daredevil face Creel at some point in the future? (Not that Murdock's death was really Creel's fault). It's a fun little connection in the MCU that I hope they explore more.
3. It's like Arrow, minus all the things that make Arrow annoying
I have to admit I stopped watching Arrow shortly into the second season. It just got so unbelievably melodramatic and stupid. The only watchable portions were the flashbacks from the island. Apparently everyone in Starling City is in their 20s and ridiculously attractive, especially Laurel's entire law firm from season one. Also, everyone is secretly pining for someone they can never have. It's basically a superhero soap opera. There's nothing wrong with that, except Arrow is so damn serious all the time. At least The Flash injects a little fun and humor into the proceedings every once in a while. Same with Daredevil. It's often pretty funny. Being on Netflix, Daredevil also gets away with more adult themes (and brutal violence — more on that below). Sure, Karen Page is a love interest, but she's fleshed out like a real person. Her experience in episode one haunts her. She doesn't react to death in a ridiculous way like Laurel when Tommy dies at the end of Arrow season one, pinning all her problems on Arrow and seeking vengeance. Really, I just hate Laurel. I think most of my problems with that show can be traced back to her.
4. It's violent. Like really violent.
You know I'm talking about that suicide at the end of episode three. Dear Lord. But that fight scene at the end of the second episode: Fantastic. It was like the hammer fight from Oldboy, but instead of shooting from afar, they shot it in one take in the hall itself. You can also feel Matt's exhaustion as he takes on the thugs. He's hurting, but he never gives up.
I'm not condoning violence, but I think it's essential to the show's mood. Hell's Kitchen is a dark, dangerous place, and even when Foggy and Karen are wandering around at night getting drunk and having fun, you can't help but think something bad is going to happen to them. That's the very thing Daredevil is fighting against.
5. You know what would be cool...
Frank $%#& Castle. We need him in this part of the MCU. I want to see Punisher and Daredevil team up to take down Kingpin.
I can't wait to finish the season and see what Marvel has in store for the rest of The Defenders.