Christopher M. Enis
The next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in play, with the release of Daredevil
on Netflix. It’s the first of five series (A.K.A. Jessica Jones
, Luke Cage
, Iron Fist
and The Defenders
are the other four) that will be released on the streaming network over the next two years.
Daredevil is Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox
), who was blinded as a child while saving a man from being hit by a truck carrying unknown chemicals. Those chemicals took his sight, but enhanced his remaining senses. The combination gives him what’s know among Comic Book fans as ‘Radar Sense’ or ‘Fire Vision.’ Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to get it right away. All will be revealed in time.
Murdock was born, and continues to live in Hell’s Kitchen, a historically Irish neighborhood in Manhattan. He was raised by his father, Jack (John Patrick Hayden
), who as a boxer instilled the desire to keep fighting… and incidentally, the ability to take one heck of a beating. These ‘skills’, coupled with a strong dose of Catholic Guilt, are the building blocks of young Murdock’s moral code.
All grown up now, Murdock makes his living by day as a lawyer in a fledgling practice with best friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and murder-suspect-turned-indespensibe-right-hand Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). At night, he gears up and hits the streets as DareDevil, to clean up the mess in constant creation by Russian, Chinese and Japanese criminals. They all flock to one man (he who shall not be named) who claims it’s his desire to clean up the streets… even as he leaves a bloody trail of death and destruction in his wake. As DareDevil is but a mortal man, he cannot survive without the help of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who faithfully patches him up as he expertly survives one epic beating after another.
Marvel’s Daredevil is more grounded and realistic than anything we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to this point. It’s not an extension of the big screen action (like ABC’s Agents Of SHIELD), but still a part of that world through mention of events that occur on both the big and small screen in real time.
The series succeeds on multiple levels. For the comic book fans, it’s a relatively faithful adaptation. But the dialogue and situations are modernized and elevated to attract scores of new fans. Despite the PG-13 rating, the show pushes the limits. It’s decidedly more gritty and morally ambiguous than straightforward and absolute.
Daredevil fully embraces the Netflix binge mentality, with the release Season One in its entirety. Season Two has already been greenlit, so there’s bound to be a lot more Marvel goodness coming down the pipeline. Comic book fan or not, this series is a must see. Do yourself a favor and block out a day (or two), shut off the phone, order in, and enjoy.