So I was skeptical about Daredevil. He’s never really been one of my favorite superheroes. As a supporting character? I think he’s pretty good. Throw him in a Punisher comic book and have him get into an argument with Frank Castle about the importance of this or that part of the process and the scene writes itself. Or throw him into a scene with Spider-Man and have him play the part of the darker guy. In any case, he’s best when he’s giving arguments that the main character needs to address.
He *IS* a lawyer, I suppose.
Anyhow, he was kind of a mash-up between Doctor Midnight (a personal favorite from the Golden Age) and Spider-Man and, while I could see how someone else could dig him, I never really dug him.
Even when Frank Miller gave us “Born Again” (a spectacularly Frank Millery kinda story), my response was that I liked the Frank Miller stuff, not necessarily the Daredevil stuff. They turned Daredevil from a more happy-go-lucky wise-cracking guy into a brooding Catholic (no religion). He went from being a mash-up of Dr. M and Spidey to being a mash-up of Dr. M and Batman. Saints preserve us.
Well, in 2010, there was a Punisher story (written by Jason Aaron) that came out that focused on a (alternate universe) Kingpin/Punisher story: Punisher Max – Kingpin. (Warning: Dark. Bleak. Violent. No, more violent than that.) It told the story of the Kingpin’s rise to power and *THIS* was a really interesting (though dark, bleak, and violent) story. What kind of person becomes a Boss of Bosses? Well, here’s one theory.
The Daredevil series on Netflix is telling the story of Frank Miller’s Daredevil and Jason Aaron’s Kingpin. It’s pretty dark. It’s pretty bleak. It’s pretty violent. It’s a universe where violence solves problems, torture provides answers, and there’s nothing wrong with any particular badguy that you can’t fix with a blunt object.
I really can’t recommend it. It’s a morally confused show about moral idiots fighting moral degenerates and gaining ground whenever they’re willing to be even worse and it relies on body horror to get you to respond physically (I’ve yelped at two or three different scenes). It’s like they asked “How would Mel Gibson tell the story about Daredevil if Daredevil was Jack Bauer?”
If you can get past that, though, it’s a fascinating show. I keep wanting to see what will happen next (even as I know I’ll be watching through my fingers).
The main character is okay as Daredevil and downright awesome as Matt Murdock (Maribou also pointed out to me that the actor playing him is, and this is a direct quote, “oh yeah”), the guy who plays Foggy does a great job playing bumbling sidekick who, when out of his beastie’s shadow, is capable of letting you see why someone like Murdock would hang with him, the Kingpin is FREAKING AWESOME, the Kingpin’s lieutenant is smarmy and oily and you sit up whenever he comes on the screen because you just love hating him that much, and Rosario Dawson plays Night Nurse. (The office secretary isn’t that strongly written, she mostly reacts, but… hey. You can’t have everything.)
If you have been waiting for a darn-near ultra-violent Superhero who isn’t The Punisher to show up on television, well… this is what you’ve been waiting for.
Saints preserve us.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?