Welcome to our epic four part review of the first season of Daredevil on Netflix! Some of us have been chomping at the bit and humping the couch for this show to arrive ... okay, one of those things is not related, but never the less.. the day has come! I was very excited to see that the tone of this new series is dark, and though I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies, I want Daredevil to bring the grit that has been lacking in superhero movies and in TV. The first episode may even have people thinking that this should be a Batman show, and they would not be far off, because the man that penned the most famous of Batman stories was also the Godfather of the modern Daredevil character. Exit Famous comic writer/artist: Frank Miller
Exit... get it?
That photo was taken from the Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck, as Frank Miller had a cameo being killed by Bullseye. The reason this is important is because this new series drips with the DNA of Frank Miller's early Daredevil run and the dark, tragic tone that he would bring to the colorful world of comics in the 1980's. Act 1 of the series, which is made up of the first three episodes, primarily sets up the tone, cast of characters, and the looming threats that the city faces. So first, let's talk about the man in the mask: The Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
Not the costume a lot of you were expecting for our hero, but as you can see from the picture on the left, this black outfit was the first version of the Daredevil costume when Frank Miller re-told the origin story of the character. The show does a fantastic job of making this costume slick, functional, and more in line with Daredevil's ninja training. ...sigh, Yes... Daredevil was trained by a blind ninja, but don't worry, we will be coming back to that in a later episode. From the very first scene we get to see Daredevil in action, and fight choreography is going to make Arrow want to hang up his bow! Seriously, it's that freaking good. I had to turn away a few times, just hearing some of the bone crunching hits. They must have the best stunt guy in the business, because some of flip kicks look so acrobatic but equally devastating... Like UFC but without all of the boring parts and man love. This fluid fighting style along with the black ninja suit, just makes you feel like there is a real dude out there kicking ass and taking names...he just has to take those names in Braille.
As you would expect when a blind man gets into a fight, our hero Matt Murdock gets his ass kicked a fair share in this series and it's interesting to see him fighting through some pretty severe injuries. Fans of Daredevil will be happy to hear that Charlie Cox does a knock out job as Matt Murdock as well as Daredevil. He really plays it straight, but doesn't over sell the whole "being blind" part of the character. In fact most of the other characters in the show forget that Matt is blind as well, and that is because he doesn't come off as needing help, which is always how the character acted. Daredevil was never the Blind hero... he was just a hero that happened to be blind. Matt Murdock is incredibly charming and I would sleep ww... I mean watch a whole episode of Matt Murdock Attorney at law and be happy. This could also be because the cast surrounding Matt is equally fantastic and the show nails the characters relationships.... this will be critical in the future, because Daredevil doesn't read like a Nichols Sparks book... more like the end of Macbeth... yes, you just read a Shakespeare joke... do you feel smarter?
When making a Daredevil show, the studio can take liberties with many of the characters because they are not household names like Lois Lane or Mary Jane... but the one character you have to nail is Matt Murdock's bromance; Foggy Nelson. Yes, like all young bromances, this one started in college over a pint of what I only could assume was cheap watered down piss beer. They would finish law school together and upon graduation start a new law practice under Nelson and Murdock... right where they both grew up; in Hell's Kitchen. Actor Elden Henson plays Foggy and really sells the relationship the two partners share. This is important, because they don't get as much screen time together as I would have expected. The show has a lot to setup so the bond between the two had to feel natural and I'm glad to say it does. Foggy is the realistic counter balance to Matt's blind idealism. That paradigm will need to be shown a little more in future episodes, but we get a great start and a friendship that the viewer can care about.
We also get introduced to Karen Page, a young women in trouble, who comes to work for Nelson and Murdock, but we will talk more about this character when her story unfolds. You see, Hell's Kitchen was destroyed in the attack of New York that we saw in the Avengers Movie, and this has created the perfect climate for organized crime to take hold of this weakened city. We see street crime, drugs, human trafficking... the list goes on, but all of the crime lords appear to be working with someone.. A king if you will, that rules from the shadows.. but who is this man... and why does he hate art so much...
Is it a Rabbit in a Snow Storm?
Check out Part 2 of our Daredevil season 1 review next week!
Patrick Delaney - A nerd baptized in the flames of Dungeons and Dragons, who would grow up reading comic books, and watching Star Wars like it was the only three movies ever made.. this nerd would one day share his opinions .. on the internet. God save us all ... and follow up on twitter .. @x_fenderx