The rumor mill keeps turning, and the newest meal to return from it’s that Daredevil is getting a brand new TV present on Disney+, seemingly with Charlie Cox returning to the position. To me, this feels extra like one of many “leaker” cabal’s educated guesses somewhat than an precise unannounced scoop. Still, it’s clear from the #SaveDaredevil motion followers need extra of this model of the Man Without Fear. So, partly due to this and my normal need to rewatch the Marvel Netflix experiment, I lately re-viewed Daredevil season 1. This present doesn’t simply “hold up” six years after its debut however might even be “better” provided that the Defenders-suite of storytelling is over. Even although the Marvel Studios facet of the home had little to do with the present, Daredevil stays a pinnacle of Marvel TV.
As I’ve talked about in earlier articles and podcasts, I walked into 2012’s Avengers ready to not get pleasure from it. Like with the (rightly) maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I anticipated a giant goofy mess of a movie, however was ready to easily help the try. Instead, the Marvel Studios braintrust and the author/director delivered one thing very particular. So, it simply made sense that Jeph Loeb’s TV division would copy that format for his or her multi-series cope with Netflix. While the final word legacy of this Netflix experiment is a blended bag of successes and failures, there isn’t a doubt that Daredevil season 1 is a near-perfect 13 hours of Marvel storytelling.
Marvel Studios rightly made the choice to make their movies reflective of the brilliant, optimistic Silver Age of Comics period. Yet, Daredevil was not that. Steven S. DeKnight and colleagues made a darkish, gritty drama that didn’t lack for coronary heart and hopeful themes.
Netflix Let the Daredevil Storytellers Take Big Chances in Season 1
Image through Netflix
Perhaps the most important distinction between the Marvel TV strategy and the Marvel Studios strategy was the hero’s costume. Both fits worn by Cox’s Matt Murdock are remarkably comics correct. Yet, the signature purple costume solely seems within the collection for about ten minutes on the finish of the primary 13 hours. Instead, for a lot of the collection, Murdock wears the eyeless black masks popularized within the 1993 collection Daredevil: Man Without Fear written by Frank Miller and illustrated by John Romita Jr. Still, as sensible as that costume is, it does really feel like a giant danger to take when followers needed to see Daredevil in all of his glory. Yet, as a result of 60-episode dedication Netflix made, it wasn’t an enormous danger.
The different large danger the storytellers took was in tone. The Daredevil of the MCU was not a vivid, shiny hero like Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor. The streets of Hell’s Kitchen have been darkish and blood-soaked, making the collection a tonal outsider from the remainder of the MCU. (Even the Marvel TV’s different MCU mission Agents of SHIELD was extra in step with the movies’ tone.) Yet, this gritty and violent drama confirmed the opposite facet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This Daredevil was brutal and infrequently took as a lot of a beating as he doled out. Still, he drew the road at killing and have become the kind of hero the street-level MCU wanted.
While the Netflix and movie MCU was all the time segregated, Daredevil season 1 proves that even when there was no connection in any respect, this “universe” may stand by itself. Character-focused, cinematic, and really grounded, it served to make the MCU really feel extra life like.
A Fantastic Cast, Even If Some Characters Remain Underdeveloped
Image through Netflix
Key to the success of this collection is the forged itself. There is a purpose that Daredevil fans don’t just want the character back however this model of him. Charlie Cox is ready to imbue Matt Murdock with the correct amount of hero complicated, Catholic guilt, and pleasure in violence that the 2003 movie didn’t seize (amongst different issues). Though the 2003 Daredevil did have a wonderful Kingpin in Michael Clarke Duncan, Vincent D’Onofrio’s tackle Wilson Fisk is simply as impressed. In Daredevil season 1, D’Onofrio’s Fisk is the proper mixture of calm, collected crime boss and utter rage monster. Every actor within the collection delivers a incredible efficiency, although some characters do stay criminally underdeveloped.
For instance, Peter Shinkoda’s Nobu is an interesting character and one that ought to have had way more improvement. According to the actor, Jeph Loeb intentionally selected to not develop this character for actually troubling causes. Yet, save for Fisk and the 2 Russian brothers who’re Daredevil’s entry into this bigger story, not one of the villains are given the story house they want. For instance, Toby Leonard Moore is Wesley, Fisk’s canonical right-hand-man. Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page takes him out earlier than we are able to ever lean why he’s so ruthlessly loyal to Fisk. Similarly, the good Bob Gunton reveals up as Leland Owlsley (a lot totally different from his comics counterpart), however he is also taken out earlier than we are able to be taught something important about him. Even Ayelet Zurer’s Vanessa is a vital a part of Fisk’s story, but her motivations for sticking with Kingpin are left solely to subtext.
Still, regardless of these shortcomings, the display screen time these villains get is actually a treasure. The combat between Daredevil and Nobu is probably the very best one-on-one combat within the season.
Why Netflix Was the Perfect Home for Daredevil Season 1
With the movie MCU being a vivid universe of wonderous issues, Daredevil season 1 was visually very distinct. Hell’s Kitchen was darkish, with moist streets suffering from refuse. Where the violence within the movies was distant and infrequently cold, the fights on this present have been the other. Often when dispatching baddies, Daredevil would throw three or 4 further punches, highlighting the brutality with which he policed the streets. Daredevil is a hero, however he’s not as squeaky-clean as a number of the top-tier MCU vigilantes.
In truth, a Netflix executive said that viewers typically discovered this collection after viewing reveals with anti-heroes like Breaking Bad, Dexter, and even House of Cards. Years earlier than Deadpool and Logan confirmed that Marvel audiences are okay with grittier fare, Daredevil opened Marvel as much as the visible vocabulary of movies like Taxi Driver, The French Connection, and different movies that captured the tradition’s consideration within the Seventies.
Yet, not like Agents of SHIELD, the Netflix mannequin allowed Daredevil season 1 to return collectively extra like a movie than a collection. Traditionally, TV reveals are in manufacturing whereas they’re airing. Yet, the Netflix mannequin allowed Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist to finish manufacturing earlier than the collection debuted. The cinematic fashion used to movie the collection may solely occur on a Netflix-style present somewhat than a standard community TV manufacturing. From the massive combat within the rain throughout the pilot to the enduring “hallway fight” (above), this TV collection appears like a movie. One of my favourite pictures was throughout a scene during which a blind drug mule sits at the back of a automotive singing a preferred Mandarin tune. The digicam spins round within the inside of the automotive a number of occasions, and Daredevil seems and disappears till a combat breaks out.
Daredevil Established a Solid Foundation on Which to Build a Universe
Image through Netflix
MCU connections however, Daredevil season 1 was a incredible collection on which to construct the Netflix Marvel universe. Like the first season of Arrow, it was a gritty, violent collection that served because the baseline for more and more fantastical characters. Still, whether or not alone or as half of an entire, Daredevil delivered in a manner that each Marvel fan can respect. From gorgeously bleak visuals to deep character research, it establishes a world during which superheroes exist however stay as these mysterious, misunderstood figures. Regardless of how you are feeling concerning the Netflix and Marvel reveals, and even the opposite two seasons of Daredevil, season 1 gave us a brand new perspective from which to view this world of gods and monsters. It additionally reveals that although Red Skulls, trickster gods, and warfare machines exist, typical human beings will be simply as menacing.
Truth be advised, the Netflix Marvel Universe may have taken some classes from the Arrowverse, significantly with how the crossovers should be done. With the only real exception of Jessica Jones, not one of the different collection’ leads popped up within the different reveals. A easy stroll on cameo from Charlie Cox or maybe a scruffy-looking Finn Jones getting off of a bus would have gone an extended strategy to making this universe actually really feel related. Still, even with that small mistake, these reveals are worthy additions to the Marvel Universe. Even the much-maligned Iron Fist has a devoted fanbase tweeting with a “#SaveIronFist” hashtag. Even although the brand new Marvel TV reveals like WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are excellent, they might be taught lots from how the Netflix collection approached their storytelling.
All seasons of Daredevil (for now) are at present streaming on Netflix.
What did you consider Daredevil season 1 or the Marvel and Netflix experiment? Sound off with your personal evaluations, gripes, or favourite moments within the feedback beneath.
Featured picture through Netflix.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and author dwelling in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he learn on his personal have been comics, and he is beloved the medium ever since. He is the best star-pilot within the galaxy, a crafty warrior, and an excellent good friend. His guide “What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More” is offered in print from Amazon and from all digital booksellers.