4 Reasons Why "Daredevil" Was Awesome

This post contains spoilers for the entire first season of Netflix's Daredevil.

Give me the "Late to the Party" award, I don't care, I know Daredevil is Sooooo last month and Age of Ultron is everything everyone is talking about. Hell, some over hyped fans (me) are already speculating about Infinity War.

I meant to write this article ever since I finished watching the series but you know, life gets in the way. Just like Agent Carter before it, Daredevil shows us a corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that had been left unexplored, and by doing so it enriches the MCU as a whole.

Here are the reasons why I believe Daredevil is so great and how they deepen the MCU.

The Setting

There was no way a Daredevil reboot could have worked as an independent entity outside of the MCU. The core of Daredevil has always been defending the everyman of Hells Kitchen from all the criminals that roam the streets.

When the character first appeared on the comic books he was all wit and charm (and please, let us not talk about the yellow costume) but he got popular when he got dark, and this was a product of the crime wave that was happening on NYC on the 80's and 90's. Then, in the Post-Rudolph Guliani era of NYC there is no need for the popular take on the Daredevil character that is so popular. That is, until you add the Chitauri to the equation.

Having Wilson Fisk rise to power as a consequence of the fallout created by the Chitauri invasion makes perfect and absolute sense; there is no other way that one man in modern day NY could hoard so much power through real estate.

This is great also because it shows us that The Avengers' actions have unexpected consequences for the everyman, consequences that they ignore because they are too busy Avenging existential threats. It is because of those consequences that we have the space necessary for the rise of the Defenders, starting of course with our man Daredevil.

Before Daredevil we had seen the MCU only through the eyes of Super Heroes, gods, billionaires, super spies and one dude with a bow, but Daredevil confirms that the MCU is a living & breathing universe, one where you can find corruption on the everyman as much as you can find it on the super villains. Daredevil gives the final stroke that we needed to get a full picture of the MCU.

The Violence

Much has been said about this but boy the violence feels real in this series. 

The MCU has us accustomed to watching the Avengers with their super thick skins beating the crap out of other super thick skinned individuals we believe that the MCU is not such a violent place. 

Suddenly: decapitation by car door.

Seriously, not since the Red Wedding have I been so shocked by violence as with the dude that kills himself at the end of episode three.

Accurate representation of my reaction.
And yes, by "The Violence" I also mean "The Fight Scenes". Matt Murdock is no super hero, he has more in common with Happy Hogan than with Black Widow: He can not KO his opponents with just one swift blow, he needs to exhaust them and he gets exhausted as well, he is human rather than super human.

The only super power this guy has is his enhanced instinct, beautifully represented by when he throws the fire extinguisher to the dude that is running away on Episode 2, and that's it.

Matt Murdock does not have super human strength, reflexes or thick skin; only his training as a ninja and a boxer. IO9 has a great deconstruction of how the character fighting style evolves throughout the series that is well worth a read and that will definitional enrich you watching experience when you inevitably watch it again. 

The Hero

Having 13 hours to tell the origin story of both The Kingpin and Daredevil paid off handsomely. In all seriousness, I don't believe we are introduced to the characters until the last episode of the season.

Matt is the closest Marvel has been to giving us an Anti-Hero while actually being a Hero (he is driven by choice rather than circumstance) to date; he uses brutal violence and does not shy away from torture.

In the episode titled "Nelson Vs. Murdock" we actually see Matt come to realize that he is another criminal solving his problems with violence and while I don't think the darker tone of the series will remain for the now confirmed season two, I do think that Daredevil will not be as brutal himself as he was on season one.

The moment Matt Murdock becomes a hero rather than a vigilante is on episode 13 when he finally wears the red suit; this is the moment that he realizes he must be a symbol "A thing to be feared" as he says to the father on episode 11.

When he fights with Fisk while wearing the suit he still takes a beating but he is not showing it as much as he did when he was just a vigilante (one has to wonder how much of the impact Potter's suit absorb), my point here is that it was not until that point that Matt actually became Daredevil.

This is an origin story that takes its time (13 hours) to be exact for the title character to come to terms to his hero persona and it feels right, hell it does not even feel like an origin story until you think about it in retrospect.

The Villain

Just like with the titular character I do not believe we get to see Kingpin until the last episode of the series, this is as much an origin story for Kingpin as it is for Daredevil and being established as such a great character I do hope to see him return in some of the other Netflix series. Hell, I could even see him as the main threat of The Defenders mini series.

What makes him great is that at time you forget he is a villain altogether, I remember there was a point at the end of "Speak of the Devil" when he makes his first public appearance that I thought "Hey, maybe this guy is not so bad".

Daredevil makes an excellent work of treating its villain as the hero and its hero as the villain; the montage at the end of episode 1 clearly shows that the city is in a much worse state because of Matt's actions during that episode.

The fact that you don't see the character for the first three episodes builds it up as an almost mythical force of evil and then when you get to meet him he is very human, and that makes him way scarier. The flashback episode showing us that he is just a product of his upbringing makes us realize that he in fact is still a child trapped in a man's body that could at any moment explode into a deadly temper tantrum.

And then we get the highpoint of the character: "The Samaritan" speech at the end of Episode 13; that is the moment Wilson Fisk realizes and embraces that he is not a good guy, as he says he is not The Samaritan of the story, this is when we are first introduced to the Kingpin.

Vincent D'Onofrio kills it as The Kingpin; the way he acts out the character it really shows deep down there is something really wrong about him.

Assorted musings (cool stuff that does not deserve a paragraph).

  • Could Madame Gao be Mother Crane? The Steel Serpent symbol on the Heroine she was cooking is also the symbol of one of Iron Fist deadliest villains.
  • Love it when a show clearly respect its audience. Thank you Daredevil for setting up a flashback episode on episode 2 and realizing that we are smart enough to know that Matt got his ass kicked and he lost.
  • Was I the only one that found annoying the fact that you can never see Avengers Tower in the NYC Skyline?
  • Again, no one else found a little bit ridiculous how both Fisk and Daredevil where all about "Yeah, my city" when they were actually talking about Hell's Kitchen. That's just like a few blocks. Take it easy, Joan.
  • Wishful thinking: Every Defender gets his own block of NYC. Daredevil gets Hell's Kitchen, Luke Cage gets Harlem, Jessica Jones is downtown and Iron Fist protects China Town.
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About Game_Brains

I make videogames. Superhero culture is the closest thing I have to a religion. Hopefully one day I will explore space, but meanwhile I´m happy replaying Mass Effect. I seriously want to achieve immortality, not joking on this one. My self appointed mission in life is to make the world a happier place. I´m a walking and talking self help book, also, I TOTALLY BELIEVE IN YOU.
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