I won’t pretend like I know much about the Marvel character Daredevil, because I really don’t. I saw the 2003 film back when it released, which was probably my first run in with the character, and I never pursued anything further. I think the movie left such a “meh” taste in my mouth that I never inquired anything more about Matt Murdock or his alter-ego. That’s kind of a damn shame too, because he really is an interesting character; one that I’ve neglected for far too long. The Netflix series did a good job of showing me that.
I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, as I think everyone should experience this fresh. The all important question is: “Is Daredevil worth 13 hours of my life, especially when there’s so many other shows I should be watching?” The answer is absolutely. Netflix managed to give a compelling and interesting story, with equally interesting and compelling characters, that builds itself up over 13 episodes until it finally ends with a bang.
Matt Murdock and his alter-ego are deeply interesting characters that I hadn’t given much thought to prior. Matt has some of the coolest powers in the Marvel universe. The guy was blinded by chemicals as a kid and developed super-sensitive senses as a result. While Matt technically can’t see, he’s still able to absorb all the information from his other 4 senses in a way that allows him to interact with his environment as though he can see. Even with all that, he still makes mistakes… a lot of them. The contrast between his two egos is actually quite brilliant and I’m sad I never realized it before. He’s a lawyer by day; one that does things by the book. He defends and upholds the law… at least until night, when he dons a mask and breaks it. He’s a devout Catholic, but dresses as a devil to fight crime. He’s cool and collective (mostly) as a lawyer, but as a vigilante, he makes some pretty hasty and irrational decisions. That’s what I like about him; he’s a deeply flawed individual and he screws up. I’ve seen a lot of things compare Daredevil to Batman… and that’s just not fair. Daredevil does all these questionable things, often by the seat of his pants, screws up, and then feels bad about it to the point that he goes and confesses his sins. Batman tends to be cold and calculating… and I’m just all around bored with the character.
No good hero is complete without an equally well-written villain; and for Daredevil, that’s Wilson Fisk. From what I recall, the Kingpin isn’t really a super compelling character (I could be wrong). In the Netflix series, Fisk is sometimes more compelling than Murdock. He’s the mob boss that controls Hell’s Kitchen, but he isn’t some calculating crook that knows what he’s doing. In fact, most of the time he’s trying to keep his operation from falling to pieces. He falls in love with a woman, which adds some super interesting traits to Fisk. He’s not suave or debonair with the ladies… in fact, he’s shy and very unsure of himself. When you find out about his back-story, you feel for him and sympathize with his character. And when he says he’s about saving the city, I actually genuinely believe it. His methods are unconventional, but I think he understands the truth. You can’t get rid of the filth in the city… but you can control it.
It’s because of that notion that Daredevil portrays these characters as opposite to their intended nature. For most of the series, Fisk looks like the hero, where Daredevil looks like the villain. That’s a really interesting interaction too, because I did not know how the series was going to end. And now that I do, I don’t know where it’s going from here. The second season is in the works and set to release in 2016. This Drunk Dork is looking forward to it.