‘Daredevil’: A New Look At Comic Book Television

Daredevil hit the small screen on Netflix with a bang on Friday. Not only has it received critical praise from the media but it also got some early love from fans on Twitter.

One question looms large though about whether or not to watch Daredevil — are there simply too many superheroes on both television and cinema screens? It’s starting to seem like everybody and their Aunt Fanny is throwing on some spandex and hitting the streets, or the air, or space, to fight crime of one sort or another. But the silver lining to this flood of costumes is that in order to rise above the pack, the show really needs to have something a little different. In an interview with Indiewire, showrunner Steven S. DeKnight talks about this fresh take on Daredevil.

“Really, for us, it was more about approaching [Daredevil] as a crime drama first and a superhero adaptation second. Not all the characters in comic books lend themselves to that, but it was really the heart of Daredevil. So, that made our choice very simple. It doesn’t all have to be ‘put on the tights and fight a giant robot and save the world.'”

Daredevil is the story of Matt Murdock, a character with a requisite traumatic childhood — he’s blinded by mysterious chemicals that give his remaining four senses a supernatural boost and then orphaned. In his youth, he’s taken under the wing of an old master and trained how to fight. He grows up to run a small law firm with a pal from college by day while roaming the streets at night handing out justice with his fists and the occasional kick or two.

Take a look at the Netflix original Marvel’s Daredevil“Origin” trailer #3.

To lay out the story of Daredevil is to dip into the tights and supernatural elements of the plot because that’s direct from the comic. But the other thing that sets this Daredevil apart comes from Netflix’s binge-watching model. It allows the show to be fully serialized — problems crop up and aren’t necessarily solved in one episode. Storylines slowly build and focus in on supporting characters instead of just the main character, allowing fans to really explore the world and not just Daredevil himself.

For example, the main villain is only talked about, not shown or even named until the third episode — keeping him interesting and slightly otherworldly. When the audience does finally meet him, he’s soft-spoken, almost shy — the juxtaposition of his reputation with the man himself leaves the viewer wondering who he really is. This makes his inevitable eruption of violence, a truly shocking moment. Daredevil is brave and skilled but can he really stand against this guy?

Daredevil marks the first of several Marvel shows in the works with Netflix — including: A.K.A. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. It’s a much different corner of their superhero universe — involving a focus narrowed to saving the streets of New York rather than worlds and universes. The long-term plan is to each titular superhero unite in a miniseries to be called, The Defenders.

Catch the entire 13-episode first season of Daredevil on Netflix and get a glimpse of the red suit below.

[Image credit: Marvel/Netflix]