Today is the day that Marvel’s Daredevil series arrives on Netflix. It is also the day that Marvel’s Television efforts are taken to the next level and raise the bar for comic book television. Executive Producer Drew Goddard and Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, along with Marvel Studios have delivered something amazing with Daredevil.
Where it seems that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has failed time and time again (at least for me), this new venture into the Marvel Television Universe has more than succeeded. Charlie Cox has been perfectly cast as Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, the man without fear. So has Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, a man who is feared throughout the criminal underworld of New York City. Each person cast in their role feels as though great consideration went into the choice and the result has definitely paid off.
If you have read any of the Daredevil comic series, then you will be right at home as Cox brings Matt Murdock to life. Elden Henson does a fantastic job as Foggy Nelson, creating that awkward best friend. As Karen Page, Deborah Ann Woll, compliments Cox and Henson’s roles. I’ve even enjoyed Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, aka Night Nurse, who become entangled in Matt Murdock’s life. Next to Cox though, D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was truly terrifying. Not knowing to what to expect since in the comics he is a mountain of a man, D’Onofrio managed to capture the true essence of the character and delivered a great performance in each of his scenes.
From the opening credits in the first episode you feel and see this is at a different level than that of the previous Marvel Television efforts, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. From the first episode and the following episodes, it is much like the first Iron Man film, where we follow Tony Stark early on as he transitions from that first suit he builds and finally into the red and gold suit that fans around the world immediately recognize. In Daredevil, we watch as Matt Murdock wearing an costume of regular black clothing with a mask that covers half of his face running around in the dark. Eventually this works towards him wearing a familiar red suit by the end of the first season.
There are lots of great visual elements used through, many creating some great symbolism to the Daredevil history. For example the water towers on top of buildings, to the church and confessionals. In the first episode it was great seeing the flashbacks with Matt’s father, Jonathan “Battlin’ Jack” Murdock that acted as words of inspiration for him during his fights. Also, in this series, New York City or more specifically Hell’s Kitchen, is another character and it does the job very well.
Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe where you have the powerhouses like Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor, that feel bigger than life, this series is very low-level and grassroots. Make no mistake though, this series is violent. It is rated TV-MA, but keep in mind this is Netflix and used loosely as this is more a series you would find on HBO’s Game of Thrones, where violence is not always hidden off camera and more in your face. I don’t think this takes away from what this is, just saying don’t expect Captain America or Thor type of fighting here. It is raw and more down to earth.
It is great to see another aspect the Marvel Universe and if this first entry into The Defenders is an indication of what we can expect, then sign me up for more. You can watch all 13 episodes of the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil now on Netflix.