If you don’t know that I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you probably haven’t been reading my blog for very long (or had very many conversations with me). The MCU started back in 2008 with Iron Man and became insanely popular with 2012’s The Avengers. The universe is so popular not only because superheroes are in right now, but because people like to see the overlap between the different films and how each movie is slowly coming together to tell one big story.
But the MCU isn’t just about movies anymore. Marvel started releasing some comics early on to go along with the films, and they released the TV show Agents of SHIELD on ABC in 2013. Now, the MCU is taking a further step into diversifying its mediums. Marvel has teamed up with Netflix to release five new series over the next three years, basically creating its own little mini-verse within the MCU. That mini-verse kicked off last month with the launch of the thirteen-episode first season of Daredevil, and it’s off to a wonderful start.
Daredevil tells the story of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer-turned-vigilante who fights criminals on the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Slowly throughout the story, we learn Matt’s story of losing his sight, embracing his newfound abilities, and transforming from the “devil of Hell’s Kitchen” into the superhero we know and love. Daredevil truly is an origin story.
Daredevil also features another major character: Wilson Fisk. He serves as the villain of the first season. But the story isn’t quite that straightforward. Fisk sees himself as functioning the same way Matt does: saving the city from the evils that threaten it. He actually serves as the main character in one episode, and it’s obvious that the show creators worked hard to make Fisk a character that audiences can feel sympathy toward. So Dardevil appeals to those who don’t want just a straightforward good-versus-evil story.
The other main characters are also wonderful. Foggy is Matt’s partner in his law firm and serves both as comic relief and as a means of heightening the emotion on the show. Karen starts off as one of the first people Daredevil rescues, but she quickly becomes an integral part of Matt’s life. And then there’s Claire, a nurse who finds Matt half-dead in a dumpster and quickly becomes his ally. This show was really well-cast, and I think it offers a good variety of characters for viewers to relate to.
I knew early on that Daredevil was going to be very different from what we’ve come to expect from Marvel. First of all, it’s rated TV-MA. This gives the show room to be grittier and darker than any other Marvel project. Sure, there’s some more language, but that’s not the main reason for the rating. This show is very, very dark. It explores some really scary themes and isn’t afraid to toe the line of moral ambiguity. And the violence. The violence hurts to watch. It’s not bloody or gory. It’s just so different from anything else that’s on TV right now. It’s creative, and it draws you in to the point that you really feel what’s going on.
Ultimately, Daredevil is what everyone wants in a superhero origin story: the tale of a person choosing to use his abilities to become more than he is and fight for the greater good. It’s complicated, gritty, and downright painful at times. But it’s a Marvel story at heart, and it’s well worth the watch. Daredevil was recently renewed for a second season, and it will soon be joined by the next series in the Defenders mini-universe, AKA Jessica Jones, which means there’s plenty more to come from Marvel and Netflix. So if you’re looking to get plugged into the Marvel universe for the first time, or if you’re a long-time fan looking for another piece of the story, Daredevil is for you. Check it out and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading, friends, and I’ll see you next week.