Wednesday, April 15, 2015


After a couple of episodes of Marvel's Daredevil -- obligatory, "Now available on Netflix!" -- one thing that really stands out to me is just how hellish life is when you're not on SHIELD's helicarrier. Throughout the Avengers/Marvel Universe movies, we get a sanitized version of the results of the kind of violence that meta-humans and gods can unleash (not to mention the aliens) on a city. Those gargantuan Chitari flying whale-things in Avengers easily topple buildings and the Hulk is smashing everything that is and isn't moving but you never get a sense of the human cost behind all that destruction. Thousands must have died in the "Battle for New York." Never mind that "The Council" was going to nuke Manhattan, there must have been massive causualties on the ground.

Daredevil doesn't really get into that aspect of the Battle for New York, but it has featured the aftermath as a boon for organized crime to rebuild sections of the city and swindle huge amounts of cash into their bank accounts. What Daredevil has done is bring the Marvel Universe right down to the streets, grime and garbage included. (And at the end of the second episode, we go under the streets in one intense round of combat.)

Daredevil's version of Hell's Kitchen is brutal. The level of violence isn't something that's prevalent in the Marvel films but in Daredevil, it's par for the course. Even when the action shifts away from Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) beating on criminals, there's this sense that something terrible is about to happen to characters not actually involved in the fighting.

The results of a suicide (by pistol) and a murder (multiple stab wounds), seem out of place for something in the Marvel Universe, but Daredevil is the other side of that same coin. At least so far, everyone involved is human. Aside from Daredevil's blindness and heightened senses, the combatants are all on equal footing (i.e. human). The fighting is choreographed and interesting to watch but as fights wear on, there's this noticeable toll on the participants. The fighting gets sloppier, combatants are slow to get on their feet, they make mistakes.

After a couple of episodes, this dark corner of the Marvel Universe is working for Daredevil. It does make me wonder if Frank Castle will make some kind of cameo even if it's in passing. I mean, what's Thomas Jane up to these days anyway?

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