Comic Books

Daredevil Review: Episodes 1-4

Marvel’s Daredevil arrived on Netflix this weekend. The show takes place in the same universe as Marvel’s movies. Like Agents of SHIELD, it deals with regular people trying to accept a world where the events of The Avengers could take place. Despite being a superhero show itself, it does a better job than Agents of SHIELD of keeping that focus on ordinary people. Daredevil himself resonates more as Matt Murdock, idealistic defense lawyer, than as the masked vigilante.

Matt is a blind man with superhumanly enhanced other senses, who fights crime. Although he does technically have powers, he comes off a lot like Arrow‘s Oliver Queen. We see how much he has to work at being able to fight and how vulnerable he is. His dad was a boxer and many of the flashbacks about his past show how he’s learned that sometimes it’s necessary to take a beating (which makes him also reminiscent of the current CW incarnation of Barry Allen). He’s very much only human, which is especially interesting in a universe where characters like Thor exist.

Matt works well as a protagonist and all the characters the ensemble has introduced so far in the first four episodes have their charm, but it’s Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) who has been the show’s standout character. The character goes beyond just being a formidable and scary villain to become someone you just love to watch. There are several scenes of him courting an art dealer named Vanessa Marianna, played by Ayelet Zurer, who is very charming here. Since Kingpin’s wife in the comics is named Vanessa, we’re sure to see more of this relationship, which is good news because their chemistry is fantastic.

Another relationship developing on the show is between Matt and Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson. Rosario Dawson is great and the scenes between Matt and Claire pop nicely.

After the first four episodes, it’s safe to say this is shaping up to be an interesting show. Although it has plenty of big choreographed fight scenes, something about it seems significantly less flashy than the rest of the Marvel on screen universe. In style, it feels much more like a DC show. It has both the grittiness of Arrow and the idealism of The Flash. It works well.

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