April 10th saw Daredevil land on Netflix. In days gone by I’d have declared that sleep is for wimps and binged on all 13 episodes, but being older and wiser I settled for Episode 1, ‘Into the ring’.
This opening episode introduces us to blind lawyer, Matt Murdock, better known as vigilante, Daredevil, though at this point he’s merely a man in a black mask. Joining him are his law firm partner, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page who, in this episode, becomes Matt and Foggy’s first client after being framed for murder. Luckily, the loss of Matt’s eyesight has left his other senses enhanced and his super-hearing acts as a lie detector, monitoring clients’ heartbeats to reveal whether someone is telling the truth or not. One noticeable thing about this episode is that the whole season appears to be acting as an origin story. Writer, Drew Goddard, doesn’t bombard us with too much information. At the starting point of Episode 1, Matt is already a highly-skilled vigilante and his enhanced abilities are not described in detail.
Clearly taking much of its influence from Frank Miller’s run, specifically his latter origin series, The Man Without Fear, director Phil Abraham sets much of the action in a dark neon-lit world in which Daredevil fights street-level crime, which is quite different from the Marvel films which the show alludes to.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Daredevil may inhabit the shadows, but a humorous Matt and Foggy spend their days in Hell’s Kitchen – an area of New York that was pretty rough in the 80s, has improved considerably over the years and, for the sake of the show, was largely destroyed during the Avengers movie, turning it into something more familiar to people whose knowledge of New York comes from the comics and 80’s movies…
So far, very promising!