This weekend Netflix premiered Marvel’s Daredevil after much anticipation, and nothing Marvel has done so far could’ve prepared comic fans for how perfect an adaptation this would be.
Before I dive in let me say I won’t be bashing the Ben Affleck movie. I actually love the R-rated director’s cut of the Daredevil movie and even with this perfect adaptation on Netflix it’s something I can still go back and watch. Just as I can enjoy the 1966 Batman series right alongside the modern dark version, I can still enjoy both versions of Daredevil.
Even though the Guardian Devil of Hell’s Kitchen has only really been done in live action twice before (once in an Incredible Hulk TV movie) people haven’t given up on the character in film and television. Prior to Fox releasing the rights to Marvel, there was a pitch for a very dark and gritty trilogy of Daredevil movies that would see him go through decades much like the X-Men movies are doing now, and we would even see the yellow costume on screen. We didn’t get that, but maybe it’s for the best with this Netflix series.
At thirteen episodes it’s standard for shows on the streaming service, but when it ends you just want a new season to begin immediately. It’s that good. Never before have we see Matt and Foggy so perfectly realized on-screen. Even The Kingpin is perfect, but we also get smaller supporting characters such as Karen Page and Night Nurse realized. They also spend time on his origin, showing flashbacks to Matt and battling Jack, and yes we get Stick in the series.
Even the look of the series is close to the comics. While the current Mark Waid run on Daredevil is brighter and more colorful than in the past, those who remember the very dark and gritty looks of the Bendis and Brubaker years will feel right at home in this series. The look of it is extremely dark with lots of low-light, which makes it really feel like a Daredevil comic playing out in front of you.
I can’t forget to mention the action. Netflix’s Daredevil doesn’t rely on shaky cam to “put you in the fight”. Many times the camera is set stationary, back from the action, allowing you to see the Man Without Fear wail on whoever he’s putting into a full-body cast. Early in the series, episode 2 to be exact, has one of the greatest comic book fight scenes in any filmed medium. This is seriously better than most big screen movies.
Daredevil on Netflix is an incredible start for the Defenders series. If the next three shows arrive with the same quality and love for the character that Daredevil has, we’re in for a real treat from Marvel.
If you don’t already subscribe to Netflix, and are a Daredevil fan, you absolutely need to sign up to see this series.