Reviewing Daredevil and the future of Netflix


Back in 2013, Netflix announced an exciting new deal with Marvel Studios to produce a selection of live action series based on some of the best characters from Marvel’s comic books. Situated in the established Marvel cinematic universe, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones were signed to receive 13 episodes per season, before culminating in a team-up, The Defenders.

The first of these series was scheduled to be Daredevil, a superhero crime drama by showrunner Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). The show would focus on the blind lawyer known as Matt Murdock, who tackles crime in and outside of the courtroom in Hell’s Kitchen. With his superhuman senses, he attempts to make his city a better place.

The character of Daredevil is synonymous with having some of the best talent in comic book history, and he boasts some of Marvel’s finest work to date. From Frank Miller’s ground-breaking masterpiece, to Bendis/Brubaker’s captivating run and Waid/Samnee’s recent reinvigoration, Daredevil has had it all.

However, he hasn’t had the same luck with movies. The wounds are still sore from Fox’s attempt at Daredevil, which was a cinematic travesty. Despite the fact that the director’s cut was bearable, everyone remembers that park scene. So, Netflix had their work cut out for them to produce something that finally did the character justice.


Have no fear though, as Netflix qualms any concerns. Casting British actor Charlie Cox (Stardust, Boardwalk Empire) was possibly the best decision they made for the show, as they discovered someone who embodied the charm of Murdock and the vehemence of the horned devil all in one delightful mix.

The same praise can be said for Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Law & Order: Criminal Intent), who plays the intimidating crime lord, Wilson Fisk. Known as Kingpin to others, D’Onofrio provides one of the most impressive performances of a comic book villain ever. Alongside these two stars, Daredevil also features Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) as the vulnerable Karen Page, and Eldren Henson (Mighty Ducks) as Murdock’s friend and associate, Foggy Nelson.

Daredevil manages to seamlessly focus on both aspects of Murdock’s life, with drama and action intertwining with ease. Some fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed, with several sequences that’ll leave jaws agape. One corridor sequence in the second episode – filmed all at once without cuts – is even being commended for its technical achievement.


It’s worth nothing that Netflix manages to clean the taint that is given to superhero television shows. Due to the high production values of Daredevil, it abolishes any concerns of being likened to cheaper network programmes, such as Arrow or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The cinematography is fantastic, with some moments feeling like they were ripped straight from the pages of a comic book.

Whilst Daredevil hasn’t always been a dark and gritty superhero since his creation, Netflix takes inspiration from Frank Miller and Bendis’ take on the character. For those looking for a swashbuckling adventure, you’ll be left slightly disappointed. Whilst this show doesn’t lend itself to the dark ridiculousness of some other comic book heroes, it is still a series littered with murder, human trafficking and suicide. However, there’s a slight sprinkle of comedy, which mostly comes from Foggy Nelson.

Whilst Daredevil is shared within the Marvel cinematic universe, there isn’t a great deal of references towards other events/heroes. The Battle of NY gets mentioned, but that’s about it. Some keen eyed viewers may recognise some small bits in later episodes, but this is really Daredevil’s story. Not having Frogman at all is a bit unforgivable, though.


References aren’t necessarily essential anyway, as you’re pulled in with an enthralling story and some superb acting. The bar has now been set for other superhero shows, as it’s beautifully shot, perfectly cast and brilliantly crafted. It might just be the television highlight of the year, which is a mighty achievement regarding other shows that have been on recently, such as Better Call Saul.

General feedback has been positive since the release, and it can be safely said that Netflix’s deal with Marvel Studios will be hugely beneficial. Their new model to create their own content has been their best idea yet, and anyone torrenting Netflix’s content is doing a disservice to themselves and the great product provided. Hell, even if you can’t afford the meagre cost, just sign up for free.

The next comic book property lined up is A.K.A. Jessica Jones, which is currently being developed by Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter). This time round, viewers will follow the story of Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), who starts up her own detective agency after a tragic end to her superhero career.

The series will be based on Bendis’ Alias, which was the first title to be published under the MAX imprint at the time, allowing it to appeal to an adult audience with R-rated content. It provided Bendis with creative freedom within Marvel, and Jessica Jones soon became an important part the Avengers soon after that.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones will also establish some fan-favourites from Marvel comics, such as Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Patsy Walker ‘Hellcat’ (Rachael Taylor). David Tennant also stars as the evil Killgrave (aka The Purple Man), who might just be one of the most vile villains in Marvel comics. Dr Who fans might be in for a shock with his unique role.


Following Luke Cage’s introduction, he will be receiving his very own show alongside his team-mate and fellow Hero for Hire, Iron Fist. Each character will be getting the 13 episode treatment too, focusing on Cage’s life as an ex-con with bulletproof skin, and Iron Fist’s life as a millionaire bestowed with awesome mystical powers.

The Defenders will bring all of these characters together for a mini-series, to face their biggest threat yet. Speculation over who they’re facing has begun amongst fans, with ideas ranging from a full invasion from The Hand (evil occult ninjas), to stopping the devastating killing machine known as The Punisher.

With Marvel gaining the rights back for The Punisher, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see news of Thomas Jane being involved with Netflix any time soon. Despite the critics’ response of the 2004 film, Thomas Jane’s depiction of the Punisher was spot on. Just three years ago, he reprised the role in this incredible short film, ‘Dirty Laundry’:

Whether or not The Defenders decides to utilise The Hand remains to be seen. They’re an integral part of Daredevil’s history, and they are closely linked to his love interest Elektra. Therefore, it might be best to implement them at a later date. Nonetheless, these two theories may not even be included at all. For all we know, it could be Stilt-Man making his own empire.

Outside of the Netflix/Marvel deal, a Punisher series based on Garth Ennis’ MAX run would greatly benefit from the freedom of Netflix’s model. At this point there a few characters they could use, such as Blade, Ghost Rider, Cloak and Dagger, Power Pack, Elektra and Hawkeye.

Whilst it might not be worth touching Blade and Ghost Rider any time soon, it would be criminal to leave Cloak and Dagger without a mini-series at least. If Netflix ever decided to include Hawkeye in any form on television, then they should look no further than the most recent Matt Fraction and Aja/Wu run on the character. The possibilities are endless.

It’s an exciting time to be a Marvel fan, with Netflix now gaining traction with their new television series and Marvel’s films now entering the third phase. Hopefully A.K.A. Jessica Jones is also a hit, and that the rest of the series allows for an extended deal for both parties involved. Either way, the future looks bright for this partnership.

Framed Recommendations – 15/10/14

This week was a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst Marvel released Daredevil and the best Edge of Spider-verse issue to date, they still brought out the second instalment of Axis. Rick Remender has done some fine work in the past, but this event just reeks of horrible, rehashed ideas which will only pave the way for some new titles. Superior Iron Man might turn out to be okay, but if we have to read Axis to get there, it just might not be worth it. It’s the worst event since Age of Ultron, and that’s saying something.

Death of Wolverine ended rather abruptly, having had little to no storyline whatsoever in the three previous issues. It just ended on a whimper, with a death which will probably be reversed somehow. Whether it be magic, Magneto or some super adamantium-healing serum that will help him, Marvel will definitely bring him back when the next Fox movie makes money. It’s unfortunate that one of my favourite characters get such terrible treatment. At least plan a credible, coherent story Marvel.

Anyway, I digress. Onto the good stuff. Waid and Samnee’s Daredevil started off fresh from Original Sin, with an interesting take on the Purple Man. One of Daredevil’s oldest foes made some lovely purple children, and they took it upon themselves to take down Matt Murdock in this week’s issue. Again, Samnee does some fantastic work throughout, and Waid wove Matt’s past torment into the story rather nicely. It’s totally worth checking out, and the same can be said for Gerard Way’s Edge of Spider-verse. It is obviously heavily influenced by Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it read well and it looked pretty. Please Way, write more comics. The industry misses you.

Finally, B.P.R.D., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Prometheus – Fire and Stone all manage to impress. If you haven’t checked out any of the Fire and Stone tie-ins, then do so. They’re actually not bad, and of course, IDW still continue to provide the best comic incarnation of the mutant turtles to date. Get on it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #39 Eastman / Waltz IDW
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #39
Eastman / Waltz
Daredevil #09 Waid / Samnee MARVEL
Daredevil #09
Waid / Samnee
B.P.R.D Hell on Earth #124 Mignola / Arcudi DARK HORSE
B.P.R.D Hell on Earth #124
Mignola / Arcudi
Prometheus - Fire and Stone #02 Tobin /  Ferreyra DARK HORSE
Prometheus – Fire and Stone #02
Tobin / Ferreyra
Edge of Spider-verse #05 Way / Wyatt MARVEL
Edge of Spider-verse #05
Way / Wyatt

Panels of the Week – Four

Well, this past fortnight has proved that it’s the X-books which reign supreme.  It’s been mentioned before, but Schism is turning into one hell of an event which will ultimately provide X-fans a neat array of different teams.  The third issue in the event really pulled things together and a good old fashioned dispute between Cyclops and Wolverine is always welcomed.

Even the main X-Men title seemed fresh.  Issue 16 had some great, traditional elements.  Two teams get together (along with their respective major villain), and get sent through time.  It’s always a nice little set up and when it’s done with the correct writing and clean art, it’s a plus.

Uncanny X-Force still manages to be my favourite X-title at the moment though.  Remender is one of my favourite writers of this year.  It will be interesting to see where the title goes when the teams get split up after Schism.  I haven’t found Deadpool this amusing since Nicieza was managing him.

Anyway, onto panels.  Next time, I’ll be checking out the first week of the New 52.

Daredevil #02
Waid / Rivera

Ultimate Comics – Ultimates #01
Hickman / Ribic

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #01
Eastman / Waltz

The Mighty Thor #05
Fraction / Coipel

X-Men #16
Gischler / Molina

Uncanny X-Force #13
Remender / Brooks

X-Men; Schism #03
Aaron / Acuna

Panels of the Week – Two


This past week saw the second issue of the main X-event going on right now, X-Men Schism and it seems like this might be the event of the year.  Fraction and Immonen’s Fear Itself has been delivering the goods but I’ve always had a soft spot for the mutants.  With an exciting first issue, there was a worry that the follow-up may disappoint.  However, Jason Aaron always knows how to handle the X-Men and with Cho’s artwork the comic manages to impress.  It’s still an interesting concept to play with, even if it recycles Sentinels yet again.  Aaron is going somewhere with this, so it’s definitely one to pick up.  Check it out.

On the subject of recycled material, Uncanny X-Force is still trapped in the daunting AoA universe.  With Remender handling the mutants exploits though, there’s no real problem.  I’ve ranted and raved on about Uncanny X-Force for months, and for good reason.  Remender  is great at working with these creations, as Apocalypse Solution and Deathlok Nation has proved.

The new Daredevil series captured a lot of attention from critics last week, as many claimed the new issue was the best read of the year.  Whilst this can’t be determined yet, it is still a strong contender.  Mark Waid manages a colourful approach to the character, with Riviera providing stunning artwork throughout.  Bendis and Brubaker reinvented Matt Murdock brilliantly, but it’s nice to see that Daredevil returns to his roots.


Wolverine/Deadpool The Decoy – Moore/Crystal

X-Men Schism #02 – Aaron/Cho

The Mighty Thor #04 – Fraction/Coipel

Daredevil #01 – Waid/Riviera/Martin

Invincible Iron Man #506 – Fraction/Larroca

Uncanny X-Force #12 – Remender/Brooks