Sunday, April 12, 2015

On the Air: Daredevil (2015)

In the late 80's, when NBC acquired the rights to The Incredible Hulk for a series of TV-movies, the second of those films introduced viewers to blind attorney Matt Murdock, alias Daredevil. As played by actor-singer Rex Smith (ex-Street Hawk), Daredevil aided the jade giant (Lou Ferrigno), or, maybe, it was the other way around, against corrupt businessman Wilson Fisk, alias the Kingpin (John Rhys-Davies). You would think a spin-off series would've come out of that, but none came.

Nearly 30 years later, the Man Without Fear is back, 12 years after a disastrous feature film with Ben Affleck in the title role. This time, Charlie Cox (ex-Boardwalk Empire) is Murdock/Daredevil, and the series is the 1st installment of Marvel Studios' deal with Netflix. In other words, effendis, don't look for this on your TV unless it comes out on DVD.

As with the movie, the story begins with young Matt's encounter with some radioactive chemicals, causing him to go blind at age 9. Frequent flashbacks to Matt's youth suggest Marvel is trying to copy what DC's done with Arrow over the course of its three seasons, a plot device that goes as far back as Kung Fu more than 40 years ago.

Much of the series, while giving credit to co-creators Stan Lee & Bill Everett, is centered on the rebooting of Daredevil by writer-artist Frank Miller over two tenures on the long running book in the 70's & 80's. In the following trailer,  you'll see Scott Glenn ("The Right Stuff") as Stick, Matt's equally blind trainer.......

Foreshadowing later Marvel/Netflix offerings, in episode 2, we're introduced to nurse Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who nurses Matt back to health after a disastrous encounter with some human traffickers that was kept off-screen. In the books, you see, Ms. Temple was the on-again, off-again girlfriend of one Carl Lucas, alias Luke Cage, Hero For Hire, who will be showing up on Netflix down the line. In time, Fisk will turn up, this time in the form of Vincent D'Onofrio (ex-Law & Order: Criminal Intent).

All 13 episodes are already available. It'll be up to Marvel whether or not the series goes to DVD down the road. Personally, I would love it if they did.

Rating: B+.

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