While «Iron Fist» and «Luke Cage» got cancelled some days ago I’d almost forgotten that there still was a very enjoyable Marvel show to premiere that very same week:
«Marvel’s Daredevil» might have been the first attempt of bringing one of the less spectacular superheroes in a smaller scale to Netflix, but with season three the man without fear still remains the best and most solid installation of all the Marvel superhero series on the streaming service by far thanks to struggling and evolving characters and some risk-takingly spectacular cinematic moments of storytelling and montage.
But characters is what «Marvel’s Daredevil» really is all about: The show proves that Superhero stories CAN work on a smaller scale, as an action-infused drama, when done correctly (I’m looking at you «Gotham»).
The core of season three is all about family, legacy and relationships – old and new characters all get their chance to explore different angles of this underlying theme. And it’s a bliss:
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page gets her own superb isolated episode which sheds light on her past, Wilson Bethel as Benjamin Poindexter («Bullseye») reminded me that a great character doesn’t have to be likeable and Charlie Cox as «Daredevil» proofs once again how satisfying and cathartic a tragic (super-) hero can be. But the real show-stealer (even more so than Jon Bernthal as «The Punisher» in season two) is, of course, Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.
D’Onofrio’s wonderful, tragic, scary, phenomenal, uncanny performance as the «Kingpin« left me in awe. But even the secondary characters get a chance to shine: Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Father Lanthom (Peter McRobbie), Joanne Whalley as Sister Maggie and Jay Ali in the Role of Special Agent Ray Nadeem all get their chance to shine or at least support the impact of the main characters’ arcs.
Now here’s some binge-worthy TV! Stumbled upon this gripping gem about the Manhattan Project leading up to the creation of the first nuclear bombs by accident.
Still loving it while finishing the last episode of the first season. Shame it didn’t get picked up for a third season. And I still miss the hell out of an appearance of Richard Feynman, but then again, maybe better not to let reality disturb the drama too much.
<nitpicking>What really bugged me was his new cowl. Of course they really nailed its design compared to the model of season one, but in a show so gritty and «realistic» compared to similar presentations, I was somewhat surprised about a certain use of movie-magic revolving around the devil’s mask. When you spot it, you’ll know what I’m talking about and after that it’s really hard to unsee.</nitpicking>
But that’s it. Other than that, once more Daredevil is almost perfect television. Interesting characters well executed (please excuse the PUNisher), gripping story, stunning action, very easy on the eyes. And I loved his new toy and how they introduced it.
After the trainwreck I saw yesterday that was «Batman v Superman» I’m so glad at least one Studio knows what to do with its Superhero properties. I wonder what it would look like if Marvel could manage to take their spectacle to the big screen… oh wait, they did, and they do. Almost forgot there still lies a civil war ahead…
BTW: What I really liked about «Batman v Superman» was, surprisingly enough, the Batfleck. Not just his cowl, not just his whole costume, but his take on the character. Didn’t see that one coming. I wonder how Ben Affleck would do as Matt Murdock on the big screen… oh wait, he did. But let’s forget about that.
I’d always loved his segments but I didn’t expect John Oliver to fill Jon Stewart’s enormous shoes in such a brilliant, hilarious, satisfying and relevant way this quickly, hosting a weekly show. (Sorry, Trevor Noah).
(Not the best example by far, but a good one, which made me want to write this post.)