‘Daredevil’ shows bloodier side of Marvel superheroes


Actor Charlie Cox smiles at the L.A. premier of “Daredevil” on April 2. Daredevil battles crime which sets the dark story in motion.

By Andrew Roberts

Marvel’s “Daredevil” launches viewers into the seedy world of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City with furious brutality.

The highly anticipated series, which was released on Netflix on Friday, gave me something I didn’t expect from Marvel as Daredevil is no PG-13 hero. Daredevil, or Matt Murdock, is portrayed as a ruthless vigilante prowling the streets to protect the innocent with his fists.

The show is, naturally, an origin story, which explains in detail how a superhero or group gained their superpowers. It explored darker topics like post-traumatic stress disorder and the lengths humans will go to protect the ones they love.

There is a pervasive corruption that bleeds through the walls of every building in Hell’s Kitchen, and this is shown through the terrifying main villain, Wilson Fisk, also known as the Kingpin. Fisk is ruthless in every way, especially in a scene that shows the massive hulk of a man smashing another man’s head with a car door, decapitating him while pools of blood drip to the ground. When I say dark, I mean dark.

Murdock, played by English actor Charlie Cox, lost his sight as a boy when his eyes were doused in toxic chemicals. He was no longer able to see, but his other senses were heightened to superhuman levels. I realized very quickly this hero was simply a man who wanted to help rid his city of violence.

Murdock is shown exhausted and bloodied after every expertly choreographed fight scene, and sometimes he is not even able to stand victorious, which is an excellent touch. He is a real human being who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances.

“Daredevil” doesn’t pull any punches in its portrayals of violence. I saw bones break, skulls crack and hands get sliced clean off. This series may share the Marvel name, but it doesn’t have much in common with the happy, cheery movies you take your kids to see, and that is what made this show so satisfying.

Part ultra-violence, part courtroom drama, “Daredevil” also shows the daily life of Murdock as a defense lawyer with his hilarious and lovable partner, Foggy Nelson, played by Elden Henson.

When Murdock isn’t fighting crime and corruption, “Daredevil” drags a bit. But, its script is sharply written and the show has engaging secondary characters. “Daredevil” is intense, gritty and one of the best live-action portrayals of a superhero I have seen from Marvel Comics, DC Comics or anything else.