ByMatthew Jarrett, writer at
Matthew Jarrett

My binge-watching is nearly complete (2 episodes to go), so let me begin here by saying that in my not-entirely-humble opinion, Daredevil is the best, most faithful comic book to "television" (Netflix isn't really television, after all) adaptation ever done. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE the Flash on CW, and dig Arrow as well, but they are very much reinterpretations of their respective lead characters, while Daredevil is almost completely true to its source material. Proving beyond doubt that sometimes, great comics speak for themselves, and don't need adapting or updating to be marketable.

The immortal and unsurpassed Gene Colan.
The immortal and unsurpassed Gene Colan.

Now, I've read Daredevil (and SO many others as well) since 1970. I cut my teeth on Gene Colan's and Gil Kane's DD, and positively fell out of my chair when Frank Miller took over the writing (he had been wielding the pencil for 10 issues already) with #168 in 1981. Long before he breathed new and lasting life into Batman, Miller resurrected Matt Murdock's career and vaulted the Man Without Fear to unprecedented popularity by stripping him down to his essence and surrounding him with a supporting cast that would themselves become the stuff of legend. Ever heard of a lady called "Electra"? Anyone? Bueller? Gladiator was back as well, but with a heart; much more than the one-dimensional, slice-and-dice gimmick he had been (and he's in the show as well, if you recognized him...).

Yes, THAT Melvin Potter.
Yes, THAT Melvin Potter.

Gone were Roger MacKenzie's psuedo-horror plotlines laced with superhero cliches, and in were gritty, "street-level" stories full of pulpy violence and noir-tastic back alley sets. Then Miller performed one more miracle: he took a forgettable, second-tier Spiderman villain called Kingpin and turned him into a relevant and terrifyingly formidable central figure. Many writers and artists followed and some tremendous things have been done with the characters since, but Miller started it all, and these stories, in essence, are the ones I'm watching today.

While later versions and arcs are all represented here in different ways, it is truly Miller's vision we get to see unfold on screen, without the unbearable onus of self-importance he brings to his movie projects. The producers and show-runner here deserve highest praise for what they've accomplished. Bringing Matt, Foggy, Karen, Ben and yes, Wilson to the screen in fully-realized, completely fleshed out, compelling and realistic fashion while still keeping them firmly grounded within the MCU and it's context can have been no small task, but I for one am enormously grateful that they have, and am eager as hell to see what comes next.

I can't tell you how many times Matt's been stripped down, destroyed, and rebuilt his life, but that's fairly standard fare in comics. What stands out to me and what's cogent to the now is how it's been adapted to the small screen, and I cannot say enough good things about this show. Casting is absolutely spot-on and there's not a single portrayal that I could have envisioned any better. Charlie Cox is gonna be a huge star for sure.

If the remainder of the shows Marvel/Netflix have planned are anywhere near this good, broadcast television is in deep do-do.

Now I officially cannot WAIT to see how they do Luke Cage!

The character? YES,  Tiara? Not so much.
The character? YES, Tiara? Not so much.

By the way, if you're wondering why I haven't watched the last 2 episodes yet, I'm savoring. I'm both anxious and terrified for the season's denouement, and I'm going to bask in the anticipation for a couple of days before I watch.

The future of televised superheroes?
The future of televised superheroes?

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