Daredevil’s Righteous Anger: “I’m asking forgiveness for what I’m about to do”
More often than not recently, many people have come to know Marvel superheroes through Netflix, the MCU, and now Disney+. That sets up tension between the recent fans and those of us coming from a comic book background.
I am a Marvel reader and collector from the 1970s, and fell in love with Daredevil when his comic book was co-titled with Black Widow. I also grew up a Marvel fan when shows such as The Incredible Hulk hit mainstream TV.
Once CGI allowed superhero movies to look the way we now-older fans always hoped, I have been mostly thrilled with the mainstreaming of Marvel comics — despite the many problems with that different universe compared to the too-often rebooted and jumbled universes of comic books.
I am also one of those fans who loved the Netflix Daredevil series because it captured almost everything that makes the Daredevil character and narratives nearly equally compelling and deeply problematic.
Matt Murdock becoming Daredevil incorporates the traditional silliness of superhero origins (a chemical spill doesn’t kill young Matt, but renders him superhuman) as well as some refreshing and compelling elements (Matt develops many of his superhero qualities because of his character, one grounded in a relentless righteous anger than is more than vengeance).
Although Daredevil is one of the earliest Marvel creations, debuting in 1964, and has endured almost 60 years and numerous reboots over 7 volumes, in many ways, the character is a low tier one, if not a top tier two figure in the Marvel Universes (certainly a notch down in the MCU).
Daredevil, however, is currently trending regularly on social media because, as many of us Netflix Daredevil fans have wanted, the character is being reintroduced to the Disney+ and MCU versions — although at a glacial pace. With that, we comic book fans who have been stung many times by various types of reboots have been fretting about a Disney+ series ruining the Netflix version, one that is incredibly violent (Kingpin’s car door scene, for example, is very not Disney) and one that owes a great deal to Frank Miller’s reboot of Daredevil that boosted Miller to superstardom and laid the foundation for his heralded Batman work.
Many comic book fans also fretted about Moon Knight, a much more clearly second tier Marvel superhero. However, in some ways, I think, the success of Moon Knight tempered our fretting about how Daredevil would be recreated (again).
Another element of the relevance of Moon Knight and Daredevil in the MCU is religion. Moon Knight being Jewish has been examined with the Disney+ series, in terms of how relevant his faith was portrayed in the series. Matt Murdock, and the entire ethos of Daredevil, Man without Fear, is grounded in Miller’s emphasizing Murdock’s Catholicism.
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