Here is your spoiler free review.
Daredevil is a web based TV show featuring the Marvel comic book universe’s blind New York vigilante supehero Matt Murdock as Daredevil. Unlike any other TV show to date, Daredevil is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Everything that has taken place in the current MCU is part of the Daredevil storyline from Netflix.
Shows need to capture your interest in minutes. Daredevil meets that goal for producers right away. The first 20 minutes of pacing outmatch the end of the episode but that doesn’t matter. The fight scenes are real to life, gritty, even painful to experience. They alone are enough to suck you in. The imagery alone is borderline rated R which may be necessary to offset the grander superhero special effects other heroes require.
In episode one, references to New York city being torn apart in its attack during the 2012 Avengers movie are part of the plot line. That tease alone is enough to make you want to know how far Daredevil will go into the current MCU. What you do know is that Daredevil is making his start after the Avengers defended in NYC in 2012.
Like most super hero stories, it starts with some action and drops us into the life of a criminal defense lawyer who is just beginning his career. Literally. And his first client s a character that is known in the comic books.
Sticking to Matt Murdock’s lore, we begin as he’s a prodigy criminal defense lawyer who only wants to defend true innocents. Like in the canon of Marvel’s print universe Matt Murdock is Irish, has ties to the Catholic church and is setting up shop in Hell’s Kitchen where he grew up.
Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock is Daredevil by night. Cox is a convincing Matt Murdock who is both blind and without fear. Murdock/Daredevil is a paradoxical character in that by day he is squeaky clean and by night as Daredevil his moral compass is changed.
The show’s pacing in episode one starts out strong but settles in after 20 minutes of the 1 hour show. Respecting back-story it uses many flashbacks at precisely perfect editing points to Matt Murdock’s childhood to set your expectations into accepting how plausible Daredevils skill set is — from superhuman abilities to methods.
The fight sequences are raw and real time. Some would say — slow, unlike in MCU films with Captain America and Hulk or Iron Man, every punch is felt and carries great meaning.
You are at all times aware Daredevil is a vigilante, not a superhero – at least not yet. If you expect a Spider-Man and Batman style combination with Daredevil soaring between buildings, that is not implied.
Also absent is the trademark blood red suit. Everyone knows it’s coming but at this point you are comfortable with how the character originates.
Charlie Cox as Daredevil does indeed lack the tall imposing stature you’d expect in Daredevil yet his very defined features or his stunt double make for a striking and acceptable Daredevil.
Daredevil is not your over-the-top superhero. There is a great deal of grounded reality that a character such as himself can’t rise above. Marvel intends over time to launch other shows side-by-side similar to CW’s Arrow and Flash, where Daredevil will one day team up with the likes of Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones in a Defenders team up. Think of it as a class D version of the Avengers, a good solid few rungs down the ladder in terms of super hero abilities. Black Widow and Hawkeye would fit right in with them. In this way, Daredevil will possibly depart eventually from canon and become something similar to the Arrow and less like Flash on CW. For now the show is staying true to the roots of the character in the print universe and true believers are always behind staying with canon when lifting characters from print.