As regular visitors know, every time a big nerd movie or TV show hits, I tend to write a Non-Nerd’s Guide to it, based mostly on questions I’m asked by friends and family now that they no longer need me to fix their computer. But Daredevil has done its marketing job unusually well, so a lot of people have questions. And I have answers!
How much of the Marvel movies do I need to have seen for it to make sense?
Here. Watch this trailer:
You see how New York got trashed? That’s pretty much all you need to know. The show sets up everything else in its pilot episode; the wider Marvel universe is only mentioned in passing.
Do I need to have read any of the comics?
Nah. While the show borrows heavily from specific runs of the book for its tone, it’s written with the non-comic-nerd in mind and isn’t adapting any arcs from the book straight. In fact, if I’ve got a criticism of the pilot, you could probably take out the parts where Daredevil punches somebody, and you’d still have a coherent show; as it progresses, it integrates the two elements much better, but pull the fight scenes and claim the goop that made him blind also made him psychic, and you’d basically have the same show. The good news is that the gritty mob drama show is fun on its own merits.
Is it suitable for kids?
Oh hell no. It opens with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) delivering a tearful monologue about his father’s rage issues, and then cuts to Murdock working through those rage issues by beating the crap out of a bunch of human traffickers. Oh, there’s also blackmail, murder, suicides, mob dealings, drugs, and all that other fun cable-show type stuff. So unless you want to explain to your kids why, precisely, the scruffy men are throwing screaming women into a cargo container, maybe show them Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes instead.
Is the current comic book anything like the show?
No. But you should read it anyway.
How long do I have to wait for the next series?
Technically, this is part of a cycle of miniseries: AKA Jessica Jones is filming now, Luke Cage is in pre-production, and Iron Fist is on the way. While nothing is set in stone, though, almost every Netflix show so far has gotten a second series order. But when they’ll actually shoot it and release it is an open question.
Should I watch it?
Yes. It’s a well-constructed show that riffs effectively off the source material without demanding you know everything about everybody’s favorite red-clad guilty Catholic. It’s also not an origin story; we meet Daredevil at the start of his career, and we do see how he became the bullet-dodging ninja he is today, but mostly the show’s focused on the present.
And the action scenes are wonderful. Scott Glenn wasn’t kidding. If you like mob dramas, or people punching things, you’ll like Daredevil.