As a child, I never bought or read a comic and I have continued this abstinence into adulthood (to the extent I have reached that state). I have not even essayed a graphic novel. I do not believe this makes me better than you (though obviously I do believe this for other reasons), it is probably just something path-dependent and I have clearly not prioritised overcoming my upbringing (or natural inclination) in this area (and given that things I have prioritised can still remain undone after two decades, I fear my lifespan may have to be quite extensive before I make good my lack).
Despite my brain offering this rather unpromising soil, once again I find the seed of a screen superhero has germinated (and even flourished) there. Perhaps I should move my first assailing of the comic or graphic novel further up my entirely fictional “to-do” list? This latest blight on the previously pristine intellectual green-belt which occupies the space between my ears (and if you believe that, frankly you aren’t safe to be using the internet unsupervised) has been the Netflix production of Daredevil. I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to give it a whirl, other than its availability and newness – perhaps residual positive feelings for Charlie Cox from his appearance in Stardust? I may be the master of my fate and captain of my soul (to paraphrase W E Henley), but frankly my motivations are frequently a mystery to me – someone in “here” may have free will, I’m just not entirely convinced it’s me.
Suffice to say, Daredevil is really very good indeed (well worth several months of my Netflix subscription) – despite its rather unpromising appearance: a Marvel superhero, very dark (both in theme and lighting) and really quite violent – all of which I like to imagine don’t appeal to me.
Daredevil is an odd superhero in that his only superpower(s) are just a replacement for quite ordinary powers that even I possess, viz eyesight (in my case, augmented with some help from my glasses). The enhancement of his other senses is, I believe, even something that has been known to happen in the real world through the natural plasticity of our brains. In fact, despite the fact that I view my hearing as pretty useless – it is of little help when trying to find a ringing mobile phone in my very modestly-proportioned flat and is certainly not worth any investment in expensive audiophile equipment – my ears can boast a very modest superpower of their own. As a frequent cyclist, I find I can often identify a motorist behind me about to engage in a manoeuvre which may place me at risk purely from the input to my ears – a skill which has proved very useful on a number of occasions. So, unusually for a superhero, one’s belief does not need to be suspended very far.
Belief is further supported by the fact that our hero frequently takes a major beating and takes quite a long time to recover – in one episode, he spends most of it hobbling very uncomfortably around his apartment (an experience which the middle-aged gentleman gymnast can sympathise with). This does mean he requires a fair amount of medical care and so we see quite a lot of Charlie Cox’s bare torso covered in pretend wounds, contusions and stitches and I suspect this has not just caused the character pain, but the poor actor as well. Based on his stubble and forearms, I would guess that Mr Cox has much in common with Esau (and I don’t mean a pair of Hittite brides and issues with his brother). As a result, the poor chap’s chest must regularly have to be waxed to within a millimetre of its life – and I can’t help but wince in sympathy. I’m afraid that neither vanity nor my desire to support a charitable cause would be sufficient to make me wax any part of my (relatively) modestly hirsute body (though the stray hair that collects around the flat would suggest that I am in fact a gorilla) – a disinclination to pain which also effectively rules out cosmetic surgery (well, that and a distrust of doctors with knives). So ladies and gents, what you see is what you get with the author – nothing has been artificially enhanced beyond the occasional application of moisturiser. As a result, when the dating strand of GofaDM kicks-off potential partners are advised to follow my own principle and avoid the use of glasses or contact lenses when gazing directly at the son (of my parents).
Given its almost thirteen hours of running time, the series offers a much broader spectrum of well-rounded characters than typical superhero fare and the added bonus of a decent script. Even the villain has nuance and in some ways an admirable agenda, though as a follower of Kant (among others) I could tell he was a wrong ‘un (using people as the means to an end is never a good sign). I suspect I may be in a minority in viewing the series through the lens of Kantian philosophy – or perhaps not?
In the comments section of a webpage, you know that things have gone too far when a comparison to National Socialism is made. In GofaDM, I feel the equivalent is when I start talking about philosophy – and that seems to have begun. So, I shall merely recommend Daredevil for your consideration – and, in its support, should perhaps mention much better critics than I have reviewed it positively and it also has the dubious honour of being the most pirated show other than Game of Thrones (despite its dramatically lower levels of both soft porn and dragons).