Our Netflix Daredevil Wish List
Martian Luthor Kang
Like some of my associates here at the Brotherhood of Evil Geeks, I love me some Daredevil. But I know full well that there are plenty of piss-poor Daredevil stories out there, and it would be a shame to see Netflix’s inaugural Marvel series go the way of the Daredevil movie. Now, like an expecting parent I really only want to show to be healthy, but just like those same moms-and- dads-to-be, I naturally have some unspoken desires about what’s to come. Let them be spoken!
5) A Frightening Wilson Fisk
I feel like a great way to make a man whose special abilities are limited to “being overweight and bald” into a credible threat is to establish early on that he’s more than capable of handing out ass-kickings.
Now, I’m not saying that he has to be in his underwear, but strangely I’m also not gonna say it would bother me. That image was so pivotal to me when I first saw these books; I knew who the Kingpin was from some old issues of Amazing Spider-Man my brothers let me handle, and to see this angry old fat dude portrayed as a skilled hand to hand combatant who didn’t just rely on brute strength changed the way I looked at the character.
In fact, I clearly remember seeing the little “Did You Know:” section on the 1990 Marvel trading card set that amazed and baffled me all at once. I mean, was that possible? Is a musclegut a thing? I’ve spent the 25 since then years trying to find out, first hand.
But another great facet to the character, particularly under Miller’s writing, was that his physical presence wasn’t the only threatening aspect of his personality. A silent brooding Wilson Fisk was just as imposing as one poised to break an enemy over his knee. The Kingpin is a monster, through and through.
4) A Straight Face
If you’ve never seen Fox’s Daredevil movie.
A) Can we switch lives?
B) You may not know that it’s full of goofy little nods to the comics. I know that I might catch a lot of flack for this, but I am really not a fan of the “nod to the audience” stuff that is so frequently found in bad comic book media. I have never left the theater thinking “Wow, that part where an intersection was named after a famous writer and artist who worked on the character was fantastic!”
I don’t mind when Stan Lee has the tiniest of cameos, but I would have absolutely no problem not seeing him pop up in a movie and frankly, I think the rest of the audience had better warm up to that idea pretty soon.If they can just avoid trying to get a smile out of the kind of person who thinks that liking Deadpool and the Big Bang Theory gives them cred in a comic store, it will only serve to make the show more appealing to people who enjoy well-crafted fiction. I know that no adaptation will ever be totally devoid of this kind of Easter Egg, and I could crack a smile about a joke about the yellow costume, but it can be a slippery slope. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with Kevin Smith in your movie.
3) Creepy Ol’ Lester
While I definitely agree with the studio’s instinct not to over-saturate this series with every character and storyline all at once, I have to admit that I’ll miss Bullseye a little. I’d like to see him done well on the screen, but at the same time I’d sacrifice that if it meant a better story would be told. All the same, I love a surprise. When I saw Iron Man 3 in the theater and was legitimately caught unawares by the Mandarin reveal, I texted many a friend that evening expecting similar reactions, but those who knew the reveal were almost universally displeased. People wanted exactly what they already knew, they wanted an offensive outdated Chinese stereotype with rings that are so inexplicably scientific that they may as well be magical.
Personally, I’m so burnt out on today’s trend of movie trailers telling an audience every aspect of a movie a year before it comes out that I’ll take any surprise they’re willing to offer, as long as it’s well-conceived. So I would not feel betrayed if Bullseye had some presence on this series, and I actually might like it best if it were very limited. Maybe something akin to his original appearances, before he was affiliated with the Kingpin. Or better yet, just have him lurking in the background as he did during Bendis’ run. In the Instant Viewing model, the audience won’t be dwelling on each episode before moving to the next, so it wouldn’t even necessarily get picked up on the first pass.
2) The Devil Inside
Netflix has stated that they’ll be using material from both Miller and Bendis’ runs as sources for the series, and while it doesn’t seem intuitive, I personally feel that the very end of Bendis’ tenure on the character would be a great place to spend some time in the series. Some hard time.
For a character whose most noteworthy attribute is a handicap, Matt Murdock’s life is not terribly different by virtue of his enhanced remaining senses. Sure, he can’t see color or a television screen, but he trades that off for a 360 degree view of his surroundings and countless other enhancements over traditional vision. So I found that his incarceration provided him with an actual handicap, he wanted to avoid perpetuating the “rumor” that he was the costumed vigilante Daredevil but was under constant watch, which really doesn’t allow for much fly-by-night vigilantism. On top of that, he was surrounded and vastly outnumbered by criminals, and they tend not to be huge fans of crimefighter types. He did have one distinct advantage over your average inmate, however, and it was a surly friend by the name of Frank Castle.
Listen, I actually enjoy all three Punisher movies, but at the same time I realize that they are widely reviled and… you know… not very good.
I feel like any studio that can handle adapting Daredevil to the screen can easily manage the Punisher. He is a character who, at his core, was successfully brought to film about 50 times in the 1970s. He’s just a man who’s had everything he loved taken from him and gone to great lengths to get revenge. However, once this kind of character gets revenge, we’ve seen all we want to see. The Law of Diminishing Returns is woefully evident when you take a look at the Death Wish sequels.
That’s why Frank Castle needs to be a supporting character. He’s a force of nature, and we don’t need all of the current details of his war on crime, we just need a pissed off man with a plan. A plan to bust Matt Murdock and help to clear his name. Of what, you ask?
1) Born Again
It’s almost a no brainer that some elements from this story will be used by this production. While it’s not the most famous Daredevil story, in my own experience most people seem to agree it’s the best. Daredevil needs to be put through the ringer as punishment for pissing off one Wilson Fisk.
he also financially cripples his foe,
destroys his home,
and drives him to a paranoid breakdown.
It’s a perfect second act to the main story;
Boy meets Kingpin. Kingpin destroys Boy’s life. Boy takes down Kingpin.
Where the show would be wise to stray from the comics, though, is on Nuke. I don’t hate the idea of Nuke, but I feel like it never quite melded with the rest of Daredevil’s world, at least not the parts that anyone likes.And frankly, that part of the story in the comics was mostly unnecessary, it seemed like Miller just wanted to use another idea he’d been kicking around while he was back to the book for a bit.
A Vietnam era super soldier intended as a replacement for Captain America, but classified and disavowed due to his reliance on drugs and his uncontrollable psychosis? That’s great stuff, but for a Captain America story. And the motion pictures have already got Captain America stories down pat. Here’s hoping Netflix can cut out the fat and whip up a series on par with the Winter Soldier. I would be a very happy camper, indeed.
First of all, I’m pretty excited for the prospect of this show even existing. I thought we’d see a Daredevil cartoon long before we’d ever see a viable live action series. We are living in strange and exciting times. If done right, this show could prove to America what many of us already know and they could see what makes Daredevil such an interesting character. If not, Daredevil will return to the status quo of no one caring he exists. I just hope we can finally get some decent merchandise out of this deal.
Kang covered a lot of ground that I had been thinking about. My main hope (which has been confirmed) is that we get a lot of Kingpin, who I think is one of the truly great villains of the Marvel Universe. I was able though to pin down a few other things that I’ve got my fingers crossed for Netflix to take care of…
4) Frank Miller Rooftops
A staple of Miller’s run on Daredevil is watching ‘ol hornhead patrol Hell’s Kitchen from the rooftops. Allowing for both a dazzling display of acrobatics but also reinforcing the Batman connection. Miller’s depiction of that side of New York city circa late 1970’s really connects with how New York was portrayed in other media when I grew up in the 1980’s. To this day rooftop water towers immediately remind me of two things, Daredevil and the original 1990 TMNT movie. If Netflix wants to add some easy authenticity to this show the rooftop is the perfect place to start.
3) Ample Matt Murdock Time & Courtroom Drama
I’ve said this many times, but Matt Murdock is one of the most interesting civilian identities of any super hero. There’s been many a great story in the pages of Daredevil where Murdock is the main focus and DD is the second fiddle. The two can’t exist without each other, it’s a thin line between what separates the man from the hero. Portray him in the way the best stories have and you won’t have your audience clamoring for him to suit up. Hopefully, they also emphasis his career as a lawyer. Some writers tend to forget that this is an important aspect of what makes Murdock who he is and by extension Daredevil. If I know anything about main stream America it’s that people love procedurals. Superhero court room drama? You’ve struck gold Netflix, don’t squander it.
2) The Hand
Two things that on paper shouldn’t go together are film noir and ninjas. Yet, Frank Miller was able to do just that and somehow make it work. We know from advanced information that the show is going to have heavy noir overtones and focus on street level crime. As far as I’m concerned that’s exactly what a Daredevil show should be. If they can add the Hand to that we may be in for a hell of a ride. Stick will be showing up as Matt’s mentor, so the idea isn’t totally out of the question. It could also work as reimagining of their origin and purpose where they could now be the Kingpin’s bodyguards or used to tie into some of the (hopefully) mystical elements of the forthcoming Iron Fist show.
1) The Yellow Costume
There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about the advanced clips showing Daredevil in a nontraditional costume lifted from Miller & Romita Jr.’s Man Without Fear origin retelling miniseries. Looking not unlike the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride. People seem to be up in arms that we haven’t seen the iconic red costume yet. Trust me, we will. It’s one of the things that’s most identifiable about Daredevil. Ideally though, I’d like to see his original yellow costume on the show, even if for a couple of episodes with him transitioning to the red one towards the end of the season. I understand that comic book costumes can be tricky business when portrayed in real life, but a man can dream, can’t he?
In lieu of an actual list, as I feel like Biff and Kang have pretty much requested everything I or you all could possibly want, I am just going to make a few requests of said show….and I do hope they are listening.
As you all know, Biff, Kang and I are pretty solid DD fans. A lot of people I know seem to constantly shit on our blind guardian, but what they don’t understand is that Daredevil is more than just the sum of his parts, and from what I have heard, this show is looking to dive deep into that. With shows like Arrow and the Flash doing relatively well, Marvel has a huge opportunity to take a street level guy and make him into something more. We get to look at their daily lives outside of the costumed heroics, and for that I am thankful.
Most people will not agree with me, but being able to experience things beyond the adventures in thug beating land really gives us a nice perspective. Murdock is a lawyer, and I am very excited to see how that pans out. He essentially has almost direct access to the scum of Hell’s Kitchen, and seeing him deal with wanting to take them down but not being able to lose his cool in the courtroom is something I am looking forward to. There is something about seeing someone hold back when he must, and eventually being given the green light to beat the ever loving shit out of what’s bothering them that gets my blood moving.
In terms of character, Murdock and Foggy can and will capture some hearts, but like my counterparts, what I really need to see is some terrifying Fisk. People do not give enough credit to the Kingpin as a character, and I am hoping seeing him in live action (don’t even think about mentioning his previous portrayal) will cause people to take him a bit more seriously. I would also love to see the yellow and black suit for a bit before going to the red devil look. I think it would make for a solid progression in the story, and could really look awesome in action.
I have my doubts, as anyone should, concerning how the show is actually going to turn out, but from what we’ve seen so far, I think we may be sort of safe. But then again, Constantine is a pretty good show, and that didn’t stop it from being canceled unfortunately. Let’s hope Daredevil gets a bit more support from the higher ups.
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