‘Daredevil’ FAQ: Your Biggest Questions About Marvel and Netflix’s New Series, Answered
Marvel’s Netflix Daredevil will hit the streets in a matter of hours, and dams are already breaking now that the famous red suit has been revealed to the public. We’ve given Daredevil a glowing advance review, but before your binge, get answers to some of Daredevil‘s most burning questions with our spoilery FAQ review!
[BE WARNED, MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
So, where exactly does Daredevil fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in terms of plot?
Hell’s Kitchen is in New York City, so you’d be hard-pressed to avoid any impact felt by the Battle of New York. And while most of the Avengers destruction we saw seemed localized to Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen was apparently hit hard by the Chitauri invasion, enough that the district’s reconstruction (and subsequent corruption) plays a huge part in Daredevil’s overall story.
That said, we wouldn’t exactly bank on Ultron flooding TV screens in the finale either. For the most part, Daredevil builds on a few key Marvel elements, without getting swallowed by them.
Not as far as we’ve seen, though we couldn’t help scanning the skies in establishing shots for any easter eggs. A few shots even have the MetLife building in place of what should be Avengers Tower, an understandable sacrifice to avoid costly CGI over mistakes few would recognize anyway. We at least get the trailer’s “iron suit” and “magic hammer” line, while another character obliquely references a billionaire playboy at one point.
Not yet, anyway. Steven DeKnight has explained that Daredevil shot before the other Defenders could be cast, but still lays the groundwork for an underlying story. At the very least, Krysten Ritter was cast as Jessica Jones during shooting of Daredevil’s finale, so while unlikely, a brief cameo is at least theoretically possible.
How soon do we see that snazzy red suit?
It isn’t entirely clear when the red suit makes its official debut, though we’d imagine it closer to, if not in the finale. Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple does address the need for Matt to sport some kind of armor, though he rightly questions how much it would slow him down.
How are Matt’s enhanced senses represented?
Far more subtly than the 2003 Daredevil “shadow world” radar, instead focusing mostly on specific audio cues. It’s a lot more effective than it … ahem … sounds, though we do catch a glimpse of Matt’s “sight” at one point. Some of the best work is done without any sense representation, as Matt rattles off things he hears, or smells long before they arrive onscreen.
How are the fight scenes?
Though somewhat dimly lit in the premiere, another early fight scene has (and will continue to) draw rave reviews, as well as comparisons to The Raid or Oldboy‘s infamous hallway scenes. Apart from the suggestion of a single take (with the usual covered cuts), best of all is that Matt doesn’t knock goons out with a single punch, but rather deals with the most immediate threat at a time.
No one stays down at first either, and all involved get realistically exhausted by such lengthy bouts with one another. And that’s all before Matt meets anyone who comes close to matching his skillset.
Are comparisons to Batman Begins or The Wire that accurate?
Christopher Nolan certainly didn’t create the concept of dim, high contrast lighting, or the need for vigilantes to interrogate thugs or wax poetic about a need to save their cities. That said, at least a few moments can’t help but recall Batman Begins, or even Arrow, as Matt intimidates a hired goon on a rooftop, or gets the drop on a roomful of baddies by pulling the lights and seeming everywhere at once.
As to The Wire, Matt doesn’t exactly start a tap on Wilson Fisk or fight over drug corners, but courtroom scenes and the street-level vantage point go a long way toward Daredevil seeming like it takes place in a grounded world of criminals and consequence.
How far do the Netflix ratings push?
Really far. “PG-15” is the term Steven DeKnight has been using, and even that might not cover it. From bowling balls, to grizzly eye-impalements, decapitations and sideboob, Daredevil boasts an impressive amount of adult visuals even the movies couldn’t get away with.
What’s with descriptions of The Kingpin as both a “child and a monster”?
Wilson Fisk gets a few teasing appearances before we finally meet him, but Vincent D’Onofrio makes very clear what that description means with an utterly captivating performance. He’s terrifying, and blunt when it comes to business, yet childishly timid around art dealer Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), and explosively angry when embarrassed.
What other villains beside Kingpin do we meet?
Fisk has a group of underworld figures that he plots with, among them Bob Gunton’s Leland Owlsley, two heroin-trafficking Japanese figures (more on that below), Russian brothers Vladimir and Anatoly (Nikolai Nikolaeff and Gideon Emery), and Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore). Wesley does quite a bit of Fisk’s bidding as a representative, though we also spend a fair amount of time with the two Russian brothers. Additionally, comic criminal Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan) pops up early on as a thug, but will likely have a larger part later than we saw.
Are comic ninja group The Hand involved in any way?
The red ninja seen in the trailer arrives sometime beyond the fifth episode, though we can’t deny any similarity to the comic Hand’s look. Of the underground figures we do meet, Wai Ching Ho’s enigmatic “Madame Gao” certainly seems to have an agenda of her own, while her mostly-mute accompaniment Nobu (Falling Skies’ Peter Shinkoda) is suggested to be somewhat more (or less) than human.
Unless Jack Murdock’s fight with Carl “Crusher” Creel warrants a second flashback, we can confidently say the appearance doesn’t break Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the MCU’s continuity. Jeph Loeb has also gone on record as saying that Creel could easily have been a competent fighter at a young age, similar to Mike Tyson, while Brian Patrick Wade wouldn’t look much older than 35-40 by 2014.
Are Karen and Foggy relegated to sidekick status?
Far from it! Neither exactly knows of Matt’s nocturnal activities just yet, though both get plenty of story outside of Matt. One scene sees both characters bonding over Karen’s ordeal, and spending a night on the town without Matt, while Foggy later shows both impressive legal competence, and plenty of wit against a former associate. Karen also heads off on her own for a bit, pursuing corruption with the help of a certain famed reporter.
Does Ben Urich work at The Daily Bugle?
Even if Marvel and Sony had negotiated their Spider-Man deal before Daredevil began production, we doubt if they’d want to call attention to the wall-crawler’s place of employment. Ben works at a fictional newspaper, but keep your eyes peeled to the walls of his office in certain scenes.
How does Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple fit into all this?
Claire tends to a wounded Matt, in the process putting herself at risk. As we’ve seen in the trailers, Claire at least sees Matt’s face to the point where the two get along on collaborative terms, but the relationship takes a dangerous turn eventually, culminating in a scene that might surprise viewers.
We’re just hours away from Marvel’s Netflix Daredevil premiere, where you’ll see the answers to these and more for yourself, but what other big questions with the first Defenders series bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Check out the latest trailers below, and stay tuned for more on Marvel’s Daredevil!