The Marvel universe has expanded from the big screen to small screens, and now, finally, to our laptops: Marvel Studios premiered Daredevil, its first of several Netflix shows,2 weeks ago.Because Marvel—like one of its fictional masterminds—seems to have a plan to take over the world, Daredevil ties neatly into both the Marvel cinematic universe and the other Netflix shows to come.
First some background on our hero Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, for those who haven’t read the comics and skipped the atrocious Ben Affleck film in 2003. Murdock (played by Charlie Cox on the show) was blinded in an accident as a child. Though he doesn’t have true superpowers per se, his other senses were heightened by the incident—so heightened, in fact, that he can hear bad guys breathing three floors below, anticipate a gunshot and track people for blocks by their smell. For reasons that aren’t immediately clear in the first few episodes, Murdock plays lawyer by day and hero by night, doling out vigilante justice to those who escape his grasp in the court of law.
Murdock does his crime-fighting in Hell’s Kitchen, a very specific neighborhood in New York City that locals know more for its trendy restaurants than its crime syndicates. But suspend your disbelief, because location is important.
Hell’s Kitchen, as those who were paying attention during The Avengers will remember, was destroyed when Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the team had to battle off aliens invading through a wormhole created by Thor’s evil adopted brother, Loki. It turns out the Avengers are really good at destroying buildings, but not so great at rebuilding them—in Daredevil, crime bosses have stepped in to profit from the city’s devastation. They launder money through corporations involved in rebuilding Hell’s Kitchen while conducting shady practices, like drug dealing and human trafficking, at the neighborhood docks.
Netflix has announced that its morally murky Marvel superhero drama Daredevil will return for a second season in 2016. Season one launched less than two weeks ago, but proved an immediate, tangible hit with both critics and online pirates: in the week following its release on 10 April.