I remember reading my favorite comic books and imagining the worlds of those superheroes in my head. What they sounded like. How they’d move if they were real. Would their costumes look silly in those color schemes in the real world. But my own make-believe world was full of more than just mutants, I dreamt of giant robots too. Tranzor Z’s and Inframen. Voltron, Jet Jaguar and Skull Leaders. I wanted to be a fighter pilot too! Take on intergalactic terrors in my giant suit of armor. Well, I’m an adult now and while those things may never come to pass, Netflix is certainly bringing me a lot closer to that action than I’ve ever been!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (all the Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and Marvel movies) has been an awesome thing to witness. All these movies, well crafted, bringing to life the stories I read as a kid. Beginning with Blade and Wesley Snipes, Marvel has been on a roll with the quality of storytelling and sophistication they’ve brought to the silver screen. These aren’t movies specifically directed at children! Much like many of the video games we play these days, these movie are made for adults who grew up reading Marvel, while maintaining enough innocence that they’re appropriate for older children. Other than Blade and Deadpool, the films have been relatively family-friendly, allowing dads to share a part of their youths with their children. After a few successful films, Marvel announced all the movies they were going to put out between now and 2020 and much to my excitement, that included Daredevil, Luke Cage and Power Fist. Then they dropped the tidbit about how some of those properties would not be in theaters but would be released on Netflix. I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about that. I mean, I wanted to see those films on the big screen and wasn’t sure a streaming service would be the right place for them. But, after enjoying Marco Polo and House of Cards, it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that Netflix could successfully pull off a few Marvel originals.
First came Daredevil, Season 1. Now, I was a big fan of the comic book in the 80s and so I went into this one looking for that dark, brooding, sense of being one step from defeat that I always got from the Daredevil books. Matt Murdock was a soldier fighting a battle that he always seemed one wrong move away from losing. He wasn’t Kal El or Iron Man. He was a guy with super senses, living in a horrible part of town, struggling. His world felt dark and uncertain and complicated. Yet, when he was in his suit and fighting crime, all of that seeme to melt away. It all became simple… just him against the cruel realities of Hell’s Kitchen.
And that’s exactly what the cast and crew of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix captured and conveyed. The show was slow-paced and methodical. Deliberate. Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil doesn’t fight with seemingly endless stamina. He’s only human. He does an expert job of bringing that to life and communicating that to the viewing audience.
Daredevil unfolds over the course of 13 episodes but it plays more like a 13 hour movie than a traditional episodic.One of the criticisms you’ll often hear about a movie is that there’s a lack of character development. Not the case here. Character’s like Matt Murdock’s fluffy, funny sidekick, Foggy starts out as comic relief but over the course of the series takes on so much more depth and development than just providing a laugh and respite from the heavy drama. There’s not much at all that I would change! They’ve brought one of my childhood heroes to life and it’s been awesome to watch.
As if it couldn’t get any better, they brought the awesome yet again with season two. John Bernthal delivered in spades as the Punisher and though I was initially lukewarm with Elodie Young as Elektra, as the series developed, I became a huge fan! There are some surprises I don’t want to spoil, but the entire season delivers. Slow and brooding like season one, but engaging, violent, dark and layered characters make the show engrossing and easily bingeable.
A series I was less enthused to check out, but watched anyway, was Jessica Jones. My anticipation for this one, was primarily because it was a waypoint en route to the Luke Cage series and I was also a huge fan of Power Man and Iron Fist comics, of which Cage was a central character. I found Jessica Jones to be a wonderful series, every bit as enjoyable as Daredevil. More of a detective noir-style series, Jones was slow, methodic and layered. Her fling with Cage was adult, amusing and refreshing for a superhero story. The role of the Purple Man was masterfully played by British actor David Tennant. He took a character that you should hate, made you feel for him, root for him and at the end of the day, still hate him… brilliant.
The series definitely set the stage for the upcoming Luke Cage but, more than that, it made me want to watch Jessica Jones and see a season two where I wasn’t completely sold on, or initially caring about wanting to see season one. Thank you again Marvel and Netflix!
The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll be thanking Netflix for this last one. I generally abhor remakes and reboots but I’m genuinely excited about Voltron. When I first heard that Netflix was bringing one of my most sacred childhood cartoon properties back to life, I was apprehensive to say the least. Then a good buddy of mine who worked for Dreamworks told me he’d seen some of the early footage for the show and that it doesn’t disappoint. He is every bit the geek I am, so his opinion on the matter is high praise. Then the teaser footage was released. OH. MY. GAWD!
If Netflix pulls this off, they will have my undying love and I will name my firstborn after them! Seriously. If they invent a time machine, I will go back in time and tell younger me, to name my daughter Netflix. #ItCouldHappen
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I’ve been provided perks for contributing content. That means this is a sponsored post, but that doesn’t mean that I’m schilling my integrity. I don’t take my time to write anything I wouldn’t want to read myself, or that I think doesn’t add some value for my readership.