The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
The mercy Daredevil bears due to his wisdom on the human condition is refreshing. These characteristics make Matt’s superhero personality closest to a mix of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
In 2019, I began a Marvel binge. In timeline order, I watched every movie, every one-shot, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Agent Carter. However, in the last few months, I’ve gone back and started to catch up on all the TV shows I missed. Thus far, I’ve also completed Inhumans, Runaways, Jessica Jones, and some of WandaVision.
Regretful that I did not watch these shows in timeline order, I’ve started the next ones on my list in order so as to properly understand their storylines as they are intertwined. I’ve continued my Marvel binge, now in order, with Daredevil (the first season and four episodes of season two) and the first four episodes of Luke Cage.
Daredevil stars Charlie Cox as the blind lawyer by day and the heightened-senses superhero by night. His best friend and partner in law, Foggy Nelson (played by Elden Henson), is fantastic comedic relief with enough personality to be more than just that, however a greater character arc for Foggy has yet to be explored.
Deborah Ann Woll plays Karen Page, the office manager of Matt and Foggy’s law firm. She is a unique female character in the way that she carries herself. With no super abilities, she is just an average pretty friend of the two, but despite her gentle nature, she finds herself in countless dangerous situations due to her pursuit of the truth. She does not flinch in the face of fear, and this makes her a great addition to the show.
Disappointingly, Karen’s childlike crush on Matt feels forced. Foggy seems to have a crush on Karen at first, too, which makes for an uneasy love triangle, excluding Matt, who seems to be uninterested. That is, until Karen finally catches Matt, and they get together. It doesn’t feel rushed, but it does feel unnecessary and uncomfortable. Perhaps it is in seeing Karen pine for Matt the entire season with little to no reciprocation until he suddenly does reciprocate that makes the relationship feel surface and like Matt is trying to force himself to have feelings for her. Karen’s crush feels quite surface too. It’s clearly not love and I wish the show hadn’t gone this route. I am hoping for them to realize their incompatibility, or for them to become genuinely in love with one another so it doesn’t feel as cringe-worthy to watch them.
Daredevil feels a little slow in between the action scenes, but this isn’t necessarily a downside. The fast-paced mafia battles often feel hectic so it’s nice to have slower moments to simply breathe, learn about the characters, and gain understanding of their complicated interpersonal relationships.
As with most Marvel superheroes, I enjoy the moral conflict Matt has with who he is, his desires, and who he may become if he gives in to the temptation of killing. Matt is Catholic, compassionate, and finds the good in even the evilest of people (the perfect foil to The Punisher). Matt swears to not kill anyone because he believes life and death is not his call to make, understanding that killing someone takes away their opportunity to try again and be better.
The mercy he bears due to his wisdom on the human condition is refreshing. Not many superheroes have that kind of softness, nor the extreme control it would take to keep from ending a bad guy’s life when they have the full power to do so. These characteristics make Matt’s superhero personality closest to a mix of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
The villain, Wilson Fisk—better known as King Pin—is formidable. The show does a remarkable job making him feel undefeatable since he pays off most of the NYPD, media, and anyone else who would be beneficial to him.
The best part of King Pin’s villain character in Daredevil is seeing him through Matt’s eyes—someone who, despite everything, has some good in him. He has love (albeit for only three people: his girlfriend, mother, and best friend), but this makes him relatable and stronger as a character and villain since he has something to fight for, thus making him that much scarier.
Daredevil is a complex superhero who will make you naturally drawn to him due to his compelling and charismatic nature. All in all, the show is worth watching for any Marvel fan out there.