Group Review: Daredevil 1.1 - Into The Ring

Tired of Daredevil yet? I hope not because you’re about to read the biggest group review on the site to date. Seriously everyone is watching this even if they’re not on the group review they’re watching it. There’s a lot to go over so a quick synopsis: Marvel got Daredevil back from Fox and they made a TV show. No teeter-tottering happens. You’ll figure out the rest.


I’m going to keep mine short since I have the vantage point of knowing how much more there is to read on this. It’s was okay. It didn’t piss me off and the fighting looked good. Like honestly the best part of it was the fighting. The acting is okay as well, but Foggy is terrible and given way too much screen time. The way they show the powers isn’t terrible, but it’s not interesting either. Also the ending in which Karen just works for free and somehow manages to pay bills and keep in an apartment in New York was laughable. And the opening was laughable as well, but still managed to be better than the Fox version (R.I.P. #neverforget). (Also everyone is going to hate me for going first with that score, HA!)


AARON: 5/5

It's hard to watch this Daredevil and not compare it to that OTHER Daredevil.  I know a lot of people don't like that movie, but I did.  I thought the theatrical cut, while flawed, was enjoyable and the director’s cut elevated that to a flat out good movie.  For what it was.  But while that movie was very, very broad, almost to the point of camp, or, arguably, parody what Netflix has delivered is a much more subdued experience.  The cast is small and tight with great chemistry between all members.  The scale is much smaller and the portrayal of Daredevil's powers is much more subtle.  The show benefits from this scaling down in every single way creating something that's much more involving, something much more intimate and ultimately something much, much better.

The highlight of the Daredevil movie that I thought might go missing is the relationship between Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson.  Affleck and Favreau had amazing chemistry and seemed to really like each other and have fun in their scenes which saved the movie every time they were on screen together.  I’m happy to say that this Murdock and Nelson (Charlie Cox and Elden Nelson) rival that excellent relationship and may even surpass it by the end of the series.  They really feel like two old friends who actually like each other.

In reading the previews for this critics were saying that the first two episodes create probably the best Marvel movie that's ever been produced, obviously minus the editing required to make it two episodes rather than a full movie.  I would have to agree.  Other than perhaps Winter Soldier this is some of the best Marvel has put out there.  The acting is top notch by all cast members and the storytelling is phenomenal all while being shot like a big budget Marvel movie.  It has the whole experience. It's hard to find a flaw in this and I'm looking forward to watching it all and moving on to the next series.


STEVE: 4/5

With so many hokey superhero shows out there that cater to the lowest common denominator of fanboy/girl-ism (Flash, Arrow and Powers, I’m looking in your direction), the nervousness I had about jumping into Netflix’s Daredevil was tempered only by my overall enjoyment of Marvel’s film and TV. Thankfully, that thread mostly holds steady in Daredevil, in what I found to be a promising start... like, literally. That has to be one of the dopest opening credits sequences of all time, am I right?

To get them out of the way first, the weakest parts of the show, for me, were the sometimes dicey acting of Elden Henson as Foggy and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, although the latter did show an impressive emotional range. There was also a LOT of exposition dumping; though admittedly, that’s to be expected in a first episode with such a long-established character.

It was a foregone conclusion that this would be a “crime procedural” of-sorts, which I usually hate with a fierce and unwavering passion. But here I didn’t mind it so much. In fact, I liked the mystery of it all, in particular how the writing led the story nicely into an overarching post-Avengers/New York world; the main theme being best expressed in one mobster’s line, “Heroes and their consequences are why we have these opportunities.”

The character of Daredevil, himself, was articulated on the screen with a thankfully deft approach; his powers were subtly shot, his badassery muted by his upstart status, and yet it all came together in some pretty amazing action sequences, which fit in well to the premiere’s applaudable pacing.

With a great Marvel Cinematic Universe setup and tie-in, a genuinely intriguing and believable tone, fun writing which the actors are clearly having a good time chewing on, and gobs of atmosphere that makes the city and its players feel fairly well-established, Daredevil is a superhero show I am actually excited to watch and a good omen for the Netflix/Marvel shows to come!


BRIAN: 4/5

Daredevil toes the line between being a stereotypical male power fantasy and a decent sort of show. The action is great, the acting is solid, and the world is kept pretty low-key and realistic. Hell's Kitchen isn't shot as some sort of German Expressionist Gotham fantasy, just a rough and tumble neighborhood populated by pretty real people. But there's also a strong tendency for men to control everything and for women to only be victims or servants. Thankfully none of the good guy leads seem to be assholes.

So far Daredevil seems ready and able to make being a blind and Catholic kid cool again.


NINA: 5/5

The pilot was really fun to watch: suitably dark but not overwhelmingly so. We jump right into the action but aren’t left completely – sorry - blind. It was a good balance of background information and plot. The fight scenes were beautifully choreographed and lovely to watch.

Cox and Henson work really well together, playing off each other nicely and making Murdock and Nelson’s relationship both believable and enjoyable. I loved the little moments where Nelson has to narrate something for Murdock (“the realtor just curtsied”); no one knows how to act around Murdock, and Nelson jumping in to call them out, keep Murdock aware of what’s happening, and diffuse an awkward situation is appreciated.

I’m a fan of Cox’s Daredevil; he exudes both grace and power, and is easy to like and to root for. His theatrics as a vigilante are simple but impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot and am definitely on board for this series.



A couple of summers ago I was watching my friend's comic shop for a few hours, during which time I got to read any comics I wanted (which I will take over health benefits any day).  I picked up an issue in the middle of Waid's run, never having read Daredevil before.  I proceeded to read everything in the shop that was Daredevil related: "End of Days," "Born Again"-- all of it.  Daredevil ruined all other superheroes for me in a matter of hours.

Assuming it is even possible for me to pick a favorite Daredevil story, it would be "The Man Without Fear": Miller's five-issue re-framing of Daredevil's origin story.  I loved it because, having read backwards through the canon, I could see that even when Miller made changes, the sum of everything he did with his story brought the essential qualities of who Matt Murdock is as a man and as a hero to the forefront.

This show is doing that very same thing.  It's highlighting what makes the man by showing who he is whether or not he's got the fancy red uniform yet.  The show is doing a wonderful job of revealing how Matt's past is not just something that happened before the present: it's something that's fluid and contiguous with his present experiences as an amazing vigilante moron who takes just a little bit too much after his father.


DAVID: 4/5

I had relatively low hopes for this show going in having been less than impressed by the teaser trailer, and so with that in mind I can honestly say that this show is ‘better than expected.’ If that doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement to you, it’s because it isn’t. That’s not to say that I don’t like this show, quite the opposite! I see a lot of potential for Daredevil to grow into something really spectacular. But this episode is far from perfect, with the most significant flaw to me being the weak performance from Elden Henson aka Foggy Nelson.

This is particularly painful for two reasons, the first being that Foggy has some of the best lines in the show but they just don’t land the way they should, thanks to Henson’s sub-par delivery. Second, the friendship between Matt and Foggy is a huge part of the Daredevil comics, but quite frankly there is no chemistry between the two on-screen. I don’t believe that these two guys have been best friends for years because the interactions they have just feel awkward, as if they barely know each other. Heck, Ben Affleck and Jon Favreau had a more believable friendship in that abomination from 2003.

Aside from Henson however, I have to say the casting here seems pretty solid. Cox is doing a good job as Matt Murdock and Deborah Ann Woll is a compelling Karen Page. The fight scenes are gripping, and the story has potential, although I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t confused me a little. I’m now three episodes in and still struggling to figure out what’s going on, which worries me because I don’t know whether things are intentionally mysterious or just poorly explained. Other small complaints aside – the lack of Murdock’s trademark radar sense being one of them – this was a good start for Daredevil and for the Marvel-Netflix collaborations and I’ll definitely be sticking around to see where things go.



Let’s just dive right in to why this episode gets a bad rating from me. First, the not-so-dark episode. When reading reviews online, I looked forward to all of them stating how dark Daredevil was going to be and how much difference it had between the recent Marvel movies, being that of its intensity. I found none of this to be true. The show actually had a balance of dark and then a very distinctive light side; Foggy. It didn’t come across as all that ruthless but exactly how most action movies turn out; a little fun mixed with action. The only thing that was truly and completely dark was the lighting of the episode. Seriously, I must be getting old.

Secondly, the portrayal of women sucked. I am not expecting some new woman side kick or for some women to dropkick her kidnapper, but the fact that ALL the women were damsels in distress didn’t sit right with me. Not even a cop, hell not even a background character. They all just cried or screamed. Ugh. It was frustrated. Plus they could have easily interwoven something into it. Again, this is a first episode review, so I am sure there will be a woman who steps up, but this episode sucked.

Thirdly, why the hell at the end of the episode does Matt have his mask off on the rooftop? It would have been more effective if his eyes were covered to show how powerful his other senses are. Plus I doubt he would risk at moment he be identified. Just didn’t make sense.

Then there are things that did work; the fighting and the bad guys. The fighting was sweet. I loved how vulnerable but badass Matt was. Nothing is better than just hand-to-hand fighting and this episode exemplified that. Then the bad guys. There are a lot. I liked all the different plots going on. And even if you don’t know who they all are, it was easy to see.

All in all, I’ll go back because I think it will get better. But first episode wise, I didn’t dig it.



I'm gonna start by saying I really enjoyed the first episode. Going in to a Netflix show is very different to a cable show. Because they drop the whole season in one go they don't have to stick to the episodic formula. They could of done it as a twelve hour movie (which would of been great).

Things I likes were; the short origin story, the moody/dark tone. I didn't know how I felt about Charlie Cox when the released the stills. But after the first 15 minutes he became Matt Murdock. The starter costume was pretty bad ass. The quick primer on the bad guys, they show us enough to know who's pm what side.

Things I didn't like were the quick wrap up of the case and hiring of the girl. It felt a bit too convenient. But I have faith that the rest of the show will prove it's not so cut and dry. The guy who gets a gun back and laughs like everything is okay again (you couldn't hit him last time with the gun, why would another make you feel safe?)


NICK: 5/5

Speaking to you from the far future of Daredevil episode 9, I’m going to try and keep this review focused on just the first episode, and not let the rest of the series color my thoughts one way or another. Such is life, when you’re trying to review a series in a medium where it is designed to be binged.

Having said that, holy living crap, I love this show.

I did some soul searching recently and realized that, judging by sheer number of amazing runs (and particularly the effect the Bendis/Maleev run had on a bright-eyed, younger version of myself), Daredevil is my favorite superhero. I don’t hate the Ben Affleck version like some people do, but this series is for sure showing us the way Daredevil should be done.

Rather than focus on fancy radar tricks and radioactive waste giving a boy superpowers, we get flashbacks to happier times with Battlin’ Jack; we get impressive crime drama; we get phenomenal long-take fight choreography; and we get a Matt Murdock who is charming and handsome, but who also seems unestablished. We’re getting the origin of Daredevil without getting the origin story of Daredevil, which is an important distinction to make.

Daredevil-Into-the-RingHow many times in the last decade and a half have we had to sit through Peter Parker taking a trip to a laboratory, getting a spider bite, watching his Uncle Ben die in his arms? So many times, gang. So many. And here, we skip that. We already know the key parts of Daredevil, and if not, we get a lot of it through context in the show. It doesn’t waste the first episode with things the audience is smart enough to know or to figure out as they go, it drops us into the conflict.

Aside from the story, the cast in this show is perfect. In reviewing the first episode, I’ll spoil things and say I can’t tell you about the Kingpin or Ben Urich--but Matt, Foggy, Karen, even fucking Leland Owlsley are pitch perfect for their roles, and watching them inhabit the Marvel version of Hell’s Kitchen over the next 12 episodes is going to be a ton of fun.

I could write another 500 words about this, but Dustin is making stabby motions from across the bullpen. If this show continues to hit this mark all season and runs for like, seven seasons, it will be a strong contender for my favorite show of all time.


JAMES: 5/5

OK, first off, I want to let everyone know how generally nutrageous I am over Daredevil.  Old DD was one of my early favorites as a youth and he has remained that way since.  We are talking the early eighties for me here so I have been a hornhead fanboy for well over 30 years.  Anyway, in order to do this review, I had to channel out those biases and go from a completely objective standpoint.  I had to look at this episode as a person who is a N.E.R.D. (Never Ever Read Daredevil) and look at it from those eyes so as to give an honest and up front take.  Here is what I have…

The title sequence was ok.  It reminds me of the opening to Hannibal which tells me it has been done before, but it didn’t feel like a complete knock off.  As for the story, I liked it.  I got the sense through the episode that Hell’s Kitchen is a tight knit place and the characters who live there are intricate parts of the machinery of it all.  They are all local and have familiarity in it, making the neighborhood more realistic and believable to me.  It’s like they didn’t just drop some characters in like so many stories do.  The landscape is as much of a character here as the actual characters are.  These people seem real.  I give big pluses for that.


Our main characters, Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page seem very real and the story feels like something you would read right out of the today’s headlines.  The evil and corruption depicted are legit and it affects all of our characters in the way that it does.  It especially affects Matt who has decided to say to hell with his disability and take on the baddies in spite of the fact that he is blind.  The main bad guy, an unknown in this episode, wields some serious threatening power. This is a person to be reckoned with and Matt looks like he will be having his work cut out for him as things progress.  With the second half of the story, we hit some serious action and an even more serious montage set of the bads at work.  This was particularly sweet and makes your mouth water for more.   All in all, I think I liked the realness feeling of it all.  It seemed more real than your typical superhero fare. And I must say that this was a first episode that left me no doubt that I would watch another.  That is my simple N.E.R.D take on the whole episode.

Now on the fanboy side who has lived and breathed DD for many years… Let’s just say that I liked it significantly better than the movie version.  The movie sucked.  This episode did not, AT ALL!  Frank Miller’s version of Murdock’s Hell’s Kitchen is everywhere. And the dark tones, though a little too dark during the big fight sequence, is perfectly suited for the character.  The whole episode teases the watcher regarding what Daredevil can do and is capable of doing if pushed too far.  And like his Pop Jack, Matt may get knocked down, but he will always get up.  It all spelled for a phenomenal first episode.  The only skill that I must practice in watching this series from here on out is restraint, as I want to soak up every glorious minute of it without going on a multi-hour gluttonous binge.  I flat out loved it and am so glad to see a solid made for TV series come out that is worthy of the character it portrays.  Hope this is a trend for up and coming hero series.

Daredevil 1.1 - Into The Ring Director: Phil Abraham Writer: Drew Goddard Distributor: Netflix, ABC Films, Marvel Studios Runtime: 60 Minutes Exclusively on Netflix