Dare to Devil

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It’s a good time to be a super-hero nerd. Once, not too long ago, flipping through the pages of Marvel’s Spiderman or turning the channel to DC’s Batman was synonymous with social suicide. Aspiring to be a hero was lame, embodying the strengths and triumphs or dressing up as your favorite was relegated to Halloween or grade school recess. But now, it’s not unusual to overhear grown adults talking about their favorite hero, preferred powers, and the complexities of superhero moral dilemmas.

Marvel has undoubtedly been the dominant player in this super-boom. Though some might argue that the trend started with “Batman Begins” in 2005, it was “Iron Man” in 2007 that really brought the enormous scope of super heroism, the awe-inspiring visuals once only implied in paneled comic boxes, into the social sphere. That magesty of the exceptional individual, of men with the strength to move mountains, who sponge punches and kicks and bullets and blades, that has defined the hero. Marvel’s revamp of “Daredevil” seeks to flip that characterization on it’s head.

Matt Murdock, played by Charlie Cox, is blind. His chemical-induced blindness, however, heightens his remaining senses to exceptional levels. This blind man supposedly can see far better than his able-eyed peers. Seems like the recipe for another exceptional individual, but not so. In that first episode, we’re given the now-infamous Hallway scene.

Without saying what hasn’t already been said about this scene, ultimately we’re forced to see how human, how beatable our soon-to-be hero truly is. We see this again and again, where Murdock loses fights, takes hits, but showcases how his true power is his resilient persistence on doing what needs to be done to protect his city.

It says a lot, too, that Murdock doesn’t don the iconic Daredevil garb until the final episode of the series. For the whole of the season, he’s just a guy wearing Under Armor and a rag tied over his head. Murdock is the underdog, and one that the viewer can’t safely bet on. He’s not a metal-armored machine, he’s not a muscle-clad demigod, just a man. A man that can, and does, bleed.

By the end of the 12 episode season, we’re made to truly sympathize with the man behind the mask. When he wins (spoiler: he wins his fight), we feel the same breath of comfort that he does. We watched him crawl, tooth and nail, despite the setbacks and the deaths and the beatings, so we feel his satisfaction just as strongly as he does.