I watched the Netflix series Daredevil this week. I had waited because I thought it had a sort of dark, maybe hopeless tone to it. You know me, I'm all about sunshine and Pooh Bears.
I love superheroes, though. Sometimes you just want someone to go into the morass and make things right.
Daredevil is set in New York's Hell's Kitchen, a very grim place indeed where villains of the very worst kind rule the streets and alleys and docks.
Daredevil himself has a great backstory wherein he is the son of a down on his luck boxer. The boy who will become Daredevil is injured in an accident involving an overturned truck full of radioactive materials. Matt Murdock (Daredevil) is blinded at the age of nine. He soon loses his father and is orphaned.
The accident took his sight, but enhanced his other senses greatly. He can detect smells and heartbeats and conversations quite a ways away.
Somewhat luckily for him, a strange blind man named Stick finds him and trains him to use these hyper senses, and shows him how to fight. Scott Glenn is such a great actor, it was nice to see him here.
Adult Matt is a lawyer beginning a law practice in Hell's kitchen with his college roommate Foggy Nelson. They work well together, the serious Matt and the very funny Foggy. Determined to make Hell's Kitchen a better place, they slowly work to find clients.
The threads of the series involve fighting organized crime as a law team, and as Matt's lone vigilante character, out in the night trying to right wrongs using methods not so legal or always morally upright.
I am enjoying the Marvel Universe television shows and movies, but I was always a DC Comics fan growing up. In those, heroes are unapologetically heroic and noble. Whatever their past, in the now they are all about making things right.
Marvel's characters are always somewhat anti-heroes, always denying to admirers and grateful victims that they are a hero of any kind. There's often a darkness in them, making them seem just one more fight away from becoming the evil they're fighting.