Marvel show Daredevil rolls out on Netflix

Marvel is an unstoppable force at the movie theaters. With “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” cracking a whopping $1 billion at the box office, and films like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier” being among 2014’s highest grossing films, it would seem that everything that has the Marvel Studios logo on it has a better chance than not of turning to pure gold.

Now, the superhero studio is looking to make a splash on television as well. ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been holding its own and, despite lower than expected ratings, has finally found its audience. But the real story here is not what a network like ABC can do for Marvel but what a streaming site like Netflix can do to make its characters shine.

I’m talking of course about the new Netflix original series “Daredevil.” The series is the story of a young boy named Matt Murdock growing up in the dark depths of Hell’s Kitchen who, after an unfortunate chemical accident, becomes blind.

As he grows up, Matt turns this physical weakness into strength as he uses his other senses of sound, touch and smell to become the ultimate force for fighting the evil that threatens to consume his home city.

As an adult, Matt (Charlie Cox) is a defense attorney by day, running his own start-up law firm with his best friend, trying to get the bad guys behind the bars the legal way. But at night, Matt suits up to take down the criminals responsible for turning Hell’s Kitchen into a crime-ridden mess.

To put casting concerns to rest, this needs to be addressed. Charlie Cox owns this role and does everything in his power to be different than the underwhelming way Ben Affleck portrayed the character back in 2003 (sorry, Ben!).

This is one of the only things that has come out of Marvel’s cannon that I confidently recommend to both fans and non-fans of the studio’s part works. If there had not been a Marvel label attached the opening credits, it would be difficult to view this as a superhero show. “Daredevil” sticks to the classic comic book formula while bringing its own rhythm and flavor to the table.

The smaller scope of sticking to one city while following one character makes it feel more intimate and adds more consequences to our hero’s actions.

Violence is a big part of what makes this show stand out. But the violence is not mindless; it is handled instead with care and intention. Some things are admittedly over the top (a particular scene at a bowling alley comes to mind), but more often than not the violence has a powerful effect on Matt’s state of mind, which raises the stakes for those giving up their time to watch.

“Daredevil” is the first product from Marvel, both on the big screen and small screen, that feels real and not just like a fantasy. In a lot of ways, Daredevil is Marvel’s answer to Batman, both in the way he fights and the ideals he stands for.

If you thought Matt Murdock was the only character who gets to shine, think again. Creator Drew Goddard (director of the cult hit “The Cabin in the Woods”) and the rest of the writer/producer crew have done a magnificent job in creating one of the most memorable villains to come out of a Marvel production.

Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) is the big bad of all of season one, with no super powers except the power he possesses to control and manipulate people out of fear. He is an antagonist with layers, one who has obvious pain behind his eyes and plans he thinks will be successful in the long run.

This is a show, not just for comic book fans, but fans of good television content in general. The fight scenes, with some of the best uses of long takes I’ve seen since “True Detective,” are well choreographed and guaranteed to get the blood pumping. The areas of the show that are action free sometimes feel like an exciting “Law & Order” episode full of dramatic legal talk that never gets boring.

Whether you are new to the Marvel universe or have been a fan long before, “Daredevil” is a show that will rope you in and give you content to sink your teeth into for all 13 episodes. Now, if only Iron Man can make an appearance in season two.