Daredevil

Leah took me to see Daredevil on Friday, which fortunately, we both wanted to see. Me? Because since way back in the John Romita Jr. & Frank Miller days, Daredevil was my favourite solo Marvel hero. I liked how dark he really was compared to say, Spiderman (too goofy), Captain America (too patriotic) or The Punisher (too repetitive). Oh, there were some sad, bad days for Daredevil in the late 90’s, that lost me as a reader and eventually led to the cancellation of the series (I believe after some 400-odd issues). However, I couple of years ago, Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith, was brought on to do a story-arc for a new Daredevil series. And Daredevil was back. Great storyline, great art, it was excellent. Kevin Smith left, and they cycled through a couple of writers and artists for about 10 issues, and then Brian Michael Bendis took over the writing. He’s my absolute favourite comic writer (check out Powers, his run on Sam & Twitch, or his prior, indie series Goldfish or Jinx). A couple issue later, Alex Maleev took over the artistic reins, and really, a new golden age for Daredevil began (and, IMO, is still in full swing if you’re interested).

So the comic is good, and so why not a film? Get together some key players in the Daredevil pantheon (and The Kingpin, Bullseye & Elektra (incidentally, a production company my Aunt once worked for was apparently considering an Elektra film, from Frank Miller’s graphic novel (or from the Elektra Returns one, I’m not sure) are a good trio), and away we go!

The film was enjoyable. It was clearly on a much lower budget than Spiderman was, but that wasn’t too much of a problem (actually, I thought the visual effects were pretty decent, although this Daredevil appeared to still be much more blind than the one in the comics, if you go by the ‘daredevil-vision’ effects). Ben Affleck was pretty good, although he seems to much of a lovable lug for the tortured soul that my favourite Daredevil is. Jennifer Garner, as Elektra was fine (not a far stretch from her Alias role, really (and, I read while waiting for the movie to start, she’ll get her own spin-off movie shortly. I wonder how many times she’ll die in that one (a long-running joke in Marvel comics)), Colin Farrell chewed up scenery with wild abandon as an over-the-top super-villan in his role as Bullseye, and Michael Clarke Duncan brought appropriate dapper largesse to his role as The Kingpin.

The movie was full of some nice in-joke references to the people who had worked on the comic series (‘all the fighters, Miller, Mack, Bendis, they’re all on my payroll’), and the film included cameos by Stan lee, Kevin Smith and (as a dead guy), Frank Miller (although, I only saw the name in the credits, it could conceivably be a different Frank Miller).

so as Marvel movies go, I’d say this is not as successful as either Spiderman or X-men but is very watchable and enjoyable for all (although I think better if you’re a genre/character fan.