I guess you could say I discovered comic books somewhat late in life, if you
can consider around 10 years old as being “late”. I had moved to a new town,
and my new best friend Patrick was an avid comic book fan. I went to his
house for a sleep over and immediately consumed the Hawkeye 4-issue limited
series as my very first introduction to super hero comics (not counting G.I.
Joe comics, which I’d been injesting previously) and never really looked back.
I was fortunate enough to get into comics in what many consider a renaissance
of comic book history, especially on the Marvel side. Frank Miller brought an
edginess to Daredevil, and while the Punisher first appeared in the 70s, he
really struck out on his own in the 80s, and Wolverine’s coming of age (in
many ways thanks to a 4 issue limited series also courtesy of Frank Miller)
transcended his peers by a wide margin.
Mostly thanks to these three characters, my love of comics quadrupled in the
span of a couple of years, and by the late 80s I was a full-on comic book
fanatic. At the core of my comics love, however, remained Daredevil.
I saved up for weeks to buy a beat up copy of Daredevil #1 at my local comic
store (and it’s one of the few comics I still own today), and the first back
issue of Spider-Man I purchased was #16 (his first run in with old hornhead,
still in his yellow and brown uniform). So folks can understand how much I
was looking forward to the Netflix debut of Daredevil last year.
At the time, I think I probably more “consumed” it than really “watched” it.
I voraciously gobbled it down, ingesting it by the hour in whatever tiny
windows I could, totally not taking the time to absorb or appreciate it.
Throughout every episode, I eagerly awaited the debut of his signature costume
and lamented various super villains who got only tiny cameos or didn’t appear
at all. It was a binge, plain and simple, and as usual when you binge, you
typically don’t take the time to taste what you’re eating.
So as Daredevil Season Two grows near, I decided I needed to revisit Season
One, and over the past two weeks, I did. Not blind, rabid consumption like
last year, but piece by piece, watching each episode as its own entity,
completely focused on the show.
God help me, it was spectacular.
I’m so glad I took the time to go back and watch it the way it was probably
meant to be watched. Stepping back and seeing the character development of
Wilson Fisk, the various twists and turns, the surprising deaths, all
intermixed with this coming of age story for my favorite Marvel hero was just
an incredible experience to go through again.
I found myself not even caring that he wasn’t wearing his trademark red, and
found myself much more invested in the relationship between Matt, Karen, and Foggy than I was in Daredevil vs. Kingpin. I was just as happy watching the three of them sitting around the table as I was watching the Devil of Hell’s
Kitchen busting heads. Being able to watch the story progress in days rather
than hastily absorbed hours went a long way towards the world making a lot
more sense and events having a much larger impact.
In short, Netflix’s Daredevil Season One was nearly perfect. It contained
just enough of his backstory with Stick, Urich, and the Kingpin, and managed
to be emotionally impactful, even though certain characters came and went
within a handful of episodes. Pure excellence.
Now we have Season Two on the way, and I couldn’t be more excited. Punisher
was a huge part of my comic book childhood, and I haven’t felt thrilled about
any of his movie appearances, so this is like a whole new world opening up for
The real trick will be to see if I can hold back and enjoy it, or if I have to
dive in head first, mouth and mind open wide. Somehow, even though I know it
would be better to fully appreciate it, I suspect I won’t be able to hold
back. We’ll find out how I do March 18th.