Superheroes in the Netflix’s Era

Netflix’s Daredevil is finally here and yes, it was an entertaining and well-done TV show that makes other superhero series look like crap. Daredevil represent an evolution within the genre, but it still drags some of its biggest problems.

Let’s start with the good part: our beloved Netflix. Thanks to this online plataform our blind hero has been able to kick and punch and crack everyone and everything in every possible way. This is definetly not PG-13 and we love that. We see bones cracking, shots, beautiful (and when I say beautiful I mean it) martial art choreographies and what is more important, the real dark corners of the city.

These corners are full of drugs, prostitution and even slavery in a way unseen in any other superhero TV show. The reason why we know it is because Matt Murdock is not the only center of the show: his friends, enemies and every important piece in the city’s chessboard have their own screen-time, hence our image of Hell’s Kitchen expands with every new episode. We could say that the city -or the neighborhood- itself is the main character.

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And the colors… blue, yellow, black and red. Daredevil’s photography is brilliant, dark but full of hues; everything looks dirty, noir and elegant at the same time. Yes Nolan, black is not the only color, you boring and overrated new age director.

But not everything is perfect. In their search for a post-Nolan realism Daredevil sacrifices almost every superpower not related to the main hero, because supernatural issues and magical creatures are childish and pre-Nolan. What Netflix needs to know (and everyone except, maybe, Guardians of the Galaxy) is that you can make something deep, modern and complex and, at the same time, magical and colorful. The real childish attitude is to think that any supernatural aspect is an obstacle in the search of this raw and bloody dystopia that Nolan enshrines as the ultimate perfection of superheroes movies.

It almost seems like they try to break these rules with the appearance of “Black Sky”, the ninja (we all need more ninjas in our life), some uncanny sentences Madame Gao utters and Stick’s secret boss. Nevertheless, they are just that, an attempt, they do not dare to go any further and quickly retreat to the mobs’ underground businesses.

And what about racial representation? The main villain is a white guy yes, but the rest are Chinese, black, Japanese and Russian. And what about latins? Just victims. And no trace of homosexuals, rather surprising being the series set in a well-known queer district. Multiculturalism is the Devil, kids, but do not be afraid, there will always be some good and strong white man waiting in the dark to save you. Please, after finishing Daredevil check out ABC’s American Crime as an antidote.

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Daredevil is just the first step in Netflix’s huge superhero project. Soon, we will have Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist as main characters of their own TV shows; and, subsequently, a crossover miniseries called The Defenders will bring them all together. This was not a bad start, in fact, it was awesome. However, Marvel and Netflix really need to understand that we want magic, we want demons and Gods, and Xena flying around not because we are kids, but because dreaming is a part of being adult.

The Homecoming Queen

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