A modern Marvel: Superhero adaptations get grittier, more realistic

A modern Marvel: Superhero adaptations get grittier, more realistic

By ADITYA MANI JHA | | 17 May, 2015
Last month, Marvel and Netflix released Daredevil, a martial-arts-fuelled crime-drama that’s a far cry from the superhero adaptations of yore. Aditya Mani Jha examines the rise of a new, fearless brand of comicbook adaptations.

For fans of the domino effect, the release of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight was a nodal point in history. Everybody agreed that Heath Ledger was the bomb, but there was another narrative being built up, quietly and without as much fanfare, at least at first. This was about the film's political allegory: or so people would have you believe. Batman faced a moral dilemma and so did George W Bush. Batman was the good guy who had to do some horrible things, things not legal in the strictest sense of the word; so did George W Bush. Batman good, ergo Dubya best. It's not important whether you agree with this analysis or not. What matters is that Nolan, by making The Dark Knight as realistic, as gritty and as morally urgent as he did, made his film eligible to be a vessel for such theories. In doing so, he set the tone for future superhero adaptations. The message was clear: get real or get the f**k out.

With the recent release of Marvel's Netflix TV series Daredevil, the stakes have been raised for the superhero/vigilante genre. You are sorely mistaken if you think Daredevil is another silly superhero caper, like the Ben-Afflicted movie of the same name. It is, in fact, an ironclad film noir-meets-martial-arts drama, interested more in the rapid moral degeneration of Hell's Kitchen (the New York neighbourhood that provides the setting for the Daredevil comics) than the finer points of its hero's Kevlar suit (it's not much of a spoiler that the famous red Kevlar only makes an appearance in the final episode of the first season).

Moreover, Daredevil, created by Drew Goddard and helmed by Steven DeKnight (first season only), is the logical culmination of this process: the writing on the wall had been clear, even in such eminently over-the-top comicbook fare such as Kick-Ass, which featured a gruesome scene where Nicolas Cage's character, Big Daddy, is burnt alive. Iron Man took the hint as well. Most recently, we saw the DC Comics character Barry Allen/The Flash in a television adaptation, where the emphasis was on Allen's crime-scene deduction abilities, not on his lightning bolt-induced superpowers. Even Gotham, with its colourful line-up of baddies led by Jada Pinkett Smith, maintains a noir dignity about proceedings. It never forgets what it truly is: a police procedural, albeit one set in a cesspool of psychopaths. In this, these shows are taking their cues from David Simon's classic The Wire, with its leisurely pace and its emphasis on authenticity and detailing. Actors John Doman and DomenickLombardozzi, The Wire graduates both, are in the thick of things once again: Doman plays the brutal mob boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone in Gotham, while Lombardozzi plays the abusive father of a young Wilson Fisk (who grows up to become the villainous magnate Kingpin) in Daredevil.

Nolan, by making The Dark Knight as realistic, as gritty and as morally urgent as he did, made his film eligible to be a vessel for such theories. In doing so, he set the tone for future superhero adaptations. The message was clear: get real or get the f**k out.

On that note, it's interesting to note that while The Dark Knight was deliberately ambiguous about the origins of Ledger's Joker, Nolan's spiritual successors have lavished great attention to its villains, their origin stories and what motivates them to do the terrible things that they do onscreen. True realism, after all, does not believe in the kind of absolute, immutable evil represented by, say, an Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men), who was a very convincing villain in his own way. When Lombardozzi's character teaches young Wilson the virtues of brutality, we see what he will grow up to become: a child-man who is convinced that his violence is serving the greater good, that for Hell's Kitchen to be reborn, it has to be razed to the ground first.

Vincent D'Onofrio is out-of-the-ballpark brilliant as Fisk/Kingpin; that's three PTSD-stricken sociopaths for him now, after Full Metal Jacket and The Cell, and it's remarkable how he has made these three characters so different from each other. Charlie Cox, who plays the blind lawyer Matt Murdock/Daredevil, has also turned in the performance of his career. He grabs the bull by the horns in every scene he's in. He's in great shape, but not absurdly beefed up, which is crucial for playing the Man Without Fear, essentially a skilled street brawler-turned-ninja, a regular man who has pushed himself to take more punishment than one can imagine for a person his size. 

Although Daredevil has several moments where the drama reaches fever pitch, the last five-and-a-half minutes of the second episode must surely take the cake. These 330 seconds are shot in one take, with most of it being a long and gloriously messy action sequence where Daredevil takes down a gang of Russian kidnappers single-handedly, smashing them to pulp with his bare fists. This scene reminded me of the hammer sequence in Korean revenge classic Oldboy, where Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) repeatedly gets knocked down, seems out for the count, only to rise up and land a few telling blows (and fall down again to nurse his wounds).

It's ironic that Marvel only decided to greenlight such a gritty series after the success of The Avengers, which must surely rest at the opposite end of the realism spectrum.The Avengers was made after its individual components — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and so on — had been "introduced" through films of their own. Similarly, Daredevil is the first of four pay-per-view series that Marvel has promised to make for Netflix, the other three being Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad, The Blacklist) will star as Jessica Jones in the first of these three, which will be available for streaming later this year. Once Marvel is done with all three, they will combine the four protagonists in a mini-series called The Defenders. And if the other three series set a mood similar to that of Daredevil, we could be in for some Avengers-style fun, minus the implausibility.

There are 24663 Comments

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian <a href="http://www.gi9n849fua9mcc3b67z619yo4xx2106js.org/">aohzfvvmr</a> [url=http://www.gi9n849fua9mcc3b67z619yo4xx2106js.org/]uohzfvvmr[/url] ohzfvvmr http://www.gi9n849fua9mcc3b67z619yo4xx2106js.org/

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian <a href="http://www.g16o9o37o2tl46c8n948sodzyv9i501gs.org/">afgxnkgdxl</a> [url=http://www.g16o9o37o2tl46c8n948sodzyv9i501gs.org/]ufgxnkgdxl[/url] fgxnkgdxl http://www.g16o9o37o2tl46c8n948sodzyv9i501gs.org/

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian <a href="http://www.glvl06jz3hrqe91a1d199dn61g612m08s.org/">abdgjfthobq</a> bdgjfthobq http://www.glvl06jz3hrqe91a1d199dn61g612m08s.org/ [url=http://www.glvl06jz3hrqe91a1d199dn61g612m08s.org/]ubdgjfthobq[/url]

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian [url=http://www.g6vvi2xb7az80k28855tx9b6rtv56t04s.org/]ucoxtdlsgs[/url] coxtdlsgs http://www.g6vvi2xb7az80k28855tx9b6rtv56t04s.org/ <a href="http://www.g6vvi2xb7az80k28855tx9b6rtv56t04s.org/">acoxtdlsgs</a>

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian jbwmkocssj http://www.ga78qz4030e5q1m1il9et3fao8120vo9s.org/ [url=http://www.ga78qz4030e5q1m1il9et3fao8120vo9s.org/]ujbwmkocssj[/url] <a href="http://www.ga78qz4030e5q1m1il9et3fao8120vo9s.org/">ajbwmkocssj</a>

Add new comment | Sunday Guardian [url=http://www.gt1br80q43nt8527ie437i1fmsq6u7i7s.org/]udmcgkbpxpo[/url] <a href="http://www.gt1br80q43nt8527ie437i1fmsq6u7i7s.org/">admcgkbpxpo</a> dmcgkbpxpo http://www.gt1br80q43nt8527ie437i1fmsq6u7i7s.org/

You can install many <a href="http://www.Blackplanet.com/your_page/blog/view_posting.html?pid=3678622&profile_id=65773466&profile_name=deanna0wood55&user_id=65773466&username=deanna0wood55">deer hunter 2016 hack cydia</a> tool free of cost.

West Seattle locksmiths won't merely obtain it open but make certrain that it doesn't get jammed againn in case you cannot start the trunk of the auto. my homepage - <a href="http://www.blogigo.de/mukilteolocksmithinc11/Modern-car-Locksmith-Services-Of-Dallas/2/">Mia</a>

This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post! Feel free to visit my site :: Women T-shirt - https://www.toolast.com/products/tank-man

Quality articles or reviews is the important to invite the visitors to pay a quick visit the site, that's what this website is providing. Feel free to visit my website - <a href="https://www.toolast.com/products/unisex-tank-basket-ball">mom sissy</a>

I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from newest information. my blog post :: Tshirt - https://www.toolast.com/products/american-mustache

I feel this is one of the most important information for me. And i'm satisfied studying your article. But want to remark on few general issues, The site style is great, the articles is in reality nice : D. Just right job, cheers my homepage: <a href="https://www.toolast.com/products/spider-long-sleeve-1">pullover hoodie</a>

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's tough to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you've done a amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Safari. Excellent Blog! Here is my homepage ... womens tshirt - https://www.toolast.com/products/im-happy-t-shirt-mens

Thanks in favor of sharing such a good thinking, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it completely My site: <a href="https://www.toolast.com/products/flowy-tank-1">love tshirt</a>

Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and amazing design. Here is my page ... Women T-shirt - https://www.toolast.com/products/im-happy-t-shirt-womens

you are actually a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you've done a wonderful job in this matter! Also visit my homepage :: <a href="http://jonathanprivat.com">magento developer</a>

This info is worth everyone's attention. When can I find out more? Also visit my site :: social media expert - http://jonathanprivat.com

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results. Also visit my web-site: <a href="http://jonathanprivat.com">magento developer</a>

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you. my web-site seo expert - http://jonathanprivat.com

I'm amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that's both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my search for something concerning this. my blog post <a href="http://jonathanprivat.com">social media expert</a>

Can I simply say what a relief to discover an individual who really knows what they are talking about over the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you aren't more popular since you surely have the gift. Here is my web page; Wisata Bali - http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/03/jimbaran-dan-pantai-kedonganan-tempat.html

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated. my web blog ... <a href="http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/05/green-canyon-jawa-barat-wisata-sungai-dan-gua.html">Wisata Bali</a>

I'm not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists. Also visit my web-site: Wisata Alam - http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/05/raja-ampat-papua-indonesia-surganya-untuk-para-penyelam.html

I've read a few just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you place to create the sort of magnificent informative web site. Also visit my site <a href="http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/05/raja-ampat-papua-indonesia-surganya-untuk-para-penyelam.html">Wisata Indonesia</a>

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very internet savvy so I'm not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers my homepage Wisata Indonesia - http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/05/raja-ampat-papua-indonesia-surganya-untuk-para-penyelam.html

My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated! My homepage - <a href="http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/03/jimbaran-dan-pantai-kedonganan-tempat.html">Wisata Alam</a>

Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid clear concept my web blog: Darmawisata Indonesia - http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/05/raja-ampat-papua-indonesia-surganya-untuk-para-penyelam.html

Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article. my website; <a href="http://bit.ly/1WBDxIK">Khas Bali</a>

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase. my webpage; watch series - https://twitter.com/nesveikaz4

Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back often! Also visit my web-site; <a href="http://jluistorres.com/">Diseño web</a>

I would like to use the chance of saying thanks to you for that professional assistance I have often enjoyed going to your site. I'm looking forward to the commencement of my college research and the whole preparing would never have been complete without surfing your web blog. If I may be of any help to others, I might be pleased to help through what I have gained from here. My blog: <a href="http://www.nikefreerunstore.us/">Nike Free Run</a>

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I'm hoping to give something back and help others such as you aided me. Check out my web site <a href="http://www.vans-shoes.us.com">Vans Shoes</a>

Howdy! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great info you have right here on this post. I'll be returning to your web site for more soon. Also visit my blog; ​tempat wisata - http://www.postinglagi.xyz/2016/04/rambu-solo-unik-tradisi-pemakaman-di-tana-toraja-sulawesi-indonesia.html

Awesome! Its genuinely amazing paragraph, I have got much clear idea on <a href="https://betdna.com/">If you are looking for a new online sportsbook look no further than BetDNA the best sportsbook online and mobile sportsbook to hit the internet in years. BetDNA gives all new customers a free $50 sports bet plus all live sports betting customers get another $25 free sports bet upon signup to bet on any live European or US sports event</a> topic of from this post.

I've been exploring for a little If you are looking for a new online sportsbook look no further than BetDNA the best sportsbook online and mobile sportsbook to hit the internet in years. BetDNA gives all new customers a free $50 sports bet plus all live sports betting customers get another $25 free sports bet upon signup to bet on any live European or US sports event - https://betdna.com/ any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot certainly will make certain to do not forget this website and give it a glance on a continuing basis.

Awesome issues here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and I am taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail? Here is my web-site <a href="https://betdna.com/">sportsbook online</a>

Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post. Also visit my weblog: satta matka - https://oxford.academia.edu/sattamatka

There is definately a lot to find out about this issue. I like all of the points you have made. my blog post Vans For Sale - http://www.vansforsale.us.com/

I pay If you are looking for a new online sportsbook look no further than BetDNA the best sportsbook online and mobile sportsbook to hit the internet in years. BetDNA gives all new customers a free $50 sports bet plus all live sports betting customers get another $25 free sports bet upon signup to bet on any live European or US sports event - https://betdna.com/ visit everyday a few web sites and websites to read articles or reviews, but this website presents quality based posts.

Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte <a href="http://www.michael-kors-canada-outlet.ca/">Find more Information</a> on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

It's remarkable to pay a visit this website and reading the views of all colleagues about this piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting familiarity. my website; Diseño web - http://jluistorres.com/

Wow, awesome blog structure! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you make blogging look easy. The total look of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content material! Also visit my weblog - Fitflops Sale Clearance - http://www.fitflopssale.us.com/

Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of uss you actually understand what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my site =). We may have a link change contract among us Look at my site ... Piano For All Of The Lights - http://hkgoldenhammer.com/index.php/en/?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=291079

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better? my web site ... <a href="http://jluistorres.com/">Diseño web</a>

I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am Bet at the best sportsbook online and mobile sportsbook with a free $50 sports bet upon signup with BetDNA the ultimate sportsbook online for US and European customers. Bet at this new online sportsbook and mobile sportsbook with a $50 free sports plus another $25 free bet for live sports betting - https://betdna.com/ user of net thus from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.

magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I'm confident, you've a huge readers' base already! Feel free to visit my web site <a href="http://www.oakleysunglassescheap90off.top/">oakley sunglasses cheap 90% off</a>

Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results. Also visit my web site - bong gon cong nghiep - http://bonggon.net

Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a nice day! Stop by my weblog ... <a href="http://jazar-music.com/">Highly recommended Webpage</a>

Hey terrific website! Does running a blog similar to this require a massive amount work? I've no understanding of computer programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I simply needed to ask. Many thanks! Feel free to surf to my web site: DiseñO Web - http://jluistorres.com/

Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was once a leisure account it. Look complex to more delivered agreeable from you! However, how can we keep up a correspondence? Here is my webpage :: satta matka - https://oxford.academia.edu/sattamatka


Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.