My first, and still one of my biggest, comic book loves is Daredevil. So to say I was stoked about the Netflix series would be an understatement. Daredevil is connected to some of my fondest memories as a kid, and to see the live action version of it was, well… I was smitten.
Now here we are on the eve of season two of Daredevil, and I can’t help but think of how the Netflix show is blazing a trail for a lot more awesome series, and even film adaptations to come. Before Deadpool cracked the “R” rating for a movie, Daredevil was cracking the dark and serious barrier for superheroes on a TV. Jessica Jones soon followed with the same blueprint, and just as much success.
Now, I could go on about how giddy I am to see the second season of Daredevil, and I am. I mean, how couldn’t I be excited with the Punisher, Electra, and The Hand getting ready to bring a huge brawl to Hell’s Kitchen? That being said, I’m just as excited for what this means for the genre. Sure, we have had adaptations of other comics on TV that are serious, even down right gory. The first that pops to mind is the Walking Dead, and it looks like’s AMC’s Preacher is going to be a hit, but we haven’t really seen the darker side of superheroes until Daredevil came along.
With the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and a rated “R” movie, is it really that far away before we start seeing this grit transfer onto the big screen? Of course not all superheroes need this kind of treatment. Captain America, my second favorite superhero as a kid, is not a character who requires such violent storytelling, but I wouldn’t want to see a new Punisher or Lobo movie that’s not rated “R”. Just think what a rated “R” Ghost Rider movie would have been like.
All this grittiness is not the sole domain of Marvel either. DC decided to go darker with the last Superman movie, a mistake in my opinion, and Batman has always been dark and brooding, but with Suicide coming out this year, it might show a shift in the way they are making their movies too.
Arrow and The Flash are recent examples of DC’s success with TV, but they haven’t taken the plunge into the deep end of the pool like Marvel has. Which leads one to wonder, how long before DC decides it’s time to give one of their heroes a similar treatment? I, for one, would love to see a gritty version of Birds of Prey, on Netflix or another cable channel, with Gail Simone helping to steer the creative ship. It would be a goldmine for DC.
I look at Daredevil as the trailblazing show that took the next step for comics getting their due. I endured the painful guest appearance of Daredevil in the Hulk special from 1989, and only had to wait twenty seven years for them to get it right. I think this next season will be as influential and as great as the first season.