Daredevil Dies First



That was the title of the comic book which started me on my Marvel Comics collecting jag. There was a colorful splash cover with DD and Trapster at odds over New York. I was hooked.

Last month Netflix put out the third season of Marvel’s Daredevil. I started it after work on Friday and with some restraint, polished it off on Sunday. I needed some serious vigilante justice after a couple of years of the U.S. Constitution being knocked around and the much-lauded checks and balances of my school days losing out daily.

Daredevil was the Marvel character I bonded with most. There were a whole bunch of other ones that did a close second, but I did make my version of the Billy club when I was younger. It is a shame I could never figure out the nifty cable inside.

The movie version with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner came out, and I guess my expectations were too high. I later heard a rumor that the director’s cut was a better film, so I picked up a copy, and they were right. It was a better film. It still lacked something.

I think Netflix has come closer. I have enjoyed all three seasons and am looking forward to any more they want to do. Defenders was a nice little hit of Daredevil between two seasons as well. The Marvel Universe is more fun when hero meets hero along the way to stopping the bad guy. It makes for good character development with each of them getting to show off and demonstrate their quirks.

I do not think there was as much Catholic-guilt in the early comic book, but again it makes for easy conversional and visual character development. Just an aside, if anybody ever tries to do another version of Conan in a movie, leave out the father issues and leanings toward Christ imagery. The film industry tried it with Solomon Kane as far as Christ imagery also. Howard did not write that way, and it detracts from the character.

I picked up a couple of things in the last of Daredevil Season Three that just goes to show how much the last couple of years in politics have imprinted on my brain.   One was when Wilson Fisk is wooing the press and crowd with how he is really fighting the system which is out to get him, and they start to put down their protest signs as if he is winning them over with his “believe me”. If that is not a shot at Donald J. Trump, I do not know what is. Another thing is Fisk’s tendency to look in the mirror and see the scared, bloody child he once was. You do not need to be a psychologist to see that in Trump. I think somebody was playing with Trump and Fisk similarities, or maybe I have just been psychically scared, as when he is trying to get the return of a painting that is important to him, but the survivor of the holocaust will not sell it back to him; Fisk is more than willing to kill that person to get what he wants, but the painting is special to him because the woman he loves got it for him.   He does not kill her because his lover would not want him to get it that way. I believe in this scene, they were deliberately making Fisk a better person than Trump.

I have never tried to write a screen play, someday maybe. But I find in my writing the use of images takes more than one role, especially in the denser material where there are subtexts. Given how much frustration that a huge part the American population must be feeling, with the two little bits of circumstantial evidence mentioned in the last paragraph, it could be that somebody’s writing was exploring the possibility that Trump and Fisk are really both comic book characters. Both are fictional characters. Fisk was written by somebody; Trump’s persona was self-manufactured. The writers could have been trying to make Fisk is s stronger character even though Donald J. Trump is a real boy; I mean man. Trump has the most pliant opinion I have ever seen in a public figure. He changes his statements from minute to minute, depending on who he is telling him something. Politicians may avoid answers by seeming to answer with what you want to hear yet really say nothing. Trump is different. Trump just agrees with whatever the current speaker says, then the next speaker even if it is opposite to what the last person said. His silver tongue and zero memory shift reality minute by minute. At least Fisk does it with a spine. I imagine the two both have the same temper, but the villain Trump would have to have his minions hold his victims down unlike Fisk who just pounds people into goo.

Like I said, I may be psychically scared. This stuff is supposed to be escapist entertainment.

Got of track there didn’t I? Season Three was the introduction of the villain Bullseye. I wondered about that character when I saw him in the Affleck movie. I looked up his first appearance on line and found out that he did not appear until nineteen seventy-six.   I had stopped collecting comics by then. Air raids, refugee status, coups, women, North Koreans and Japanese police at night, etc. had caught up with me, and I was trying to write and earn a living by then. If I had been able to draw, graphics might have kept me in that world. It is visually more colorful and hands on, words just ran me all over the place.

Since last month, there have been many disturbances in the Marvel Universe. Stan Lee has died. I was amazed at the out pouring of tributes on the web. Comics had a huge effect on me when I was younger, but that much cultural effect? So cool!  On the practical side of how the movie and television franchises will affect all of us who need this kind of escapist hit on a regular basis we will have to see what Netflix canceling Luke Cage and Iron Fist and Disney’s launching their own television franchise will do to us.

Cage was better on TV than in print for me, but you cannot take what I say as far as the comic book goes because I was drifting away from them at that time. Iron Fist never even saw the beginning of a run on my shelf. Jessica Jones, I had never heard of, but loved the Netflix version, Defenders also for those interconnections that made the whole Marvel Universe work for me when I was growing up (They meet in last month’s issue #47 of FF, ‘nuff said). A fake reference, so do not waste your time looking for it.

Daredevil, the man without fear, as Carlos Castaneda points out in the Teaching of Don Juan, fear is the first thing that needs to be overcome in the journey to becoming a “Man of Knowledge”. Don Juan was a diablero, a sorcerer or witch. I think Dr. Strange would like Netflix’s Daredevil as well. I just hope with all the upheavals in the world today, we all get to see a season four.









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About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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