Daredevil is my favorite Netflix hero. His two seasons have donea great job showing his journey, his struggles, and his character. I love that he's so compelled to fight for those who need his protection, even when it puts his life at risk. And I don't just mean it puts him at risk of dying, I mean he's willing to sacrifice everything Matt Murdock has worked so hard to achieve if it means helping someone who needs it. I'm not sure anything can top that first hallway fight scene. It's such a perfect example of who he is. He's exhausted, he's outnumbered, but there's a kid at the end of the hall who needs his help. We've spent two seasons in his world, getting to know him and his friends. We've also had some great enemies.
Season one gave us Wilson Fisk, who is amazing to watch. He's very different from the classic Kingpin we know from the comics, but he's on the path to get there. The first season does a great parallel between Matt becoming Daredevil and Fisk becoming Kingpin. Season two gives us Punisher who plays off of Daredevil as a vigilante who isn't afraid to kill. All three want to make the city better. Fisk wants to control all of the crime. Punisher wants to kill all of the criminals. Daredevil has to figure out wha the thinks is right and how far is too far. Halfway through the season they switch to dealing with the Hand and introduce Elektra. It's fun to get more classic Daredevil elements with ninjas and superhero love interests. Some episodes are better than others but I love all of the Daredevil stuff they've given us so far.
Jessica Jones had an amazing first season. They somehow made a superhero detective show about trauma from abusive relationships work. A big part of the success was with Jessica herself. She's definitely not your typical superhero. She's sassy, she's an alcoholic, she's pessimistic, and she really doesn't want to be a hero at all, but she can't escape her destiny. She also can't escape her past as Kilgrave, or the Purple Man, haunts her and those closest to her. Kilgrave is such an amazing villain in this. It shows how terrifying mind control can be. You never know who you can trust or if you can even trust yourself. He's also convinced that he's in love with Jessica and will do anything to have her back in his life. Jessica has to struggle with who she was and who she wants to be as this seemingly unstoppable force comes after her.
Thankfully, I have never been in this type of controlling relationship, but looking around online you can see many people resonated with it. It's an interesting and important story to tell. This show had punching and evil scientists, but it was so much more than that.
Luke Cage season 1 gets off to a slow start, but it has great characters to play with. Luke is a bit reluctant to be a hero since he's an escaped convict, but he wants to do the right thing. Misty is a tough cop with a great storyline of her own (and a kind of painful basketball sequence). On the other side you have a pair of cousins trying to take over Harlem from different angles. Cottonmouth is a captivating villain, though maybe a little too similar to Fisk in Daredevil. Mariah is terrifying because she presents a professional public face that hides a true monster.
Things come to a head with a mid-season shake-up that changes the power dynamics of the villains. It's really shocking what happens, but unfortunately the show never quite recovers. The new big bad, Diamondback, doesn't feel like he's from the same show and we have to watch him chew up the rest of the episodes. The season ends with a showdown that doesn't feel as epic or important as it should. Still, Luke is a great character and I love how Harlem has a personality and community feel that we don't get in the other shows. Luke is the hero of Harlem. He lives with them, he stand up for them, and they in return stand up for him.
Iron Fist is a cool character, but his show was my least favorite of the Marvel Netflix shows so far. The biggest problem was probably that Danny Rand was such a hard character to get behind. It really felt like the writers didn't know what to do with him. Who is he supposed to be? If they wanted to make him the Living Weapon, they should have made him win a fight once in a while. If they wanted to make him naturally gifted but still lacking maturity, they should have made him more charismatic. If they wanted him to be diligent and wise, they should have given him a stronger sense of self-purpose. If they wanted him to be angry and make rash decisions, he should have been more powerful. They tried to make him that lost child but also a highly skilled warrior monk. While this worked for Aang in Avatar, they don't pull it off here.
I think a lot of this comes from the excessive exposition. They could have shown more of his time training in K'un-Lun alongside Davos before throwing him back into NYC to solve the mystery of his parents' murder or stop the Hand. Instead, we just get a confused Danny sitting around and telling people how special he is. It also comes from Danny not really knowing what he wants. Several characters ask him what his goal is and he never really says. If we don't know what he's trying to achieve, it's hard to root for him.
I hate to say it, but there's a good chance I wouldn't have been as critical of the show if there were a lot more (and better) fight scenes. And like I said earler, let Iron Fist win one now and then.
There's a lot of room for improvement here. Hopefully after Defenders, when we finally get around to Iron Fist Season 2 we can realy see Danny step into his power.
There have been a few different companies making toys based on their classic cartoon appearance, but none of them looked quite right to me. These, on the other hand, are nearly perfect. Plus we finally got good figures of the villains! This isn't the first time I've bought some amazing turtles toys, but this is the first time I've had a Shredder or Foot Soldier to go with them. This set is definitely a highlight of my Ninja Turtles collection.
You can read more about details about the box set on Fwoosh or ToyArk.