daredevil_netflix_season_1_posterLet’s be honest here: if you’re a comic book fan who’s connected enough to be listening to comic book podcasts, there’s a good chance that you have a subscription to streaming Netflix. And if you do, you probably spent this weekend the way we did: binge-watching Daredevil. And possibly binge-drinking Daredevil beer.

So we discuss the show, including the parallels between Kingpin’s and Daredevil’s character arcs, how effective the characterizations of other supporting characters were, and the general adult nature of the show (vis a vis violence and alcohol). We also talk about how the show stacks up against Mark Waid’s current comic book version of Matt Murdock, what we hope to see in the future from the show, and whether a certain relatively high-profile character’s unexpected death amounts to Suicide By Kingpin.

We also discuss:

  • Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #1, written by Gail Simone with art by Jan Duursema, and:
  • The Walking Dead #140, written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like an impromptu pitch for Batman: I Punch Your Groin.
  • This show contains spoilers. This show especially contains spoilers for the Daredevil TV show. Like, we ruin the whole thing. Like, we air recordings taken of us watching the show, that include dialog of the show. So consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. For example, we talk about “Jerk Hawkman.” Only we don’t use the word “jerk.” So get some headphones.

Oh, and by the way: if you’re looking for that Web site that has transcripts of at least some of the episodes of Daredevil? Here you go. And that reference to Bullseye maybe being in the show? Here’s the source.

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Enjoy the show, suckers!

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tmp_daredevil_born_again_splash-1167887761It has been really easy to crap on Marvel Studios recently for their botched handling of Ant-Man in the aftermath of original director Edgar Wright leaving that project a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it’s been so easy that it can be easy to forget that the way Marvel Studios got themselves into a position where they have a multi-billion dollar intellectual property empire to defend: by poring over the remains of Jack Kirby’s life’s work without having to pay his estate a plugged nickel!

Whoops! I meant that Marvel Studios originally got to where they are by generally hiring top shelf, yet often unexpected, talent to work on their projects. For example, it’s easy to forget in 2014 that, back in 2007, Robert Downey Jr. was best remembered by the general public as being a drugsucking multiple felon whose most recent on-screen triumph was a comeback on Ally McBeal, from which he had been fired for getting arrested for the fourth time. However, somebody at Marvel Studios remembered that the guy also had been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes, so we all wound up with a compelling dude to play Iron Man.

Well, Marvel Studios is still working that way, at least when it comes to the talent they put in front of the camera. In addition to their slate of movies, they are working on a few TV series that are scheduled to premiere on Netflix in 2015, including Daredevil. Now a couple of weeks ago, they announced that they’d cast Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (to which we responded by exclaiming a resounding, “who?”), but today they made another announcement. They’ve cast their Wilson Fisk. And it’s a choice that made me a little more excited for this show.

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daredevil_36_cover_2014Editor’s Note: No one on the white hat side has ever hidden his or her spoilers with less than noble intent.

About 20 years ago, I worked in a job that put me in close proximity with many lawyers. And not the kind of lawyers who champion the powerless and regularly make the short lists for major federal benches, but the kind that advertise during the times of day and kinds of shows likely to be shown in hospital waiting rooms. The kind would chase an ambulance, fake a slip-and-fall, and then sue the ambulance. Real lowlives with cut-rate law school diplomas and Rolodexes full of the kinds of doctors who will certify, from their second floor walk-up offices, that their patients have no legs.

One time I saw one of these guy’s clients get busted for insurance fraud after claiming he had permanent debilitating neck pain, and then being caught fronting a thrash headbanger band for a two-hour bar set. I remember another lawyer for whom our standard operating procedure was to immediately counter-sue for¬†frivolous litigation the instant he sent us a letter, not just because he represented the lowest form of Lawrence Brake-Stander, but because he’d lost frivolous litigation lawsuits repeatedly over the years.

Those weasels never got disbarred. In my (admittedly limited) experience, the only way a lawyer gets disbarred is if he wears a mask, but rather than going out to defend the innocent, he uses it to expose himself to the elderly. And even then, they might get a pass for psychological reasons. You know, if they just can find some doctor who will swear before God that, despite all evidence to the contrary, they have a medical condition.

So, while reading Daredevil #36, I had a little difficulty completely believing that Matt Murdock would be disbarred, even considering the extreme circumstances under which he became embroiled in ethics charges. But that’s my problem and not writer Mark Waid’s, who put together a hell of an issue to close out the third volume of Daredevil. This comic doesn’t just shake up the status quo, it puts two into the back of its head… while still remaining somewhat believable and, if you think about it, not being so outlandish that it will completely blow up the character as he has stood for the past half decade or so.

Except yeah: the real New York Bar would just put a strongly-worded letter in his file if he showed up for his hearing sober, speaking English and without the blood of innocents dripping from his Cthuhlu fangs.

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tmp_daredevil_born_again_splash-1167887761There’s been a lot of news out of Marvel Studios this past week or so, which would be exciting if it weren’t for the fact that every time Marvel Studios does anything it makes me want to excitedly haul out my wallet and throw more money around. The only reason we haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World yet is because it is the first Marvel movie since Iron Man to not play at our local theater, and because we were busy battling our own Godforsaken evil in the form of an angry hot water heater.

Last week, Marvel Studios announced that they were teaming with Netflix to put out four direct-to-streaming television series, based on Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones (or Brian Michael Bendis’s Alias if you’re nasty). They’re planning on doing a 13-episode series a piece, and apparently things are already approaching the pre-production stage, because there are reports that Marvel Studios is in talks with World War Z and former Buffy The Vampire Slayer writer Drew Goddard to write Daredevil.

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tmp_daredevil_31_cover_2013-146449185Editor’s Note: We find the defendant guilty on the charge of Premeditated Spoilers.

It would have been really easy for Mark Waid to have fucked up Daredevil #31.

This was the first comic book I remember seeing that in any way tackles the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman murder trial, and that is a subject that is just playing with dynamite. And it is playing with dynamite just because it is so Goddamned easy to pick one side or another, based on a few snippets of facts gleaned from various news accounts one might have half-paid attention to while working or drinking beer or surfing for porn. You write a book that takes the side of the shooter, and you’ve alienated everyone who knows that ACLU isn’t a lolspeak acronym. You take the side of the shootee, and you can experience your first mainstream media crossover attention by being mentioned on Sean Hannity’s show, possibly accompanied by your home address.

And yet if any comic book is the perfect one to reference the case, it’s Daredevil, what with its protagonist being an actual officer of the court. But still: it took a lof of balls for Waid to even consider making that case part of a mainstream comic book story… and he generally nails it. Because he’s smart enough to reference the case without the story being about the case. Instead, it’s about the people who made a snap decision about one side or another, based on a few snippets of facts gleaned from various news accounts one might have half-paid attention to while working or drinking beer or surfing for porn.

And that’s most of us, Bubba.

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sdcc_logoAnd finally, here is the last of it. The last panel we attended at San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday, July 21st, before the convention-closing screening of Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode, Once More With Feeling: The Avengers, X-Men, Dr. Strange and Sgt. Fury 50th Anniversary panel, featuring classic Marvel writer Roy Thomas, current writer Brian Michael Bendis, and artist John Romita, Jr.

There wasn’t anything revealed that you could particularly call “news” at this panel. Hell, there wasn’t even a hell of a lot of information about the creations of The Avengers, The X-Men, or any of the rest (although we did learn that Thomas made The Vision an android because hey! Stan Lee says stuff sometimes!). But what we did get were some cool and inspirational stories of what it was like to be at Marvel right around the time when Fantastic Four was breaking, what it was like to grow up around one of the premier Spider-Man artists of the late 60s, early 70s, and what it was like to grow up in Brian Michael Bendis’s broken home! Well, I guess some stories are inspirational only in their aftermath.

But even if the panel didn’t have anything new to say about the modern world of comics, I can think of worse ways to close out the convention than to hear about what the world of comics was like when legends were being created every month, when characters who would literally change some of our lives were being spitballed to meet a deadline on a Sunday afternoon, and when a man could get a gig writing some of the most legendary books in Marvel history by filling out a workbook on his lunch break.

And even if you weren’t there, you can check some of it out right here. We have a few videos of some of the cooler stories – not the best videos we’ve ever shot, but you can see who’s talking and get the whole stories – right here after the jump.

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daredevil_end_of_days_cover_2013Editor’s Note: I’ve been there for a lot of people’s last words. And every time it’s the one thing they spoiled about the most.

Mapone is not a thing.

I have, as I’m sure a lot of people have since Daredevil: End of Days began several months ago, Googled the living shit out of the word “Mapone.” And there is nothing there; there is some family out of Italy, a Fleetwood Mac fan on YouTube, some promotional trinkets company in South Africa… and since October, a bunch of reviews of Daredevil: End of Days. If you look for the definition of “Mapone,” there isn’t one. If you try contextual searches, you wind up with articles about Halo battle maps, mapping values in computer programs, and MAPI interfaces.

In short, “Mapone” is not, by any real definition, a word. It is, rather, a sound you make with your mouth. So as a mystery, writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack picked a good mysterious word to act as a throughline for the story… but Daredevil: End of Days #8 is the last issue of the miniseries, meaning that it is time for them to put up or shut up.

And they have put up. We learn the meaning of the word “Mapone” on the very last page of the issue, Citizen Kane-style. And the reveal is, in fact, a surprise, and it is, in fact, generally satisfying… until you close the book and stop and think about it for more than ten seconds.

So it is a really fortunate thing that this issue accomplishes so much beyond the silly little mystery, closing out a story that turns the legacy of Daredevil into a tragedy that is almost Shakespearean in scope, and which is implied to doom everyone it touches. Daredevil: End of Days #8 is a truly weighty and satisfying speculative end to the story of Matt Murdock, regardless of the whole “Mapone” mystery that has kept us going through this story. And that is a good thing.

Because Mapone is not a thing.

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thor_the_dark_world_posterIt has been a big couple of days for news out of Marvel Studios – or at least potential news out of Marvel Studios.

First of all, it has been announced that Lee Pace has been hired to play the antagonist in James Gunn’s Guardians of The Galaxy, to which I think I speak for many of us when I utter a resounding: “Who?” And before you start: yeah, yeah; I know Pace played Thranduil in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, but I’m gonna go on record as not having seen it. We all know full well that Jackson will release a nine-hour extended version of the flick on Blu-Ray, and I’m holding out for that version. Anyway, it has not yet been announced exactly who the bad guy in Guardians of The Galaxy is going to be yet. With the reveal of Thanos during the credits of The Avengers, it doesn’t seem like Marvel Studios would shoot that wad just yet, but the Chituari are probably still floating around somewhere, as are the Kree (and what better way to introduce, say, Captain Marvel for Marvel Studios’ Phase Four?)… and considering Pace read for the Star Lord part, maybe we’re looking at Mar-Vell here. Or considering the presence of Rocket Raccoon, possibly a snap-on trash can lid.

Second: Marvel Studios’ President of Production Kevin Feige has confirmed that they have reclaimed the movie rights to Daredevil from Fox. Fox released the 2003 Ben Affleck version of Daredevil (and I still maintain that the director’s cut DVD version of that flick is at least a little underrated), and the terms of that deal stated that Fox had ten years to put a sequel or a reboot into production or lose the whole shooting match. And they came close – last year, director Joe Carnahan pitched a grindhousey version to be set in 1973 with a pretty damn cool-looking sizzle reel… that he then released online after Fox spiked the deal.

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daredevil_25_cover_2013Editor’s Note: Amateur. You carry your spoilers like a blind man. Leaves you vulnerable in seven ways.

Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil has been pretty universally solid, with a few missteps along the way – whether we needed another “drive Matt Murdock insane” story like we got a few months ago is an open question, and that whole “throw Foggy out a high window… as a faint to have some schmo with a scalpel kill him in front of witnesses” plan probably could have used an extra day or two on the drawing board. But in general, those moments are outnumbered by good, and sometimes great, moments and stories.

But then there are times when Waid just fucking outdoes himself. I’m not sure how into this whole greater Unknown Mastermind With A Master Plan To Break Matt Murdock greater storyline I am – again, it’s something that’s been done by at least three Daredevil writers I can think of off the top of my head – but the particular story of Daredevil #25, with this particular antagonist, has a progression and an arc and a final twist reveal that is simply magnificent.

Don’t get me wrong, the antagonist himself is only okay – every writer of superhero comics ever has at least toyed with the idea of a villain who is the evil version of the hero (Bizarro / Owl-Man / Kaine / Sinestro / Faith anyone?) – but that final twist reveal? Man, that’s enough to forgive going to that villain well.

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Editor’s Note: Kingpin left me with ten spoilers in my pocket. I found a comics Web site that makes change.

Whether purposefully or accidentally, Marvel and writer Mark Waid have put themselves into a difficult position by putting the first chronological appearance of The Superior Spider-Man – that is, whoever Spider-Man will wind up being after the events of next week’s The Amazing Spider-Man #700 – into this week’s Daredevil #21.

Because with all the hype and anticipation surrounding what will happen with Spider-Man (as an example: once we published an article about the leak to the Internet of the ending to The Amazing Spider-Man #700, our Web traffic doubled… and we didn’t even publish the actual spoilers), what he does and how he acts in Daredevil #21 will be almost as important to readers as the story about Ol’ Hornhead. It’s kinda like casting the Octomom or John Wayne Bobbit in a porno flick; you’ll get a lot of rubberneckers not watching the thing for its intended purpose.

So even though Spider-Man’s appearance in Daredevil #21 makes complete and total sense with regards to the greater story – not only the story of some still unknown party trying to drive Matt nuts, but of Matt’s conscious decision to lighten up that goes back to Waid’s earliest issues – his appearance here, before the resolution of the current arc in Spider-Man’s home title, means the issue (not the story; there is a distinction there) has a massive, nearly crippling distraction that I doubt Waid originally intended. It makes the reading of this individual issue, during this particular point in pre-Amazing Spider-Man #700 time, an almost schizophrenic experience, where what Spider-Man does and says in two pages is almost, if not more, important to the comic reader than the actual Daredevil story in the preceding 18 pages.

So I’m gonna review it that way: in two parts.

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