Marvel TV shows review: Daredevil, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I decided this year to review all of the live action shows related to Marvel Comics in one article, so it will be more brief, but will contain some spoilers. If you just want my ratings then scroll down to the final paragraph of each break, which will be spoiler free.
First up, Daredevil. What is there to say? A lot, but so little. To me, this is the best Marvel live action thing to date, and that is saying a LOT. Never once have they nailed a character and realism as well as they had with this series. It also opens up opportunities for so much more, and yet still pays tribute to that which is already established. It connects the existing cinematic universe without using it as a springboard and does it tastefully. So, on to the characters:
Daredevil/Matt Murdock is played by Charlie Cox. From the acting, the abuse that the character takes both mentally and physically, and the way he perceives the world through his senses, you can really get a feel for what it is like to be in his shoes. His first costume is on point with one of the comic versions, while his final costume and why he dons it are closer to what we all know and love. Cox really takes us on the ride of not just knowing DD’s origin, but why he does what he does. He’s not just a hero because he has to be… he’s a hero because he WANTS to be.
Wilson Fisk/Kingpin , played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is believable from the start. This isn’t just Murdock’s origin as the hero, but moreso Fisk’s origin as the Kingpin. The look into his childhood says a lot as to why he is who he is, and what he goes through in these 13 episodes shows us why he will become what he has by the end of the season. He is cunning and powerful in more ways than one, and I doubt those bars will hold him for long.
Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, & Ben Urich: These three drive the series home, and while Foggy was quirky at times he grew on me. Ben was absolutely outstanding and I wish we could have seen more of him in the future. Karen proved that she will do what is necessary to survive, and support her friends. Daredevil would not have been complete without these three supporting characters.
Vanessa & Wesley: Like the above 3, supporting characters I can’t stress how much these two were needed for Fisk. Vanessa although falling a bit too fast has a dark side that is well balanced with a lighter side, making the perfect compliment for the lead villain. Every scene that included Wesley was enjoyable because of his dedication and coldness.
Leland Owlsley/The Owl: Bob Gunton always seems to play the same character no matter what his role, but his acting perfection in that role gave Owlsley the life he needed. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see the full comic book adaptation of The Owl, but I understand why. There was no room or need for him to become his better known comic half other than to serve the role he already did in the series.
Claire Temple/Nightnurse played by Rosario Dawson was utilized to the perfect amount. She didn’t need to do anymore than what she was there for, and I’m glad that they got away from the romance between her and Matt that I thought was going to begin.
Stan Lee: Yes I have to include his cameo, because he’s the man. I can understand if you missed it but he’s there in spirit. Behind the main desk of the Police office building there is a framed photo on the wall of who might be the chief of police or some retired police hero. The photo is of Stan Lee in uniform. His cameo and the avengers references were enough to make any fan boy smile.
Stick: Aside from the brief cameo we see by his partner Stone, Stick was crucial to the history of the man who would become DD. His persona is countered by the Catholic Priest and I believe it is both of these things that shape our hero and allow him to know what is right and wrong and which lines to cross.
Madame Gao: There are many speculations as to her actually being the Crane Mother, and they are justified. She knocked DD on his ass and barely had to break a sweat. Then she claimed that she was from a place much farther than China, so the only thing that could be is another realm… not to mention the symbol that is known to be part of the Iron Fist background. All of this aside, her role, and the brief Hand ninja appearance became ground work for the future of this series, and others to come.
All in all, I have to rate DD with a 10 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. This is definitely NOT for young children, evident by the language and violence, but I think us adults needed something more mature to enjoy in this amazing universe. Kudos to the writers, producers and cast for an outstanding job.
Hayley Atwell breathes life once again into Peggy Carter. From coping with the “death” of Steve Rogers to dealing with the sexism of the time, she proves herself worthy in so many ways. With Edwin Jarvis and Howard Stark there to support her, she rises against the odds, kicks ass, and all while feeling real.
Doctor Faustus & The Black Widow program prove to be the perfect villains for the series while The Howling Commandoes become a wanted sight to assist Carter.
Stan Lee once again appears as a guy getting his shoes shined, and again you can’t help but smile at his presence.
All in all I found the series to be unnecessary, but enjoyable. The cast and setting were a decent escape from the norm, and it provided an origin to the organization that would one day be called SHIELD. That being said, I wish this was a one shot. There is no need to further tackle this subject in another miniseries, but ABC has officially announced season 2. Overall I give Agent Carter 6 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.
It began with a bang, progressed on to more boring issues, then got interesting, but not necessarily great. Then the ending came and the finale went out with a bang. Here are some of the more notable things:
Phil Coulson has become less interesting, and while I’m a fan of everything Clark Greg does, I’m convinced the newly appointed director of SHIELD may have his days numbered.
Carl Creel/Absorbing Man was easily the BEST thing about this season. He was given a mention in Daredevil as well, so I think the powers that be know his worth. The special effects and interesting way that they made him appear (yes even with his ball and chain) had me convinced that this season was going to be absolutely amazing.
The second best thing about this season was the introduction of Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird. She is what the SHIELD team needed to feel more connected to Marvel’s universe. She’s an enjoyable character to watch and more likeable than most of the characters.
FitzSimmons is annoying on a whole different level than they were last season. Fitz has become more likeable, but his memory issue seems to have been a bit overdone. Simmons on the other hand; for the love of God, she needs to go. There was no point to her even being there other than being a very annoying character.
Agent 33 is a mystery. I’m not sure where I stand as of yet on her reliance with Ward, but could she be Madame Masque? If she isn’t I dont see much of a point to her either.
Raina took a back seat through most of this season, but I like that they introduced her as the Raina character from the comics. Sure she may have been a C-rate character, but the usage was done nicely.
Daisy/Skye/Quake is the primary focus of the season, and while she has been revealed as being one of the Inhumans, she is not up to her full capacity yet. This needed to be done with Skye, because if not she’d be another person that would have felt forced if anything at all. I’m interested in seeing her develop more especially since she will be on a team of powered people working for SHIELD next season (at least that’s what they led you to believe).
Cal/Mr. Hyde Definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season. He’s a bit nerdy, a bit psychotic, and a bit melodramatic, but I’d never in a million years have thought I’d see him in a live action adaptation. While I hope for more known characters to appear, Hyde is what this show needs. It is a less than perfect show, so why not use less than perfect characters that will enhance it? He is exactly that but it works well.
Deathlok 2.0 is still meh. I like Mike Peterson, but he is still not the Deathlok I want to see. I only hope that this version of him will continue to evolve into what he should be. We know they can pull it off, so they need to make it happen. I’d much rather see him and mockingbird than the lesser inhuman people.
From characters, to Age of Ultron and movie/tv show tie ins, to the Kree and SHIELD rising and falling, this season had a lot going for it, but also a lot of room for improvement. It has been renewed for season 3, but if they don’t do something interesting fast then it will get the boot. I give it 5 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins for season 2. There was enough to make me interested, but much to forget about.