TV Review: Brooding and bloody Daredevil should appeal to the character’s fans

Superhero comics made an awkward lurch toward social relevance in the ’70s, with heavy-handed stories about drugs and racism; but the genre really started to mature in the ’80s, when a handful of writers and artists embraced their pulp roots. At Marvel, Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s X-Men comics and Frank Miller’s version of Daredevil elevated the medium via twisty, fast-paced storytelling, and a willingness to take the life-and-death stakes of superheroes’ lives seriously. These books were entertaining first and foremost, and developed their deeper themes organically, by sharpening the focus on the characters and their worlds.

Superhero television is now at the kind of crossroads that comics reached circa 1980. In comics, the previous decade’s wave of adult-oriented genre fare and undergrounds showed that there was both a way to produce more sophisticated work and an audience for the outcome. With TV, the massive success of …

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