Marvel’s newest superhero series premiered yesterday on Netflix. All 13 episodes are now available to stream; if you’re so inclined, you could spend the weekend gorging on the entire season…

Daredevil posterThe series marks an interesting turn for Marvel. On the small screen, at lest, DC has enjoyed more acclaim. AGENTS OF SHIELD, whilst enjoyable, has attracted its fair share of criticism. Meanwhile, ARROW and THE FLASH have been hugely successful. GOTHAM, to a lesser extent, has also been popular.

It’s interesting to see the divide between success on the big and small screen. Marvel is aiming for a cohesive universe now, with all properties existing under one umbrella. This is an admirable goal, and one which is going to become increasingly difficult as the universe expands. Did you know that the Scarlet Witch is the daughter of Magneto? She’ll potentially open the door between the X-MEN and AVENGERS worlds… Things are able to get complicated!

DC, on the other hand, has pitched for a more fragmented and individualised universe. Nolan once said that his Batman existed in a world without other superheroes; suggesting that there would be less need for Batman in a world where heroes were rife. He’s probably right about that. MAN OF STEEL diverged from that premise (there are a few teasers that suggested a linked universe). Of course, later this year DAWN OF JUSTICE will combine several hero franchises – but there are no plans for this universe to include The Flash, or Green Arrow: unlike Marvel, DC is happy for these worlds to co-exist…

So what of DAREDEVIL? I’ve only watched episode one, but I thought that it was great. The acting, tone and plotting was excellent. At first blush, it’s hard to see how amy superhero drama series can cut new ground. To an extent, DAREDEVIL does follow the familiar hero’s path. But the feel is different: far more reminiscent of a police procedural or an episode of LAW & ORDER than AVENGERS. I liked the colour-drained cinematography and the realistic fight sequences; all suggesting the “on the ground” approach to DAREDEVIL. It’s different enough from Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT trilogy to avoid becoming a clone. Daredevil the hero isn’t superpowered and he gets hurt, but that’s the appeal of the character. I’d like to see the cast expanded, but I’m sure that this will happen as we go. For now DAREDEVIL is off to an excellent start.

Last thoughts: I liked the Easter eggs – hints that this NYC is exactly the same world in which Thor, Captain America and the Hulk exist! Despite the change in tone of the DAREDEVIL show, Marvel is still keen to demonstrate that this is the same universe.