A Catholic Daredevil

Having just finished the first season today, I was pleased to find this insightful piece at Slate on Netflix’s new series Marvel’s Daredevil. The article explains, “To really understand Daredevil—both the comic book and the new show—you need to understand his Catholicism.” And they are right. The show “tries to reconcile the lawyer who defends the law with the Daredevil who breaks it. Murdock’s brutal justice is more than his way of taking personal responsibility for the sins of others; it’s his way of atoning for his own. Murdock’s real superpower, and also his biggest foe, is his Catholicism.” The article concludes, “Daredevil is far from the perfect superhero. He makes mistakes. He doesn’t have “an iron suit or a magic hammer.” And his relentless sacrifice night after night, his ability to gain strength from his weaknesses, and his guilt over the terrible things he does to bring justice to Hell’s Kitchen may not make him the perfect Catholic either, but they do make his faith an ever greater superpower than his heightened senses.” While religious convictions or mere leanings tend to show up in passing in film1 (unless it is portrayed negatively), their is a healthy dose of confession, the priest, and empty, post-Mass churches throughout the first season. There are frank questions about morality and spirituality between Murdock and the priest. And while it may not be earth-shattering, I sense a kind of metaphysical longing and pondering on Murdock’s part throughout the series. The show’s title sequence features a red liquid (wax or even blood?) that creates numerous images, which are linked to the three elements that shape Daredevil: (1) blind justice via the law, (2) his upbringing in Hell’s Kitchen, and (3) his Catholicism.

For me, the appearance of the cross and angel stir my own metaphysical ponderings.