There and Back Again - A comic book's tale

Cinescape's critique and review of the Daredevil comic book made of the movie adaptation of the comic book.
What a peculiar subgenre this is: a comic book adaptation of a live-action feature film derived from a comic book. Surely there can be no more mind-bending recursive exercise than this. How to take what is often a watered-down, less dynamic version of a comic book story and somehow render it back into its original medium in a way that is intriguing and hopefully entertaining. Can it be done? All too rarely, I'm afraid, but this plucky little category of comic will never fade - not while there are so many comic book movies on the way with an extra buck to be made slapping them back into print. To business then...

In the somewhat similar but altered origin of Daredevil presented here, Matt Murdock is distraught as a child when he learns that his father is handling protection for the Kingpin. Fleeing into the street, he is struck by chemicals from a truck and left blind. Ah, but we know the rest of this part of the story, don't we? Flash forward and Matt is now trying a rape case (with a doppelganger of Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada standing in as the accused - what the hell was he thinking?!). He loses, but not when he dons a familiar red cowl and tracks Quesada down outside the halls of justice. Meanwhile, the Kingpin is plagued by reporter Ben Urich, Matt's buddy Foggy Nelson wonders at the powers of the Man Without Fear written up in the papers, and Matt is struck by a thunderbolt when he meets a girl named Elektra Natchios.

The meeting scene between Matt and Elektra is one of the stupidest machismo romantic fight sequences I've ever seen, and I can't imagine it'll play any more logically on the screen; way to blow your cover there, Matt. But a lot of the elements are here, juggled and distorted though they may be. By the time Kingpin hires assassin Bullseye (looking not quite as awful as he does in the movie itself) to kill Elektra - the daughter of a business rival - you can bet money that we'll see some Frank Miller panels lovingly re-created. Before that, there are a few more truly moronic plot twists. Some folks have made a cottage industry out of ridiculing the inaccurate legal procedures portrayed in countless issues of the original comic, but here the law is twisted out of all reason, and the clues are of the Encyclopedia Brown variety.

As for aesthetics, the film DD costume just doesn't work in comics, where clean lines and stark colors are all that's needed to convey action and heroism. It's just too busy, like a leather biker outfit gone horribly awry - ironically, that's the same reaction many will probably have to the movie costume itself as well. Between the lousy garb and lousier plotline, this looks like a bomb that's ready to blow.

...So I have no doubt it will make millions.
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EarthsMightiestAdmin
1/26/2003
Cinescape

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