On April 10, Marvel and Netflix premiere "Daredevil," the 13-episode series all about Matt Murdock's blind quest for justice against the criminals of Hell's Kitchen. It's the first series in Marvel and Netflix's partnership plan to focus on four different heroes — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — and eventually combine them for an "Avengers"-modeled crossover event called "The Defenders."
The new "Daredevil" series puts forth a Man Without Fear for the modern Marvel fan; someone who can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's mightiest heroes. We're a long way from the Ben Affleck "Daredevil" days of yesteryear, in other words.
Not to say there's nothing to love about Affleck's "Daredevil." Does it hold up well against today's Marvel Studios standards? Maybe not — but there are still a few reasons why it's kind of awesome, including…
Colin Farrell as Bullseye.Fox
Not as iconic as J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, but equally irreplaceable? That's one man's completely outrageous opinion, anyway! Even though another actor will come along to take on Bullseye one of these days, never forget who started it all: Farrell, with his manic eyes, his goofy grin, and his crazy tattoo, tearing up Hell's Kitchen with paperclips and peanuts.
It's fairly amazing that Ben Affleck is about to become the Caped Crusader in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," considering how much he enjoyed his experience with "Daredevil." Which is to say, he didn't enjoy it much. He confessed in an interview with MTV five years ago that he and his cohorts "missed a lot" in their adaptation of "Daredevil," making it clear that he did not love the final product. And yet, all these years later, Affleck's about to take another stab at the superhero genre. Would Batfleck exist without Matthew Mur-fleck? Maybe, maybe not — but in this timeline, a failed experience on "Daredevil" could pave the way for an awesome new Batman.
Just as there's no Batfleck without "Daredevil," does the Marvel Cinematic Universe exist as we know it without the Man Without Fear? Probably; Jon Favreau, director of "Iron Man" and therefore the filmmaker who established the tone and world of future Marvel movies, would have likely gotten the job even without playing Foggy Nelson in "Daredevil." But the erstwhile Happy Hogan surely learned a lesson or two while on the set of Fox's superhero movie, lessons he applied to getting "Iron Man" exactly right. Once again, give "Daredevil" some credit for shaping some of the superhero movies you know and love today.
Just the sight gag of Bruce Wayne and Happy Hogan hanging out is enough on its own. Not often that you would see these two in a room together, right?
Seriously, Colin Farrell as Bullseye.Fox
He really is the greatest.
You're probably not going to find Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock and Jennifer Garner as Elektra at the top of many people's lists of favorite superhero movie heroes. That said, even if their chemistry wasn't exactly there in "Daredevil," this movie was the breeding ground for Affleck and Garner eventually coming together to become one of the cutest couples in Hollywood. An awkward "Elektra" spinoff and three kids later, Bennifer remains very much a thing, and we have to thank "Daredevil" for that, at least in part.
The playground battle!Fox
If only awesome for its sheer ridiculousness.
The Evanescence scene.
We're gonna need a montage.
This amazing image of Michael Clarke Duncan.Fox
Few people were as large and in charge on sight alone as the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan — and few people seemed as friendly, too. There was a teddy bear-like quality to Duncan that prevented him from being the unequivocal menace that Wilson Fisk needs to represent; but even if he wasn't the world's greatest Kingpin, this one shot of him staring out into New York while chomping on a cigar just might be the coolest image in the entire movie.
"Ignorance is bliss."Fox
It's so easy to forget about street reporter Ben Urich, played by the great Joe Pantoliano. You should recognize the actor on sight, but in case you need a refresher, he played Cypher in "The Matrix," Teddy in "Memento," Ralphie Cifaretto on "The Sopranos," and one of the scummy Fratelli brothers in "The Goonies." Any movie with Joey Pants has to be at least a little bit awesome.
Did we mention Colin Farrell as Bullseye?Fox
We did? Oh. Sorry.
Well, let's mention him one last time.Fox
Colin Farrell as Bullseye, Colin Farrell as Bullseye, Colin Farrell as Bullseye. Just can't say it enough.