Small Potatoes: Why Daredevil Works

By now, everyone and their sister has seen the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. If you haven’t, watch it. The hype train is pulling out of the station, full speed ahead! You want to be on it!

But the trailer got me thinking about the worlds within our entertainment. To all of us, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Yoda, Darth Vader, and the rest of those guys are the most important part of this universe. Every event that takes place in these movies are driven by these characters in some fashion. As we understand it, in this galaxy far far away, they dominate the headlines.

But what if they don’t? What if the Millennium Falcon is just another cargo ship flying across the galaxy, unnoticed despite its history of Death Star destruction. Sure these guys are a thorn in a few people’s sides, but if we did a Jimmy Kimmel poll on the streets of Tatooine, would anyone be able to pick these scruffy nerf-herders out of a line up?

I find this fascinating to think about. When we enter the world of a movie or a book or any kind of media, we are so bound to the main plot and characters that little else seems to matter. And we transpose that onto the minor and background characters of the story as well. Surely they must care about this particular set of events as much as I do! And why not? This world was literally created so that this particular story could be told with this particular set of characters.

But this falls apart when you begin to look deeper. There is always more story beyond what is in the pages. Some authors have back story written down for every event and character and place. Other authors feel that the story truly belongs to the reader. Whatever happens before the first page, after the last page, and during any untold bits in the middle is completely up to the person enjoying the story with the knowledge that they have.

Then you have creators who show you every bit of what is going on in the world. And those creators create comic books. And also the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


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Up until now, there were lots of holes in what Marvel was expertly dishing out. If Captain America truly was about to meet his end in Winter Soldier, why wouldn’t Iron Man just swoop in and save him? When Tony Stark is battling hard against the Mandarin, couldn’t his science buddy Bruce Banner come in and whack him around a bit? And why does Thor only conveniently come to Earth when there’s an Avengers initiative in the works?

This is why I love Daredevil. Matt Murdock is battling against villains who are just as bad as Loki and the Winter Soldier (though without any powers) and you never expect a star spangled shield to fly through the door. The Avengers don’t care. The villains Daredevil defeats and the people he saves are small potatoes to Captain America and Iron Man. In a world where aliens rain from the sky, a boy in Hell’s Kitchen being kidnapped by Russian gangsters would not even make the faintest blip on the Avengers radar. They can’t be everywhere at once and that’s certainly not a battle they’re going to choose (regardless of how quickly they could take care of things).

And this is why Daredevil truly fits into the scheme of the Marvel Universe. Even if Matt Murdock never makes it into a Marvel movie, we know what he’s doing. While sentient robots are taking over the world and spider infused men are being discovered, Daredevil is doing his damnedest to clean up his very little corner of the world. He won’t get swanky parties or decked out helicarriers, but he’ll keep on doing it until those in need pay as well as SHIELD.


And that’s his piece of the MCU. If we read between the lines of Age of Ultron, we may see a boy who could care less about Hawkeye or Black Widow, but who owes his life to an unknown man in a black mask. And that gives this universe so much more depth than any universe in any media I’ve ever consumed. It humanizes it and makes it real. Sometimes more real than we would like our “super hero” universe to be. But it’s gritty and true and damn is it good!


– Ron Palmieri

TWITTER: @ronofthemill