With Daredevil about to explore the dark alleys of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via the debut of its 13-episode first season on Netflix, fans of both Marvel’s Hollywood output and the comic book incarnation of the radar-sensed vigilante are anxious with anticipation.
We take the blinders off with seven key things you need to know about the streaming superhero:
1. For his Daredevil scenes, star Charlie Cox stayed as hands-on as possible. “Whenever that opportunity arises, I always call ahead and say, ‘Please, let me do as much as I’m allowed to!'” he says. But his stunt double was so good at super-heroic leaps, spins, punches and kicks, he admits, “People will watch the show and at times they’ll think it’s CG’d — but it’s not!”
2. The comic’s Karen Page started out as Nelson & Murdock’s sunny secretary before leaving to pursue acting, but Frank Miller’s legendary run revealed the dark path that followed (think drugs and porn). Netflix’s Karen is haunted by a traumatic turn earlier in her life. “It’s going to impact greatly her decisions and moving forward,” says Deborah Ann Woll, “but it may be a while before we find out exactly what it is that she’s hiding.”
3. Matt’s law partner Foggy Nelson is also his closest friend, but Karen’s affections may test their bond. Ladies’ man Matt doesn’t need radar senses to detect Karen’s allure — especially when she borrows a t-shirt while staying in his apartment — but she and Foggy also get closer during an all-night pub crawl. “Foggy definitely would like more,” says actor Elden Henson, “and, I mean, why wouldn’t he?”
4. Claire Temple is a fresh addition to the Daredevil-verse, but has roots in not one but two Marvel characters: a physician ex-girlfriend of hero-for-hire Luke Cage (who has his own Netflix show coming) and Night Nurse, who tends to the wounds of superheroes injured in battle. “Marvel’s doing something fun,” says Rosario Dawson, “When you have a whole universe that you can play with, you can change and massage things.”
5. Vincent D’Onofrio could not be more of a dead ringer for Daredevil‘s comic book big bad, gigantic mob boss Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin, down to the bald head and expensive suits. “You want to do the right thing for the fans,” says the actor, who fell for the character’s complex, isolated persona. “Shaving the head and wearing the suits, that’s nice – but getting the emotional life out there was really special.”
6. There are copious nods to both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comic book lore, both blatant and subtle. “There are some that, honestly, are so deep and obscure that I had to look them up!” says EP Steven S. DeKnight, who received more than a fair share of suggestions from the Marvel offices on where and when to name-drop nuggets of nerdery. Then there’s the question of the Kingpin of Marvel Easter eggs: will Stan “The Man” Lee, who co-created Daredevil with artist Bill Everett in 1964, have a cameo? Though neither confirming nor denying, Marvel’s TV head Jeph Loeb admits, “[That]’s a tradition that we believe in.” ‘Nuff said! (Written by Scott Huver)