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Marvel Netflix - Sweet Christmas!

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6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Technically JJ and Luke Cage are still the only super-powered heroes in the Netflix-MCverse right?

No. In addition to the notes above about Iron Fist, DD has super-senses. The show messes this up a bit, because Stick is able to manage so well without sight that it makes DD's senses seem less remarkable, but DD's senses are every bit as much a superpower as Jessica's strength or Luke's invulnerability.

So every lead character in the Netflix series has superpowers, so far. Punisher will be the exception, I guess.

Edited by mormont

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15 hours ago, mormont said:

No. In addition to the notes above about Iron Fist, DD has super-senses. The show messes this up a bit, because Stick is able to manage so well without sight that it makes DD's senses seem less remarkable, but DD's senses are every bit as much a superpower as Jessica's strength or Luke's invulnerability.

So every lead character in the Netflix series has superpowers, so far. Punisher will be the exception, I guess.

I'd agree that the Punisher is the only non super powered lead in the netflix shows. Although now you point it out, it's only my knowledge of Daredevil that makes it obvious his senses are a super power and not just human training. At a push they may not have shown Stick to have a radar sense but that's tenuous and essentially pointless given his ability.

From the trailer I think it's hard to claim he doesn't have a super-power either. I guess, like Daredevil his martial arts are down to training but making your hand glow and punch through concrete is where the super comes in.

It's maybe more accurate to say Iron Fist and Daredevil aren't invulnerable which Luke Cage and JJ essentially are

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4 minutes ago, The BlackBear said:

JJ isn't invulnerable. She's tougher than a normal human, but certainly not invulnerable.

I thought she could take bullets ok but maybe misrembering? She was able to go toe to toe with Luke Cage so i took it she's hard to injure? But maybe it's only cage who can take (most) gunshots and cars are smashed up by him rather thanm vice versa.

I guess invulnerable is a strong word as even Superman doesn't meet that criteria. But they are in a different league to Daredevil and Iron Fist.

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DD doesn't seem to have a distinct 'radar sense' in the Netflix shows either, just a gestalt view of the world created by his enhanced 'normal' senses*. But he is shown doing things that Stick explicitly can't do - reading newsprint with his fingertips, for example.

Where the line is drawn is vague - DD can do things a normal person can't but Stick can also do things he shouldn't be able to do, no matter how much he trains. I just put Stick's abilities down to mystic comic book martial arts.

 

*though DD season 2 in particular is inconsistent about this. The Hand ninja suppress their heartbeat, and somehow this makes them undetectable to DD? But DD should be able to smell them, to detect the movements they make in the air, to hear their clothing brush against their skin, and to hear them breathing, In fact he does do that last but only after Stick tells him to, which he shouldn't have to. And for some reason, before this, DD can sense their weapons but not the Hand themselves? That's bizarre. The writing is a mess there.

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Just now, red snow said:

I thought she could take bullets ok but maybe misrembering? She was able to go toe to toe with Luke Cage so i took it she's hard to injure? But maybe it's only cage who can take (most) gunshots and cars are smashed up by him rather thanm vice versa.

She gets winged in the shoulder in that episode with the husband and wife, the one where they desperately wanted to say mutants but couldn't. I think her toughness is on par with her strength increase. It's all very hard to define, but she certainly isn't bulletproof. It's partly that that makes her more interesting than Cage. A big weakness of LC was they didn't explore interesting ways to kill him, just find a literal magic bullet.

 

That Hand stuff was bullshit.

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18 hours ago, mormont said:

No. In addition to the notes above about Iron Fist, DD has super-senses. The show messes this up a bit, because Stick is able to manage so well without sight that it makes DD's senses seem less remarkable

I remember this confusing me at the time, and asking if Stick was exposed to the same "toxic chemicals." I just assumed they had independently gained the same powers  and that exposure to toxic chemicals was not the only route to such abilities. 

I had written out this whole other paragraph and hit refresh before I posted only to see that you already said it:

1 hour ago, mormont said:

*though DD season 2 in particular is inconsistent about this. The Hand ninja suppress their heartbeat, and somehow this makes them undetectable to DD? But DD should be able to smell them, to detect the movements they make in the air, to hear their clothing brush against their skin, and to hear them breathing, In fact he does do that last but only after Stick tells him to, which he shouldn't have to. And for some reason, before this, DD can sense their weapons but not the Hand themselves? That's bizarre. The writing is a mess there.

It makes no sense at all. I'd argue that at least season one leaves the impressions that his ability to kick ass was based more on training and concentration than some special gift. 

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A big weakness of LC was they didn't explore interesting ways to kill him, just find a literal magic bullet.

Yeah, and to make matter worse, there was a brief throwaway line by Black Mariah stating possible ways to kill him. And then they never followed up on it. WFT? I liked the super bullets though.

One of the ways Daredevil's super powers are expressed in the show is how he hears things blocks away and further and hears through walls. It's why he doesn't need a police scanner and Punisher does. Oh yeah, he is a lie detector, too.

DD has super equipment as well. While not a super power per se, his armor and baton do make him a lot tougher than your average martial arts bad ass.

Awesome trailer btw. Much better than the earlier one, and I liked that one.

Edited by Martell Spy

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I just finished a rewatch of all four Netflix series, and I have some thoughts which I'll post when I have time. For now, I have to say that nobody following up the idea of drowning Luke is a minor aside, not a 'big weakness'.

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51 minutes ago, mormont said:

I just finished a rewatch of all four Netflix series, and I have some thoughts which I'll post when I have time. For now, I have to say that nobody following up the idea of drowning Luke is a minor aside, not a 'big weakness'.

Quite the marathon!

The actual logistics of trying to drown him are a bit messy when you think about it - you either have to draw him to a river or swimming pool or somehow find someone who can hold his head down in a bucket of water. Asphyxiation/knock out gas would be effective at immobilising or poisoning him though. I guess the problem with acknowledging this weakness is once out the bag there's the question of why they don't always try and do that. It used to be the same with crippling DD with "white noise" although thankfully Mark Waid (and I assume earlier comic writers) found a way to circumnavigate that.

Some really good points thrown out about DD's "powers" in the TV show though. I'm trying to remember if he increases his healing by meditation as well? Or purring like a cat? :P

 

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When it comes to drowning, the series establishes that post-experiment Carl/Luke can swim from Seagate to the Georgia shore - the distance isn't specified but is impressive just from the visuals and obviously thought to be impossible. So drowning that guy is going to take more than pushing him off a dock. You need to trap him first, or render him unconscious or helpless, all of which would take some doing. Same problem with gas or acid. Burning him is also mentioned but we can be fairly sure that won't work.

But the point about that scene is not that these things would work. It's that it shows that Mariah is smarter than Cottonmouth. She's thinking out of the box. It establishes something the series will come back to, that Mariah is actually potentially more dangerous than her cousin. That's followed up on, even if the specific methods aren't.

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Oh, and... new Iron Fist teaser with no Iron Fist in it, just Colleen Wing kicking ass.

 

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It bugged me that they added things that DD couldn't possibly do without magic powers, mainly because it was so unnecessary. There were so few scenes that actually relied on it, and the series would've stayed much more grounded without them. I linked to it a few threads back but check out Daniel Kish, who uses echolocation for all kinds of things like mountian biking, etc. That + comic book artistic license puts you fairly close to the stuff you see on DD.

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Why would that bug you? DD has always had super-senses. He hasn't always been 'grounded', and he hasn't always worn red, and lots of things about him have changed and changed back. But he's always had powers. Even when Frank Miller was writing him.

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Well, not a comic book reader. So from the beginning I was wondering whether they were supernatural or not, keeping an eye out for things that weren't even conceivably possible with some kind of heightened sense or echolocation. And there weren't many (though to be fair I'm thinking of season 1 mainly). He knew how many fingers Foggy was holding up when he could have just said 'I don't know, it doesn't work like that' and I seem to remember he knew the contents of a bag before looking through it, when he could have just opened it. Seems quite a loaded concept to bring into a show for so little gain.

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I can understand why it might annoy you when viewing the DareDevil show by itself. But when Jessica Jone, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are soon to follow, there's really very little point in trying to keep it grounded. In fact, having smaller scale powers helps the transition into the more flashy ones that will be coming down the line shortly.

 

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Quote

 

Well, not a comic book reader. So from the beginning I was wondering whether they were supernatural or not, keeping an eye out for things that weren't even conceivably possible with some kind of heightened sense or echolocation. And there weren't many (though to be fair I'm thinking of season 1 mainly). He knew how many fingers Foggy was holding up when he could have just said 'I don't know, it doesn't work like that' and I seem to remember he knew the contents of a bag before looking through it, when he could have just opened it. Seems quite a loaded concept to bring into a show for so little gain.

 

 

 

Small nitpick. DD's powers are not supernatural. Although they are certainly super. His powers fall loosely into the science category. Caused by toxic sludge or whatever it is. This distinction may seem silly, but it matters. JJ and Luke were science based as well. Iron Fist's powers are magical and thus supernatural. If creatures like Dragons or Demons are involved, then the powers are supernatural. Strange's powers are supernatural. I don't know if they went with the radioactive spider for Spiderman, but that'd make his powers science based if they did.

There are also the powers for the Inhumans. I'm not sure how you'd classify them, but they are clearly separate. They've kind of become a stand in for mutants, since mutants were ripped away from the MCU to make their own universe.

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10 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

Well, not a comic book reader. So from the beginning I was wondering whether they were supernatural or not, keeping an eye out for things that weren't even conceivably possible with some kind of heightened sense or echolocation. And there weren't many (though to be fair I'm thinking of season 1 mainly). He knew how many fingers Foggy was holding up when he could have just said 'I don't know, it doesn't work like that' and I seem to remember he knew the contents of a bag before looking through it, when he could have just opened it. Seems quite a loaded concept to bring into a show for so little gain.

See, this goes to one of the issues I think DD has as a series, which is common in many superhero media, and it's the conflict between being 'grounded' and being a fantasy. So many series want the thrills of comic book superheroes but still want everything to be serious, and they can't get away from the fear that common superhero tropes (costumes, powers, superhero names) might undermine that. That's why you still have characters chewing their way through the clumsy, cumbersome phrase 'the devil of Hell's Kitchen' when referring to DD way into season 2, long after he's earned the 'Daredevil' tag, which trips off the tongue by comparison. (I feel like it also probably contributes to the other thing DD does that annoys me, which is market a series with numerous shots of characters in costumes that they're going to wear for about thirty seconds in the last episode.)

I've said it before and it remains true: DD and the other Netflix series are best when they embrace what they are. They're superhero shows. It's not a 'loaded concept' to have a superhero who has superpowers. In fact it's the basic concept of DD as a character - he's blind but his other senses are not just good enough to compensate, but to do impossible things. He takes the trope of the blind-guy-who-compensates and turns it up to 11. That's what superheroes do: that's how they're written. They take tropes and exaggerate them to tell stories.

Besides, even if you dialed down DD's senses, the series would still not be 'grounded'. DD's an incredible martial artist who also happens to be an extremely talented lawyer and never seems to need to practice or train at either job. He takes hefty beatings, gets stitched up and then goes back out on patrol every night for a week. He never suffers any lasting ill-effect from injuries. He rarely seems to need to sleep, despite extreme mental and physical exertion every day. The villains have no trouble acquiring unending supplies of assault weapons and mooks to fire them. The police never show up until the plot requires it, no matter how many shots and explosions there are. Criminals can always make bail, no matter what they did, and always have a backup warehouse or other hideout. And so on. The only difference between all of these things and DD's super-senses is that you find these things in 'regular' action movies as well as superhero stories. But they're a long way from 'grounded'.

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So having said all that...

As I say, I just finished rewatching all four Netflix/marvel series and it was a pleasant experience. All four series hold up on a rewatch pretty well. I had forgotten just how good DD S1 was. It was the trailblazer and it needed to land perfectly, and the early episodes do that. They're pretty great. It has some flaws - in particular, it spins its wheels a bit towards the end of the season in an obvious attempt to hold stuff back for the finale, and I still think bumping off Ben Urich was a big mistake - but overall it's pretty well done and shows that these series can work. Some great performances and probably the best fight choreography in any season.

DD S2 is a season that has some incredible stuff in it but overall is the weakest of the four by a distance. I love Bernthal's Punisher, who comes off as a more believable military man and more of a working-class Joe than the usual interpretations. I love that they bring back Fisk and that right from the moment he appears in this series he's the Kingpin I wanted to see. There is some great character work, culminating in Foggy tearing Matt a new one in the bathroom at the trial. But... the series is blatantly two unrelated plotlines spliced together to fill the episodes, and that doesn't work well. The bathroom scene works because Matt has been a jerk all series, but then he goes right on being a jerk, and that's bad. There's altogether too much Stick. (Scott Glen is amazing but Stick works better in small doses.) Then there's the aforementioned problems with how Matt's senses work, and the Black Sky twist that isn't set up properly and contradicts what we've been told. It all comes together in a really weak final episode, culminating in Punisher showing up in his only costumed scene just to shoot four random ninjas who've done nothing but watch Matt and Nobu fight. It might seem unfair to pick on that one single scene, but it really shows the problems: it's clearly there just to tick a box. I nearly typed 'it's the only scene where the plots converge' but they don't, even. The Punisher is just gratuitously inserted into the scene.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage work better, though they have two big advantages. Neither lead has a costume or codename (at least, not at present: Luke Cage has a lot of fun taking the piss out of his past), so there's no tension about whether those things come off as silly. It's notable that they both seem very relaxed about being a bit less serious than DD, though, and a bit more comic-booky. Cage even has explicit links to the MCU, with Hammer tech being used and so on.

The other major advantage they have is that the showrunners know exactly what story they want to tell. Melissa Rosenberg is telling a story about abusive relationships and power dynamics, Cheo Hodari Coker is telling a story about black culture and black masculinity. In contrast, I don't know what either series of DD is really about, other than a lawyer who goes out and punches bad people. They occasionally toy with themes of faith, or redemption, or morality, but they never really pick any of these ideas up consistently.

Luke Cage gets a bad press but it's better than I remember and I remembered it being very good. The cast are excellent, and gives a chance to minority actors to really shine. Mike Colter is solid (no pun intended), Simone Missick is outstanding, Mahershali Ali is amazing, Alfre Woodard too. Even the smallest roles are done well. Luke Cage has a better version of Turk Barrett in two episodes than DD does in seven. That might seem a small thing but it's the small things that count, sometimes. The only problem with Luke Cage is the Diamondback suit, which was a good idea that just didn't come off. Diamondback in general isn't as good a villain as Cottonmouth, nor as well acted, but the difference is not nearly as great as some people have suggested and it doesn't hurt the series as much on a rewatch.

JJ is still the best. I know some people think there's too much padding: those people are wrong. Great writing, great performances, great ideas, and a really powerful story. Can't fault it.

Just my thoughts, of course. :)

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