Daredevil

“Since being incarcerated I’ve developed empathy with those who’ve suffered at the hands of the law,” Wilson Fisk tells Frank Castle/The Punisher in episode nine of season two of Daredevil, inviting comparison with the character who may be the prototype of the modern Superhero, Edmont Dantès, the protagonist of Le Comte de Monte-Christo (28 August 1844-15 January 1846 Journal des Débats; 1844-1845 18vols; trans as The Count of Monte Cristo1846 3vols) by Alexandre Dumas. “Everyone warned me about Prison but I find it refreshing,” Fisk continues: “It’s the perfect microcosm of the animal world.” (See Social Darwinism.) What prison, in fact, reveals in both Daredevil and The Count of Monte Cristo is the dirty secret of free-market democracy: corruption. All four of The Defenders witness the effect of criminal exploitation on the Media Landscape of New York and the Economics of their local communities. “The City you’re sworn to protect is Ground Zero in a War it doesn’t even know is happening,” insists Daredevil’s mentor Stick (Glen). If the Pulp traditions of storytelling from which Daredevil and Iron Fist inherit many of their Clichés and visual tropes used Western Paranoia about the Yellow Peril to convey fears about the consequences of Imperialism in Asia, here the Secret Masters “The Hand” relay domestic concerns about the war on Drugs and the United States’ role in geopolitics since World War Two, albeit in a way that does not quite call the American way of life into question. Societal anxieties are instead called forth in the courtroom trial of murderous war veteran Frank Castle/The Punisher, who seems to epitomize everything the United States fears about its militarism and dependence on the family unit as the basis of social cohesion. “This trial isn’t about vigilantes, it’s about the failure of the justice system,” Foggy Nelson tells the jury. “New York needs heroes,” pleads Matt Murdock. “All I want is the truth about something,” says Karen Page, frantic about the impurity of the motives of everyone around her. “Kill your way to justice!” bellows Wilson Fisk:-

Daredevil entry

Daredevil-Radar

Doctor Strange


The fourteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the first since Marvel Studios divested itself from Marvel Entertainment and became part of the Walt Disney Company, first feints at a different approach to the previous thirteen – here our Hero must learn something about the limits of his ego before returning stronger, fitter, faster to the supernal path of self-esteem and individuality – then reverts to the successful formula of a single man saving the Multiverse and everything in it. That this Orientalist confection succeeds so well at wedding the Mythological scale of the Marvel Superhero to the sudden shifts of perspective attendant to the computer-generated age of digital Cinema is down to Doctor Strange‘s visual panache, a typically-stentorian and theatrically-accomplished performance as Doctor Strange by Benedict Cumberbatch and the realization of the longstanding connection between the Cosmological doctrines of Theosophy and the Pulp traditions of storytelling from which Doctor Strange so evidently draws its inspiration:-

Doctor Strange