A day long awaited has come: the Netflix/Marvel collaboration series Daredevil has finally arrived. And it's pretty darn great.
"Into the Ring," the pilot episode, introduced us to the world of Matt Murdock and his friends and enemies. It sports a darker, more brutal tone than the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet it's happening in the same New York that was nearly destroyed by Loki in The Avengers.
Aside from that, there are plenty of Easter eggs and winks at the comic books and Daredevil's history, particularly the work of Frank Miller. Much has been said about the black ninja suit Charlie Cox wears in the series as the title character, which is based directly on Miller's comic book. Did you catch all of the other little things that came from the comics?
Minor spoilers ahead.
1. The Baton
Daredevil's signature weapon is his red baton, which doubles as a walking stick when he's not crime fighting, and has a recoiling grappling hook inside. The real baton doesn't appear in "Into the Ring," but the small electric-shock baton that Murdock picks up and uses in the opening fight scene is a nod to the classic weapon.
2. Turk Barrett
This is the head baddie in the opening fight scene. His name is Turk Barrett, someone comic readers may know as a recurring character in Daredevil comics. He's a small-time crook who often turns up to demonstrate how stupid criminals can be.
3. The Avengers
Repeated mention is made of an incident that "rained Hell from the sky" and destroyed major parts of Manhattan, including Daredevil's neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen. Yet the words "aliens," "Avengers," "S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Loki" are never said aloud, nor are the names of any of the superheroes who fought in it.
However, the Battle of New York still plays a major part in the show. In a clever twist, the reason that Hell's Kitchen on the show more closely resembles its rundown comic book counterpart instead of the higher-end neighborhood it is in reality, is because of the Battle of New York. That's some smart storytelling.
4. Mr. Rigoletto
Wilson Fisk's right-hand man Wesley name-drops a "Mr. Rigoletto" who recently "retired" from the business of organized crime. In the comics, Don Rigoletto is the name of the Kingpin of crime that preceded Wilson Fisk (pictured above, as played by Vincent D'Onofrio). The show appears to be following suit — which should give you a hint as to Rigoletto's actual fate.
5. Leland Owlsley
The money man of the criminal underworld is identified as one Leland Owlsley. In the comics, Leland becomes the supervillain "The Owl," and takes on a haircut and appearance that vaguely resemble an owl. It remains to be seen if that will be his fate in this first season of Daredevil, but it's probably the way the character is intended to go.
6. Fogwell's Gym
The gym that Matt Murdock visits to train, in the episode's final moments, is Fogwell's Gym. Fogwell's Gym exists in the comic books as a place Daredevil visited from time to time, mostly when chasing down bad guys. It eventually went out of business and was abandoned.
7. Crusher Creel
In the Fogwell's Gym scene, we catch a glimpse of a promotional poster for an old boxing match. The opponents are listed as "Battlin' Jack Murdock" and "Carl Crusher Creel." Jack Murdock is, of course, Matt's late father. Creel did indeed once fight Murdock in the comics before being sent to prison on an assault charge. It was there that Creel was granted the power to absorb the physical properties of anything he touched, turning him into the supervillain Absorbing Man. As for those new powers, they were granted by none other than — get this — Loki.
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