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Daredevil – Regrets Only (Review)

This month, we’re doing daily reviews of the second season of Daredevil. Check back daily for the latest review.

And, just like that, the season’s middle act runs into trouble.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the second season of Daredevil is how carefully and meticulously the season is structured. Producers Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez have adopted a very clear three-act structure to the season, and great care has been taken to treat the year as a thirteen-episode origin story for the Punisher. Even within that, there is conscious mirroring and reversals that rely on the show reflecting its own continuity back at itself. For example, Frank addressing a defeated Daredevil in New York’s Finest is reflected in both Penny and Dime and .380.

Who punishes the Punisher?

Who punishes the Punisher?

There is great attention to detail, very careful craftsmanship. The actual plotting of the arcs on an episode-by-episode basis might not be particularly robust, but there is a definite and very precise plan laid out. However, all this delicate craftsmanship belies the fact that this structuring is built around a story with several beats missing or repeated. The second season of Daredevil is laid out like a three-act superhero story, but with the biggest issue being the nature of the story itself. There are missing structural elements that leave the formula feeling hollow.

The second season of Daredevil might consciously aspire to be a televisual version of The Dark Knight, but it actually lands somewhere closer to The Wolverine. And not just because it is a superhero love story that pits its protagonist against an assortment of ninjas.

The name's Murdock. Matt Murdock.

The name’s Murdock. Matt Murdock.

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Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted (Review/Retrospective)

This May, to celebrate the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, we’re taking a look at some classic and modern X-Men (and X-Men-related) comics. Check back daily for the latest review.

The only way to read Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted is on a personal tablet.

Part of Marvel’s “Infinite Comics” initiative, Japan’s Most Wanted is a comic specifically tailored to the digital experience. Although a print version of the comic is available, it can’t help but seem inferior to the way the comic was meant to be experienced. Demonstrating that digital is not just a new format for comic books, but also a new medium, the work done by Yves Bigerel storyboarding the thirteen-part adventure is nothing short of astounding. It’s a fantastic experience.

A slice of the action...

A slice of the action…

The story Japan’s Most Wanted is fairly light. This makes sense. Japan’s Most Wanted isn’t intended to push Marvel’s continuity forward or to build off a lot of what has come before. Launched in the lead-up to the release of The Wolverine, Japan’s Most Wanted is a rather transparent attempt to appeal to those interested in Wolverine’s second solo trip to the big screen – playing more as a collection of imagery and iconography than a story in its own right.

The adventure is set in Japan and pits our hero against legions of ninja, playing up to Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s iconic Wolverine miniseries. However, it also features action set pieces on a bullet train and in an abandoned village, two of the more notable action sequences showcased in the trailer for James Mangold’s The Wolverine. The story wrapped around these sequences is almost incidental, perhaps the most basic of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine stories, as scripted by collaborator Jason LaTour.

Run and jump...

Run and jump…

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Requiem for The Wolverine: Why Darren Aaronofsky was the Perfect Choice to Direct The Wolverine…

I was actually really anticipating what Darren Aronofsky could bring to The Wolverine, the sequel to the rather lackluster X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So I was actually genuinely disappointed when it was announced – rumoured to be for the inevitable creative reasons – that Aronofsky would not be directing the film after all. While it’s great that this affords Aronofsky complete creative freedom on the next film he works on, and while I certainly don’t want a film that has been subject to Fox’s executive meddling, I can’t help but regret what might have been.

Blades of glory?

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