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The Philosophy of Marvel's Daredevil

Everyone is familiar with the most obvious tropes of superhero comics: exciting action sequences, skin-fitting superhero outfits, the over-sexualization of strong female characters (or the need to emphasize the chastity and helplessness of damsels in distress), the perennial struggle between the forces of good vs evil, origin stories and haunting painful childhood memories, futile attempts at balancing one's public and secret identities, etc.

What isn't always obvious is that good comics often represent fascinating and thoughtful explorations of deep philosophical questions. These may not always be explicitly stated, but the multiplicity of circumstances and choices confronting the various characters, especially when these scenarios are slight variations on a more general theme, eventually make it impossible not to see the philosophical questions, and their complexity, at work.

If you simply watch the one-minute opening theme for the latest incarnation of Daredevil, for instance, you will notice that in addition to its beautiful aesthetic value, its creators have highlighted and juxtaposed some of the most important themes the show will explore: A world forged in blood. Wealth as the result of crime and corruption. Red as the color of blood, as a representation of loss, of sacrifice, of redemption... but redemption through a devil? A blind man, a red catholic devil meting out justice in the middle of the night? Outside the confines of the law and the light of due process? In the name of Justice? In the name of God? In the name of sublimated revenge and righteous indignation? And who exactly is blind? Justice? The vigilante? The world? Lady Justice and Matt Murdock shown not only blind but blindfolded? Does the blindness represent fairness and objectivity? Perhaps self-delusion? Does blindness represent an inability, or, perhaps, an unwillingness to see?

So if you'd like to peer beneath the surface and get a deeper appreciation of a few of the philosophical questions explored in Daredevil, as well as some of its religious, cultural and aesthetic influences and allusions, you could do worse than to sit back and enjoy the following short intro from the awesome folks at Wisecrack:

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