NYCC ’14 [Daredevil vs. Justice League]: No Bluffin’ this Blind Man.

The creative team and cast behind Daredevil, Marvel’s first TV series available exclusively on Netflix, is promising audiences something that most live-action Marvel stories have so-far avoided: realism.

Daredevil’s cast and writer gave the throngs of fanboys and girls at New York Comic-Con on Oct. 11 sneak peaks of the action and intimate moments they can come to expect from the show, which will be the first of five series on Netflix that will culminate in The Defenders.

Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Full Metal Jacket), cast as Walter Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, said he and the show have drawn from Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, 300) and Brian Michael Bendis’ (Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers) interpretations of the characters.

“That’s what is going to give the gritty realistic tone of the show,” said the likely show-stealer.

Back in Black.
Back in Black.

D’Onofrio, appearing with a shaved head and good amount of bulk in his shoulders and arms, which ballooned through his sport coat, spoke about his role in quiet terms.

“Our Fisk is a child, and he’s a monster,” D’Onofrio said. “Every move that he makes — and everything that he does in his story — comes from his foundation of morality within himself.”

D’Onfrio’s Kingpin is one that will be morally ambiguous, according to showrunner Steven DeKnight.

Good and evil are not divided along some hard line in Daredevil’s Hell’s Kitchen, an Irish immigrant neighborhood on Manhattan’s west side. That’s key as the cast spoke about the nature of what is right and what is wrong, and the cast has promised that the audience will likely be shifting allegiances between Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Fisk.

Now that's casting.
Now that’s casting.

Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s head of television, said that Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire), cast as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, was singled out by Joe Queseda, Marvel’s chief creative officer, long before Marvel’s television unit got the OK to shoot a “Daredevil” series.

Despite the accolades, Cox very much kept quiet on the panel. He spoke to say that he tried to do as much of the action sequences as he can, but that a stunt team does take over. He promised that the action sequences will look like CGI, but that they are not.

Daredevil is the first of Marvel’s five-series run on Netflix. Jessica Jones [No longer Alias, perhaps for obvious reasons… – Moody], Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders will all follow. The Jones and Cage series have not yet been cast, Loeb said.

Daredevil will be available on Netflix in May 2015. All 13 installments will be available at the same time.




Superman has a beard. Batman gives a thumbs-up. Wonder Woman kicks Swamp Thing in the face.

That’s the big news out of DC’s Champions of Justice panel on Saturday at New York Comic-Con.

The 10-person panel of DC Comics creators, mostly, played their hands very close to their collective vests Saturday at NYCC. The beard, the thumbs-up and the facekick will all be on newsstands shortly.

There were no stunning announcements, no reveals regarding larger vision, or any real collaborative purpose. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a purpose — “Future’s End”, anyone? They just didn’t share one. And only a handful of the creators seemed excited to talk about their work.

Shaving, will give me something to DO!
Shaving, will give me something to DO!

In fact, Future’s End was mentioned just once during the whole panel. Constantine fans will learn why John Constantine really hates Dr. Fate soon. So, there’s that.

Geoff Johns, DC’s chief creative officer and the writer of Justice League and Superman, among others, especially, was the least excited.

One fan asked about plans for Shazam! (formerly Captain Marvel) and Black Adam, which Johns wrote exquisitely in back-up stories for the first 12 issues of the New 52 Justice League, and their return to the New 52 multiverse. Johns reply was terse, unfriendly, and absent of any excitement: “Yes, there are plans,” he said and cut it off there.

That’s it.

That response is especially confusing because this week DC and Warner Bros. announced their movie line-up through 2020 and it includes a movie featuring Shazam! It would seem that Johns would want to talk-up what those plans for Shazam! are.

GodLovesPreach.
GodLovesPreach.

But it may be that Johns has a tough road to hoe. He needs to fix Superman.

“We’re focusing on the man rather than the super,” he said. And that is reminiscent of the chief complaint fans have with the Man of Tomorrow: he’s too powerful, he’s not human, etc.

The end of the current Ulysses storyline will lead into three events for the Man of Steel, Johns said. One of which “has not been done before.” With a character that is 76-years old, and beleaguered by creators recycling tropes that have been played out time and again, a new direction for the Last Son of Krypton will be welcome.

But, what that direction is? Not even one hint.

The most excitement came from Jimmy Palmiotti, co-writer of Harley Quinn, Ray Fawkes, the writer of Gotham by Midnight, and Tom King and Tim Seely, writers on Grayson.

That being said, the art in most of these titles is stunning. The giant splash page of the Wonder Woman face-kick is bright and crisp. The pencils and coloring on Gotham by Midnight is otherworldly.

The superbeard will be featured in a new horror-style story in Action Comics, which may turn out to be a good genre-criscross.

The bat-thumb will be revealed in a Batman/Superman storyline in which the two heroes suffer amnesia and have no clue that they are superheroes. Bruce Wayne is supposed to be enchanted with the idea of being a billionaire crazy person.

Wonder Woman’s facekick is part of a new storyline that will introduce a new villain all with a new creative team: David Finch pencils and Meredith Finch writes.

Finally, Deathstroke looks like it is going to live up to its name. Expect blood, gore and violence.

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