Reevaluating early Daredevil

Daredevil swings down and lands on a car in Daredevil #14, apparently guided more by its sound than its shape.

If you were thinking that I had gone back into hiding, I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you. It’s been over a month since my last post, and I’ve had my share of false starts over the past few years. However, I do have a few posts planned that I would like to get out there before too long, and I’m hoping to finish the year with a total of at least twenty for 2021.

For this post, I would like to talk about a rather surprising epiphany I’ve had over the summer, while working on my book. Or to be more specific, while rereading every single issue of Daredevil and taking detailed notes about how Matt Murdock’s senses are actually used. What I’ve discovered is that, contrary to the idea I’ve had that Daredevil’s senses have stabilized and gotten more “grounded” over time, a case could be made for a very different kind of evolution. Depending on what aspect of the character’s senses we’re talking about, Daredevil has actually been getting more powerful in at least some respects.

Considering that this is not my first time reading every issue of Daredevil (I have, in fact, read most runs many times), how could I have missed the things I’m now noticing? Where does my bias against the sensory portrayals of early, “pre-Miller” Daredevil come from? Well, I think it comes down to a few different factors:
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Have I been too hard on Stan Lee? On reading and sensing colors by touch

Matt reads braille at the library, in Daredevil #4 (1964), commenting that he could read print just as fast, by feeling the imprints

Some time ago, while doing research for my book, I came across a piece of information that took me by great surprise. In fact, to say that I was shocked by what I found would not be an overstatement. It lead me down a rabbit hole that kept getting deeper and wider. And weirder.

Just writing this post has taken me two weeks, which is just slightly longer than it’s going to take you to read it. That’s a mild exaggeration, you’re looking at ~25 minutes. So make a cup of tea or coffee, and get ready to get your physics on! If the thought of that scares you, get a stiff drink.

You see, I genuinely thought that Stan Lee’s characterization of Matt Murdock’s ability to read print was his own invention. That it was intended as an extension of reading braille, made possible by the fact that the printing technology of the 1960’s left behind letters that were ever so slightly raised above the texture of the paper on which they were printed. Even how it was described in the comics – see the word “imprint” in the featured image, from Daredevil #4 – suggested that this was the case. Framed this way, this seemed like a not entirely implausible superpower, even though I have frequently made fun of the supposed reading speed that Matt could achieve this way.

Little did I know that there had long been stories swirling around about people who could read regular printed text by touch. While “dermo-optical perception” is now considered to be a paranormal phenomenon that I suspect few people today have ever heard of, I was stunned to learn that it was actually taken seriously enough in decades past to be featured in mainstream publications, including this piece in the January 1963 issue of TIME magazine.[1]TIME Jan. 25, 1963, No. 4

Screen grab of a newspaper story, which reads: Seeing Fingertips. Soviet Psychiatrist Isaac Goldberg could well understand his colleagues’ doubts, but he insisted that he really did have an epileptic patient who could read ordinary print with her fingertips. To prove it, he had Rosa Kuleshova, 22, admitted to the Sverdlov Clinic for Nervous Disorders. There before a skeptical audience, Dr. Goldberg blindfolded Rosa and had the blindfold checked. Then Rosa opened a book at random, passed her fingertips of her right hand lightly over the page, and fluently read the text aloud. She did the same with a newspaper. Handed a snapshot, Rosa stroked the surface and said: What a cute little girl with a ribbon in her hair and her face tilted upward! Several members of Rosa’s family, in the Urals town of Nizhni Tagil (pop. 338,000) were blind, Dr. Goldberg explained. Rosa herself learned to read Braille as well as the printed word, and made no sharp distinction in her mind between the two kinds of reading. Her senses of touch and sight had become practically interchangeable. Had Rosa developed her Braille touch so highly that she could feel the shapes of characters in letterpress printing? With a sheet of glass over a printed page, Rosa could no longer read fine print, but she could still make out headline type in strong light. Rosa can also ‘feel’ colors. White, she says, is smooth; red is coarse-grained; and blue is wavy. Again determined to rule out a reaction to textures, the neurologists tested her with colored light. They shone a red light on a light green book, making ut look blue. Rosa called it blue. When the red light was switched off, and the green looked green again, the blindfolded Rosa expressed astonishment that the book could change color. Though Rosa’s brain-wave pattern changes when she is reading with her fingers, neurologists have not yet been able to find any connection between her strange faculty and her epilepsy. The Russian experts can only assume that Rosa Kuleshova has in her fingertips a network of fine nerve endings that are sensitive to light.

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References

Book excerpt: “Doctor Mid-Nite”

Dr. Mid-Nite perching on the top of a building, as seen in Secret Origins #20, by Roy Thomas and Mike Clark

As promised, I will occasionally be posting excerpts from my book. The first chapter is tentatively titled “Literary Origins” and discusses the way blindness has been conceived in myth and fiction throughout human history. Of course, there is a particular focus on the surprisingly common practice of ascribing special abilities to the blind. One part of the chapter deals with other blind superheroes, and below you’ll find what I have to say about Dr. Mid-Nite. I have written one previous post about this DC Comics character, but the longer treatment you find here is more in-depth. It has the added bonus of mentioning infrared light, which also ties in nicely with my last post.

Matt Murdock is not the only blind character with enhanced abilities, even in his own comic book. And, while Daredevil is by far the best-known blind superhero today, particularly after the success of his recent television show, he is not he the only one to fit that description. Nor was he the first. That distinct honor goes to the DC Comics character Dr. Mid-Nite who was created in 1941.

The original Dr. Mid-Nite, known in his civilian life as Charles McNider, made his first appearance in All-American Comics #25, written by Charles Reizenstein with art by Stanley Josephs Aschmeier.

At the beginning of his origin story, McNider is introduced as a physician and researcher. Within the first couple of pages, he is called on by the police to treat a mob informant who has been badly injured. While McNider is treating him, a gangster affiliated with the local mob boss appears, throws a grenade through the window, killing the man Dr. McNider had just miraculously saved, and permanently blinding the doctor himself.

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Let’s talk about Daredevil’s “World On Fire”

A still frame showing the world on fire effect used on Marvel's Daredevil

I’ve decided to start this new chapter in the life of The Other Murdock Papers, by tackling a topic I’ve been meaning to address since 2015, when the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil came out. I’m talking about the short-lived special effect known as the “world on fire.”

The effect appeared for the first and last time in the fifth episode of the first season, which also carries its name: World On Fire. I’ve briefly talked about my issues with the world on fire in other contexts, most recently on the “exploring the senses” episode of the #TalkDaredevil podcast. However, I’ve never gone into detail about why I’m not a fan of this particular interpretation of Matt’s “pseudo-visual” abilities.

Don’t take it literally

And let’s start there, with the word “interpretation.” Because, I think it’s important to keep in mind that every single artistic take on Daredevil’s radar sense (and beyond) in every comic book, and live-action appearance have been attempts to translate Matt’s inner world into something that we can comprehend. The natural constraints of telling a story in two-dimensional color means that we can never get a real sense of what “seeing” in colorless three dimensions is really like.

Considering the challenges various artistic takes on Daredevil’s “radar” sense come up against, a case could be made for never showing it at all. If we’re talking about the show, I would argue that such a choice would have been preferable to the world on fire effect. Especially since, from the way it’s described, you really do get the sense that we, the viewers, are meant to take this literally. I would love to know how an otherwise exceptionally ambitious creative team arrived at this particular choice.

However, I also truly believe there are good ways to portray Daredevil’s “radar,” as long as you still keep in mind that it can never be literally what Matt “sees.” In my opinion, the focus of any such attempt should be to not include any information that is strictly visual. Instead, creators should think long and hard about what features of the world that we typically access through vision, can in fact be accessed through our other senses. Those features should realistically be the only one Matt Murdock has any knowledge of.

Frame taken from the scene where Matt "looks" at Claire. Her iris and pupil are visible.

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Back, with a twist!

Radar image, as drawn by Marcos Martín in Daredevil #4

I know, it’s been a minute! Or a few, rather. It has, in fact, been so long since I last posted that the current WordPress post editor feels completely foreign to me (can I have the HTML editor back please?)*. Oh, and I noticed a new bug in the theme I was using I that I couldn’t seem to get rid of, which is why this site has an entirely new look. I really liked the look of the old site, but the fact that most of the links didn’t work (but right-click to open in new tab did), weighed pretty heavily against it, as you might imagine.

Putting technical issues aside, I’ve decided to temporarily use this site to chronicle (and parallel) the slow but steady progress I have made, and continue to make, on my non-fiction Daredevil science book. While working my way through the different topics and findings that end up in the main text (several chapters of which I have already more or less completed), I will offer some teasers here, take a few deep dives, and even go on little detours.

My hope is that this will help me further flesh out my thoughts, while hopefully entertaining at least some of you guys, and allow me to focus on those aspects of the Daredevil character that I have always felt genuinely passionate about.

It would basically be all “Daredevil science” all the time, but I think we can agree that it sure beats the current state of no content at all. And, whatever feedback I get from you guys can be used to further refine my arguments, or improve my explanations of difficult topics. The hardest thing about writing a book about this stuff is to figure out what level to aim for. I don’t want to talk down to my potential readers, but I don’t want the material to be inaccessible either.

The first topic I wanted to address with the “relaunched” TOMP is the “world on fire” effect from the first season of the show. And, by the time you’re reading this, it should already be up! I’ll see you there.

*) Oh, and I found the HTML editor. Phew!

See you at #SaveDaredevilCon!

What’s this, you ask. A new post? After a full year and a half? Yup! I’ll keep this one short, but I’d be remiss to let #SaveDaredevilCon come and go without reminding everyone of the event and the many exciting panels and fan activities happening throughout this weekend, beginning tomorrow July 23.

If you’re interested in hearing from me directly, I will also be appearing on the “Discussing Daredevil” fandom panel, alongside some other Daredevil superfans, including the incomparable Kuljit Mithra (ManWithoutFear.com). I had a great time talking to Kuljit, Emma, and Joshua, and hope you guys enjoy our conversation as well. Read more about all the panels here.

As with all of the pre-recorded events, it will be available indefinitely on the #SaveDaredevil YouTube channel, so don’t worry if you miss the premiere of anything you want to see!


Before I let you go, I’ll just respond to some questions I’ve been getting over the past couple of years of little to no activity:

How do I like the current run?
I like it fine, but I don’t love it as much as I would have liked to. That probably deserves more of an explanation, and I should probably try to give one at some point. Suffice it to say that I absolutely love Marco Checchetto’s art (he was a favorite of mine, even before this run), which represents an easy 75 percent of what I like about this run.

When it comes to Chip Zdarsky’s writing, it’s good for the most part, but I’m not “feeling it” as much as I had hoped after that stellar first couple of issues. Having said that, it’s a huge step up from the previous run for me, and I’m certainly interested in seeing where the story goes.

How’s my book coming along?
Hm, yeah… That book I’ve been tackling on and (mostly) off for the last eight years? Well, it’s obviously still a work in progress, but I really am quite happy with what I have so far, and I’m planning another big push in the next couple of weeks.

How am I doing?
Fine! Thank you for asking, as many have. I really do want to get back to blogging on a regular basis, but it’s hard to get back to a routine you’ve completely fallen out of, and especially so when you’re not feeling inspired to do so. So, I’m not making any promises at this time.

Review of Daredevil #1 (2019)

Image from the cover of Daredevil #1 (2019)

A lot of you have been asking when I’m going to start writing reviews of the comics again. And, I was actually going to start with the Man Without Fear mini, which I’ve really been enjoying, but it was hard to find the time in between the #SaveDaredevil campaign and my somewhat overwhelming day job. (I’ll get to MWOF one of these days though, don’t worry!)

However, when I read the new Daredevil #1 today, I knew I couldn’t put off returning to the blog any longer. The Matt Murdock I love so much is back, you guys. In a big way. And the best possible way to get back to writing about Daredevil is to be so moved and excited by something that your myriad of thoughts on the subject can’t be contained. For this review, they will be mostly spoiler-free though.

I’m actually going to start with the art this time around. It’s glorious. I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve loved Marco Checchetto’s take on Daredevil in the handful of issues he’s worked on over the years. The way he draws Matt lines up better with my inner picture of the character than probably any other artist. And his style incorporates just the right amount of detail and realism in its rendering of people and places without making the scenes too busy or hard to read.

Matt in bed after sex, as seen in Daredevil #1 (vol 6), by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto

Continue reading “Review of Daredevil #1 (2019)”

Finding “forever” Daredevil

PSA: I know many of you might see a fight to get Daredevil back (in some form, under some kind of deal with some network) to be a lost cause. However, those of us who started the #RenewDaredevil effort are still at it. This week is cast appreciation week, and you can read about it (and other things going on) on the website.

Regardless of how you feel about the cancellation and any campaign efforts tied to it, I do want to tell you about the fundraising effort to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness that was set up to celebrate Charlie Cox’s birthday on Saturday. He even donated to it himself!

Dealing with the damn cancellation

When the news first came that Netflix (pretty much single-handedly, it appears) had canceled Daredevil after three seasons, I took the news relatively well. I remember thinking that “at least we had a good ending that left everyone we care about alive and back together in the end.” Still, having been relatively optimistic about the prospects for at least a fourth season, I had an “aw, damn” moment, before going about my day.

After that though, during the second day post-cancellation, a big void gradually started up inside. Two weeks on, I’m still grappling with it even though life obviously moves on, and there are obviously real-life issues that do overshadow the Daredevil cancellation.

Still, it’s rough. I think it started with just the thought that we would never see Matt moving back into his apartment. It sounds like a silly little thing, but from that grew a sense of grief over the lost opportunities of having Matt, Foggy, and Karen get at least one season of actually working together.

I don’t think any of us are deluded enough to think that Daredevil would be devoid of conflict (something needed for any compelling story), but Matt would at least be operating from a new sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance. I would have loved to see that.

As some of you know, I’ve been struggling with my commitment to both the show and the comics before, which lead to a long hiatus. The end of season two left me pretty broken, to be honest, but the miracle that was season three seemed to not only deliver the redemption story I had been longing for, but in so doing, actually shed much needed light on Matt’s previous willingness to walk away from his civilian life and the friends in it. Everything was put right, and elevated the entire show, from beginning to its apparent end. And, showrunner Erik Oleson became someone I fully trusted to do this cast of characters right.

Allowing myself to get excited about season three, ahead of its release, got me back into blogging again. Now, though, I’m unsure of where to go next. You see, there’s a reason that this site has come to be solely focused on the Netflix show(s), to the extent that I’ve been posting much at all since Daredevil season two. I simply haven’t enjoyed the most recent run of the comics.

Why I can’t get with the comics right now…

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the current mindwipe status quo that, for much of the first couple of years of the Soule run, left Matt Murdock taking a back seat to the Daredevil identity, which is never something I’ve enjoyed. Sure, Matt was there, but surrounded by people we’ve never seen before and seemingly without a personal life.

That turned around over the last year or so when Foggy came back into Matt’s life and Matt entered into a semi-interesting career of his own, as deputy mayor under Wilson Fisk. But it’s constantly been grating me to see heroes he’s known for years not know that Matt and Daredevil are one of the same. A big part of who someone is, even a fictional character, boils down to his or her relationships. For me, it was not something I could get over.

Besides, while it seemed plausible forty years ago that Daredevil could hide his blindness consistently, even around people who were more than casual acquaintances, I simply don’t buy that for a modern take on the character. Look to episodes three and four of the third season of the Netflix show for an indication of the stakes involved. (No, he didn’t blow his cover, but he might have over something banal.) So, seeing Matt train Blindspot (for presumably many days and hours) without admitting to his blindness, or having it be discovered, fails to work for me for reasons of both logic and narrative “authenticity.”

And don’t even get me started on the senses writing over the last three years. Having the radar drawn as an Instagram filter on acid, and Matt (easily) “seeing” through walls (into a building across the street), just doesn’t work for me. At all. The latter is something I associate with Silver and Bronze age comics. Even though there may be some logic to this (you’ll have to read my science book eventually), this is a skill that I believe should be used very sparingly with at least some awareness its inherent limitations. They are considerable. Listening for a silent spot in the city to find Muse? Does that remind anyone else of the universally laughed-at scene of Daredevil landing a rocket in the second issue from 1964? If I actually sound a little pissed about this, it’s because I am.

I don’t mind high-powered heroes as such. I’ve seen every movie coming out of the MCU, many of them more than once. I’ve enjoyed comics about Matt’s fellow heroes with much more spectacular powers. I have a suprising level of attachment to  much of Peter David’s work on Jamie Madrox (the “Multiple Man,” whose powers are as weird as they come). I grew up on Superman comics. I just think Daredevil is a hero who is at his best and most relatable when his powers are more modest and he’s treated as less of an omniscient demi-god.

This is especially true because of his blindness which is something writers need to show at least a modest interest in engaging with. It’s there. It’s real. It’s as real as his heightened senses are. Not doing this aspect of the character justice in 1964, or 1974, was fine. We can laugh at that now. Forty of fifty years later, it’s not funny to me. The Netflix show did it right. Is it too much to hope that writers can take inspiration from this? The fact that Matt’s powers don’t actually fully compensate for his blindness (even when his powers are depicted as more extreme than I might prefer) should, in my opinion, be treated more as a feature of the character than as an unfortunate design bug to be spoken of as rarely as possible. 

Still, though, this is actually a minor quibble compared to the fact that Daredevil hasn’t felt like himself (to me) since around the time Mark Waid and Chris Samnee had him show up to court in a red Daredevil business suit. Which is a real shame since their entire run (initially with Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martín as pencillers) up until that point still ranks among my favorite runs ever. (And yes, their respect for Matt’s blindness was better than I’ve ever seen before or since, and for that they will have my eternal gratitude.)

As you might imagine, hearing new writer Chip Zdarsky say this, is sweet music to my ears:

“I’ve always loved the various tonal takes on DAREDEVIL, but for this run I’ve decided to really go deep on the realities of being a vigilante in this world. Out of all the main Super Heroes, Daredevil has felt like the one you could do that with. I don’t care to see a “reality-based” Fantastic Four (though as I type that I remember how much I loved UNSTABLE MOLECULES. The exception to prove the rule!), but I love the idea of a reality-based DAREDEVIL.”

Interview with Zdarsky and new (returning) artist Marco Checchetto at Marvel.com

Of course, I have no idea whether the (relative) realism he speaks of will apply to Matt’s senses, but it wouldn’t surprise me, and I’m hopeful that it might. 

Our inner Daredevils

As for Checchetto coming back to draw Daredevil, I couldn’t be happier. His take on Matt is probably the one that comes closest to my own idea of what this character actually looks like. Because I, like probably most long-time readers of the comics, already had an idea in our heads of what Matt “should” look like, long before the Netflix show happened.

Elden Henson’s Foggy, especially with his haircut from season three, and Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen have supplanted whatever picture was in my head. But “my” Matt does not look like Charlie Cox. This isn’t actually a problem for me, in terms of enjoying the show, any more than seeing an actor portraying a real life person is a problem. For the purposes of enjoying the show, it doesn’t really matter that Charlie doesn’t look like “my” Matt.

But who is this “my Matt” person? I talked a bit about this in my post about “Being a Daredevil fan, 600 issues later” (also linked to above), and it’s what the title of this post is really in reference to. (I know, I sure took a while getting to the point.)

Forever Matt Murdock is the idea I have in my head of who Daredevil is, and he transcends each individual interpretation of the character. I assume everyone has this kind of timeless “forever” idea of who their favorite characters are. After all, what allows us to determine that someone is acting “out of character,” is some kind of idea of what the character in our heads would have done or said instead.

We all have slightly different takes on these characters, and that’s fine and perfectly normal, but I’m finding that my future dedication to Daredevil and this site, hinges on my ability to rediscover and reconnect with my inner Matt Murdock. I need to care about comic book Matt again, whether through his old stories or the new ones. This is the downside to getting a bit too invested in the television version of Matt that, in his third season especially, almost grew to supplant the one that was in my head to begin with.

So, this was a long, rambling text that I wrote in part do deal with my own frustrations about the current state of “Daredevil-dom.” So, I hope you’ll forgive some of the snark. And the complete lack of structure.

What are your own thoughts on all of this? Feel free to rant, rave, or otherwise voice your opinions in the comments!

Daredevil season 4 – What do we actually know? (Updated with the news of the show’s cancellation)

Matt taking a breath during his prison escape in Daredevil season three, episode four.

UPDATE: As many of you have probably seen already, news is out that Daredevil has been canceled by Netflix. It turns out that my optimism was misplaced and this show has ended the only way it would: due to reasons other than viewing numbers and audience appreciation. Much of what I’ve written in this post is still relevant to the discussion of what might happen next, were the show to continue in some other form.

If Marvel is contractually allowed to continue the show, with the same cast, on some other platform, I believe they will. If they intend to reboot the show with a new cast, I’d say don’t bother. It’s this cast or none at all as far as I’m concerned.

I have to admit, the response to the #RenewDaredevil campaign has been pretty interesting. It ranges from, “Of course we’re getting a season four, why wouldn’t we? What are you guys even on about?” to “They’re obviously moving it to the new Disney streaming service,” and on to the majority position of “Great initiative, where do I sign up?” 

It’s obvious that there is a lot of speculation (understandable) and misinformation (avoidable) out there. With this post, I hope to clear up some of the confusion. I will do this by looking at what we actually do know, or may at least be able to infer from available sources. To be sure, I’m offering some speculation of my own, but nothing that runs counter to known facts.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m actually quite optimistic about the prospects for a season four of Daredevil. If this were only a numbers game, I’d say it’s a done deal. Even if viewership is down compared to seasons one and two, it still appears to be one of Netflix’s most popular shows. The fact that season three showrunner Erik Oleson has already 1) pitched his idea for season four to Netflix and 2) publicly posted about it on Twitter is obviously a good indication that season four is actively being considered. By Netflix.

Data from just after the release of the Defenders, suggest that Daredevil has vastly outperformed all of the other Netflix Marvel shows (though The Punisher’s first season had yet to drop at the time). This would mean that even if season three had only half the viewership of season two, it would still have twice as many viewers as seasons one of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The big caveat here is that we don’t actually have access to Netflix’s own data, and secondary sources are only indirect measures that might be inaccurate.

The Netflix business model

However, we are also moving in different Netflix landscape compared to two and a half years ago, when Daredevil’s second season came out. The number of shows on Netflix, in particular those actually produced by the company, have grown. A lot. I remember when the premiere of a new Netflix show was a special occasion. That’s no longer the case, and that naturally reduces the visibility of each individual show on the platform, and the amount of marketing it receives.

Of course, all of this also calls into question Netflix’s longterm business model. Just like services such as Spotify, Netflix is spending a massive amount of money building its library, money they can only expect to recoup if their subscriber count keeps growing. Whether the growing global demand for Netflix’s services will be enough to actually make the company profitable at some point in the future is anyone’s guess.

From this perspective, I think it’s actually wise that they’ve ceased the near automatic renewal of everything they put out. It’s better to spend the money on their better-performing properties. And, in the stiff competition with other shows on the same platform, Daredevil at least appears to be performing well.

In a weird twist, cutting down on the number of Marvel shows may even benefit those that remain. And Daredevil, The Punisher, and Jessica Jones all share a certain gritty quality that may even allow for more organic cameos and cross-overs than what we saw in The Defenders.

Marvel/Disney needs Netflix approval

What about the suggestion that Disney/Marvel will want to move this and other show to its own streaming platform Disney+? That might be the case, but what people are forgetting is that these shows have come about as a joint venture between Netflix and Marvel/Disney. While I’m obviously not privy to the details of this deal (hey, if you are, let us know!), the idea that Marvel/Disney can make a unilateral decision to just have them moved is obviously false.

To be clear, the news that Disney/Marvel would be moving their movie library from Netflix does not affect these shows. The suggestion that they won’t be hosting any R-rated content in general (at least for the time being) is also positive news for those of us who feel that Daredevil is fine just where it is right now. (However, it might be bad news for people hoping for a Disney-hosted Heroes for Hire show.)

But we also don’t know (any extremely insightful entertainment lawyers out there?) what the cancellation for any of these shows means for their legal status after cancellation. Whether a show that Netflix has passed on becomes available – in the same format with the same actors – is something that is likely specified in the deal between Disney/Marvel and Netflix.

If Disney/Marvel is free to take these shows to one of their own platforms, a better fit than Disney+ might be a certain other streaming service. After Disney’s planned acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the company will own 60% of Hulu. This would be a more natural home for the more mature heroes we will no longer be seeing on Netflix. Again, that’s if their deal allows for these shows to be resurrected elsewhere with no strings attached.

So, what I suspect this comes down to is that Netflix will have to decide whether keeping Daredevil going is a profitably move on their part. I’m willing to bet that, judging by what we know now, they will officially green-light a season four in the near future. The one issue that might complicate things comes down to politics. By continuing with the shows, Netflix is also contributing to building the brand of a company they are now in direct competition with. This will matter less, though, if Daredevil is still considered a net benefit to Netflix.

Why #RenewDaredevil matters

All of the ifs and buts that drive these decisions are beyond the reach and ken of individual fans. So you might wonder what point there is in launching a campaigning like #RenewDaredevil. My response would be: What is there to lose? It’s not as if Netflix is going to go back on a decision to give another season the green light because the fans are acting too much like fans. And, if they really are on the fence about this, it might do some good. Who knows?

On top of all of this, social media is a great way to bond as a fan community and express our appreciation for the actors, writers, directors and other staff members who have given us this show. From all of us: Thank you!

For those who want to join this campaign, here’s the link to the official #RenewDaredevil site (also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). You can also use your own images, or tweet/post without an image (though they do encourage interaction). Choosing to take a more laid back approach? Retweeting or sharing what others are doing is also a good way to be involved. If this type of thing is not for you, then sit this one out. It’s that simple.

If you, like me, are in an inconvenient time zone (I’m currently in Tokyo), there are apps that will let you schedule tweets/posts. I will be using Buffer to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (yup, there is a TOMP Instagram now).

Be sure to go to the official page to see what time you should post, depending on your time zone. Obviously, you’re free to post about #RenewDaredevil at any time, but there is a point to having a campaign that peaks at a certain time.

Have fun with this, that’s what it’s all about! I’ll be back with a new post on Saturday that references some things from season three – mentioned in my review of episode four – before getting back to individual episode reviews next week.

(Updated) Be one of the fans pushing for Daredevil, season 4!

Renew Daredevil promotional feature showing Matt, as the Man in Black, sitting atop the Clinton Church

UPDATE: With the news of Daredevil’s cancellation, the campaign for tomorrow will shift focus to #ThankYouDaredevil. This will be our way of expressing support for the cast and crew. Join in if you want to. Need to vent? This post, or my most recent one, are good places to do that.

Word is starting to spread of the fan initiative underway to show Netflix just how much we’ve been enjoying Daredevil, and that we would very much like to see a season four. Though I’m hopeful for a season four, if Netflix is still on the fence about this, let’s knock them off that fence and make sure they land squarely on the renewal button!

Further down, you’ll find the official statement for this campaign, containing instructions and helpful tips for how to participate. The objective is to get #RenewDaredevil to trend, with particular focus on a specific time period when we concentrate our efforts, the first such “push” happening this Friday. Also, Check the official campaign site (screen shot below) for additional information and gorgeous, ready-made graphics you can use.

Screen grab from the Renew Daredevil campaign official website

Dear Daredevil fans,

More than a month has passed since Daredevil Season 3’s successful premiere to much fan and critical acclaim, but with the recent cancellations of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, we know an automatic renewal for Daredevil is not guaranteed.

Introducing the #RenewDaredevil fan campaign. Our goal is to @Netflix about what we liked about #Daredevil and how much we want Netflix to #RenewDaredevil – using this hashtag. If enough of us post positive comments during 12-2pm ET (you can convert that to your own time zone here) every Friday starting with November 30, we can get #RenewDaredevil trending!

Here are some tips for participating successfully:

  • No more than 2 hashtags (#RenewDaredevil + #Daredevil or #DaredevilSeason4)
  • Tweets should be short and to the point
  • No foul language
  • Graphics increase engagement so use your fave pic(s), gifs or vids of DDS3
  • Twitter watches for engagement so remember: CLICK the gifs/vids/pics, likes AND rt all help the #RenewDaredevil team effort
  • Reply to DD cast, crew, big fans – they may RT and spread the word but NO HARASSMENT please
  • Remain a positive voice for the effort, no bullying/threatening others into RTs, no arguing with people who respond negatively to your posts
  • Let’s show Netflix the tremendous demand there is for more Daredevil seasons!

Thank you from the fans at #RenewDaredevil (renewdaredevil.com)

I have often been astounded by how generally awesome the Daredevil fan community is, but I’m still blown away by how much has been put together in short order. Efforts are underway to spread this information to all online channels in which Daredevil fans move in significant numbers.

We all know that there’s been an outpouring of support for this show already, but there is something to be said for creating some kind of structured campaign around this, and I hope you all join me in participating!

If you have answers and suggestions, please put them in the comments. If there are suggestions or questions I don’t know the answer to, I’ll feed them back to the official Renew Daredevil site admin.