I know what you’re thinking: “Did hell freeze over? There’s a new post!” Personally, I knew this day was coming eventually, and for the last couple of months, I’ve known that it’s been drawing nearer. Having said that, going on hiatus for close to a year was an absolute necessity for me. Come December, this site will have been online for ten years, so in some ways it’s probably more remarkable that this has been my only long hiatus (I’ve taken shorter ones in the past), considering all the changes any person’s life goes through over the course of a decade.
For me, this hiatus has coincided with plenty of time-sucking projects at work, as well as a big move. Some of you might remember that I also moved in the fall of 2015, but this two-stage process was always part of the plan so, yes, I moved again in October of last year. I now live in a big apartment I absolutely love and where I plan to stay for many years to come. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into painting, buying new furniture, getting rid of old things and sorting through many years of crap. I’ve always tended to be on the messy side, but for the first time in my life I’m well on the way to building the kind of home where everything is just the way I wanted it. I’ve even realized my lifelong dream (I’ve obviously been a nerd since childhood) of having my own library – a room full of nothing but books. And an armchair.
What about the elephant in the room? Yes, I’m talking about Daredevil himself. As many of you might recall, the ending of the second season of the Netflix show didn’t sit well with me. This is paradoxical in some ways, since I feel that, in terms of sheer production value, the second season outperformed the first in my opinion. The only problem was that it broke my heart, starting with the ninth episode onward. By the time we get to the scene where Matt declares his love for Elektra, my heart felt stomped on. It was the wording of it really, the way he – in my view – rejects his civilian life that really got to me. I realize that 1) characters on screen (just like real people) are not always the best judges of their own thoughts and feelings, and 2) that this can just as easily be read as a protective “good riddance” reaction to the fact that he actually feels rejected by everyone in his civilian life at that point. Whatever the case may be, the latter half of the Netflix show is something that I hesitate to revisit, even to this day. I will get to it, though. If nothing else, I think it might be therapeutic to just get through it. And, it almost always helps to have this online community to bounce ideas off of, and get a new perspective on things.
When it comes to the comic, I haven’t read it in about six months. I’ve dutifully picked the book up from the shop, but I have a bunch of issues at home that I haven’t even opened. I suppose that’s pretty sad coming from someone who has run a Daredevil blog for almost ten years, but I simply can’t compel myself to care. And it’s not that I don’t still care about Daredevil. I do. I think about Matt Murdock daily. The core of the character, as I imagine him, is still alive and well in my mind. It’s just that, for me personally, the comic doesn’t feel relevant to me at the moment. I’m sure that’s unfair to the creative team, especially since I haven’t even read the last stretch of issues, but it feels odd to force yourself to read a comic book when you don’t feel like it. I’ll get caught up eventually, no worries. But it’s part of why the past year seemed like a good time to just back away for a while.
As I’m writing this, we’re fewer than twelve hours away from the release of Iron Fist. And to think I didn’t even get around to commenting on Luke Cage yet! I’m sure I’ll have reason to return to Luke in the future, now that I’m sorta kinda blogging again. For now, I’ll just say that I really liked it. All of the Marvel Netflix shows thus far have had some pacing issues, and I found that to be true for Luke Cage as well. On the flip side, I quite enjoyed that it took its time and didn’t rush things. While there was plenty of action, the show’s creators didn’t shy away from more letting us spend some quiet time with the characters, more so than I’ve found with the two seasons of Daredevil. Aside from the Frankenstein overtones in the episode where Claire does surgery on Luke with acid and a toaster (which I did quite enjoy), it felt like a very mature show.
When it comes to Iron Fist, early reviews of the first six episodes have been average to poor. I still hope and expect to enjoy it. It may very well be that the final Defender might not have as strong a first outing as the rest of the gang, but that still leaves room for some pretty solid viewing compared to many other things on TV. It also seems like there might be some mass psychology at play here. A lot of people seem to have been anticipating a dud, and the somewhat absurd controversy about the casting of Finn Jones is part of it. I agree that there aren’t enough parts for Asian actors on mainstream television, especially for the male action hero type. I’m just not sure that the conclusion that a ninja type must be played by an actor of Asian descent isn’t equally problematic. If you really want to shatter some stereotypes, make sure you have Asian men in other kinds of roles. It seems to me that a lot of the criticism on this particular point comes from people outside of the comic book reading population who are not familiar with Danny Rand. Who knows, it might be a mess of a show, but I’m not going to assume that going in. And it may be culturally insensitive for a number of reasons, but again, I’m not going to assume that. What do you guys think? (I’m going to allow full spoilers for the show in the comment section for those of you joining us after it’s aired.)
Well, this was my first post in a long good while, and it’s going to take me a little while to build up to anything near my posting frequency of two or three years ago. It’s actually a bit scary to notice just how quickly you can break a good habit and how the time you used to devote to something fills up with other things. But, one step at a time! Last, but certainly not least, thank you so much to the people who have kept commenting and even sent messages of support and encouragement over the last year. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.