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Controversy or Consciousness in Marvel Netflix?

Comic books, back in the day, were the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest. They were painful narratives that made us think, that put our problems into the perspectives of a false world so a hero could show us they can be solved and the villains of our lives vanquished. Unfortunately, the solutions are solely on the page or on the screen, now with the Netflix series’ of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but does that erase the effect they have on us as viewers and readers?

Do the shows take some issues too far? Present them too blatantly or too straight-forward for escapism?

Are they too real and too relevant? Or exactly what we need?

  • Something else to consider would be whether or not the intention of comic books is still escapism. As entertainment becomes increasingly politicized, the escapism aspect may sit on a balance with a desire to provide political commentary. If you wanted to do that more broadly, too, you could look at the balance of escapism and commentary in modern comic books or their adaptations (like Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage), which I feel like is what you might be trying to do. There's an excellent article about Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing his run of Black Panther which touches on this --> http://kotaku.com/ta-nehisi-coates-is-trying-to-do-right-by-marvel-comics-1769418783 – Sadie Britton 7 years ago
  • I think the subjective nature social consciousness makes this a hard question to answer. Comics have always run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to uncomfortably real but a lot of that is in the personal interpretation. Most comics aren't going to be as clear in their messaging as Captain America punching Hitler in the face. The X-Men arose as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement but not every white comic reader in the 60s was thinking "I see, this is like how we treat black people". However black comic readers may have connected with the story in a different way. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both seemed overtly political but technically were recreations of plot lines that were decades old. When Brock Turner is making headlines, Jessica's inability to consent holds more weight. When Black Lives Matter plays a large part in the political sphere, a bulletproof black guy (in a hoodie) holds more weight. Your environment and your gender/racial/sexual identity change whether you view it as a nice work of fiction or a very political one. – LC Morisset 7 years ago
  • Whoever decides to write a piece about this topic, must keep the line about comic books being "the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest." Otherwise, no success will be achieved. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

Ableism in Marvel's Daredevil

Do you think the Netflix series Daredevil handled the issue of ableism well? Do you think it was covered too much, too little, or just right? Do you think the show helps diversify the stories we have about disabled people, or do you think it played into old stereotypes and tropes?

  • Through his heightened senses, he's able to perceive the world in ways that mitigate the disabling effect of his blindness. But he is still blind. When he's fighting, it's easy to forget that he can't see, because this show (as opposed to the 2003 Ben Affleck vehicle) rarely tries to depict how the world "appears" to Murdock. Maybe talk about other representations of blindness in movies or television shows, and compare it to Daredevil. Also, looking at the Daredevil movie staring Ben Affleck and Netflix's Daredevil, could also give a different perspective. – ADenkyirah 9 years ago
  • I love this topic. I just started watching this show, and I would have said that they handle it very well. I learned some things about blind culture (like braille laptops... who knew?). That could be an interesting thing to include in the article, actually (how do those sort of references contribute to the audience's view of blindness?). I also appreciated the part in the first episode where he tells Karen that he does actually miss his sight; I liked that in spite of the fact that he's a badass superhero, he doesn't pretend that it's a non-issue. However, while we know that about him, we also know that he goes on with his life. He doesn't pity himself. It's just a part of him, like anything else. It's there, but it's not treated as this pitiable thing. If anything, I would say the show is the opposite of ableist. Also, I think the way new people interact with Matt is probably a good representation of how people might react to meeting a blind person. (Meeting Karen is a good example) At the same time, I wonder if he might face more discrimination than they show within the series. They don't ignore blind issues, I don't think, but I do think there is the potential for more. Then again, his blindness isn't the focus of the series; his superhero activities are. And would focusing more on his blindness just lead to an unrealistic demonstration of self-pity? I'm torn. So, it's a complicated topic. I guess it depends on what angle you want to take! – Laura Jones 8 years ago