Guilty Pleasures: Daredevil Season 3

Kingpin haunts Matt Murdoch/Daredevil (courtesy Marvel and Netflix)

I’m definitely a Marvel guy over DC. My favorite movies are Iron Man and the Captain America series, and I’m pretty sure that nobody really died in Infinity War.  My favorite character is Ant-Man/Scott Lang because he’s a regular guy who gets sucked into the Big War and I can empathize for him.

So I’ll admit I’ve watched every episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My favorite is Phil Coulson. I really wish they had reconnected him with Tony, Cap and the gang. Even though there’s apparently going to be a season six my hopes are dimming.

That brings me to the Netflix shows.  I like Luke Cage. I’m not a huge Punisher fan; the story seems too repetitive to me. I really wish Jessica Jones wasn’t so full of bad language, because I love the character and the more gritty setting of the show.

But Daredevil.

This show gets Marvel right on the small screen for me. The grit of Hell’s Kitchen is just right, and I love the glimpses of the city life. The characters are almost all unpowered humans, and even Daredevil himself isn’t imbued with superpowers. Matt Murdoch’s power resides between his ears – in more ways than one.  As a blind man, his ears create a sensory experience that he claims is even more rich than a sighted person could be a part of. Add in the martial arts and the premise is set.

But, we need a villain.

Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is, in my opinion, the best and baddest Marvel antagonist. He literally gives me the heebie-jeebies when I watch him move and speak.  You know that he’s already orchestrated the desired outcome and everyone else is playing into his hands. I can’t even imagine going up against him.

In Season 3, Matt Murdoch is back from the dead (not really) and in hiding, trying to understand why God spared him.  That’s another thing I like about Daredevil; it’s the only Marvel series to talk openly about God as a real entity.  Matt’s connection to the Catholic Church and the orphanage he was raised in is another of my favorite bits within the storyline.  Now, though, Kingpin has engineering his own release from prison and the FBI is mixed up his plans. I like Season 3’s pitting of the NYPD against the Feds. Foggy is running for Assistant D.A. and Karen Page is getting in too deep again. All good, and I’m only four episodes in!  Things are going to blow up. The prison riot sequence is one of the best fight scenes I’v seen in a long time.  No holds-barred, homemade weapons and fists and knees.  Daredevil is in over his head.

Daredevil Season 3, much like Season 1 before it, reminds me so much of the Batman movies. I mean the good ones starring Christian Bale. The societal chaos, the gritty Gotham, the police, Feds and reporters. And (almost) no superpowers needed.

I am looking forward to watching the rest of the season.


Binge Report: One Night In Tehran – Cool Christian Fiction

This weekend I had another binge session – ran my iPad battery down to zero on Friday night (boo) and recharged the sucker to wrap up “One Night in Tehran” by Luana Ehrlich on Saturday over coffee.

JR Geoghan Binge Report

The write ups seemed to promise me a read that was my kind of Christian Fiction, the kind that weaves the faith and Bible into “real life” gritty scenarios (here’s an interesting read on the subject).  Since that’s what my own book series attempts to accomplish I was intrigued and a bit excited; I haven’t found much in the same blend of genres (supernatural, thriller, action, Bible-based) that appealed to me.  No “Left Behind”, thank you.

One Night in Tehran - Luana EhrlichWell, “One Night in Tehran” delivered.

Mrs. Ehrlich has created a great main character in covert intelligence officer Titus Ray.  Even better, the story is told first-person (just like “Swords of Flame” – yay!) which I personally think is much harder to pull off than third-person narrative.  As I was explaining to my daughter yesterday, first-person (hopefully) adds the dimension of the protagonist’s thoughts to the dialogue and plot events.  I love first-person stories; they allow me to listen in to the character’s self-talk and view on people and things.  Titus delivers on all counts with a Sam Spade snarkyness to boot.

The depiction of modern life in the CIA and the “tradecraft” of espionage was also excellent in the book.  As a bit of a student of modern military ops as well as U.S. history, I found myself drawn into new thinking about what it’s like for a covert operative to come back from a long deep-cover mission in a foreign culture.  A big opportunity for Mrs. Ehrlich in future books is to further explore how Titus’s total immersion in other cultures affects his worldview and interactions with people as an American.

I smiled at the choice of Norman, Oklahoma as the stateside setting for the plot and the author’s setup of why Titus would go back there after returning from the field.  Sorry, I’ll still take Southern California… but it was interesting to learn more about OK.  Looking forward to more physical descriptions of the weather seasons and local lore of Norman as the books progress.

So where’s the Christianity?  Titus is exposed to it when he is hidden by Iranian Christians and exposed to faith in Jesus Christ in the face of certain persecution, torture and death.  I won’t give the story away but Mrs. Ehrlich does a great job of leading us through Titus’s progression towards the Lord and how he begins to change outwardly.  This is probably the highlight of the book for me and I can’t wait to see where it takes him as far as making decisions in the face of his career of deceit.

Book Two in the series is entitled “Two Days in Caracas” and a sample is included at the close of the book.  I will be getting it, needless to say.

Thanks, Luana Ehrlich for a pleasant binge read.

(“One Night in Tehran” is currently available for $.99 at Amazon).