A lot of the imagery in the Daredevil 2015 tv series is significantly more brutal than any previous entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Examples of such imagery include:

  • Fisk bash a guy's head off
  • Daredevil beating a guy bloody for raping his daughter
  • The hit man committing suicide on a pipe

Why was the decision made to push such a significance on this sort of imagery?

  • 3
    Hmm, it seems to fit much better to DC's dark and grounded current properties (like Arrow, the Dark Knight or the Man of Steel) than to all this light-hearted superhero fun the MCU normally does. While Flash on the other hand seems in turn more at home in the MCU. I guess each of them just want to try something different more along the lines of their competitors.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 5, 2015 at 23:50
  • 1
    That being said, a highly trained guy beating up the mob at night, the flashback scenes throughout the episode. Afterall it might not be too far-fetched that Arrow's success could have had some influence on Daredevil's conception. Though, the source material always seemed to be pretty dark compared to other Marvel stuff (as far as my limited knowledge of this stuff allows me to guess).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 0:04
  • 4
    Also, take a look at the current TV climate: Game Of Thrones is extremely graphic, as is The Walking Dead. Clearly TV-show makers are realising (or thinking) that viewers want this level of graphic.
    – Möoz
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 3:36
  • 1
    Absolutely agree here with Mooz. Apparently, a large section of viewers indeed enjoy graphic violence. It has become a trend.
    – Ankit
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 4:40
  • 2
    After the stale bread that was Ben Affleck's attempt, I welcome a darker image to make it more palatable Commented May 26, 2015 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


I was also struck by the dark tone of Daredevil, and I think there are two main reasons, aside from dark (and antiheroes) simply being "in" right now. Firstly, one of the showrunners is Stephen S. DeKnight. He's most famous for showrunning the Spartacus shows, and so it's clear his aesthetic goes towards the ultraviolent end of the spectrum.

Secondly, they're basing the series very much more on the Frank Miller run of the comic (e.g., Stick, the Hand, and Elektra were all introduced then)--even down to recreating some panels as frames. And unlike the original Silver Age runs of the book a few decades earlier, Miller's run became particularly dark and gritty in tone. This was, after all, the beginning of Miller establishing his own voice and would eventually lead to books like The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City.


One very simple reason is that NetFlix is considered to be a 'bought by adults, for adults' service and in order to support that on a show coming from a comic-book origin the 'darkness' and violence got turned up to appeal to that adult audience. It worked too, expect more of the same thing soon ;)

  • 2
    Not sure I agree with the "bought by adults, for adults" note, given how every time you log in to Netflix, it asks if it's you or the kids, and they filter for content. :) Also, note that HBO's first original program ever was Fraggle Rock. I think it's more "no sponsors, because we're supported by subscriptions, so we don't need censors..."
    – inkista
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 18:07
  • Not sure what HBO has to do with this (?) but I work for one of NetFlix's competitors and speak with their staff surprisingly frequently and heard it from their mouths that they consciously wanted to make an adult-oriented superhero show.
    – Chopper3
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 18:24
  • 2
    @Chopper3 You might want to use that quite interesting background information to flesh out your answer a little more. Even if it's still just hearsay, it's just a tad more substance for an already reasonable deduction.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 22:17
  • @inkista, nailed it! when you're not having to provide sample audiences for advertisers, you don't have to sanitise yourself to their rules! same with not needing to pack out a multiplex for a opening weekend. Marvel are really exploring making content that isn't dependent on merchandise revenue. Commented May 28, 2015 at 21:26

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