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Subject: The problems with Daredevil: rss

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First of all, the show is just a poor man's Batman. It even lifts a few lines out of The Dark Knight ("I'm the hero this city needs."), but the whole theme and progression of the show -- the protagonist and antagonist are very much alike -- is very similar. The only difference is the motivation and the lack of a trust fund.

Secondly, Matt Murdock is a sociopath. He shows hints of emotion from time to time, but for the most part, he surrounds himself with people he can use: Claire is there to serve as his medical adviser; Foggy is there to keep up the front of the business; Karen is there because she had information he needed to investigate Union Allied. She's stuck around because Foggy's crushing on her, and she has nowhere else to go. At least she's beginning to get her own purpose, though, now that she's determined to investigate UA, but even then, it looks like Ben is going to be the one to get all the credit for that exposure. As it is, though, Matt doesn't feel like a sympathetic character.

Thirdly, Foggy feels like a useless character. If he knew what Matt was doing, and was in on it, then he would serve a useful purpose, in that he knows he's serving as a front, and could provide the necessary smokescreens to keep Matt under the radar. He seems to be symbolic of what Matt's giving up in his crusade, but until he helped fix up the woman's apartment, and stood up to the other lawyer in her case, were the first moments in the story where he served any purpose at all.

Fourthly, the female characters are being depicted very poorly. Karen identifies herself as a secretary, and Claire is a nurse. Claire could just as easily have been a doctor (from what I understand, she doesn't have a correlating character in the comics), but instead she's made a nurse. Is that so she could live in the slums where she could find and help Matt? If so, it's lazy and prejudicial writing; if Matt and Foggy left behind a successful career to help clean up Hell's Kitchen, why couldn't a female doctor do the same? At this point, Karen is the only one of the three female characters who is anything more than plot device, but even then, when she starts to investigate UA, she's depicted as naive and foolish, requiring coaching from another male character.

I haven't read the comics, so I don't know much about the character other than the broad strokes, and that the Kingpin is his arch nemesis, and I've only made it through six episodes of the entire series. So far, though, I'm disappointed. It might be because I had built it up in my head to be so much better based on all I was reading about it, but I just don't find the show to be that interesting. The fight scenes are well done (very well done, in fact; aside from the complexity of some of them, they do a good job of showing the exhaustion of the characters as the scenes progress), but the rest of it has been lackluster. I can see the potential here, but I feel like the entire thing needed a lot more work before they green-lit the series.
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We needed a third thread about the show? Also, haters gonna hate.
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matthean wrote:
Also, haters gonna hate.

This isn't much of a defense.

EDIT: In fact, I find this response, as a whole, pretty insulting. I've raised some talking points in the hopes of starting a discussion, and your response is just to dismiss it because I'm a "hater" (whatever that is). Why not just contribute?
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I'm at about the same point (Scott Glenn has just shown up) and I am also lukewarm.

The excellent fight scenes might be going a longer way for me than you. So fun to watch. Also, I was a big Spider-Man reader growing up and Kingpin was my favorite villain (I just had an argument last night with a gaming buddy who hated Kingpin from the comics...). I think the writing and acting for Kingpin has been pretty good considering I have high expectations.

But a good TV series will always be carried by the ensemble. I agree that Foggy and Karen are disappointments so far. The reporter angle doesn't quite work yet. The side villains (the other crime bosses) are not scary or interesting (though the main Russian was fine if completely cliche). Since there is so much love for the show, I'm hopeful this will get better.

I DO like the Claire character. My brother-in-law is a nurse and I have some good friends who are nurses (all strong sharp women) so I don't really see that as an issue as long as her character is fleshed out which it has been.

I've been watching it with my 14 y.o. son and he is also a bit lukewarm. His continued interest will be the main factor on if I continue with it.
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I finished the show last weekend. I agree about the women, they are poorly depicted, almost an afterthought.

But the fight scenes are amazing.

I had no prior knowledge of the comic books. And I hate Super Hero anything usually, unless they are grounded in reality.

i.e. Superman is supernatural, I don't want to read/watch that.
Batman is okay, he just pays money for insane gadgets.

Daredevil fell more into the second category, yeah, he has insane good senses, but they are grounded in reality.

But the show oozes film noir.

As far as acting goes, the guy playing foggy is the best actor on the show as far as I'm concerned. The others are kind of wooden, but the story really interested me.
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First off I'm about where you are 6-ish episodes in
secondly I don't know the comics but I feel this should be judged as a show so for any future comments I can't address daredevel as a concept and if/how much should relate to the comic

ok here goes
I'm likeing it, and I just think your interpretation is being skewed by a dark view or compairison (ok so I'm not sure if thats quite how I feel but just read my couterpoints I think they will make more sence)

to similar to dark knight---well yeah, its the bad shit sculped them into a vigilante, they don't really want to be a hero they just have that violent reaction, the type that would rather fight a mugger than hand over the wallet. Its common because its understandable.

sociopath----hes a blind man that keeps to himself and is a lawyer of course he doesn't have many friends. He doesn't actualy need any of them, well maybe clair.

secondary characters----They may be flat but it just started and I think its aiming for the long haul. Its not a movie so it doesnt want to rush character development. They are trying to have us like the main character more. Also a few of these episodes have just been a day or two rather than trying to span weeks or a year.

females---they are from the slums, I'd say their doing just fine. A doctor would follow the rules (using a nurse seems to be the superhero's thing to do) Maybe their season two hook will be a strong female character. Karen I think will become a bigger deal as she is picking up on everything fast, she started just as a pawn in a shell corp so I think shes going somewhere.

It being netflix I think they try to be better than tv by being different. I think they will miss plenty of viewer with the choices they've made and you mentioned. I think I am a fan of this change. A show is so controlled by just being made for tv. They are paving the way for better storytelling, a type that is written for the stories sake.

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I disagree wholeheartedly. I'm only 4 episodes in and I'm in love. the care given to the story, casting, cinematography, and especially the fight choreography make this one of the best made series of all time and has shone a very real and gritty light on typical superhero tropes.

With a little bit of background you could understand why many parts of the show feel very similar to the Nolan Batman movies. The Nolan Batman movies borrowed a lot from Frank Miller's books "Year One" and "The Dark Knight Returns" and the show borrows very heavily from Frank Miller's "Man Without Fear" right down to story beats and even the costume he wears. To say that it is "lifting" things from Nolan's Batman is unfair because they are both "lifting" things from similar works by the same writer. And Daredevil has always had a lot of parallels to Batman, but Batman himself has a lot of parallels to characters going all the way back to ancient mythology. I don't think he's a "poor man's Batman". He's a very interesting character that has similarities to another very interesting character. They both differ in many ways but nothing unique exists in storytelling any more, there's room to enjoy both. And honestly I think the Daredevil series matches and even exceeds what Nolan's Batman films did in several ways.

Your points about Murdock being a sociopath are valid but how is that bad storytelling? The show is meant to be dingy, dirty, and dark and I like the idea of a hero who is trying to do good and he does it his way and treats the people around him as tools to that end. This, again, is a very common trope in comics and since you are the one who already brought up Batman, Wayne is one of the most famous sociopaths in comics.

Foggy is there for comic relief, as a foil, and like you said, he is used by Matt to legitimize his business. He is an essential character and very useful for the storytelling. Not everyone needs to be Alfred or Jarvis. Characters can be useful in many different ways.

I think you are making mountains out of mole hills with your comments about the female characters. Marvel's film universe has done one of the best jobs with strong female characters such as Black Widow, Pepper Potts, and others and I don't think Daredevil is any different. Why not make her a doctor? Are you serious? The show isn't making any statement that women can't be doctors. Nurses are the ones that typically do first aid and triage. Those are the things Matt needs from this character, so they made her a nurse and gave her those skills. Also, in the 4th episode of the series especially, they have depicted her as a very strong character.

The way these characters are fleshed out, the realism of a character who doesn't have a metal suit or godlike powers and can actually be hurt and get tired in a fight and doesn't have the money to buy the things to help him do good are all really felt in the series. The fight choreography is fantastic, the continuous shot at the end of the second episode gave me a boner that still hasn't gone away. And the depiction of the Kingpin, a lonely, awkward, outcast, shut-in who is capable of truly horrible and brutal things is absolutely on point and really shows a human character. Nothing in this show doesn't feel like something that can happen in real life and I absolutely adore it.
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I'm really enjoying it and I agree with much of what Tony posted.

In terms of Clair, as I understand it she’s important for future seasons and the introduction of Luke Cage (Power Man). I haven’t really followed any comics since back in the seventies, but I’ve been told she’s an important character in the Luke Cage storyline.
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What is wrong with being a nurse? My wife is a nurse and worked damned hard to get where she is. I don't understand the thinking of a female character not being properly valued unless she's in a position to make six or seven figure salaries. In my opinion, Karen is a strong character. Yes she does start out as naive in the situation, but 99% of the population would be just like her if dropped into the same situation.
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Matt being a sociopath isn't necessarily bad, but it doesn't make him sympathetic, either. OK, he doesn't want to kill anyone, but maiming people to the point where they're in a coma doesn't seem to phase him. Even Claire raises this point with him, when she confronts him about how he enjoys hurting people. I think we can relate to him because he's trying to do good for the neighborhood, but so is Fisk. Their methods are different, but their goal is the same; is the primary difference between the two the fact that Matt doesn't want to kill anyone? Is that enough for us to sympathize with him?

If Foggy is intended to be the comic relief, then he fails at it. He doesn't strike me as funny at all; he seems more pathetic than anything else. His banter with Karen makes me cringe, and the way he tries to make everything out to be a joke is more ingratiating than amusing. When he helped fix the woman's apartment, and stood up to the other attorney, was the first point in the series where he started being a character of his own. And that was halfway into the series.

Regarding the female characters, I first want to state emphatically that I have a ton of respect for nurses, female or male. I should have said that up top. That's a job I would never be able to do, and I recognize that they're very necessary in the medical profession. But when characters are being presented in fiction, I expect there to be a progressive look at who they are. For the sake of the story, Matt needed someone who was (a) living in Hell's Kitchen, (b) willing to get involved, (c) versed in first aid, and (d) had easy access to medical supplies. Why not a male nurse? Why not a female doctor? Why make that character a female nurse? It's stereotypical, and the writers had an opportunity to go above that. I think they failed by not doing so.

For that matter, I've noticed now that the folks who have needed rescue thus far in the series have been either children or women. I can easily see how Foggy might wind up in that position later in the story, but why do the women wind up being damsels in distress?

I don't disagree with the show portraying the realism accurately. I find the fight scenes to be very convincing, and like others have said, that five-minute one-take hallway fight was extremely well done. That was the scene that kept me watching the series past that point. I also agree that D'Onofrio is doing a great job portraying the complexity and awkwardness of Fisk, but then again, that's D'Onofrio. He's a great actor. Of all the characters thus far on the show, he's the most convincing. And maybe the writers are planning to pull a Breaking Bad by making Matt the antagonist and Fisk the protagonist by the end of the series, but this is a show based on an established comic book. They're not going to reverse the roles.
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I was always under the impression that Moon Knight was Marvel's version of the Poor-Man's Batman (although I feel that is invalid, too). The Bill Sienkiewicz version of Moon Knight was awesome. MK is a bit of a loon, but he is fun as the avenging spirit of the pseudo-Egyptian god Khonshu.

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I find Daredevil pretty kick-ass.
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For everyone hating on Claire, you know she's an amalgam of Claire Temple and Night Nurse from the comics right?
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Verkisto wrote:
OK, he doesn't want to kill anyone, but maiming people to the point where they're in a coma doesn't seem to phase him.
....
If Foggy is intended to be the comic relief, then he fails at it. ...And that was halfway into the series.
....
living in Hell's Kitchen, (b) willing to get involved, (c) versed in first aid, and (d) had easy access to medical supplies. Why not a male nurse? Why not a female doctor? Why make that character a female nurse? It's stereotypical, and the writers had an opportunity to go above that.
....
but why do the women wind up being damsels in distress?


The maining peaple uses the logic of the person can heal perhaps now they will stop their evil ways because of the use of extreme punishment. Death is the easy choice of removing bad from the world but its final, hopeless, and a waste.

Foggy is comic relief in the general sense as in simply a positive guy. well the latest episode or so did have him ...ok spoiler but nothing that effects the plot so at your own digression...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
smack a dude across the face with a bat...Kinda shows him being a more of a dimensional character


The female nurse is just that its more likely and now it gives them more to play with ie a relationship. Nurses are usually pictured as in it to help and doctors are more money/professional, a nurse is more likely to jump in and do rogue work.
There not enough reason to be different for that kinda thing. Most nurses are female so female. Most victims are female so female (though they are now up to two three dads being the victim)
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I think there is a lot more to the goals and motivations behind Matt and Wilson than that they are both trying to "help Hell's Kitchen" and there is a lot more to what Matt is doing than him being a sociopath. Like I said, Bruce Wayne is clearly a sociopath, and he is arguably the most popular comic book superhero of all time.

Matt is cleaning up Hell's Kitchen by helping the innocent and trying to stop crime. The people he hurts are criminals that are trying to kill him. Sure, he tortured that criminal and threw him off a roof. They even displayed in that episode that when he did it, he wasn't sure if he killed him or not. This is a guy working for a crime syndicate that kidnapped a child. Also, I love the idea that we are watching a show where if the hero tells the villain he is going to push him off a roof, he means it. Too often we have that trope where the hero's threats are empty because they won't kill someone. I'm reminded of the classic Bond line "how did you know there was a pool down there", "I didn't."

Wilson is not just about making Hell's Kitchen better despite what he told Vanessa. He wants to own and run it. He thinks he can make it a better place but his motivations are about power, money, and control. He will subjugate and hurt innocent people and anyone who gets in his way. After all, Hitler thought he was making the world a better place too.

As far as Foggy not seeming funny to you, well that's simply a matter of opinion. I think the banter between Matt and Foggy is very amusing. I thought the introduction of Foggy riffing with the cop to get information was funny and clever. And I thought the storyline of Foggy and Karen going out and drinking the eel was very kindhearted and funny. If you don't agree that's just because it doesn't resonate with you, it does with me.

Like I said, the show is hardly making some statement that men can't be nurses and women can't be doctors. You said yourself that the character would need to be someone living in Hell's Kitchen. Hell's Kitchen is a slum, a doctor would not be living there. And besides, like I said, a nurse character is more likely to have more experience with first aid and triage than a doctor. On top of which, a nurse is more likely to see a lot more of what is going on in the waiting and emergency rooms of hospitals and hear rumors. All of those things come into play with the character. So from there you can ask why not make it a male nurse? It is very clear that they want a romantic interest for Matt Murdoch, it's cliche but there you go, that's why she is a female. It is for the story, there are no statements here about a woman's capabilities or progressiveness, that conversation doesn't belong in my opinion.

So far 4 episodes in the only women that needed rescuing were Karen and Claire, they are story characters and it was about the character not the fact that they are women. And they are hardly damsels in distress. The show actually had the balls a lot of others wouldn't (and keep in mind this is DISNEY we are talking about) in showing Russian gangsters hitting a woman in the face to get her to talk. And Claire held her own and even made a jab when the lights went off "You want to know his name, ask him yourself." And I thought it was a nice little touch how she took matters into her own hands at the end of that episode.

And the other time it was a child. Again, this is about more than stereotype. It was to show how low the Russian mob would sink and how despicable they are. There's nothing worse than kidnapping a child and selling it just to get back at a guy who's messing with your business. In fact, a big theme of the second episode from the opening was about how much worse the criminals in this world have gotten. "In my day when you killed a man you sent his wife flowers. Now you send her with him."

And I would argue that while I agree D'Onofrio is an incredible actor, it isn't just about him. Incredible actors put in really shitty performances all the time. The writing, both for the show and of the character over the last ~50 years, as well as the direction and supporting cast all contribute to the success. I think all the characters are very well acted.
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Just a quick note, though others have pretty much stated what I wanted to say - my feeling is that they are playing with Murdock/DD's credibility throughout the show on purpose. I think we are meant to question whether or not he is a good guy or a bad guy - far, far more so than we ever question Batman in The Dark Knight. The idea behind DD's character, at least insofar as I understand, is how far can he push things - how far can he DARE without crossing over into something he can't undo or come back from. That idea is at the heart of his powers, and that idea is at the heart of his actions. As such, he's not supposed to be a fully sympathetic character. He's supposed to be almost nearly, but in the end not quite a villain. He's the manifestation of the Nietzschean claim, "he who fights with monsters must take care lest he also become a monster," and he gets much closer to that edge than Batman ever does.
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MScrivner wrote:
He's the manifestation of the Nietzschean claim, "he who fights with monsters must take care lest he also become a monster," and he gets much closer to that edge than Batman ever does.


Indeed- that exploration is less often explored in batman. His unique drive and obsession seems to insulate that danger. More often than not, his single-mindedness and leanings toward a unique sort of authoritarianism are explored.
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I'll concede the point that a character can't be a sociopath in order to be sympathetic. Batman proves it. But in the case of Matt, there's something missing to make him completely sympathetic. I'll also accept that I haven't seen the entire series, and thus don't see how his entire arc plays out. At this point in the series, though, he's not the most likable of characters, even after Fisk's attempt to frame him.

I'll also concede that funny is subjective, and that what's not funny to me can be funny to other people. In my sample size, however (two: my wife and me), no one thinks Foggy's character is that funny, and everyone thought that the night out drinking was some really awkward television.

Furthermore, I'll concede the point about Claire being a nurse. The arguments for her being such are sound, though I still want my fiction to reach a little higher. Claire easily could have been a doctor who cared enough not to move out of a neighborhood where she could help, offering medical services to low-income residents, and using her money to support those kinds of endeavors. I'm not saying that the show has to make a statement, nor do I think that they're against that kind of a statement by making the character a nurse instead of a doctor, but representation in fiction, especially in television and the movies, is important. Few important characters are women or minorities, and what few characters writers do include that are female or minority are usually in roles that are subservient to the other characters.

At this point in the series, I think the writing is just okay. I don't feel the need to walk away from the series at this point, but neither do I feel like I must keep watching, like I have with other series. Good fiction starts with good characters, and as I've already noted, I don't feel like we have good characters. The idea behind the series has potential, but the characters aren't selling me on it just yet.
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On Sociopathy: Meting out violence to criminals outside the law isn't exactly a polite thing to do anyhow. Comics as a whole are predicated on a certain amount of sociopathy. No one expects Batman, Daredevil, Moon Knight etc to be normal (whatever that is) psychologically. I think that is one of the things that makes Marvel's Civil War storyline so interesting. You can come in from the cold and work for us or you can hang up the mask.

Further, how do Capt. America, Iron-Man, Superman, the X-Men somehow get a pass. Sabertooth is a psychopath but Wolverine isn't? Wait, what?

On Daredevil the show: I like it, a lot because it is brutally honest about violence. Unlike pretty much every super-movie ever (Nolan's Batman excepted, possibly) Matt gets hurt and those injuries matter. Fighting is exhausting and leaves real wounds. Now this being the comics, Matt comes out on top in the end but things like the hallway fight show the cost of that sort of activity. The biggest badass I know, my Krav instructor couldn't pull that off and he finished boot with a shattered hipjoint because it was only a little "sore". now he's got a titanium hip and half a femur.

On Women: Claire, Night Nurse. Covered. In the comics, Karen is in again, out again until Kevin Smith ends up killing her in Guardian Devil. She has a less than illustrious path (drug addict, porn star etc). The larger problem within comics is just treating them as damsels in distress or worse, Women in Refrigerators. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators

I think the scene with her and Wesley near the end of the season shows hope for her that she won't just be a victim. Her line about "Do you think that I have never shot someone before" gives me hope, not that she'll turn into a vigilante ala Laurel Lance on Arrow but that she has a core of inner steel and plot yet to be developed. The first season isn't about her. It is about Murdock and Fisk and I think that the show succeeded. To me she is more like Jodie Foster's character in The Brave One but with less outgoing vigilantism. She's just found her limit and isn't going to let anyone else hurt her.

On Foggy: I don't think of Foggy as comic relief, though he has his moments. Foggy is there to be Matt's friend come hell or high water. I thought that Nelson vs. Murdock was one of the best episodes of the season.
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Mike Sisson wrote:
On Foggy: I don't think of Foggy as comic relief, though he has his moments. Foggy is there to be Matt's friend come hell or high water. I thought that Nelson vs. Murdock was one of the best episodes of the season.
Great episode. I did a lot to show why these two were friends and that they really were friends and not just "friends because the script says we are." Take Big Bang Theory for instance, I don't care what you think of the show, most people including his "friends" would never put up with Sheldon's crap. But in the context of that show they are friends because that's what the premise calls for. In Daredevil you can see why Matt and Foggy would actually be friends. Foggy keeps Matt from wandering off into vigilante la-la-land.
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I love me my Batman, but a lot of the complaints against DD are summed up as not Batman. Isn't there room for two?
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maf man
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Deadsider wrote:
I love me my Batman, but a lot of the complaints against DD are summed up as not Batman. Isn't there room for two?

well how ever many cities they can come up with.
ugh the number of "my city" lines in arrow
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Shawn Burk
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You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!
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Rakes, my arch enemy.
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Actually as an aside, with this level of grit I'd like to see Punisher made when talking about troubled heroes. Give us Ennis' Punisher and you'll have someone to truly call a monster.
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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FYI, I was on my way to work and didn't have the time to write everything out.

Just because Batman wants to be the darkity dark dark knight doesn't mean others can't use it as well. If I had a nickle for every time "I'm what this city needs" gets mentioned on Arrow, I could start a trust fun.

Claire isn't a doctor nor does she do anything to imply that she is. She merely does stitches and bandages. Her interest in Daredevil leaves no real impression he is using her.

Karen can't do the story. She signed the agreement. It has to go through Ben. Her needing Ben isn't a slight towards the character. It isn't her territory as it is with Ben who's built a career off of difficult stories.

Foggy is important. Outside of previously mentioned items, he keeps Karen sane and protects her. He is also instrumental in the final court case. Foggy essentially busts his balls for Matt and the law firm due to the fact that they went to school together.
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HMS Iron Duke
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matthean wrote:



Claire isn't a nurse nor does she do anything to imply that she is. She merely does stitches and bandages. Her interest in Daredevil leaves no real impression he is using her.

Foggy is important. Outside of previously mentioned items, he keeps Karen sane and protects her. He is also instrumental in the final court case. Foggy essentially busts his balls for Matt and the law firm due to the fact that they went to school together.


Claire is absolutely a nurse. After the Russians get blown up she shows up at the hospital and the administrator asks her about why she is there, something about her being out on leave etc. She obviously works there when she isn't hiding for her life, which is exactly what she is doing when she says that she had been calling in sick with the excuse of a car crash. When she is stitching up Murdock he asks her if she is a doctor and she replies "something like that".


Ahh, pedantry the likes of which only comics can create. Hehehe.
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