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'Marvel's Daredevil' Is Catholicism Done Right

The man without fear helps Catholics across the world.

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'Marvel's Daredevil' Is Catholicism Done Right

A lot of terrible things happen in the world and we are so divided that no one wants to fix it. No one: not our world leaders, our senators, not even ourselves can have a civil discussion on matters. As someone who constantly tries to bring compromise towards situations, this is very frustrating and makes me want to escape the real world from time to time. During one of my attempts of escapism, I stumbled across the newly released season of Daredevil. And while watching it I realized a solution to some of our problems. That Matthew Murdock is the interpretation of Catholicism we need today.

"Marvel's Daredevil" season 3 premiered this past weekend (At the time of this article) and it was a ride. A brief synopsis for the show follows the adult life of Matthew Murdock. At the age of nine, he was permanently blinded after a truck crashed carrying toxic chemicals. Not long after, Matthew's boxer father would be murdered by crime. Despite being blind, Murdock's other senses enhanced basically letting him see without the need for his eyes. He spent years of his life training in martial arts in hopes to avenge his fallen father and rid Hell's Kitchen of crime. A lawyer by day, vigilante by night.

What makes Daredevil as a character stand out from other costumed comic book characters is his religious upbringing. Matt was raised Catholic and constantly struggles with his faith. Throughout the season, Matt feels the only way to stop the evils of the crime lord Wilson Fisk is by killing him. Fisk is bringing a war on the city and Matt feels there is no other way to stop him. With this being "Marvel's Daredevil" third season, Matt's worldview is different. As previous seasons would never have him resort to the mindset of taking a life. However, at the start of this season, the viewer is introduced to Matt at his lowest point. By now some people are probably disputing this. "There's probably hardly any Catholic imagery in this Netflix show, this article is a stretch. We are fine as a society…." Well, I'd like to dispute that.

The opening scene of the season has Matt falling towards the Manhattan sewage system after a building collapses on top of him. As he falls his arms are stretched out like a cross. Even if you aren't a theology professor you can see the obvious Jesus symbolism here. Christ died on the cross and in the Bible, he is stated of descending into Hell for three days before rising. Matt is currently enduring his own hell and will only continue until the midway point of the season. There is more catholic imagery as the show continues and this is not just some outlier situation.

Opening Scene from "Marvel's Daredevil" Season 3 media.giphy.com

Continuing on, due to the blast, Matt is deaf in one ear and cannot use his senses as strongly as before. On top of that, he feels that God has only been using him as a vehicle in a selfish way. God being selfish? Many Christians will call blasphemy. But, throughout his crusade and the show, what motivates Matt more than his fallen father and loss of sight is this idea. He imagined for a lot of his life that God gave him his ability to hear the prayers of others in order to answer those prayers. But after literally having a building fall on top of him, Matt practically spits in God's face. Totally understandable in my opinion.

Later on, in a conversation Matt has with Sister Maggie - a nun at the orphanage where Matt grew up at- Matt describes his own telling of the book of Job: "The book of Job. The story of God's perfect servant, job. He prayed every day at dawn, with his knees on the ground his face in the dirt. Slaughtered then goats, one for each of his children, and burned them at the altar in God's honor. Of all God's soldiers, Job, he was the most loyal."

The writers specifically added this background on Job for a specific reason. But more on that later. Matt is interrupted by Sister Maggie as she states to already know the tale. That's where Matt reveals the true reason for sharing the tale.

"…Oh, then you know what happens next. God murdered all ten of his children in cold blood. Scorched every inch of Job's land. Lashed at his body 'till his skin was covered in bloody welts.' God rained shit and misery on the life of his most perfect servant and still… Job would not curse him. You know what I realized? Job was a pussy. I suffered willingly. I gave my uh... sweat and blood and skin without complaint because I.. I too believed I was God's soldier. Well, not anymore. I am what I do in the dark now. I bleed only for myself."

This is the screenwriters helping relate old Christian folklore to a modern audience. And to better demonstrate how Matt a Catholic man feels towards God. Practically allowing people to see it is okay to question God. Today wherever someone says they are Christian in America, they are scoffed at and sometimes ridiculed. Some of it is not unmerited though, as Christians for centuries have portrayed themselves as better as everyone else. And in an age where atheism and agnostic views are growing more and more, the divide between Christians and non-Christians is starting to grow bigger and uglier. Especially in this political climate where people cannot even have a simple conversation or debate about what he or she believes in without being yelled at or put down. But no one in the Catholic realm seems to be trying to change that.

Matt Murdock is the image of Christianity people need to see. Here in 03x01, he is calling out God. Calling out God saying: "I did all this good in your name and still I still suffer". A lot of bad stuff happens to people in their lives. The loss of a loved one, relationships and friendships broken, financial struggles, etc. And many true Christians can honestly sit back and question God's path for them. I do it every day, to be honest, and I can relate to Matt at this point in his life. Because I too am going through a rough patch myself. So many non-Christians should relate to this mindset more. But it isn't as accepted as one would hope. For too long many Christians in film and television paint God as always being loving, never cursing his name. That is a huge turn off for non-Christians and I believe those films are hurting God's message more than aiding it.

"Marvel's Daredevil" Season 3 Episode 2: "Please"

Giphy

The Christians in those movies like "God's Not Dead" are always portrayed as having no flaws. And that is so uninteresting and unrealistic. It's uninteresting from a narrative point of view as the protagonist never is in danger, never has a human element that people can latch on to. And it is unrealistic because no one is perfect. Catholics are told all the time that "we all sin. We are all not perfect." And yet we believe we are and try to be superior over others.

Is there a chance for change? I believe so, we need to come together as a society and put aside our differences every once and awhile. Thirty to forty years from now children in classrooms will look back on this era in textbooks and be puzzled as to how we've grown so divided. Or maybe it's just in our nature. Either way, the only way to solve this problem is for more characters to be written like Matt Murdock. A faithful man that every once and a while let the struggles of his life get the best of him, but in the end rises above them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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