Archives for : daredevil

Con Life


I didn’t choose con life. Con life chose me.

So let’s say for the sake of argument that you’re a totally normal person. I’m sure you’ve scrolled through my Facebook page and wondered what’s up with me dressing up like fictional characters and traipsing around a convention paying ludicrous amounts of money to meet famous people, despite having the budget of your average 20-something in the 2016 economy. “Why, dearest Kyoko,” you say in your finest British accent. “I don’t understand why you would do such a thing, especially considering how painfully awkward and introverted you are. Whatever makes you a congoer?”

“Well, thanks for pointing out my personality flaws, but the British accent makes it hurt less,” I say, adjusting my own monocle. “Allow me to explain.”

The first con I ever attended was Momocon: a tiny widdle baby con all the way back in the early 2000’s that at the time of its inception was both free and held on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. If I’m not mistaken, I either went to the first Momocon ever, or its second or third run-throughs, where there were no guests and pretty much there were only vendors with things to sell and a bunch of nerds holding panels about their favorite anime, movies, TV shows, and games. I had a good time, and so it quickly became a tradition between me and my friends to attend each year as our own mini-vacation. As the years went by, Momocon slowly gathered steam and became a larger con. When attendance goes up, it means more money, and more money means more features at the con itself, like being able to invite guests, bigger vendors, and having more diverse panels and panelists. To my utter delight, after a certain point, Momocon got big enough to start inviting people I was excited to meet like Steve Blum, The Nostalgia Critic, Dante Basco, Little Kuriboh, the Honest Trailers Guy, Two Best Friends Play, and many others. Everything got bigger and better when the con organizers realized the con got so huge that they needed to move into the Georgia World Congress Center, thus streamlining the whole process and making it that much easier to get around to see all the things we congoers wanted to see.

Still, when you think about it, it’s an awful pricey adventure. You pay for entry tickets, gas to drive to the train station, the Marta Breeze card plus trips, food, and merchandise. With Momocon, you can probably blow through a cool $100-$200 over the weekend.

Then there’s this motherf@#er called DragonCon: the stupid, but hot older brother of Momocon.

To be frank, I consider DragonCon to be a clusterf@#k of a con. It is almost always poorly executed and frustrating because a record 77,000 people attended this year, and the con organizers think that 77k people can fit inside five hotels at once. Uh, no. That is in fact NOT a thing. You can’t cram that many people within a five block radius in downtown Atlanta. Any logical person would move the venue to the World Congress Center like Momocon did, but nooooooo. DragonCon insists it can continue to run itself at that capacity in the same venue it’s been in for the past couple of decades, despite the maddening increase in attendance that has steadily climbed over the years.

So you’d think that because you’re forced to be wall-to-wall jampacked with 76,999 other people that you’d at least be getting a service that is run properly, right? Noooooooope. It’s hard to find directions, the panels are always so overcrowded that unless you line up for them two hours prior to their start time, you ain’t gettin’ in, and on top of all of that, it’s expensive as hell. Seriously. You’re coughing up $140 for a four day pass, and that only includes entry. For God’s sake, they won’t even give you a lanyard for your pass. You have to buy a lanyard. That’s right. After $140, they still want more. I hate to admit it, but I’m quite sure I spent a cool $300-$400 at this con two weekends ago.

Am I ashamed?

Well. Yes and no.

Let the stories begin.

So on Friday morning, the day I attended by myself since my best friend was still on her way up from South Georgia, I decided to sacrifice myself to go to the con at the crack of dawn since it would mean beating most of the crowd and allowing me enough time to scope out where all the activities I had lined up would be ahead of time: primarily the times and prices for autographs for four of my favorite celebrities. In case you missed it, I hate this con, and I’ve only attended it previously because I was invited to be on the State of Black Science Fiction panel moderated by Milton Davis, which is excellent press and exposure. This year, however, DragonCon managed to entice me into attending despite no panel being held this year by inviting not one but FOUR guests I was dying to meet: Will Friedle, James Marsters, Charlie Cox, and Gillian Anderson. I mean, wow. Seriously, those are four titans of the sci-fi/fantasy television world and you’re damn right I drove five and a half hours to come see them. But I digress.

I entered into the Walk of Fame–the enormous ballroom where all the celebrities had tables for autograph signings–right as it opened at 10am, and I expected to wander past the tables to see prices for the four people I wanted to meet. Well, I was definitely on the right track, because I turned the corner and found myself staring Charlie Cox dead in the face. That’s right. Out of sheer dumb luck, the star of Netflix’s Daredevil was at his autograph table right when the WOF opened, and he only had about 14 people in his line. Let me be clear: I had actually only thought about getting his autograph, but I heard earlier that it was $60, which is A LOT for someone who isn’t even in my personal Top 10 TV Actors list (he’s probably more in the 15-30 range, to be honest), but the sheer coincidence that I happened upon him right when his line was low made me jump my happy self in line and proceed to fangirl myself silly at the prospect of meeting Daredevil himself.

So how was it?

Oh dear God. There are no words. Charlie Cox is an absolute peach.

There was an adorable older woman in front of me who apparently knew him prior, and their conversation was so cute that it put a huge smile on my face. She gave him a comic book that she liked and they chit-chatted before he gave her a hug and she left. Then it was my turn to meet him, and holy mother of God, if you think Charlie Cox is charming and handsome as Matt Murdock, you don’t know what it feels like to have him smiling at you from literally a foot away. It was damn near blinding.

However, I managed to calm myself and express that I wasn’t actually initially interested in Daredevil when it premiered and then I heard how everyone said it was so good and I was a bit skeptical, but I accidentally ended up watching “Cut Man” before the actual pilot and I was hooked the second it was over, mainly due to the incredible chemistry between Cox and Rosario Dawson. Charlie Cox was delighted to hear this, and he told me that “Cut Man” is actually his favorite episode from season one, which was a huge feather in my cap since I love that episode to death. He signed my photo and told me that he loved my name–I had him sign it to Kyo, short for Kyoko–and I joked about the lady before me getting a hug, and he grinned and said, “Come here!” and gave me a hug before I left. I was pretty much floating on air on the way to the next table to check for times.


If you think that’s nuts, guess what? It ain’t over yet.

My second trip in the WOF was to Will Friedle’s table to do the same as I intended when I stumbled across Charlie Cox’s table: to check his autograph times and prices. Well, not only were those there, but Will freakin’ Friedle himself was also at his table right when I wandered past, and he’s not just in my Top 10 Favorite TV Actors List–the man is seriously Number Two, second only to Kevin Conroy, whom I met in 2013.

So basically I looked like this before scurrying into his line of 20 or so people:


The backstory behind why I was internally screaming over Will Friedle is because I have been in love with his character from Batman Beyond, Terry McGinnis, since I was ten years old. Yes, I’m one of those nerds who actually saw the premiere of Batman Beyond live as a kid, and it stuck with me all these years. I mean, I never ever expected to like Terry as much as Bruce, but through some stellar writing and one incredible voice acting performance from Mr. Friedle, I never stopped crushing on him. I went on to continue following Friedle’s career from Kim Possible to The Secret Saturdays and when I saw his name on the roster for the con, that was the very second I bought my ticket. Meeting him is on my Bucket List and so it was more than just a moment of fangirling, but a lifelong desire to say thank you to him for portraying a character who honestly has been a part of my mental healing process.

Waiting in line for him was torture because the way the tables are set up is that the stars are against a wall and the lines wind to the side of the table rather than in front of it so that the people behind you can walk through the ballroom unhindered. So I was treated to hearing Will’s voice behind me while I waited and I had to fan myself with Charlie Cox’s autograph to keep from flipping the hell out in pure excitement.

It took a lot of effort, but when I came up to him, I didn’t scream and faint. He greeted me and I did the same and I told him that it was on my Bucket List to meet him because Terry has meant so much to me over the years thanks to his voicework for him, and I also told him about meeting Kevin Conroy in 2013, which delighted him. He agreed with me about Conroy being just the sweetest guy ever and he signed my comic book with “I am Batman” and I joked that Conroy had done the same, and he laughed and told me that when they attend autograph signings together, they pretend-fight over who is actually Batman on the fans’ autographs. I also told him that Batman Beyond has been a huge comfort to me when dealing with my social anxiety and depression, and he told me that he completely understands since he’s dealt with anxiety as well. He gave me a hug and then sent me on my way, once again squealing like a crazy person inside.


Later that evening, we took a photo op together and that Friday solidified itself as one of the best days of my entire life. Dream made. Life made.


Now, are you ready for this?

Because Saturday went even better.

On Saturday, my bestie and I got up early again and headed over to the con, this time with our sights on the utterly delicious James Marsters. She had actually met him a few years prior while in line with a friend of hers, so she sent me along to see him by myself, and it just so happens that he was at his table when I went past, so I jumped in line.

Now, keep in mind, Saturday was when I was in my Agent Peggy Carter cosplay that I had carefully put together over a couple months’ worth of organization. People were genuinely thrilled by it and I took quite a few pictures prior to getting in line with Marsters. I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out, to be honest.


So after several minutes of mentally preparing myself to meet Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden aka Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what should happen?

Well, let me first preface this story by saying it is 100% true. I know I write fiction for a living, but everything I am about to tell you actually happened and I am not making this up, I swear.

The first words out of James f@#king Marsters beautiful mouth when he saw me was, “You look fabulous!”


Bedazzled sensitive Elliot sunset

I in no way was expecting that compliment. Holy crap. It almost bowled me right over. I had to mentally jumpstart my brain into the speech I had prepared because I have never had a ridiculously attractive famous person compliment me (not to my face, mind you, because Chris Evans’ backrub totally counts but that was non-verbal). Once I was done screaming inside, I told him how I actually found him via the Dresden Files audiobooks rather than Buffy the Vampire Slayer because I’m such an enormous fan of the books and my friend Maggie lent me her audio file of Blood Rites for a road trip once and I utterly fell in love with Marsters’ voicework as Harry Dresden. He thanked me and told me that the reason he’s so enthusiastic when he does those readings is that he used to be on the road a lot visiting his son and he hated it when he listened to audiobooks that were dry and boring as hell, so he made sure to inject as much life into his audiobooks as possible. He also asked me who I was cosplaying as, as did his assistant next to him, and I told him it was Peggy Carter, and then I had him record a video for my other best friend who couldn’t join us for the con. Once that was over, I floated on Cloud Nine away from the table and went about the rest of the day with my ego Over 9000.

Then, later that afternoon, came time for the photo op with Mr. Marsters.

Once again, I would like to stress the fact that this actually happened and I am not making it up.

Here’s a bit of backstory, though: Photo ops are actually lightning fast. The stars are usually taking photos with upwards of a hundred hardcore fans, and so if you ever want to meet a celebrity, I always recommend an autograph because it allows you time to chit-chat with them, whereas a photo op is about 5 seconds long. Don’t get me wrong–to this day, I still adore my photo op with Chris Evans and I don’t regret not one second of it, as well as my decision to forgo the extra autograph because if I tried to say actual words to him, I’d have just wasted $200 gross sobbing at him instead of talking. However, the upside of photo ops is the bragging rights that you met a famous person that you really admire and have physical proof forever more that you were there, next to them, soaking in all the awesomeness they naturally emit. Or, in Chris Evans’ case, soaking in all that goddamn gorgeousness. But again, I digress.

When it was my turn to go up to Mr. Marsters, his whole face lit up and he goes, “It’s you!” Flattered as hell, I giggled and went over to him and asked if we could do a hug for a photo.

Him: Oh, my wife said I’m not allowed to hug pretty girls anymore.



So, instead, we did an arm around each other, which turned out magnificent, honestly.


After the photographer took the photo, what does this luscious man of fame and fortune turn to me and say, staring me straight in the eyes with his arm still around me?

“You’re gorgeous.”



I’m pretty sure I died and this is my poltergeist writing this long ass post.

“But Kyo,” you say, smoking your pipe. “Are you telling me that driving 5 1/2 hours, spending possibly $400, and dealing with an overcrowded, poorly run con is all worth it because Harry Dresden called you fabulous, pretty, and gorgeous?”

The reason I made this post isn’t just to brag about meeting famous people, though. What I’m trying to say, in general, is that con life may be expensive and hectic and it may seem bizarre to an outsider, but the end results can be some of the most iconic, memorable moments of a lifetime. I fully admit that it’s possible James Marsters reacted that way to every last girl he met at the con, but you know what? He sold that s#@t. That’s some acting for yo’ ass, because I totally believed it, and it was by far one of the greatest moments of my entire life. It’s more than cheap flattery. It’s the fact that for the rest of my life, I get to think back to meeting my book boyfriend in person and he said I was gorgeous. You can’t ever take that away from me. That is my memory to cherish, and even if it took an insane amount of money, there was no guarantee that it would have happened otherwise. I got an unforgettable experience thanks to this con and that’s why many of us nerds make the trek every year. Every experience is unique. There’s no telling what will happen when we meet our idols, but sometimes you get situations like mine where it exceeded my expectations a thousand times over. I never would have anticipated a reaction from the guy who spent almost ten years of his life making out with super hot actresses on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To me, it was especially wonderful considering the fact that in real life, men totally ignore me. I don’t get asked out. I barely even get compliments from them, so for someone I truly admire and have a crush on to compliment me–genuine or otherwise, but I honestly think he meant it–boosted my confidence to unreal levels for an entire day. That’s something you can’t buy in a store. That’s something worth all the money in the world to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is that please don’t think congoers are insane human beings. Most of us work hard and hustle day in and day out, and so when we finally get to a place where we can spend money on something we truly desire, and it’s a con, it’s definitely worth all the trouble. I fully admit that I have a weird streak in me about meeting famous people, but it comes from my own set of personal problems. It is very hard for me to make friends. The average person that meets me thinks I’m weird, and as I mentioned before, I don’t date much because men apparently find me somewhat underwhelming. To me, meeting my heroes is life-affirming because it gives me stories to tell. Exciting, fun, colorful stories that I wouldn’t have otherwise aside from my fiction. The adventures of my fictional protagonists are many, but my own personal adventures are few and far between, and that’s mainly why I have chosen con life. It’s a chance to bring laughs and joy when I get to talk about these surprisingly down to earth famous folk who make it all worth it. That, if nothing else, is why I do what I do.

Let’s just say that con life ain’t for the faint of heart.


Things Daredevil Taught Me About Writing

Netflix Daredevil

In case you missed it, Netflix’s original series Daredevil is like a second Christmas. You wait all year long for it, anticipating it highly, and staring obsessively at the clock the night before hoping you got everything you wanted. And in many respects, it actually delivers. It’s a smart, biting, gritty, (mostly) realistic show that details a vigilante’s struggle against the criminal element while also examining the inner demons he fights along the way. The first season made a huge splash because none of us expected it to be anywhere near as good as it was because we’ve sadly had to get accustomed to the TV-budget versions of heroes where nearly all of their comic book storylines are adapted and changed. (I’ve come to call it “CW-ing” them.) Because Netflix isn’t bound by ratings or having to stay PG-13, it was allowed to take a LOT of risks and to more directly adapt some of the storylines and character beats from the comics. Let’s take a look at what it has to teach us now that we’ve got two seasons under our belts.

As always, massive spoilers ahead. Don’t read if you’re not updated on both seasons yet.

1. The fastest way to a great story is investing time in your main cast. For me, this is the main reason why I love the Daredevil series. Often with superhero-related stories, the writers feel the need to rush to the action, and so you end up with some gorgeous fight sequences but it doesn’t have an impact on your audience because we’re not invested in the character. For me, this was one of the biggest issues I had with Man of Steel. Sure, I liked Clark alright, but I didn’t really know much about him because the story rushed onward to get to different set pieces and introduce the new cast. With Daredevil, we are shown all sides of Matt Murdock, from the pure and holy to the nitty gritty darkness nestled inside him. We see him struggle from childhood to teenage years to college years to his adulthood with suppressed anger at the injustice he’s had to watch in Hell’s Kitchen. We see that he is without a doubt a good man who wants to save people, but that he is also extremely flawed. Therefore, when his life is in danger, you get those “clutch your arm rest and squirm” moments when you see him getting his ass kicked by the scum of Hell’s Kitchen.

But that’s not all. Not only do we see a full-spread of emotions and intricacies for Matt Murdock, but we’re also treated to fantastic supporting characters like Foggy Nelson, Claire Temple, Ben Yorick, and even the freaking villain himself Wilson Fisk. (I’ve left Karen off for now, but don’t worry, we’ll circle back around to her further down.) I can’t believe how amazing the character development was for the supporting characters in this series. We get to learn so much about them and they are so damned easy to love. My personal favorites are Claire Temple and Foggy Nelson, who are both excellent contrasts to Matt Murdock. Claire is strong, decisive, smart, and compassionate, but still vulnerable. Foggy is hilarious, heart-warmingly kind, razor-sharp, and brave, but often shy and non-confrontational. They do so much to smack some sense into Matt (though it doesn’t exactly stick) and even though he frustrates them to no end, they still care for him either way. In the case of Wilson Fisk, we are shown that he is basically an animal in a human suit, but it comes with a solid reason when his background is revealed. One of the best writing rules is that villains see themselves at the hero of their own story, and this is very much the case for Wilson Fisk. He thinks razing the city to the ground and starting over is the only way to save it, and while he’s definitely a brute, it’s easy to understand why he thinks that way.

As a writer, I can attest to the fact that I very strongly believe that getting your readers invested in the characters as soon as possible is the right way to go. The reason is that it will allow you the time you need to set up a great story once you have your audience’s full attention and trust. We are often more tolerant of a story taking time to develop if we immediately are entertained or grow fond of our protagonists and antagonists right off the bat. You can make me believe the most ridiculous premise imaginable as long as I give a crap about the main leads. That’s the honest to God truth about writing.

2. Realism is a double-edged sword, to be used very carefully. Another reason Daredevil made a huge splash with its first season is that we got some of the most brutal yet realistic fight scenes ever. I mean, take a look at the hallway fight sequence.

God. It’s…breathtaking. This is not to say that movies and television don’t have realistic fights all the time, but according to Word of God, this was done in one freaking shot. One. That is incredible filmmaking. I mean, that’s some Emmy/Oscar worthy stuff right there, and that’s pretty much what cemented this series in the hearts of many fans. We love attention to detail with realism in today’s society.

For example, showing all the modern tech available for the blind was also massively interesting to me, from Matt’s alarm clock and ringtones to how he reads information on the Internet. It’s showing us the work that was put in to having a blind protagonist and not making it seem like he’s handicapped or anything less than a normal person. It’s a rarely seen perspective that is much appreciated. No pun intended.

However, the flip side of that is that the show quickly established that it wants to be realistic, but then we still have gaping logic holes in certain character’s actions on occasion that can REALLY snap you out of the story. In season one, we had the beloved Wesley, Wilson Fisk’s righthand man, kidnapping Karen Page and threatening her to give up her investigation…and then he puts a gun with live rounds right in front of her on a table. So guess what happens. I mean, really? Wesley is a career criminal who acts with total logic and discretion at all times and who has gotten out of many a scrape using his brain and connections and he goes out like a bitch. I hated it. I hated it so much, and it’s definitely a fault in the writing.

My second example comes from our recent season, where Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, escapes from prison and everyone is 100% certain he’s going to come after the District Attorney who put him there to begin with. So what do they do? Leave her alone in her office standing in front of not one but two HUGE windows despite the fact that the Punisher’s M.O. is to use high powered rifles to take out his targets through windows. I’m not kidding. She stands with her back to the biggest window ever for the entirety of her conversation with Nelson and Murdock, not wearing body armor and not even having a policeman in the room to check the perimeter. So guess what happens? For God’s sake, it was so frustrating that I had to turn off the episode and find something else to do while I was calming myself down.

If you have a story and you make it clear that you want to stick to realism, then you have to go all in. You can’t pick and choose when things will be realistic as hell and then completely back out on it in order to move the plot forward. It’s one or the other. It’s the same reason why I find Sharknado so utterly confusing, which I know is a weird comparison. The movie clearly is bad on purpose, and yet you still have these bizarre moments where it tries to operate on logic and physics when it is in fact a movie about flying sharks that somehow don’t suffocate in mid-air and still feel the need to eat people. One of these things is not like the other. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You have to be consistent in your writing, whether you lean towards realism or the fantastic.

3. Beware the Writer’s Pet. If you’re unfamiliar with TV Tropes, you should really get acquainted. It’s a wonderful site that collects well-known tropes in all forms of media and provides examples. It’s not only fun and hilarious, but it’s also a great teaching tool for writers. To that end, let’s discuss one right now with Karen Page.

I tried to give Karen Page a chance in season one. I really did. It was very sympathetic what happened to her with the death of her friend/coworker Daniel, and I like her gung-ho attitude about exposing the truth about the cover up and Fisk’s organization. However, as the season progressed, it became more and more clear that she was getting treatment that the other characters were not. Sometimes writers get this attachment to a character that puts them on a pedestal safe from harm even though every other character gets the shaft, or has to deal with the karma from their actions. Karen Page is definitely an example of a Writer’s Pet, of a character who gets the exception every single time and doesn’t have to work at not getting screwed over by the brutality of life. Karen Page has had it rough, but she constantly lucks out of every situation, much like another blonde from a television show whom I hate to the depths of my soul.

Writer’s Pets help absolutely no one. It is a bad habit. It seriously decreases the ability to like a character who can’t get themselves out of their own mess and who gets Deus Ex Machina’d out of every scrape even though the other protagonists are forced to make their own way. To me, Karen Page is a damsel in distress who is delusional and thinks she’s actually a badass investigator with street smarts. This show has been absolutely ruthless with its characters, often killing off sweet old ladies or showing bad guys attached to meat hooks with their guts spilling out, but sweet widdle Karen Page escapes everything without a damn scrape.

The lesson here is don’t wrap your characters up in bubble wrap and rock them to sleep. Punish them. Make them cry. Make them squirm. Make them suffer. You still have the choice to make it all worthwhile and to give them a happy ending if it fits the story and if they deserve one, but nothing will be gained by placing them on a pedestal because you just happen to like them so much. It’ll come through in your writing very clearly if you’re holding back because you have a favorite. It’s totally fine to have a favorite, but don’t get soft. If you love them, hurt them for the good of their growth and for the good of the story.

4. Take “Woobie” out of your writing repertoire forever. If you know anything about me, you know that I believe in the Jim Butcher school of “torture every character equally and make them earn their keep so your writing will be awesome.” Daredevil as a show does very well with this in both seasons, except for two characters so far. The first we’ve already discussed is Karen Page. The second, as of season two, is Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. It’s time to get on a bit of a soapbox in this particular case.

Woobification is basically when a clearly bad or evil character becomes someone whom the fandom dotes all their affection on and claims that they are the victim here instead of the antagonist. They are in fact wrong, and projecting their feelings onto this character for whatever reason. A good example of this is Grant Ward from the Agents of SHIELD franchise. He is literally a Neo-Nazi murderer who constantly excused his actions because of his abusive past, and he had a large portion of the AoS fandom on his side constantly excusing his behavior and “standing with him” no matter what horrible thing he did, from shooting people through the throat in cold blood to crashing an entire plane full of innocents just to get a ride into restricted areas. Grant Ward is trash, plain and simple. Yet somehow, he has fans.

Likewise, the Punisher has Karen Page. Seriously. We’re talking about a man who hung bad guys up on meat hooks alive and cut them open and let them slowly bleed to death and suffocate as they drowned in their own blood. And yet Karen Page repeatedly claims that, “He’s not a psychotic murderer!” every single time someone said that about him. This is a man who opened fire on her with a shotgun. This is a man who pistol-whipped someone until his face cracked open like an egg in front of her before shooting him in the head. This is a man who slits people’s throats with shivs. But no, he’s not a psychotic murderer even though a professional medical examiner proved that he suffers from a psychosis in which he constantly relives the death of his family, which bends his perception of reality to the point where he thinks he is never wrong and so he doesn’t regret any of the hundreds of lives he’s wiped out. Yeah, his family was brutally murdered and died in his arms. But guess what?

Cool Motive Still Murder Brooklyn Nine Nine

Writers of the world, I beg you to stop writing this damn trope.

Karen Page really does somehow think that Frank Castle isn’t the scum of the earth, and even though we know her Freudian excuse is that she murdered Wesley and she’s trying to excuse her own crime inwardly, there is no reason that they wrote her as a Punisher Stan in season two. Do not write a character as a monster and then spend the rest of your time trying to explain away his monstrosity. If you’re going to redeem him, do it. But don’t constantly browbeat us with flawed reasoning that he wasn’t as bad as we think he is. We’re okay with the grey area. We’re adults. Treat us like thinking adults. Most of us aren’t going to swallow this crap that he’s not such a bad guy or that he’s a good man when he hung people on meat hooks and split them open like pig carcasses and let them die in horrible screaming agony. Stop trying to make Fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.

5. Beware the “He Who Fights Monsters” trope and use it wisely. One thing that Daredevil also does extremely well is exploring guilt and doubt about vigilantism. Matt constantly questions if he’s doing what is needed for the city, or if he’s simple satisfying his own savage nature born out of witnessing his father’s death at the hands of criminals in Hell’s Kitchen. This is great. It’s a fantastic theme of inner conflict for him, and it negatively affects his whole life as a result, forcing him to choose between what he thinks is justice and his own friends.

However, season two might have taken it a bit too far.

Matt basically ends up systematically alienating his closest friends and allies in season two because of his ridiculous belief that he needs to cut all ties in order to keep them safe. He plunges Foggy into the worst case imaginable, namely trying to reduce the sentence of known crazy murderer Frank Castle, and then bails on helping with the case because of his private crusade with old flame Elektra. Then when Foggy confronts him about getting himself killed while recklessly running into things headfirst as Daredevil, Matt severs ties with him and refuses to apologize for who he is to the guy who has covered for his ass a dozen times and only chastises him because he doesn’t want him dead. Then Matt receives some rather wise comfort from our resident goddess Claire Temple and he still doesn’t listen to her, and inadvertently causes her to quit her job after he brings her a group of patients who are followed by ruthless ninjas. All of this is on top of the fact that The Punisher thinks Matt is one bad day away from being him, even though Frank is clearly cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and has barely a spoonful of humanity left.

Matt’s actions don’t feel like he’s trying to protect his friends. It feels like he’s just being a cold-hearted dick to the people who love him, the people who comfort him, the people who try to help him at every turn even when he gets them in trouble. What I don’t like about season two is that Matt can’t see that even if he avoids his friends, that doesn’t mean they just stop caring or worrying over him. It’s much easier to deal with that concern if the object of your concern shows that they acknowledge what you’re going through and still tries to support you somehow. Matt bails on all of them, and I like him less for it even though I get where the show is trying to go.

It is a very fine line to walk with the He Who Fights Monsters trope. I based my second novel around it, in fact, and I’ve had to reap both the benefits and the negatives from that experience. Some readers were extremely frustrated with Jordan, but they understood what she did and supported her anyway. Other readers got too angry and threw in the towel, and that’s fine too. It’s not for everyone. I think Daredevil gambled and lost with this trope. I think Matt tripped and fell into the Unlikable category, and that’s why I caution all writers to examine where you’re going with your character and make sure you don’t push them to the point of not being relatable. This is not to say that I’ll give up on Matt, but his actions made me lose a chunk of respect and affection for him because he was so dickish.

6. Let your characters grow and learn from their mistakes. Matt Murdock might be one of the most stubborn sons of bitches alive. Honestly, from season one and on he really convinces himself that punching the problem in the face is the best way to go. In some respects, yes, it works. All the small time thugs and criminals are apprehended and sent to serve out their sentence. The big wigs are much harder to keep in jail, but eventually, even they get their comeuppance, like with Wilson Fisk.

However, season two falls into the same trap that made me dislike season one somewhat. Matt just keeps doing the exact same thing a hundred times and yet still expects a different result. He runs headfirst into every problem and just assumes he’s tough enough to survive the consequences. One thing that I’ve always liked about Batman, who has a vein of similarities with Daredevil, is that he does understand that there is more to fighting crime than just punching dudes unconscious. He also investigates crimes and foils them before they happen instead of just reacting to everything. He carries gadgets that make life easier. He studied criminology and allegedly every fighting style known to man. He prepared himself as much as possible, and then he went out into the streets of Gotham to help his fellow man. And Matt Murdock, two seasons in, is still just punching dudes.

You have to expand. You have to innovate or at least self-correct with your characters depending on whether you write a stand-alone work or a series. It gets repetitive and frustrating if your hero refuses to see the plain logic in front of him that “this is not working and if I’m going to be an effective [x], I need to change my ways.” It’s natural for our protagonists to fail, and most of the time, it’s necessary for their overall growth. But after they fail, you need to alter them somehow. Show them a new path. Make them realize they screwed up and change their course to a better tomorrow. Otherwise, it can make the reader extremely angry with them and sever the connection you made to begin with. Nobody wants that. We all want to root for someone we care about and relate to, so don’t cut corners by letting them stay static forever.

All that being said, Daredevil is one hell of a show and I am already raring for the next season. Pun fully intended.

Kyo out.