Face of a Franchise: Daredevil

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

Since his debut in 1964, comics fans (especially those that love to exclaim Make mine Marvel, muthafuckah!!!) have been wowie-zowied by the antics of Daredevi, the man without fear! Despite hitting the scene in a costume ridiculous even by comics standards, Daredevil won over fans by   beating all sorts of criminal ass at night while maintaining a successful law practice during the day as Matt Murdock.

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Also, the guy’s blind. Which makes his feats even more spectacular. I mean, Ray Charles was cool as hell, but I don’t think he’d handle a trampoline half as well as Murdock.

Also tack on the fact that bad-ass writers seem to gravitate towards Daredevil (historically – Frank Miller/recently – Ed Brubaker), and it’s clear why the character is afforded such genuine respect. The mouthbreathin’, anti-social panel-worshippers that I count myself amongst fucking love Daredevil.

Fortunately, the admiration for this Marvel Knight has been truly honored by the two men fearless enough to portray him in live-action.

If for no other reason, 1989 was a wonderful year because it saw the release of The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, a made-for-TV movie continuing the adventure that began in The Incredible Hulk series. Of course, any time that a Marvel character goes on trial, there’s only one man to turn to for help: Attorney Matt Murdock! The hero of Hell’s Kitchen was portrayed by Rex Smith, the only man brave enough to ride the Street Hawk! Although relegated to a supporting role, Smith’s interpretation of Daredevil as a ninjutsu-lookin’ legally-blind lawyer that helps a green gargantuan is simply chilling.

Whereas Rex Smith’s Daredevil is a one-round knockout, Ben Affleck’s portrayal is a twelve-round slugfest. After blowing away audiences with Reindeer Games, Affleck was given his second once-in-a-lifetime role in 2003’s Daredevil. In this dark vision of the Daredevil mythos, Matt Murdock not only has to fight Bullseye, but the entire Green Mile as well! Proving himself to be a world-class thespian, Affleck navigated his way through playground battles with Elektra, Irish guys with facial scars, and a soundtrack that includes both Nickelback and Hoobastank.

A miracle performance. Nothing less.

So who do you think is the superior Daredevil? The dude from the TV-movie that no one remembers or the dude from the movie no one likes?

Rex Smith or Ben Affleck?

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