When the new "Daredevil" series debuts on Netflix on April 10, blind hero Matt Murdock will be enterting relatively uncharted territory. After all, at the multiplex, you can't hurl a hunk of Kryptonite without hitting a superhero movie, but on TV, live-action comic book heroes have been scarce. Maybe that's because the small screen does what few supervillains can do: make superheroes look... well, small.
In the Saturday morning cartoons, at least, superheroes always look pretty much like they do in the comic books. But the live-action version is often just a guy or gal in tights, suspended on wires. For most of its history, TV had neither the money, nor the effects prowess, nor the prestige to cast top-notch thespians as superheroes, much less to make them look convincingly like people with superpowers having earth-shaking adventures. As a result, most live-action TV superheroes, even the ones you loved as a kid, look more than a little campy now.
But all that has changed in recent years. Both Marvel and DC have taken their TV superhero franchises very seriously, with each creating a coherent universe full of big-budget, skillfully-acted primetime TV dramas that appeal to comic-book geeks and casual fans alike. It helps that Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Agent Carter" tie into the enormously popular Marvel Cinematic Universe (the series of inter-related theatrical movies dominated by the "Avengers" characters), but DC's shows ("Arrow," "The Flash," "Gotham") may be just as good, if not better.
"Daredevil," starring Charlie Cox ("Boardwalk Empire") as the Marvel hero with four heightened senses, takes the Marvel-DC rivalry to the next level. Not only must the show succeed among Netflix binge-viewers, but it also must introduce a new set of interlocking Marvel series that will debut over the next several months on the streaming platform. Not only that, but Cox must also banish the specter of Ben Affleck's big-screen "Daredevil" flop from a decade ago. Can Cox's Daredevil take his place among the small, elite group of favorite live-action TV superheroes? Read the following ranked list, and see where you think "Daredevil" belongs.