Fans of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe hoping to see the Netflix offering deliver plenty of easter eggs, comic references and hints at the larger movie continuity weren’t disappointed by the first season of Daredevil, and now that the second season has finally arrived, the cast and crew have revealed their hidden nods, subtle references, and efforts to stay faithful to the comics.
The old classics remain – most of the characters are direct adaptations of their comic counterparts, and the go-to MCU entities (Roxxon Oil) pop up – but many are far more subtle. Needless to say, there will be plenty of spoilers concerning the characters and story ahead, but we’ll do our best to keep the reveals to a minimum. Here is our list of Daredevil Season 2: Easter Eggs & Secret References.
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The Kitchen Irish
The actual story of the second season is kicked off when one man manages to survive Frank Castle’s assault on the Irish mob: a man by the name of ‘Grotto.’ It’s Grotto who tracks down Foggy and Matt, filling them in on the case and, eventually, being represented by them in his case. The character is pulled straight from the pages of “Daredevil” comics, but is a far cry from the version seen in the series. In the comics, Grotto was never involved in a plot placing him on the side of justice, but he did appear alongside Elektra, tailing Matt Murdock to Josie’s bar, and a few other similar plot beats for fans to appreciate. The same is true of the mob boss ‘Nesbitt,’ although his comic counterpart isn’t wiped out just as soon as he’s introduced.
As devoted to justice as Matt Murdock may be, he’s forced to question everything when Frank Castle forces Grotto to reveal that he’s not innocent. In fact, he’s taken innocent lives just to cover himself – a fact Matt didn’t know, and doesn’t quite know how to process. He still chooses to do the heroic thing, of course: refusing to kill Frank with the gun in his hand, and instead rushing him in an effort to save Grotto’s life. The entire scene is lifted from Garth Ennis’ run on “Daredevil,” with Frank putting Matt in the exact same situation. Of course, in the comics, Matt decided to take a life just to save one – only to find out that the gun he was firing, pointed right at Frank’s head, wouldn’t fire at all. But he’d made his point.
When the Irish mob is attacked, the decision is made to bring in the big guns: Finn Cooley, who makes his presence known by immediately committing murder and upending a coffin during the wake. His reactions are brutal, as is the torture he carries out on Frank Castle (and almost his dog, too). Frank gets the upper hand, delivering Finn’s end in a seriously gruesome fashion – or does he? The shotgun blast to the face is almost guaranteed to be fatal, but the Finn Cooley from the comics continues his criminal career after suffering a similar injury. When a bombing went wrong, Fin wound up with the top half of his face blown off, so… we suppose he could return.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
It’s a showdown between three different gangs that results in the death of Frank Castle’s family: the Kitchen Irish, the Mexican Cartel, and the Dogs of Hell motorcycle club. The name isn’t pulled from the comics, but they’re already MCU canon, appearing in the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where an Asgardian named Lorelei sweet-talked their members into fighting on her behalf.
When his cowl is cracked, Matt must return to Melvin Potter to build a replacement (and patch up his helmet in the meantime). The first season showed circular saw blades scattered throughout Potter’s workshop, alluding to the identity and weaponry of ‘Gladiator’ – the name taken by Potter once he starts dishing out justice on his own. This time around, the mention of a new threat in Hell’s Kitchen has Potter reaching for a nearby saw blade in defense – showing his love of the somewhat odd weapon precedes even his costumed alter ego.
When Matt returns to pick up his new mask, Potter informs him that his “old contacts” are back looking for more equipment. Apparently, we can add one ridiculous name to the list of Potter’s former clients: Stilt-Man. Yes, after making a brief appearance in the background of Potter’s shop in the previous season, the expandable metal legs and chestpiece make a return in a far more prominent position. The odds of seeing Stilt-Man appear in the show are as slim as ever, but the inclusion of the prop shows the showrunners are obviously aware of how much fans enjoyed seeing them the first time around.
Over the course of the season, officer Mahoney ascends to the rank of Detective Sergeant, bringing him on the investigation even more. Along the way, he drops a bit of advice about treating people “like mushrooms.”
It wouldn’t be a Marvel story without some terrible corporate activites by Roxxon, the oil and energy conglomerate mentioned or featured in everything from the Iron Man films to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s harder to know exactly how they make their money, but the bottom line is that if a Marvel story requires a nameless, faceless, morally corrupt corporation to include, Roxxon gets the nod.
Although he begins as the lackey of the District Attorney, Blake Tower winds up trying to assist Nelson and Murdock in setting things right. It’s a nod to the comic book continuity, in which Tower has been an attorney and ally to Daredevil, Luke Cage, etc. for years before they enter into their most famous storylines, mostly acting as the background for their solo series.
In other words, expect to see a bit more of Tower, now that his former boss was taken out of the picture by Frank Castle. Especially if Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wind up tangling with the law again (a safe bet).
When the savagely homicidal Frank Castle is outed by the medium, it doesn’t take long for the newspaper to come up with a catchy moniker. But the show makes it seem that ‘The Punisher’ was just one idea of Foggy Nelson’s, with the other being ‘The Killdozer.’ It’s a ridiculous name, and thankfully, one that has already been adapted to a comic book starring a murderous bull dozer. Either that, or it’s a reference to an actual Marvel villain who only appeared once, in 1990’s “Marvel Super-Heroes” Vol. 2.
The mention of the character’s name is given without much pomp or circumstance when Frank must suggest a character witness to cover him in court. But make no mistake: Colonel Schoonover isn’t someone to take lightly. The determination is confirmed when Schoonover (Clancy Brown) takes the stage, and explains why losing his hand because of his own stupidity was a humbling experience. Yet in the comics, it wasn’t a rescue the Punisher was bringing Schoonover, but a pistol for the failed military officer to avoid the repercussions of his illegal activites.
Elektra’s Getaway Car
In the flashback sequence showing how Matt and Elektra first crossed paths, it’s revealed that the latter was in desperate need of “fun.” Matt may have underestimated the diplomat’s daughter, since he soon finds himself taking a joyride in a stolen Ferrari. Whether or not the pair were caught, the scene itself is torn straight from the pages of “Daredevil: The Man Without Fear,” with the two escaping into the night in the exact same way.
The Fightin’ 3rd
When Frank finds his interrogation of Daredevil interrupted by an apartment building’s landlord, he eventually talks the older man out of witnessing the scene by playing to his own experience in the military. As both men are Marines, Frank makes sure to confirm his own tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the older man served in Vietnam. In his original incarnation, it was Frank who had served in Vietnam, before updates to the continuity shifted him to more modern conflicts. The man also states that he served in the 3rd Marine Company – the very same one Frank was revealed to have served in in newer comic stories.
Less an easter egg, and more a confirmation of one link between most Marvel properties: Pat Kiernan of New York’s NY1. He’s appeared to inform audiences of the Battle of New York in The Avengers, that the airwaves had been hijacked by the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, and both the hostage situation and prisoner transfer ambush in the first season of Daredevil. He also made an appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, linking the two continuities even before Spider joined the MCU.
“In a Death Wish Way”
When the boys are informed of Frank Castle’s extracurricular activities, the police don’t yet know who, why, or how a single man is managing to wage a war against organized crime on three fronts. The choice words are offered, that Castle is dealing with criminals “in a Death Wish sorta way.” These days, plenty of audience members may not get the reference to the actual film series of that name, following another everyday citizen who has reached their breaking point, seeking out criminals to kill them in the night.
No Ordinary Nun
Matt receives visions of his time spent at the St. Agnes Orphanage after being given up by his birth mother. The vision shows a young nurse caring for Matt – a detail that no diehard fan of Daredevil will overlook. Although he was left to believe he had been abandoned, Matt would later learn in the comics that the nun in question, the one who cared for him since he was a small boy, was actually his mother. It’s hard to tell if that’s one twist that this show will look to truly explore, but they’re at least planting the seed here.
Pay close attention to the scene when the Dogs of Hell are being introduced, and the song choice is unmistakable: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” It’s a fitting song for their overall demeanor, but the card being referenced should bear more significance. After seeing a single playing card – the ace of spades – show up in the first season, the allusions to Bullseye, the famous assassin and Daredevil villain aren’t lost. Even if the song may be a bit easier to miss.
What a Skull
It’s on the obvious side, but worth mentioning that in this incarnation of The Punisher, it appears that Frank Castle will take his head injury to heart. Applying the X-Ray image of his own skull to his vigilante gear may be a hard decision to explain, but it’s the biggest skull offered throughout most of the season, so it has to be mentioned just so it can be appreciated.
When Karen Page is getting her first tour through the offices of the New York Bulletin, a newspaper can be spotted in the background bearing the headline “Cybertek Settles.” The joke may be lost on movie fans, but enthusiasts who never miss an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will automatically recognize the company name as the ones who made the prototype Deathlok (with the same level of results as seen here).
In the same story revealing the martial artist order known as ‘The Hand,’ Stick reveals their greatest weakness: The Chaste. The truth of either group’s origin can’t be definitively known at this point, but it helps narrow down exactly who Stick was conferring with in the previous season.
As if the saw blade wasn’t enough of a tease, when Matt and Elektra return to Potter’s workshop in the final episode, viewers can get a clear look at a vintage movie poster hanging in the background. The title of the film, La Venganza de Los Gladiadores – “The Revenge of the Gladiators” – shows that Potter may get his moniker from a source close by. It’s too early to tell is this is just an inside joke, or an actual sign of what’s to come in season 3, but considering how warmly the armorer has been received by fans, nothing is out of the question just yet.
Those are all the Easter eggs, bits of comic book trivia, and subtle references we’ve noticed so far, aside from the explicit references to Avengers and the larger Marvel universe (Jessica Jones in particular). Be sure to tell us which ones we missed, and we’ll add them to the list.
SEE ALSO: Daredevil S2 Premiere Review
Daredevil season 2 is available now, only on Netflix.