In the superhero movie arms race, one spot where the Marvel Cinematic Universe has established a near-unquestioned dominance is in the realm of costumes; with character after character (apart from the rare exception) showing up looking closer to their often outlandish/impractical comic book selves than fans would’ve dared to hope even a decade ago. Marvel’s Netflix shows, on the other hand, have thus far eschewed faithful adherence for something closer to realism, with Daredevil (Charlie Cox) in muted tactical armor and neither Luke Cage (Mike Colter) nor Iron First (Finn Jones) expected to appear in their famously flashy original ’70s threads.
Now, thanks to fan photos shared on Twitter, we have our best looks yet at the uniforms of two more Marvel Netflix heavy-hitters: The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) from season 2 of Daredevil. UPDATE: In addition, the official Daredevil Twitter account has dropped a new image for season 2 (see below), offering another look at Daredevil, Elektra, and Punisher in their ‘full costumes’.
The photo, shared by Twitter user Michael A. Matos, appears to show a 4-piece billboard hyping the upcoming Daredevil season 2 release in Toronto, Canada. The setup features Daredevil, Punisher and Elektra striking action-poses in front of a brick backdrop in the manner of “character posters” often employed for big-release movies:
Daredevil’s costume appears to be largely identical to the one he donned at the conclusion of season 1, but appears to be more prominently red in the poster – which could either be a genuine change of look or an effect of color-grading on the imagery. Meanwhile, Punisher fans who’d worried that the character would not be wearing his iconic skull logo can rest easy, as the poster would seem to indicate that he’ll acquire it at some point during the season. Interestingly, it would also appear that the character will also don the long trenchcoat associated with his characterization in the Welcome Back Frank comics and the first (modern) Punisher movie starring Thomas Jane; a marked reversal from Punisher: War Zone, which had placed the character in a look closer to his urban-commando look from the ’80s/’90s Marvel comics.
The most attention, however, will likely be focused on Elektra; whose revealing red ninja garb is among the most instantly-recognizable in the Marvel canon but also often cited as a prime example of costuming for female characters that wouldn’t be at all functional in reality. Thus far, advertisements had avoided showing actress Elodie Yung wearing any “costume” other than a partial facemask, but the billboard would appear to show off something close to a “final” outfit. Though partially obscured by the character’s pose, Elektra’s Netflix appearance looks like a compromise between the comics and the version worn by Jennifer Garner in the 2003 Daredevil movie; with the red top, gloves and sash preserved but the character’s traditionally bare thighs instead covered by either dark-red pants or leggings and the notable lack of a bandanna.
Further changes in costuming, attitude etc may well be coming on the series, but this would appear to be the first indication in awhile as to how far into comic book outlandishness the Marvel Netflix ventures feel willing to go – and “holding back” in certain ways has proven to not always be as problematic as sometimes imagined. Some fans expressed disappointment that Jessica Jones‘ nemesis Kilgrave (David Tennant) didn’t sport the bright purple skin he has in the comics (where he’s known as “The Purple Man” in a more literal sense), but Tennant’s chilling performance made him one of the most highly-praised Marvel villains yet regardless. Time will tell whether Elektra or Punisher will make a similar impact, but if the Daredevil series does its job right then their costumes will likely be the least of the discussion.
Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, followed by Luke Cage season 1 later in 2016. Release dates for Iron Fist and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced.