Season 2 of the Marvel/Netflix TV series Daredevil brings Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) – the “blind” lawyer who spends his off hours battling the criminal elements of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, as masked vigilante Daredevil – face to face with old enemies/allies, including his former flame Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) and former mentor, Stick (Scott Glenn). However, Matt must first and foremost contend with a fellow vigilante whose moral code is far more flexible than his own, in the form of Frank Castle aka. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal).
Marketing for Daredevil season 2 has thus far banked heavily on playing up the conflict between those two crime fighters, as Castle’s no-holds-barred attitude towards handling the various criminals of Hell’s Kitchen flies right in the face of Murdock’s dedication to avoid killing his enemies, whenever possible. A previously-released Daredevil season 2 teaser includes a line of dialogue from Castle saying “You know you’re one bad day away from being me” to Matt – a line very reminiscent of Joker’s famous argument from the Alan Moore Batman comic book story, The Killing Joke, in addition to being a reminder that The Punisher and The Man Without Fear may not be as different as Matt Murdock would like to believe.
Given the excitement surrounding Bernthal’s turn as The Punisher already, it’s no wonder that a spinoff TV series for the character is reportedly already being considered by Marvel. For a better look at the former Walking Dead cast member as Frank Castle in action, check out the newly-unveiled Daredevil season 2 trailer, featured above.
The Daredevil season 2 trailer, which it turns out is the first of two previews that Marvel/Netflix plans to released for this season, focuses on The Punisher emerging as a force for “justice” in Hell’s Kitchen; at the same time, alluding to the character’s tragic history and the events which shaped his crime-fighting philosophy (read: the death of his family). So far, Bernthal’s version of the character seems to be very true in spirit and general backstory to his Marvel comic book counterpart – down to his core ideological conflict with Daredevil, whom he sees as a “coward” unwilling to go the whole nine yards necessary to keep criminals at bay. It also appears as though Bernthal’s Punisher will be a worthy opponent for Matt to battle with his fists too – one area where, admittedly, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin fell a little flat, in Daredevil season 1.
As for Matt – it looks like his own issues in Daredevil season 2 will be a natural extension of the moral dilemmas that he wrestled with in season 1, with The Punisher emerging as a logical outgrowth of the environment that Matt and his allies helped to create while they were battling The Kingpin, as noted by Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) in the new trailer. It’s hard to not be concerned about Karen’s safety this season too, as the character has not fared well in the Marvel comic books either – not to mention, the ominous line in the Daredevil season 2 synopsis that says Matt will soon find himself “facing a life-altering choice that forces him to truly understand what it means to be a hero.”
It’s not clear yet where Elektra fits into the over-arching narrative for Daredevil season 2, but that will presumably be the focus of the second trailer for this season that’s now due to be released on February 25th – as is revealed near the end of the above Daredevil trailer, following a scene where Matt arrives home in his apartment, only to find Elektra waiting there for him. Daredevil season 2 showrunner Doug Petrie has referred to Elektra as being Matt’s “id, the wild side,” while Yung has called the character a “sociopath” – one whose return to Hell’s Kitchen (and Matt’s life) is a move in a more elaborate chess game that she’s playing, by the sound of things.
Elektra, similar to Frank Castle, is an anti-hero who tows the line between being a villain and a force for good, so her inclusion in Daredevil season 2 feels appropriate, in term of the over-arching themes that are being set up. Much like Daredevil season 1 uses a combination of superhero and crime genre tropes to address real-world issues (see, for instance, gentrification), Petrie has said that season 2’s anti-hero centered storyline will tackle issues related to the usage of violence (including, guns) in the name of justice – having promised “We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of Now.”
In other words – there’s all the more reason to anticipate another thrilling and thought-provoking addition to Netflix’s collection of series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Daredevil season 2.
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. Screen Rant will keep you updated on the Punisher spinoff as development continues.