Wilson Fisk may have systematically destroyed Matt Murdock’s life on more than one occasion, but it can be argued that Bullseye has taken more from Daredevil than Kingpin ever did. Introduced in 1976 in Daredevil #131, the mercenary was created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. - although his initial appearance featured art by Bob Brown and Klaus Janson. After tormenting Matt for decades in the comics, Bullseye has finally made his MCU debut in Daredevil’s excellent third season.
Bullseye’s early adventures weren’t particularly memorable. The villain was more ridiculous than menacing, which didn’t actually change until the book was completely revolutionized by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson just a few years later. It was during their incredible tenure on Daredevil that Bullseye was transformed from merely goofy into truly frightening. Despite Bullseye’s rich comic history of playing Joker to Daredevil’s Batman, the character’s backstory is surprisingly sparse - no one even knows his real name. This left writers with a largely blank slate in terms of giving him a new origin story. Bullseye's first live-action portrayal came in the form of Colin Farrell in the much maligned 2003 Daredevil film. However, it wasn’t until Wilson Bethel’s recent turn as Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter in the Netflix series that the character was given some real depth in this medium.
Lester, as he is sometimes called, has endured longer than most of DD’s Big Bads. He is certainly one of the most iconic. In honor of Bullseye’s MCU debut, let’s take a look at the most unique aspects of this villain’s body. Some spoilers ahead for Daredevil season 3!
Here the 20 Weirdest Details About Bulleye’s Anatomy.
20 He had a brain tumor
Like many of the moments that shaped Bullseye, this storyline dates back to Miller’s historic run. The tumor not only gave Lester some terrible headaches, but also worsened his obsession with DD, making him see hallucinations of the hero at every turn. The ensuing battle between Bullseye and the real Daredevil almost ended in the villain’s demise, but as usual, Matt couldn’t leave him to his fate.
One particularly negative consequence of Poindexter’s health issues was that after the tumor was removed, his lawyers got him released from prison, arguing that it was to blame for Bullseye’s violent behavior. Of course, this was in no way the case. Although the Netflix series gave us a very nuanced character and built to Dex’s eventual spiral out of control, the Bullseye of the comics was a much more straightforward villain.
19 His bones are laced with adamantium
Bullseye was responsible for taking the life of Elektra Natchios. The brutal battle that followed took place across rooftops and telephone wires. Eventually the only thing keeping Bullseye from falling from a great height was DD’s grip on his hand. Matt probably wouldn’t have let go, had Lester not just impaled the woman that he loved. Bullseye suffered a literally back-breaking fall. Luckily for the villain, Lord Dark Wind knew how to fuse adamantium to his skeleton - the same metal that runs through Wolverine’s body.
This was echoed by the series, which teased Dex’s potential transformation into Bullseye.
By season’s end, he found himself unable to move and it was only through an experimental procedure that he would potentially regain function. Like in the comics, the surgeon at work was Dr. Oyama, although the show obviously couldn’t use adamantium.
18 He has no superpowers
You might think that Bullseye has superpowers thanks to his preternatural ability to always hit his intended target, often with little deliberate cognitive effort. However, this is not the case. Lester may have a host of incredible abilities that make him a particularly lethal assassin, but when it comes down to it, he’s only human. However, the fact that his bones are laced with the same metal as Wolverine’s definitely makes him even more difficult to defeat.
Even without the reinforcement though, Lester was a brutal mercenary, with vast knowledge of every vulnerability of the human body. Despite the fact that Daredevil himself has enhanced abilities, Bullseye has proven incredibly difficult to defeat. This was especially obvious when Dex trounced Matt repeatedly in the Netflix series.
17 He impersonated Hawkeye
After Norman Osborn inexplicably rose to power - you’d have to read Secret Invasion to really understand - the former Green Goblin formed his own Dark Avengers. They were created on behalf of H.A.M.M.E.R., which had risen up to take the place of S.H.I.E.L.D. Osborn handpicked both heroes and villains posing as such to be on his team.
Just because Poindexter was dressed as the famed archer doesn’t mean that he acted like Hawkeye.
Bullseye remained undeniably faithful to his evil agenda. He continued to leave a trail of destruction in his wake and, in the process, added the real life Hawkeye to his ever-growing list of enemies.
16 He was combined with Elektra and became "Eliza"
Marvel Noir was a 2009 alternate universe that incorporated - you guessed it - elements of film noir and pulp fiction into a different continuity with classic Marvel characters. No story about the Man Without Fear would be complete without Elektra and Bullseye, so both appeared in Daredevil Noir - as one character.
The femme fatale of the tale went by the name Eliza and it didn’t take long for her to win Matt over.
However, she also turned out to be a villain. Much like their original comic history, DD’s discovery that Eliza was a villain wasn’t enough for him to completely turn on her. Elektra has always been a complex figure in Matt’s life and combining her with Bullseye in Marvel Noir made for an interesting twist.
15 The Punisher shot through both of Bullseye's hands
Bullseye and the Punisher may be incredibly different in their motivations, but their methods are similarly lethal. Frank Castle seeks to punish those who are guilty, whereas Lester is far more arbitrary in his decisions regarding who gets to live and who doesn’t. He’s obviously someone that Frank would be keen on hunting down, but Bullseye has proven repeatedly that he is not so easily dispatched.
It’s not just the Punisher trying to off Bullseye, though. Lester has been hired on more than one occasion to take out Frank. The two have had a few brutal encounters over the years. One of these battles ended with the Punisher shooting through both of Bullseye’s hands. Frank had hoped that doing so would leave Lester permanently damaged, but the villain eventually regained functionality.
14 Colin Ferrall's bubbling prosthetics
A whole lot of effort goes into bringing superheroes and villains from page to screen, so it’s no surprise that makeup artists had some work to do on Colin Farrell. However, the actor’s issues were less about transforming him into Bullseye and more about covering a bad case of sunburn.
The film was largely successful at keeping this hidden, but there are a few scenes where viewers can clearly see Farrell’s peeling neck.
That wasn’t the only makeup related issue that plagued Farrell, though. The prosthetic affixed to his head - Bullseye’s tattoo - began bubbling every time that the actor found himself sweating. As this was an action movie, quite a bit of time was likely spent keeping the target from looking like a prosthetic.
13 He is an expert marksman
Bullseye is one of the most legendary assassins in the Marvel Universe. Lester is also an expert marksman when it comes to firearms. Considering what the villain is capable of with everyday objects, his proficiency with actual weapons makes perfect sense. His abilities as a sharpshooter have served him quite well over the years.
Lester’s archery skills are also nearly unparalleled-- not that he even needs a bow in order to hit his target with an arrow. It’s this ability that enabled him to so convincingly impersonate Hawkeye. Despite Bullseye’s nearly unbeatable skill set, Daredevil proves the most frustrating of targets for him, due to Matt’s enhanced senses.
12 Wilson Bethel almost played Captain America
Considering how completely Chris Evans has embodied the role of Captain America over the last seven years, it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else taking up the mantle of the Star-Spangled Avenger. However, there was a time when the MCU was in its infancy and Evans’s biggest credit was playing Johnny Storm in Fox’s forgettable Fantastic Four movies. The search for the perfect Cap was obviously extensive and though many actors were up for the part, one of them was Wilson Bethel.
Long before Bethel was cast as the MCU’s Bullseye, the actor actually screen-tested for Steve Rogers.
Bethel has described the experience as "the single most exciting time of my life and also the single most devastating when it didn't happen."
11 Daredevil took his life
Shadowland was a major Daredevil arc that promised big changes for the Man Without Fear, but in the end, readers were left with the status quo completely intact. Sure, it would’ve been difficult to dial Daredevil back if he were truly responsible for the brutal actions committed in that story. Matt Murdock is a beloved hero, so having him turn heel was always going to be complicated. However, the reveal that DD was possessed felt like a cop out, nonetheless.
The storyline kicked off with Matt attempting to cut down on crime by taking control of the Hand. When he faced Bullseye once again, Daredevil broke both of his arms, stabbing the villain with his own sai - just as Lester had done to Elektra many years before. Much like Daredevil’s paramour, though, Bullseye eventually returned to fight another day.
10 He was almost played by Ben Affleck
It’s crazy to consider how different the Daredevil movie could’ve been. The part of the Man Without Fear was initially offered to Ben Affleck's best friend Matt Damon, who turned it down. Before he decided to play Matt Murdock, Affleck actually read for the role of Bullseye.
Interestingly, Colin Farrell was being considered to play Daredevil during this time.
Once Affleck was given the titular part instead of the hitman, Farrell was cast in that role instead. It’s difficult to imagine the film with those two roles reversed. Affleck would go on to have many regrets about the superhero movie.
9 He can turn most any object into a lethal projectile
Bullseye isn’t just lethal with a weapon in his hands. In fact, he can turn just about anything into a weapon, transforming most everyday items into something capable of taking a life with just a flick of his wrist. The Netflix series did a great job of showcasing their proto-Bullseye’s ability to do just that. Dex was able to get quite creative with his surroundings, leaving a trail of bodies behind him.
In the comics, Bullseye has weaponized everything from peanuts to pens to paper planes.
He has spit a tooth through a human skull, lacerated someone’s throat using a playing card, and took a life with a toothpick from over a hundred yards away.
8 Colin Farrell used his real accent in the film
Although Colin Farrell was typically asked to perform with a US accent, Daredevil director, Mark Steven Johnson suggested that the actor stick with his native accent from Ireland. As previously discussed, much of Lester’s past was shrouded in mystery, so there was really no reason not to let Farrell speak with his real accent - although Farrell did give it a stronger Dublin sound than his own. According to Farrell, it was a relief to be able to work without a dialect coach.
Although the 2003 film remains one of the genre’s most derided, some fans found Farrell’s over-the-top performance to be the high point of an awful movie. Despite this, the actor has admitted that he found Bullseye to be “one dimensional.” No argument there. Thankfully, the small screen has done much more impressive character work with Dex.
7 He has Borderline Personality Disorder
The comic book Bullseye is a villain through and through, without many clues as to how he transformed into such a vicious monster. Dex, on the other hand, had a true arc in Daredevil. Viewers learned that he was diagnosed at a young age with Borderline Personality Disorder and that despite his cruel instincts, the guy did his best to find “a North Star" to guide him.
It wasn’t until Dex’s carefully constructed facade began to unravel, along with the life that he’d spent years building that shades of Bullseye began to show through his veneer of composure. Sure, he was responsible for taking someone’s life at young age, but after growing close to his therapist, Dex still made an effort to rise above his own nature.
6 He is a master martial artist
Bullseye is capable of much more than his name suggests. Dex is not only a match for Matt in the Netflix series, but beats him in battle repeatedly. This is true to his comic book counterpart. Aside from weaponizing anything he gets his hands on, Lester is also lethal when it comes to fighting.
If he weren’t, he never would’ve been able to defeat someone of Elektra’s incredible skill level.
The comics haven’t gone too far into explaining where and how Lester received such training, but he has proven that he is one of the most formidable fighters in the Marvel Universe. This was well reflected in Daredevil’s third season, as the proto-Bullseye tore his way through numerous armed forces, not to mention both DD and Kingpin.
5 He is an Olympic-level athlete
It should come as no shock that Bullseye is in peak physical condition. The villain possesses exceptional dexterity, agility, balance, reflexes and coordination - there’s a reason the guy was capable of fighting Daredevil on telephone wires. In fact, his talents are so immense that they often seem superhuman. He is both an Olympic-level athlete and weightlifter.
Lester’s metabolism is so extraordinary that it allows him to survive injuries that many others would not, because he heals at a faster rate than most. He is also an incredibly skilled acrobat. This guy has showcased impossible accuracy with a gun, even as he was mid-backflip. Bullseye is also incredibly stealthy and quite an escape artist as well.
4 Daredevil carved a target into his forehead
Bullseye has taken more from Daredevil than any other villain. He was responsible for ending the lives both of the women that Matt loved: Karen Page and Elektra Natchios. Sure, Elektra was resurrected by the Hand, but Karen remained in the ground. Lester has tried Matt’s patience time and time again. His obsession with Daredevil has wreaked havoc on the hero’s life for years.
Next to Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, no team has done more amazing work on the Man Without Fear than Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. In their run, Bullseye came calling again, this time in the hopes of taking the life of Matt’s girlfriend, Milla Donovan. DD made it just in time and gave Lester an incredibly brutal, though well deserved, beating. Blinded by rage, Matt carved a target into Bullseye’s forehead.
3 He was a baseball pitcher
Although much of the origin story constructed for Dex in the Netflix series was treading new ground, the writers drew some inspiration from what little is known of his past in the comics.
In both the source material and the TV series, Bullseye initially honed his lethal skills as a baseball pitcher.
The surrounding circumstances may have been quite different from one medium to another, but the results were similarly fatal. Had Bullseye’s time on the mound not resulted in him taking a life - and realizing that he had such a taste for it - it’s possible that Lester could’ve made a career for himself in major league baseball. Although the show followed Dex as he desperately attempted to stay on the beaten path, his comic counterpart quickly chose to fully lean into his villainous nature.
2 He has impersonated Daredevil
Although he has been called Lester and used the alias of Benjamin Poindexter, Bullseye’s real name remains unknown. Dex caused quite a bit of trouble for Daredevil this season after Fisk manipulated him into posing as the Man Without Fear. He committed unforgivable acts, laying the blame on the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.
The Netflix series isn’t the only time that Poindexter has taken to the streets in DD’s trademark red horns.
Kingpin was responsible for sending a Daredevil imposter after Foggy, although it wasn’t Lester. However, Bullseye did later wreak havoc in Daredevil’s suit. After a particularly brutal battle left Matt with no memory, his nemesis managed to convince him to hand over his costume. As you might expect, this led to robberies and assaults all perpetrated by Bullseye, dressed as the hero he’d spent years obsessing over.
1 His movie look made its way into the comics
Although movies are inspired by comics, there are plenty of instances in which the changes made from page to screen find their way into the books. Oft times, costumes are altered to better coincide with the characters’ onscreen counterparts. Bullseye may have joked about getting a costume in the Daredevil movie, but he didn’t actually have one. It didn’t take long for his film look to show up in the comics though.
Lester eventually wound up sporting a Bullseye tattoo just like Colin Farrell’s. This new aspect of the character made it into several different Bullseye stories, across more than one Marvel Universe.
Do you know any others weird details about Bullseye's anatomy from Daredevil? Let us know in the comments!