Marvel's Daredevil Netflix series was a big success in its season 1 run. Not only did the show lure in new MCU fans, it also established a new Marvel superhero and his world; pushed the MCU sandbox into the hard streets of NYC; and allowed for some experimentation with darker, grittier storytelling that worked great (in the opinions of most viewers).
Riding the success of season 1, the showrunners of Daredevil have set some pretty ambitious plans in motion for season 2. We'll get a new costume for our hero, as well as new additions like iconic Marvel anti-hero The Punisher (Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal) and Daredevil's longtime love interest, Elektra (G.I. Joe: Retaliation's Elodie Yung). Those ingredients alone are worth some considerable fan excitement - but looking a bit deeper, here are 10 Things We Want to See in Daredevil Season 2.
Daredevil season 1 had some impressive fight choreography, albeit done in the style of a street vigilante brawler who wasn't necessarily keen on strategy and skill most of the time. And while things like the one-take hallway fight were great, Matt Murdock finally going full Daredevil to bring down Wilson Fisk was actually something of a letdown for a lot of fans. Considering what's in store for season 2 (Punisher, Elektra, possibly some Marvel Comics villains), we'll need a better look at a full-fledged superhero in action.
Daredevil season 2 has the potential for some really gritty and thrilling onscreen battles between superhero and anti-hero; superhero and love interest; or superhero, anti-hero, and love interest vs. any number of thugs, gangsters, supervillains... or even ninjas. The action definitely needs to be stepped up, if Daredevil wants to keep pace with his MCU movie counterparts.
The Punisher (aka Frank Castle) has been featured on film three times (1989, 2004, 2008), but none of those times has resulted in what most fans would call a successful take on the character. Now it's actor Jon Bernthal's chance to don the iconic black shirt with the skull logo, aiming his guns at a much bigger Marvel Cinematic universe.
The Punisher character got lost in some very questionable storylines during the character's popularity slump in the mid-90s (supernatural Punisher, anyone?). However, thanks to great minds like Preacher team Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, Punisher made it into the 21st century not only intact but better than ever, leaving the showrunners of Daredevil with the character sketch of a highly-skilled and tactical special operative, who has a clear-cut and simple curmudgeon vision of the world.
Daredevil definitely needs to make use of Punisher's talents as both a strategist and executioner, but the crucial challenge will be nailing down how the character's brutal black-and-white moral philosophy works as a considerable counterpoint to Daredevil's.
Sin City creator Frank Miller went from just penciling Daredevil comics to writing and drawing the book during the early 1980s. One of his first issues was a now-iconic battle between Daredevil and Punisher, in which the two men pursue the same drug dealer with very different agendas in mind. That clash of Marvel heroes still resonates today (with good reason), and Daredevil season 2 could certainly make use of it.
Punisher isn't just a high-profile guest star for season 2; he brings with him a thematic arc that's a rich juxtaposition to Daredevil. Both men were marked by crime invading their lives and stealing someone (or someones) special to them, but their respective reactions to those pivotal events are very different. Matt Murdock / Daredevil still believes in the rule of law (even when it needs a helping hand); Punisher believes the legal system is broken, and the only fix is a bullet. More than seeing these two heroes battle, it'll be great to see them argue philosophies - an encounter that Punisher comic book team Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon captured perfectly in the storyline, "Welcome Back Frank".
Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) proved to be a complex, intriguing and fearsome adversary for both Matt Murdock and his Daredevil alter-ego, but in the end, the Kingpin of Crime was brought down. But being down and staying down are two very different things, and in season 2 of Daredevil, we'd like to see the Kingpin wreaking havoc in a different way.
Like Hannibal Lecter, Wilson Fisk is the type of monster who is still deadly even when confined to a cell. Season 2 offers great opportunity for Fisk to have to prove himself Kingpin again - this time within the jungle of prison life - while simultaneously using the power of his whisper to influence crime in Hell's Kitchen, drawing Daredevil into his grasp. D'Onofrio is certainly up to carrying a major subplot like that - all the way to a finale that sees Fisk back on the street, with even more connections and soldiers on payroll (including one iconic assassin who never misses).
The Batman: Year One creative team of writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli worked on Daredevil comics together in the mid-80s, and were the architects of the famous "Born Again" storyline, which remains one the best tales that Daredevil has. In that story, Kingpin buys up information about Daredevil's secret identity, and uses his influence to make Matt Murdock's life hell. The twist is that it's Karen Page (distraught, down, and addicted to drugs) who sells Matt out. In the end, Matt (living under a new identity) finds happiness with Karen anyway.... at least until later eras of the comic, when Karen finally met her end at the hands of Daredevil nemesis, Bullseye.
It's easy to see how Daredevil season 2 could rearrange things, but including "Born Again" in the mix would give Karen Page actress Deborah Ann Woll some juicy source material to work from.
We don't need to go so far as seeing Karen doing porn, prostituting herself, and/or seemingly contracting AIDS (all of which happens in the comics). However, Ms. Page did make some very drastic choices in season 1 of the show, and the ramifications of those choices is something we need to see reflected in season 2. The "Born Again" storyline is a great place to look if the showrunners want to keep Karen's arc from plummeting - though we recommend saving her tragic end for when Bullseye finally arrives (hopefully in season 3).
Building off the "Born Again" storyline references for Karen Page, we want to see Daredevil season 2 also introduce another important lady in Matt Murdock's life: his mother, Margaret "Sister Maggie" Murdock.
Maggie got together with Matt's father, "Battlin' Jack" Murdock, at a young age, and things were fine until Matt was born. As a young mother, Maggie found herself wracked with postpartum depression and extreme paranoia, to the point that she once even tried to inflict harm on baby Matt. The guilt of that act drove Maggie away from home and her family, eventually landing her in a NYC convent, where she started life anew as Sister Maggie. Although she and Matt remained largely estranged, Sister Maggie has helped him as Daredevil on several occasions - most notably in the "Born Again" and "Guardian Devil" storylines.
If Matt Murdock / Daredevil finds both halves of himself under fire (literally and figuratively) during season 2 of Daredevil, then sister Maggie is a great character to introduce to the series, as a means of both providing shelter for our hero, and serving as the source for one of those wonderfully slower single-setting episodes we saw in season 1, which were key in providing rich backstory for Matt Murdock. Her strict religious beliefs would only add more flavor to themes being explored in the "Daredevil vs. Punisher" conflict.
The Daredevil Netflix series has used Frank Miller's revised origin for the hero as its basis - an origin which includes Matt Murdock receiving martial arts training from the mysterious blind man known as Stick (Scott Glenn), and a mythos invovling warring ninja clans known as The Chaste and The Hand. Hints of these ninja factions were introduced in season 1 of the show; however, aside from a battle with Nobu (Peter Shinkoda), and brief confrontations with Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho), and Stick (respectively), we still haven't seen how deep the connections between Matt Murdock, Wilson Fisk, Stick, Gao and these larger ninja factions really run.
Daredevil season 2 can't rely on the same air of mystery that season 1 used; making ninjas and ninja mysticism fit into a "grounded and gritty" world is a hurdle that similar shows (read: Arrow) have stumbled over in the past. Daredevil doesn't just have to expand this particular area of the MCU (martial arts mysticism) for its own sake: Daredevil's Defenders teammate Iron Fist could be relying on this same foundation upon which to build his own Netflix series.
Alias star Jennifer Garner is a fine actress; however, playing Daredevil's love interest/adversary Elektra Natchios in the 2003 film was not Garner's finest hour; nor was pushing the role into an Elektra spinoff that turned out even worse than the character's first onscreen appearance.
Martial arts actress Elodie Yung is set to play Elektra in season 2 of Daredevil, and her work in films like District 13 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation shows she has both the look and action chops to really do Elektra justice in a way Garner simply couldn't. All we need is for the showrunners to really capture the rich complexity of Matt Murdock and Elektra's relationship, as well as the complexity of the lady herself, and we will have yet another Marvel character rescued and refurbished from the movie mistakes of the mid-2000s .
Daredevil is officially the beachhead for Marvel's Netflix corner of the MCU, since it's already secured acclaim and attention from fans (challenges Jessica Jones and Luke Cage still have to meet). As such, the show is a solid foundation upon which to build more connections to the larger MCU - including The Defenders, an eventual team-up event between Marvel's Netflix characters.
Introducing new characters like Punisher and Elektra is one way Daredevil season 2 will open up a bigger MCU; the new season is also expected to expand the scope of Hell's Kitchen to include people like private eye Jessica Jones, and the martial arts mysticism could be connective tissue that helps bridge the grounded world of Daredevil with more fantastical MCU properties like Iron Fist or even Doctor Strange. And with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. having already dropped a big Punisher Easter egg into its narrative (reference to Punisher's tech guy, Micro), we expect that Marvel Netflix and Marvel network TV could also get tied a little closer together by the time Daredevil season 2 is over.
By the time Daredevil season 2 is done, no matter what the state of Matt Murdock's life (status quo or in shambles), we need to see a new threat arising for season 3, with his crosshairs squarely aimed at The Man Without Fear. That threat should be none other than Bullseye, Marvel's "never miss" assassin who has long been The Man Without Fear's nemesis.
Like Daredevil and Elektra, Bullseye was featured in the 2003 Daredevil film; actor Colin Farrell was fine in the role, but his... different take on the character left many Marvel fans unhappy. The Daredevil Netflix series has created a nice gritty street Noir world where its version of Bullseye can both honor the source material, and provide a truly brutal and fearsome villain for Daredevil to face. By the time Daredevil season 2 ends, Bullseye is one definitely one of the season 3 teases we need to see in the mix.
Are there any other characters or plot developments you want to see in Daredevil season 2? Let us know in the comments!
Daredevil season 1 is now available on Netflix; Jessica Jones premieres in Fall 2015; Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 will arrive in 2016, followed by Iron Fist and The Defenders some time thereafter.