After Daredevil's stellar first season, and the success of Netflix's second entry into the MCU, Jessica Jones, the anticipation for what season two may bring is high among fans and critics alike. The inaugural outing of the Man Without Fear was acclaimed due to great performances and storytelling, but perhaps most notably for Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of the villainous Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin.
In just a few short weeks, a new threat in Hell's Kitchen will be revealed as Marvel prepares to introduce the latest iteration of the fan-favorite anti-hero, the Punisher, who's set to be played by The Walking Dead veteran Jon Bernthal. Along with the arrival of Elodie Yung's Elektra, the threat of the ancient ninja clan the Hand, and the continued friction between his best friend Foggy, Matt should have a lot on his plate this season.
There sure is a whole lot to look forward to, and with the premiere date fast approaching, let's take a look at 10 Things to Know Before Season 2 of Daredevil.
10 The Dogs of Hell
Even though the films love to gloss over the fact that both Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are part of the MCU, everything truly is connected, though the two series are vastly different. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a procedural with secret agents which has now added in supernatural elements, including aliens and Inhumans, while Daredevil is more of the gritty and grounded variety. It’s still great for content within the MCU to acknowledge that they exist in the same universe, so hopefully it happens more often.
The biker club called the Dogs of Hell were shown in the trailer for the season two, and its members appear armed and dangerous, ready to cause some serious havoc. The same motorcycle club was featured in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season one, then based in Nevada with a colorful leader named Rooster. While they haven’t shown up in the series since, they’ve now popped up in Hell’s Kitchen. Whether it’s a different chapter or the same group, they’re certainly looking for trouble. They could be one of Punisher’s victims or another group that Matt has to worry about, but it shows that Marvel could be inserting more from the shared universe into the show. With Spider-Man making his way into the MCU (finally), could some sort of small-scale crossover be in the cards?
9 The Devil has a New Costume
Daredevil didn’t don the iconic red, horned costume until the end of season one, spending most of the year in his makeshift black ninja outfit. When he did finally assume the full mantle of Daredevil in the finale, fan reception was decidedly mixed. The complaints mostly concerned the suits color scheme (where's the red?) and the fact that the mask seemed to be not such a great fit for star Charlie Cox’s face at all.
Alas, never fear! Daredevil version 2.0 is here! From scenes shown in the trailers, it looks like the show has taken on some of the criticism of the suit and attempted to rectify it. The ears seem more pronounced, and the mask actually seems to fit Cox’s face now. The main addition is the blood red eyes, a nod to the traditionally bright-red colouring of the Daredevil costume. Another distinct change from the comic-book tradition is that the suit looks a lot more armoured than that which he typically wears. It seems like Cox has put some extra padding on his body too, which Elektra references in the latest trailer with a line that reflects the feelings of comic fans everywhere: “You’ve been working out. I appreciate that."
8 The Yakuza
The Yakuza played a huge part in season one, with the help of Fisk, but they were driven out by Daredevil. Or so he thought. The aforementioned trailer shows that they’re back in a major way, which is more bad news for Matt and Hell’s Kitchen. The adventures of the first season saw the Japanese crime syndicate attempt to take over the city, but now without the competition of Fisk standing between them and a truly dominant grip on the underworld, they seem to believe it’s time for them to come out of the shadows and rebuild their empire.
With Daredevil, Elektra and the Punisher all residing in Hell’s Kitchen this season, the Yakuza certainly have their work cut out for them. Elektra mentions their return in the trailer, informing Matt that the group have been biding their time while he takes out all of their enemies. But anyone who knows the female fatale from the comics knows that things are rarely as they seem when she's involved. We don't expect her to be joining Matt in the fight against the Yakuza unless it benefits her in some way.
7 The Hand
Also teased in the second trailer were the Hand, a mystical, demonic order of ninjas who are actively involved in organized crime and assassinations. They’re primarily based in Japan, but they operate without borders. Interestingly, on several occasions in the comics, Fisk has led the Hand for his own criminal activities. Seeing that Fisk is still very much alive, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him either leading them from behind bars, or see him take up the leadership by season's end.
The Hand are clearly being hyped for a major role this season, and we shouldn't view their and Elektra's simultaneous arrival in New York as a coincidence; they're almost certainly connected in some fashion. And by the way, the Hand have been known to resurrect the dead, something which could have a pretty major impact on the next entry on our list...
6 A few familiar villains are set to return
It looks like everyone’s favourite season one ninja, Nobu, could be making a return to the show after seemingly meeting his maker in episode nine. Nobu came dangerously close to defeating Matt in their battle before he was narrowly defeated. Matt left him burning, facing inevitable death, though it now appears he's somehow set to return. The season two trailer shows Nobu’s signature weapon dropping in to view, as Stick’s voiceover warns about the invasion of the Hand. Given the Hand's history with the occult and reviving the dead, it would be an exciting development for the show to delve deeper into magic and the fantastical. Plus, it could mean a rematch of epic proportions between Nobu and Matt.
Peter Shinkoda, the actor who played Nobu last season, certainly isn't shying away from the idea.
Of course, Nobu won't be the only familiar face this season. Vincent D’Onofrio was recently spotted walking to his trailer on set, which would seem to indicate that he is set to reprise his role of Wilson Fisk. Locked away in prison after season one’s climax, it’s certainly not out of the question that Fisk could factor into the story of season two. With so many enemy forces concentrated in Hell’s Kitchen, it would be the perfect time for Fisk to start making moves from behind bars. There’s also the chance that he will play a puppeteer-like role, setting him up for a return in the inevitable season three.
5 More Tension Between Matt and Foggy
The majority of season one featured a bromance for the ages between Matt and Foggy (Elden Henson), though the season ended on anything but a high note for their relationship. From what we've seen so far from season two, the two clearly still have some issues to work through: “Every time I walk up those stairs, I wonder if today’s the day you’re dead in your living room.” Foggy's concerns are of course legitimate, but from the sounds of things, Matt has clearly had enough of this conversation: “I’m done apologising for who I am.”
Hopefully the avocados at law can find a way through this, because otherwise, Foggy could find himself slipping from the ranks of Marvel Television's fan-favorites. Daredevil is a superhero show first and foremost, and audiences will quickly tire of the overly concerned best friend, especially if he were to continue trying to put a stop to Matt's late night exploits. His sense of humor helps ground the show and the other characters, and it would be a shame to see him stray too far from that. Simply put, it looks like Foggy needs to lighten up. Someone get this Bash Brother his Might Ducks jersey, please.
4 Elektra's History
Elektra Natchios made her first appearance in Daredevil #168, way back in 1981. The daughter of a Greek ambassador, Elektra studied martial arts as a teenager, and later political science at Columbia University, where she met Matt Murdock. The two fell in love at university, where Elektra became aware of Matt’s superhuman abilities, and is extremely skilled herself. A year later, Elektra and her father were held hostage by terrorists on campus. Matt, with the help of Elektra, defeats the terrorists, though the police mistakenly shoot her father. Distraught, Elektra withdraws from the world and leaves not only Matt, but America behind too.
Elektra eventually settled in Japan, trained in martial arts and joined the secret organization of martial artists run by Stick, who was also Matt’s sensei. She trained with Stick for a year before being asked to leave due to her animosity towards the world since her father's death. Determined to prove Stick wrong, Elektra infiltrated the Hand. She has become a bounty hunter and assassin for hire, working extensively in New York City. While there, Elektra crossed paths with Daredevil, whom she eventually discovered was in fact her former lover. Matt vigorously opposes her career path, thought it's clear the two still care deeply for one another. In Daredevil #181, she is killed by Bullseye, and dies in Matt’s arms. That would certainly make for a heart wrenching moment for the showrunners to use in Daredevil season two, assuming such a moment were handled a bit better than the first live-action depiction.
3 Love Gets Complicated
There’s not just the battle between Punisher and Daredevil this season; perhaps an even more daunting prospect for Matt is the choice between newbie Elektra (Elodie Yung) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll). While the first trailer seemed to show quite a connection between Karen and Matt, the second featured a sex scene between him and Elektra. In season one, fans got a quick easter egg reference to their past relationship when Foggy asked what happened to the “Greek girl” Matt had been seeing, to which he replied "Ah, man, didn’t work out.” It’s safe to say that they will be revisiting that past relationship.
While Karen and Matt definitely had a connection in season one, it was Foggy who outwardly expressed interest in their assistant, attempting to flirt with her on several occasions. Could this prove to be another source of animosity between the two? It seems that Matt won’t only be conflicted with his morality as Daredevil, but also with the women (and man) in his life.
2 Who is The Punisher?
First appearing in Spiderman #129, The Punisher was initially a villain attempting to assassinate Spider-Man on behalf of the Jackal. Creator Greg Conway simply intended to create another Spider-man villain, but in the inks of those pages, the antiheroic Punisher was born.
Born in Queens, New York of Sicilian heritage, Francis Castiglione is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran. His passion for representing his country was so great that he took on the name Frank Castle to enable his return for an illegal third tour. While on leave, spending time with his wife Maria and their two children, the family witnessed a killing perpetrated by the Costa mafia family. The mafia proceeded to murder Frank’s family in order to eliminate witnesses, though Frank managed to survive. Frank then vowed to use his specialised skills and spend the rest of his life fighting against crime and injustice, avenging his family. And thusly, the Punisher was born.
With ruthless precision and brutal efficiency, Punisher does not hesitate to take justice into his own hands, taking on the role of judge, jury, and executioner more often than not. This leads to friction between him and almost every other Marvel character, though most notably for this show, Daredevil.
1 The history between Punisher and Daredevil
Over their history, Matt Murdock and Frank Castle have battled each other many times. The two are diametrically opposed — Daredevil wants to fight crime through the law, while Punisher wants to fight it through murder. This isn't just a battle between two men, it’s a battle about the ethics of heroism and vigilantism. With these contrasting ideologies, the two are bound to clash. When they do, it usually goes like so: Matt and Frank hunt the same criminal, this leads to an argument on whether bringing them to trial or murdering them is the correct course of action, the two proceed to fight, eventually agree to disagree, and in the end, team up to capture the criminal.
Daredevil vs. Punisher: Means & Ends, The Omega Effect, and The Devil in Cell Block D are some of the best stories that have been told using riffs on this storyline. Perhaps most notably, it seems (judging from recent promotional material) that Daredevil season two will be paying homage to Welcome Back Frank: Devil by the Horns. In the iconic story, the two are tracking mob boss Dino Gnucci. During their fight, Punisher knocks Daredevil unconscious. When he awakens, he is tied up in chains and handed a revolver by the Punisher. Matt has two options in this ultimate test of his morals: he can shoot Frank and save Gnucci, or do nothing but watch as Frank kills the criminal.
If you’re wanting to read one comic to learn more about the upcoming Punisher/Daredevil dynamic, Welcome Back Frank: Devil by the Horns is an excellent choice.
What are you looking forward to in season two? Is there something else people should know before the show releases on March 18th? Let us know in the comments below!
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