Just when you thought that you’d had your fill of comic book trailers, Netflix go ahead and drop a full-length teaser for the second season of Daredevil, formally introducing us to Jon Bernthal’s Punisher as well as giving us an extended look at the returning first season cast. You can check out the trailer below, in all of its 2 minutes and 42 seconds of glory.
Now, the first season of Daredevil was my favourite TV show of 2015, and completely blew me away in terms of how a TV series could handle comic book material in a mature and entertaining manner. It was a level above the likes of Arrow and Flash, giving us character drama and tension that rival the best that even HBO have to offer, and is arguably some of the best work to come out of Marvel Studios.
I loved that Daredevil wasn’t an invincible superhero, laying waste to the canon fodder of Hell’s Kitchen; he was a vulnerable vigilante, in constant inner turmoil with his thirst for violence. And because of the main character being established so effectively, every fight scene felt real and visceral. Daredevil didn’t win every fight and even those he won, were not without his fair share of wounds and broken bones. Every aspect of the series fed into its inherent grittiness that helped to ground the character in danger and tension. If this trailer is anything to go by, then I have full confidence that Season Two will continue this success with the character that made the first season so addictive.
However, Daredevil Season Two is fighting an uphill battle in its attempt to eclipse season one’s Wilson Fisk, who was successfully portrayed as a three dimensional villain, with understandable motivations and a surprisingly terrifying soft voice. You sympathized with Fisk more and more as you uncovered his past, and rooted for him in his quest for love. He was the most interesting character that Daredevil had to offer, and practical stole every scene with a phenomenal performance from Vincent D’Onofrio, arguably resulting in Marvel’s best on-screen villain to date.
Marvel seems to have acknowledged this problem, utilising fan favourite The Punisher as the antagonist to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil, with the trailer shining much of the focus on Frank Castle and his own particular deadly brand of justice. The trailer also addressed some of my concerns that Season Two would descend into a forced battle between two beloved characters (I’m looking at you Batman vs Superman) in a bid to attract more viewers. There is a genuine contrast between The Punisher and Daredevil’s philosophies that help me understand why these two ‘good guys’ wouldn’t just eventually talk out their differences. There is very much a feeling that the Punisher is the main villain, rather than just a temporary foil for Daredevil before they team up at the end of the series against another big bad (Still haven’t forgotten you, BvS).
It all looks to set up a very interesting idea that The Punisher and Daredevil are just two sides of the same coin, as Frank Castle is willing to take a life in his crusade and Matt Murdock isn’t. This feeds back into the great work done in the first season in establishing Daredevil as an interesting and flawed character, and that in effect, Daredevil will be fighting a skewered version of himself. Matt will be constantly reminded of what he may become if he loses control of himself, and the damage that it would have on the city he has sworn to protect. This is fantastic character drama that is effortlessly conveyed and looked upon enviously by DC’s own television mini universe. Not to mention the fact that Jon Bernthal as The Punisher is possibly the greatest piece of casting ever conceived by cinema, as he brings his trademark sociopathic tendencies to the Marvel Universe.
All episodes of Daredevil Season Two are available to stream on Netflix from March 18th. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘Binge Watch’.