This article consists of nothing but Daredevil Season 2 spoilers. You don't want want to read this if you haven't seen the episodes yet. We have a completely spoiler free review for you to check out here in the meantime.
NOTE: Hit the dropdown menu at the top and/or bottom of the article to navigate directly to whichever episode you want.
Ready for something that is absolutely not a Daredevil Season 2 spoiler? Here it is. Just like the first one, this season is absolutely packed to the gills with crazy Marvel Universe goodness. Some of it is relatively obvious, but then there's other stuff hidden in the margins that you might miss. Stuff that might clue you in to the future of these Marvel Netflix shows.
Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days. I've been on a secret mission for Den of Geek out in Los Angeles, so if you've sent me more clues, stick with me while I catch up. In the meantime, the most recent update comes on March 25th at about 3 pm Pacific Time.
So, here's how this works. I'm rounding up every single Marvel Comics reference on Daredevil Season 2. I'm good, but I'm not so good that there isn't gonna be stuff I miss. And that's where you come in. Read and enjoy my deep dive into roughly 50 years worth of Marvel history, but if you spot something that I didn't, or if I'm flat out wrong about something, drop it in the comments or holler at me on Twitter. If it checks out, I'll update this piece and give you a shout!
Now, I have to warn you. I will do my best to keep spoilers for future episodes out of the entries for current episodes, however, some of the stuff I write about might inadvertently spoil stuff for later in the series or future seasons. But also, if you're posting in the comments, I can't control what spoilers you might see from other people who are a few episodes ahead of you. So please read with caution down there if you aren't all caught up yet. There's no way for me to control what comments display for individual episodes, sadly!
Use the dropdown menu at the top and bottom of the article to navigate to whichever episodes you want, but don't read ahead...unless you want spoilers. And from here on out, it's all spoilers!
Alright hornheads, let's do this...
"In the void left by Fisk's removal, a new threat to Hell's Kitchen emerges. Murdock and Foggy take on a client with a questionable past."
- I'm opening with a little bit of a stretch, I confess. Opening with a heat wave is something of a theme from another Frank Miller work, famously deployed at the start of The Dark Knight Returns. And as I've pointed out ad infinitum in previous Daredevil articles (and will continue to do in this one!), it's Frank Miller's shadow that tends to loom the largest over this show.
- So Daredevil has some new threads, only lightly redesigned from what we saw at the end of season one. He's using his batons more, but we'll get to that in more detail in a future episode.
There's one thing that club could do that this one hasn't yet. Since it was often disguised as Matt Murdock's cane, it had a hooked end. That could be "fired" like a grappling hook, and the club contained rope/wire that Daredevil could then swing from...like Batman or Spidey.
- We do get a fully functioning (or dysfunctional) Nelson & Murdock law firm this time, right down to them getting payments in food from clients who can't afford to pay in cold, hard cash. My current unscientific analysis of this is that it's something we saw foregrounded during the recent (and extraordinarily wonderful) run on the comics by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Paolo Rivera. Seriously, you need to read those. They're not as dark as the show, but they're some of the finest Daredevil comics ever produced.
- The chatty Irish gangster, Mr. Nesbitt, was created by Garth Ennis and Leandro Fernandez in the pages of The Punisher (volume 6) #8 in 2004. He didn't meet his end at the hand of Frank Castle, though. It's a long story, and part of Ennis' notoriously colorful run as writer on The Punisher.
- Focusing on the Irish Mob here is a little bit of a reminder of the actual ethnic history of Hell's Kitchen, which was settled by Irish immigrants and remained a working-class neighborhood until relatively recently. Matt Murdock's Irish heritage places him nicely in that historical Hell's Kitchen, as well. And really, we've had riffs on both the Mafia and the Yakuza on this show already, so it's only fair that the Irish get their criminal licks in, as well.
But really, I know, you want to hear about the Punisher, so...
- The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 back in 1974. He was created by Gerry Conway and John Romita Sr.
Punisher spent the early part of his existence as, if not a full-blown Spidey villain, certainly something of an antagonist. He was also nameless (other than, y'know "Punisher") and his tragic backstory was only alluded to. Truth be told, he was kind of boring.
The character came into his own once he started squaring off with Daredevil during Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's legendary creative tenure, and there are moments of that which inform plenty of things we'll see on this show. But he really rose to prominence in the mid-80s when he was given his own headlining slot in a mini-series, the excellent Circle of Blood by Steven Grant and Mike Zeck. He was soon headlining three series of his own and guest-starring in virtually every Marvel book in the early-90s.
- The violence during the Punisher's execution of those goons is like something out of a Paul Verhoeven movie. Holy moley. But this (and we'll see more of it as the episodes go on) also takes its cues from the over-the-top ridiculousness and gore of Garth Ennis' tenure as Punisher writer, often with his Preacher creative partner Steve Dillon on art.
Also, did I hear that this place is the Byrne Club? It's probably a coincidence, but John Byrne is one of the most celebrated Marvel artists of the '70s and '80s.
- We return to Josie's Bar in this episode, a familiar haunt to Daredevil fans (we covered this in our season one viewing guide). I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want a more authentic Josie's experience while in NYC, go to Billymark's West. Go there and spend lots of money on lots of cheap drinks before NYC replaces it with an artisinal vape shop or a luxury salon for cats or something similarly terrible.
Or you can go to the bar that they actually film in...that would be Brooklyn's Turkey's Nest Tavern. That's if you feel like going to Brooklyn, something that the MTA makes increasingly difficult these days.
Anyway, back to the important fictional stuff...
- It's interesting that they've chosen to make a character like "Grotto" such a central figure in this series. Grotto was really just a low level grunt, and an associate of Turk's (and we'll see more of Turk this year...more on him down below). But he coincidentally first appeared in the same issue that first introduced another central character for this season, Elektra. That would be 1981's Daredevil #168, by (who else?) Frank Miller.
He never had these kinds of run-ins with the Punisher, Nelson & Murdock, or anything else, though. He was just someone else for DD to beat the living crap out of.
- You'll hear the words "war zone" a lot in relation to how things look after Punisher has been around. Funny enough, his third solo title was called Punisher: War Zone. So was his third (and final) movie.
- Is the scene where Punisher has hung these goons on meathooks from a comic? It seems like the kind of outrageous violence that Garth Ennis would gleefully write, but I'm not sure if it's from somewhere specific.
- Officer Brett Mahoney is back, but that isn't much of a surprise. You may recognize him from some minor Marvel Comics, but also from Daredevil Season 1.
- There's a crack about how The Punisher is "not fond of the Irish" considering the number he did on those gangsters. In the comics, it was once revealed that Punisher's last name of Castle was actually a shortening/Americanization of Castiglione, a Sicilian name, so Frank's distaste for Irish gangsters in particular could be a little bit of a play on the old Irish/Italian gang rivalries in NYC.
Or maybe I'm just reading into this too much.
- Turk is back! Turk is basically the bad penny who keeps turning up in Daredevil stories. He's really great on this show, and you almost feel bad for him when he's asking DD to let him go. That's about in line with his portrayal in most comics. His line about how "we both know I'll be back out by the end of the month" could be a sly reference to comics' monthly publication schedule, and how Turk just always seemed to be around, no matter how many times he got his ass handed to him.
I really love Rob Morgan in this role.
- So, we finally have an actual Agents of SHIELD crossover on a Marvel Netflix show. It's not what you expect, though. The Dogs of Hell appeared in Agents of SHIELD season 1, episode 15. That was the one where Asgardian temptress Lorelei came to town to make all the menfolk sweat a little.
- Daredevil and Punisher have a proud history of rooftop fights, but we'll talk more about one of their most famous ones in a future episode. Be patient! The Punisher did shoot Daredevil in one of their earliest encounters (Daredevil #183) but it was with a tranquilizer dart.
So now here's what I'm drawing a blank on from this episode, and maybe you good folks can help me out. I've got nothing on the names Alameda or Jacinto, but if anyone has any ideas where they might fit, I'm all ears. Also, who are the Detectives working the Punisher crime scene? I'm out of ideas, there, as far as potential comic book connections go.
Shout 'em out in the comments down below, or give me a holler on Twitter, and I'll keep updating this!
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