Before I start my review of Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2, I should take a moment to give a full disclosure.
I am a comic book fan, have been almost my entire time on this earth, 43 years. That being said, I’m not a comic book nerd (that is not a disparaging moniker, it is a term of endearment. I am a nerd, geek, gamer, and I fly my nerd flag proud). I’ve read a lot of comics and I’ve seen every comic book movie adaptation; but comics aren’t the main thing in my life as I haven’t read enough comics to tell you what happened in Issue #213 of Amazing Spider-man. I can say, I’ve read enough comics to enjoy them; however, I haven’t read enough that I am prevented from enjoying the movies.
Since The Punisher is my all-time favorite comic book character, I have read enough of The Punisher to know I hated Dolph Lundgren’s 1989 pile of shit and loved both 2004’s The Punisher and 2008’s Punisher: War Zone. In my opinion, Thomas Jane played a perfect Punisher, but the level of violence and blood in War Zone was closer to what I remember from the comics. Ray Stevenson was good. Thomas Jane was perfect.
When I first heard Netflix would be bringing some Marvel characters to the small screen, I was concerned. Could they give us quality or would we get a TV version of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer or X-Men Origins: Wolverine? And the line-up of Netflix superheroes didn’t exactly provide us with a vote of confidence. Jessica who? Iron what? Were these the B-list superheroes? As I said, not a comic book nerd. After binge watching Daredevil Season 1, my opinion changed drastically. HOLY HELL! So damn good! Then came Jessica Jones. Still unsure of whom or what she was about, I hit up Wikipedia and did some reading, even grabbed a few of her comics. Once I thought I had a grasp of her story, I started watching.
By the fourth episode, I was bored. As a matter of fact, I still haven’t finished the season (I’m on episode 6, I believe). My boredom knew no bounds to the point that I wasn’t excited for Daredevil Season 2 to start. Until I heard The Punisher would be in it — I wasn’t about to miss this.
And that’s how I went into Season 2. Even after finishing Episode 1, I wasn’t convinced of Jon Bernthal’s ability to really portray The Punisher. He was good, but I just wasn’t feeling it. By the time I finished Season 2…well, I’ll leave that for the end of my review.
What I enjoyed about Season 1 was how the fight scenes and arc (the way the show moved the characters and storyline), were played out. All was great. But what it lacked, at least for me, was an overwhelming need to see the next episode. Season 2 perfected the model, and every episode ended with me NEEDING to watch the next one.
Charlie Cox plays the role of Matt Murdock amazingly well, specifically being a blind man. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would have believed he really was blind! And Elden Henson (Foggy), while he should have been more comedic relief, has instead given us a peek into what life as a superhero’s best friend would be like.
I’ve never really cared about Elektra, so I don’t know enough about her character to give an opinion. I will say that Élodie Yung played the part very well. Maybe it’s just me, but I actually think she (the actress, not Elektra) could kick my ass.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Punisher, I’ll give you a short backstory. Frank Castle, a Marine Corps veteran and war hero, comes home. His wife and children are murdered by the mob and he begins an all-out assault on the scum of the Earth. The Punisher is deadly. He’s a vengeful man known for bringing his own brand of justice to a fight, contrasting with Daredevil’s “beat them up and take them to jail” method.
What surprised me was Bernthal’s portrayal of The Punisher. HOLY SHIT! There are many different opinions on Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson’s portrayals of The Punisher. Where Stevenson gave us The Punisher’s physicality and toughness, Jane’s portrayal skirted the level of violence The Punisher was capable of. Jane’s portrayal was physical, but also displayed the vulnerability of The Punisher more effectively than Stevenson did. Bernthal’s portrayal gave us ALL of The Punisher. And he did it with ease.
Remember earlier when I said “By the time I finished Season 2…well, I’ll leave that for the end of my review”? Well, here’s the end…
By the time I finished Season 2, I was disappointed. Not with the story. Not with the acting. I was disappointed it was over. Not only do I need more Daredevil, but I want more of The Punisher. The rumor-mill has been full of reports Netflix will be bringing us a Punisher series, but they haven’t confirmed it yet. Please, Netflix, PLEASE bring us more of The Punisher! My only real gripe about this season was something I didn’t see. In one of Netflix’s many teasers leading up to Season 2 (seen below), we saw a bunch of clowns walking into a backyard killing party goers. Assuming it was the Castle family murders, why wasn’t it in one of the episodes?