Rating 3.5/5 – I came away from Daredevil Season 2 thinking the exact same thing everyone else was saying, when are they doing a Punisher series. It simply has to happen. Don’t let the 3.5 rating throw you off, I loved Daredevil Season 2. I also admit it had problems and that directly had to do with the second storyline involving Elektra and The Hand, but we’ll get to that in a second. The focus of this review will be Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle aka the Punisher because it was, hands-down, the best performance of this season. This was a very strong follow up to Daredevil Season 1, and it’s the Punisher that gives this season it’s the biggest boast.
Daredevil Season 2 The Punisher
The important take away from Daredevil Season 2 that Marvel simply knows what it’s doing. Sure there’s this rift between Kevin Feige and this nutbag Perlmutter, but Marvel simply has the Midas touch when it comes to handling their characters. The Punisher has four movies under his belt, and all four of them couldn’t get a guy with lots of guns murdering lots of gangsters right. The Punisher is action movie 101, but either they pick the wrong director or choose the wrong actor or the movie makers simply refuse to pick up a fucking trade and see why this character works. Not only did Marvel fix Frank Castle, they found the perfect actor in John Bernthal and humanized him to the point where his excessive murder sprees seem like the logical choice and you hope he’s successful. Everything about the Punisher worked, from his motivation to the opposing viewpoint he brings to Daredevil’s world. Lay any criticism at the feet of Daredevil, one of them cannot be the Punisher.
Daredevil Season 2 – Elektra Complex
Elektra was created to die. That is basically her character arch. In Daredevil Season 2 we are introduced to Matt’s ninja ex-girlfriend who is a danger junky with a little touch of insane in the membrane added to the mix. Unless you’ve had one of those girlfriends you don’t understand why guys stay with those girlfriends. Yes it has a lot to do with amazing sex, but there’s another reason for it too – they’re fun. So I could relate to Matt and Elektra.
However, Frank Miller wrote Elektra as no more than a character arch for Daredevil, pitting his morality with his love for Elektra the assassin. Elektra was too popular to die. I mean popular to the point that not only did the issues between her first appearance and death sellout like crazy, they sell for insane amounts on eBay today. They had to bring her back. The problem being Frank Miller had no real purpose for her alive and by proxy neither did Marvel. In the resurrection issue of Daredevil (#190), it was implied that she’d come up on the side of heroes. Yet, Marvel kept her as an assassin, trying to give her a solo series or trying to square peg her into the round hole of a super team. In Daredevil Season 2 her story is presented without her trying to murder most of Matt’s friends, and it’s a little aimless as they had to do the story outside the Daredevil/Kingpin conflict and it fell a little short.
Daredevil Season 2 – Band of the Hand
The Hand is Marvel’s Ninja army who was only famous as the antagonists of Daredevil, specifically Daredevil’s mentor, Stick (played by Scott Glenn). Marvel has tried to elevate the Hand past “the fodder heroes get to punch” many times in comics. It never worked for exactly the same reason it didn’t work in Daredevil Season 2. Imagine trying to make the Stormtrooper the main villains of Star Wars. Yeah, it would go as well as making the Hand the main villains. You see, the Hand has never had a good leader behind them, and it was never made clear why the Hand and the Chase were at war. Daredevil Season 2 tries to give them a backstory and reason, but it just doesn’t work. Daredevil Season 2 made death cult ninja nazis kind of boring.
Daredevil Season 2 – The Verdict
While the B-Story had its weaknesses, the introduction of the Punisher and Elodie Yung’s performance as Elektra is the highlight of the show this time around. We know Elektra will be back, and judging by the online response everyone loves Bernthal’s take on the Punisher. Despite a few glaring flaws Daredevil Season 2 was a great time with Matt and the rest of the gang, and with that ending, you want to see where things go. Rest ashore there’s going to be a season 3 and there’s the hope they bring in Bullseye. Bottom line? Daredevil Season 2 is fast-paced and fun and worth the binge.