Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Supehero Media: Daredevil - Season 2

So, a criticism that gets leveled at the MCU is that it isn't "real" enough. Basically, that Marvel didn't decide to go down the DC/WB Dark Knight route of making everything super gritty and grim. Never-minding that this argument can be refuted with Winter Solider, Age of Ultron, and Civil War, the simple fact is that the MCU outings manage to be both entertaining and engaging without resorting to darkness, constant rain and grunting. That said, if it's street-level supers action you're after, you really can't go past the Netflix Daredevil series. After defeating Wilson Fisk at the close of the last series, ol' Horn-head has become the controversial savior of Hell's Kitchen, inspiring debate in the media and folk-hero status. Then mobsters start turning up dead, shot down with military precision. You don't need me to tell you that Frank Castle has started up his one-man war on the mob. 

The twin trailers for Season two made it look like it was split in half between The Punisher and Elektra/The Hand as the antagonists, but the story is more organic than that, with both arcs intertwining around Matt's struggle to maintain both halves of his life. I am a big fan of Thomas Jane as The Punisher, despite the flaws of the film, but I have to say that Jon Bernthal does just as good a job conveying Castle's determination, drive and deep-seated sorrow. The interplay between Daredevil and The Punisher makes for great drama, with both parties given legitimate reasoning behind their motivations and time to work towards their goals. The idea of just what vigilantism means in a world populated by gods, super soldiers and hulks is explored in detail, with input from the citizens on the streets of New York. Juxtapose this with the reveal of the mystical Hand and their techniques to stave off death and season two of Daredevil becomes a gem in the MCU crown. 

So where are we left when the credits roll on the season finale? Both Daredevil and The Punisher are set in motion to be the crimefighters the comics show them as, the Hand are a credible threat and I can see Cap coming calling soon to recruit old horn head for the Secret Avengers. I would have liked a bit more crossover with the films and/or Jessica Jones, but money and time are always factors and Daredevil still leaves CW and ABC efforts in the dust in terms of writing, production and character. There are rumours that Marvel is having Netflix bring more things in-house and I can't wait to see what's still to come.

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