‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Review: Maybe We Just Let Netflix Do All The Comic Book Stuff?

Above: Daredevil season 2 has hit Netflix
Above: Daredevil season 2 has hit Netflix

Netflix has become the sweet spot for comic book fare and the recently released (and binged) second season of Marvel’s Daredevil confirms this.

Two-hours and change on the big screen often isn’t enough time to suss out full stories and give characters depth or enough intrigue to make you want to see them again (and again and again), while the televised takes of Arrow and The Flash are limited by their evening time slots. But Netflix, with its 48 minute episodes and lack of restrictions can make the violent, angry, dark worlds of these characters come to life without worrying about censors and it’s forays into the comic book realm have been home runs because of it.

Last year’s first season of Daredevil was excellent and Jessica Jones took things to another level when it dropped in late November. Over the weekend, Netflix rolled out the second season starring “The Man Without Fear” and while it wasn’t as forceful as the first, it was still wildly entertaining and presented various roads the show or the streaming platform could explore going forward.

In addition to the returning trio of Murdock, Nelson and Page, this season sees the arrival of Frank Castle/The Punisher and Elektra Natchios/Elektra, two characters with a long history with Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the comics who steal the show in Season 2.

Jon Bernthal (Glory, Wolf of Wall Street) shines as Castle, his rage and contempt for the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen staying at a rolling boil throughout the season. His low growl and constantly battered face keep your eyes on him at all times and you can’t help but understand his approach to dealing with the bad guys when you learn more about his back story and here him make his case.

And then there is Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), who arrives midway through the season in a reveal that still catches you off guard even if you know it’s coming and continues to be the best thing about the second season through its conclusion. Portraying a character that has been sullied in two films already (sorry Jennifer Garner), Yung injects her Elektra with ferocity and plays more to her being an assassin with zero remorse than a complicated love interest for Murdock.

The trio of established comic book characters reflect off each other and combine to present different solutions to the complex problem of crime in Hell’s Kitchen. Each believes their approach is the only approach and the tug of war Murdock/Daredevil finds himself in with both Castle and Elektra is central to this season.

This season has both individual arcs and a broader story that ties everything together, as well as laying the groundwork for future projects as well, with Jessica Jones’ Jeri Hogarth dropping in late and easy roads to go down with The Punisher and Elektra presenting themselves. You can also see where future seasons of Daredevil may go, though a third season has yet to be confirmed and might not be for some time.

Remember, Daredevil was supposed to get one season, followed by Jessica Jones, which would set the stage for Luke Cage, who was introduced in the former and whose solo series was teased at the end of this season with “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” and closed out by Iron Fist before the four came together for a season as The Defenders. With Iron Fist lagging behind and Daredevil doing so well initially, this second season got the green light and delivered, but it also establishes an exit point from focusing on Matt Murdock as well.

There are loose ends dangling off this season, but they don’t need to be tied up right away and that’s part of the joy of the Netflix model; Marvel can come and go with each character as they see fit without worrying about rushing another season of Daredevil to the screen for a fall premiere.

Daredevil Season 2 is excellent and continues to build on the strong Marvel foundation that has been built with Netflix, creating anticipation for November’s Luke Cage series and seeing the rest of the planned projects come together, more so than the company has been able to do with its feature franchises and television series.

Netflix is the right place for these stories to be told and so far, they’ve all been captivating.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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