The second season of Daredevil begins March 18th on Netflix. Last season introduced millions to the conflicted superhero Matt Murdock and his quest to clean the streets of Hell’s Kitchen with his own unique brand of vigilantism. Many praised Daredevil for its top-notch action sequences and nuanced take on Murdock and his arch-nemesis Wilson Fisk, both of which helped separate the Netflix series from just about every other superhero show on television. With the start of the new season, Daredevil promises to introduce new threats and a few major additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To help readers get pumped for the new season of Daredevil, here’s a primer recapping last season and outlining what we know about the new episodes.
[WARNING: This article will contain spoilers for the first season of Daredevil and some light spoilers for the upcoming season…although we won’t spoil anything that wasn’t already covered in the trailers and/or promotional interviews for the show.]
The Rise of a Hero
The first season was ostensibly a thirteen-episode origin story for Matt Murdock and his transformation into Daredevil. While Murdock was kicking ass and taking names starting with the first episode, it took him an entire season to finally don his traditional costume. Last season followed Murdock’s quest to topple Wilson Fisk, a reclusive millionaire leading a cabal of underworld factions to “cleanse” Hell’s Kitchen via a very complicated real estate scheme. After discovering Fisk’s identity while protecting his client/future secretary Karen Page, Murdock uncovered that the shadow-y Kingpin was the mastermind behind an expansive drug operation that fueled much of the police and political corruption in the city. When Murdock attacked the operation head on, it triggered a chain effect that caused the Kingpin’s whole operation to collapse and left Fisk rotting in jail.
Partners in Justice
Joining Murdock in his quest to clean up Hell’s Kitchen are his partner Foggy Nelson and his secretary Karen Page. Nelson and Murdock met in law school and stayed friends when interning at a big New York City law firm. Unimpressed with the rich corporations their firm represented, Murdock and Nelson quit the firm and started their own practice in their shared childhood home of Hell’s Kitchen. Their first client was Karen Page, who had been framed for murder by Fisk’s organization after she inadvertently uncovered evidence of embezzlement at a local construction company that she was working for. After the pair proved Page’s innocence (and Daredevil protected her from several assassination attempts), Page became Nelson and Murdock’s secretary and the driving force behind their ongoing investigation of Fisk.
Of course, the law firm of Nelson & Murdock experienced plenty of internal drama last season. Foggy learned of Matt’s secret life last season, which drove a wedge between the pair. Matt and Foggy eventually reconciled, although Karen remains unaware that Matt is the vigilante who’s saved her several times. Karen, for her part, grew closer to both Foggy and Matt, although it seems she’s only really interested in Matt on a romantic level.
Murdock also made several allies while operating as Daredevil. He met local nurse Claire Temple after she saved him from a near death experience early in the season. Claire helped stitch Murdock up several times and had a mutual attraction to the vigilante, but she broke away from him when Fisk’s men kidnapped her and nearly killed her. Daredevil also befriended Melvin Potter, a local man who designed several protective suits for Wilson Fisk. Daredevil convinced Potter to design him a protective suit to help fight Fisk and level the playing field in hand to hand combat. Potter returned with a suit resembling Daredevil’s classic comics costume, which provided the vigilante with a level of protection against bullets and knives.
Chaos in Hell's Kitchen
This season opens with a dangerous power vacuum emerging in Hell’s Kitchen. Daredevil’s ousting of the Kingpin destabilized neighborhood’s entire criminal element, leaving several gangs to vie for the now unclaimed territory. The vacuum has also attracted a second vigilante to Hell’s Kitchen: a highly trained, heavily armed vigilante named the Punisher. The Punisher is one of Marvel’s most popular anti-heroes, an unrelenting force doling out deadly justice to anyone he deems guilty. It’s unclear whether the Punisher entered Hell’s Kitchen to emulate Daredevil’s successful brand of justice, or whether his appearance in the neighborhood is just a deadly coincidence. What we do know is that this season will explore the contrasts between Daredevil and Punisher’s similarly violent actions, and whether the Punisher represents Daredevil’s inevitable future.
A New Player Emerges
The Punisher isn’t the only new comic book character appearing in Daredevil this season. Matt Murdock’s famous ex-lover Elektra will also make her first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance on the show. In the comics, Elektra is a deadly assassin with acrobatic and fighting skills equal to Daredevil, but without the vigilante’s rules about not killing. Although details about Elektra have been scant, actress Elodie Yung has teased that her version of the famous Marvel character is darker than Jennifer Garner’s derided take on the character. Unlike the Punisher, who sees the world in a stark black and white, Elektra's morally grey worldview will challenge Daredevil in an entirely different way.
The Rise of the Hand
One of Wilson Fisk’s chief backers last season was a Japanese businessman named Nobu, who represented an unknown criminal organization smuggling weapons and supplies across Japan. Fans were shocked when Nobu donned a ninja outfit to fight Daredevil in an abandoned warehouse, as it signaled he was part of the Hand, a famous group of ninja from Daredevil lore. The Hand have a history with both Daredevil and Elektra, as both have fought for and against the mysterious group of occult ninja over the years. Daredevil’s mentor Stick has spent much of his life fighting the Hand in the comics, and even led Matt on a mission last season to stop the group from smuggling a dangerous child code named “Black Sky” into New York.
Trailers for Season 2 confirm that the Hand will return to New York City, although their mission in the city is still unclear.
It's All Connected
With plans of a Defenders miniseries in the not too distant horizon, expect Daredevil to continue building up the idea of an interconnected universe. Claire Temple appeared on Jessica Jones last year, helping the superpowered detective and Luke Cage during a critical juncture in their fight against Kilgrave, and she’s scheduled to play a role in Cage’s own solo series this fall. While Jones won’t appear on Daredevil, we may see one or more references to the detective or her friend Trish Walker, who hosts a popular radio program that airs in New York. Don’t be surprised if Daredevil continues to tease the other upcoming Netflix series in some way, either via an Easter egg or small cameo.