Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page has become an increasingly important figure in the Marvel/Netflix world. Introduced as the secretary for Nelson & Murdock back in Daredevil Season 1, the character's become an intrepid investigative journalist who plays a crucial role in uncovering the darkest conspiracies of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Season 2 of Daredevil built up a strong dynamic between Karen and Jon Bernthal's Punisher. She acted as Frank Castle's conscience, challenging his assumptions and encouraging him to work through his grief and rage. The Punisher will see Castle seek Karen out as a friend and ally, and Woll is delighted to continue building their relationship. Speaking in an official release at the #Netflix Media Center, she reflected:
"I have such affection for Jon and I was really sad when Daredevil season two ended because I didn’t think I’d get to do Karen and Frank again,” she says. “I really mourned the loss of that. So it was exciting when they said we could come back and continue this and we could push it even further and leave room for anything. Jon is so thoughtful and he always wants everything to be as good as it possibly can be."
Challenging The Punisher
Woll has seen her character develop from the classic "damsel-in-distress" trope familiar to comic book readers. Karen's own background means that she can understand the Punisher's methods; after all, she's killed in self-defense herself, an act that's clearly scarred her. As a result, in Daredevil Season 2 we saw Karen learn to understand the Punisher as more than just a monster, or some kind of "force of nature."
It sounds as though Karen's career as a journalist will play a crucial role in The Punisher. Woll noted that she's one of the very few people who knows Castle is still alive, and as a journalist Karen is working to encourage the public to view the Punisher through more a complex lens. It's easy to over-simplify the Punisher, to view him as "good" or "evil," rather than accept the complicated reality that he's a human in pain.
The relationship between Karen and Frank sounds likely to be a major part of The Punisher, with Karen's belief in Castle helping to humanize him to viewers. The series will surely see Frank transition from a vigilante seeking revenge, to a one-man war machine who launches a universal attack on crime. In this context, Woll notes, Karen asks him some really difficult questions: "At what point are you done? When do you get to just breathe again and be a person and no longer a revenge-driven, killing machine?"
It's going to be interesting to see how Karen's life is working out without Matt Murdock in it. In the aftermath of The Defenders, she believes Daredevil is dead. Now, with the Devil of Hell's Kitchen no longer in play to act as a counter to Frank Castle's worst impulses, it falls on Karen to be the one who challenges him. Woll has proved herself a tremendous actress, and has absolutely shone as a major supporting character in three #Marvel/Netflix series so far. It's great to see her remain a part of the Punisher's world!