[WARNING: Spoilers for Daredevil season two are featured below. If you have not yet watched Daredevil season two then please, open a new tab, go to Netflix for the next 13 hours and then come back here.]
It's been a week now since the second season of Daredevil graced television screens and streaming devices thanks to Marvel, ABC Studios and (of course) Netflix. And I think I can speak for all of us when I give a collective "thank you." As a fan of both Daredevil (I'm not afraid to admit that I even liked the Affleck shit storm for what it was at the time), the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what the Netflix shows have been accomplishing, I can honestly say that the new season lived up to every one of my high expectations.
New cast additions Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) and Elodie Yung (GI Joe: Retaliation) did a fantastic job bringing the characters of Frank "The Punisher" Castle and Elektra Natchios to life, respectively. While I loved the takes on The Punisher by Thomas Jane and Ray Stevens, I have to say that Bernthal probably has given us the definitive take who is every bit as ruthless and convicted while still having a small glimmer of sentiment in his grief.
While I would love to go on and on about the season, the incredible stairway fight, the ruthlessness of Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk and The Hand, it's the Punisher that brings us to the crux of this matter.
One of the greatest episodes of the season dealt with Daredevil chained to a rooftop while Frank gives him the rundown of his mission, explains why Matt's gentler, No-Kill policy is ineffective and gives him a life or death ultimatum. It's a fantastic look into the psyche of both characters and their respective views on vigilante justice. And you know what? They took it straight from the pages of one Frank's greatest comic book tales.
WELCOME BACK, FRANK
Back in 2000, Marvel Comics published the Welcome Back, Frank storyline in the pages of The Punisher comic series. It was written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Steve Dillon (whom you may also know as the artistic creators of DC/Vertigo's popular Preacher series). Among other things, it dealt with Frank going after Ma Gnucci and her crime family. It introduced a lot of characters that were featured in the Thomas Jane film, including Joan, Spacker Dave, Bumpo and The Russian.
It also showcased a dramatic scene (featured above) where Frank plans to take out Ma Gnucci's son with a high powered sniper rifle. Daredevil shows up to try and talk him out of it by explaining that killing isn't the answer. Long story short, there's a fight that Frank wins and when Daredevil wakes up he's chained to a post with a gun taped to his hand. The ultimatum is that he shoots Frank or else Frank is going to shoot Gnucci.
In the episode (which replaces Gnucci with Matt's turncoat new client, Grotto) Matt has the choose between killing Frank or letting Frank kill the criminal. The difference is that in the show, there's actually a bullet in the gun that Matt uses to break the chains that were keeping him bound. However, Frank succeeds in killing Grotto and we're immediately led into the high octane sequence that was the stairwell fight.
The comic, on the other hand, took a slightly different approach in that Matt actually breaks and attempts to shoot Frank. However, the gun was lacking a firing pin. It was test and proved a point. That killing needs to be left to Frank.
The differences in the scenes were just subtle enough to make both equally amazing for their own reasons. In the comic, Daredevil and Frank were well acquainted and the scene was emotional in that Daredevil was trying to save Frank from continuing to cross a line that had already been crossed too many times.
In the show, the two were meeting for the first time and trying to show each other why their way was the right way.
So what did you think of Daredevil: Season Two? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Were you a little disappointed that THAT scene with Elektra didn't involve THAT particular Irish assassin? Or did you recognize that it was likely a setup for them to instead feature him in the rather similar killing of that OTHER character? What did you think of Jon Bernthal's portrayal of Frank Castle? Does it make you hyped for the possibility of a Punisher spin-off series? Sound off in the comments section below and don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@ThisIsJamesT) for all things rant and ravey.