With the recent news that The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal is joining the second season of Marvel’s Netflix hit Daredevil as iconic antihero The Punisher, speculation as to his role in the series has been unrelenting. Now word comes from within Marvel that Daredevil‘s second season is being described by showrunner Marco Ramirez as “Daredevil vs. the Punisher.” Nerdist first reported the news.
During Daredevil‘s first season, the main story arc was the struggle of Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to stick to his vow never to kill. As The Punisher is, basically, a serial killer who targets criminals, his methods serve as a logical counterpoint to Daredevil’s more rigid moral compass. That said, word is that this is a more philosophical disagreement, rather than positioning The Punisher as Season 2’s villain. Season 1 ended with [spoiler] Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk (aka The Kingpin) arrested, and his criminal empire disbanded. That leaves a power vacuum in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Hell’s Kitchen, fertile ground for a vigilante killing spree.
Meanwhile, rumors over the last month hold that Season 2 will also feature Daredevil love-interest Elektra, and his arch nemesis Bullseye. Cue groundless speculation, but readers of the comics will know full well the tragic circumstances those characters bring into Matt Murdock’s life; it’s a safe bet then that ultimately, Daredevil and the Punisher will team up against Bullseye by season’s end.
First introduced on the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 1974, The Punisher is the alter ego of Frank Castle, a war vet whose family was killed by organized criminals. He wages a one-man war against crime that includes murder, torture, kidnapping, and so on, and his lack of boundaries often brings him into conflict with Marvel’s more ethical heroes, especially Spider-Man and Daredevil. The character was among the earliest example of mainstream American comics flirting with greater violence and moral ambiguity in a medium that had, since the early 50s, been held to a strict content code.
Marvel’s Daredevil is executive produced by Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, pilot writer Drew Goddard, and Jeph Loeb for Marvel Television and ABC Studios. Daredevil Season 2 is planned for 2016. Daredevil is the first of Marvel’s so-called Netflix Cinematic Universe, which includes the upcoming shows Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, as well as a Defenders miniseries bringing the four characters together ala The Avengers.