TV Review: Marvel's Daredevil - Season 2 Episode 1 "Bang"

Missed an episode? Check out all prior reviews of Marvel's Daredevil here.

EPISODE 1: "Bang"

SYNOPSIS: Hell's Kitchen has calmed, but it's not out of the fire yet. When an unknown vigilante begins to take the fight to the streets in a big and bloody way, Matt Murdock must don the mask of Daredevil to stop him before innocent people end up in the crossfire. A battle of full measure versus half, a conflict of morality and justice, Daredevil vs The Punisher.

REVIEW: When Daredevil debuted last year, I was beyond surprised at how effective the show would be. Taking a much darker and grittier turn than the big screen Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daredevil showed the world that Marvel could up the ante by giving us a take on the iconic Man Without Fear that more than made up for the lackluster film version starring Ben Affleck. With season two, Netflix and Marvel are going to try and catch lightning again, this time with another maligned big screen Marvel hero: The Punisher. I am happy to say that with this first episode, The Punisher certainly makes one hell of a debut.

Picking up some time after Wilson Fisk's incarceration at the end of season one, this story drops us right into the middle of Matt Murdock's costumed crime-fighting career. There has been a void left in Hell's Kitchen thanks to Daredevil and there are several candidates willing to step up and take his place. First and foremost are the Irish Mafia who plan their return to prominence only to be cut down in glorious and gory fashion. For as much as the first season bordered between PG-13 and R, this premiere hour delivers on the blood and gaping wounds. The language may be a bit watered down, but you could rank the bullet damage right up there with DEADPOOL. For those worried that this would be a sanitized take on Frank Castle, you should be able to relax.

For all intents and purposes, this episode feels more like an introduction to The Punisher than the start of a new Daredevil story. Yes, we have the requisite bonding between Foggy and Matt over his dangerous alter ego. Yeah, there is renewed flirting between Karen and Matt. We get to see the thriving law firm of Nelson and Murdock who are flat broke but swimming in baked goods as payment. Hell's Kitchen is undergoing a heat wave and everyone is on the brink. Like classic New York stories DOG DAY AFTERNOON and SUMMER OF SAM, this season of Daredevil looks poised to show us a city on the edge. Leave it to two polar opposite characters to face off and potentially bring everything crashing down.

Matt Murdock is a fully fleshed out character from last season but is not given too much to do this hour. That is not necessarily a bad thing as it feels like we have not missed a beat since leaving these characters last year, but I was preparing myself for a flashier introduction to this storyline. In the first half hour, we do get to see Matt in his Daredevil costume multiple times as he fights bad guys and defends the innocent. The costume, a point of contention for many from season one, looks good in action. The way the light glints off of the cowl's lenses adds to the aura of the character. Reserved for his showdown with Wilson Fisk last year, the costume barely saw much screentime but already feels like a storied and vital part of the character.

But what this episode seems to be lacking becomes apparent by episode's end. In the first season, the shadow of the Kingpin was felt across Hell's Kitchen. With a power vacuum in place, who is there for Daredevil to fight aside from low level thugs and criminals? The appearance of this menacing Punisher gives us a boogeyman and a worthy foe for our hero. The Punisher has always been an anti-hero, but a good guy nonetheless. In this MCU debut, Frank Castle is an unstoppable killing machine likened to a one man army. Even when we finally see him, he lurks and moves like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees. He is a shadow and a menace and one hell of an opponent. The closing seconds of this episode tease one explosive season.

From the trailers, we know that while The Punisher is a major element of the plot, we will soon see a resurgent Yakuza and the eventual debut of Elektra. All together, it is tough to picture this season beyond this first episode which presents very specific stakes and sets the table for two Marvel icons to face off. For everyone excited to see Batman fight Superman, Marvel has found their answer and it isn't CIVIL WAR. Daredevil versus The Punisher promises to be a battle of epic proportions. Hold on to your remotes, this is going to be intense.

MARVEL UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Characters Grotto and Nesbitt are recurring low level criminals in the pages of Punisher and Daredevil.



NEXT ON DAREDEVIL: Reviews of the rest of Season Two will be posted each day starting tomorrow.

Source: JoBlo.com



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