Matt Murdock defended Hell’s Kitchen on his own in Daredevil Season 1, but when Season 2 arrives next year, he’ll be facing deadly competition. It was announced last week that Fury’s Jon Bernthal will be playing Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, who is determined to take down crime “by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results.” These two have clashed many times in the comics, but when Punisher makes his MCU debut, it may result in a change for the crimson-clad crimefighter.
Rosario Dawson, who will be reprising Claire Temple, a.k.a. Night Nurse, in next season, told MTV that because Daredevil’s behavior was similar to Punisher in the first season, she’s interested to see how the skull-emblazoned killer will affect the blind counselor. She said:
That’s going to raise the stakes so much more, because Matt Murdock almost behaves like the Punisher in the first season. [Matt] crosses the line quite often, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how they differentiate them and where that goes.
Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb previously said in Bernthal’s casting announcement that Punisher’s appearance will bring “dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock,” so Dawson’s comment isn’t too surprising. The main dynamic between these two will most likely focus on their different crime fighting methods. With the exception of the ninja Nobu, Matt maintained a no-kill rule during Season 1, leaving his enemies battered, but still alive. Granted, he felt the temptation many times, but his moral code and religious upbringing helped him resist going down a darker path, even though he’s already treading a fine line moonlighting as a vigilante in addition to serving as a lawyer by day. As for Punisher, after his family was murdered, he’s dedicated his life to snuffing out any person who has committed evil. End of story.
When Punisher arrives in Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil will obviously take issue with how the new guy is dealing with criminal scum, but if Frank Castle starts delivering better results, Matt may start questioning whether he’s handling his mission of justice the right way. Whether we see Matt changing his ways or sticking to his principles, at least we know Claire will be around to patch Matt up after he tussles with Frank for the first time. As Daredevil he’s fought a lot of tough guys, including Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, but something tells me the battle with Punisher will produce some especially devastating injuries.
Daredevil Season 2 will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2016; meanwhile we’ll likely learn more about what Punisher’s role in the series will be in the coming months.