‘Daredevil’ makes Marvel Studios look good

James Macias, Reporter

Daredevil is a marvel comics “O.G.” (Original Gangster). This term is commonly applied to unmitigated bad-asses who have been around since as long as anyone can remember.

The Netflix original series: “Marvel’s The Daredevil: Season 2,” is one of the best offerings ever to bare the sacred Marvel Studios name. The story threads, which, carry us through the 13 episodes, are all spot on accurate retellings of classic Marvel Comics canon.

The casting is well chosen and expertly presented. It all starts by adding The Punisher aka Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal known for his portrayal of “Shane” in the AMC original series “The Walking Dead”) to the list of characters who are taking form in this brave new Marvel Universe.

As one might expect, we find him brutally and remorselessly spreading the blood of criminals all over Hell’s Kitchen, which, of course, draws Daredevil into his life very quickly.

The question of whether or not killing is acceptable while in pursuit of the “greater good,” was a major theme last season, ultimately leading to Daredevil’s decision to “draw the line,” as it were, at murder. These two antagonists clash briefly and spectacularly like an immovable object and an unstoppable force. In the end, Daredevil ends up regaining consciousness chained to a roof at the mercies of Castle. They proceed into a truly profound debate about the meaning of everything in their lives.

They slowly work there way through the finer points of selfishness, selflessness, truth, justice, loss, war, cowardice, right, wrong, vengeance and the realities of life in Hell’s Kitchen.

The ensuing scene between Daredevil and Castle may be the very best fight ever choreographed.

There is action and acrobatics easily above and beyond season one, but there is also a deeply moving, character driven narrative that attempts to ask profound questions. There is a love story — or two — playing out between Electra and Daredevil while Mat Murdock and Karen Page start to get involved in a rollercoaster sort of love affair of their own. Neither relationship ends up well and no one lives happily ever after. The social and political commentary is ubiquitous yet subtle. You will discover layers of meaning stacking up in nearly every scene. Especially during: the trial of the Punisher. We finally get to the law firm (Nelson and Murdock) in action, doing their actual day job, for an entire trial, from jury selection to sentencing. Something that was tangibly missing from season one.

The Punisher is not the only new character nor does the season revolve solely around his thread. Electra is introduced, her canon beautifully presented and her thread proceeds to weave itself throughout the rest of the plot.

Electra is Daredevil’s long lost love but also his worst influence and a very naughty girl all rolled into one extremely lethal, sexy, ninja assassin package.

After she and Murdock fight a relentless army of ninjas, they discover that a seemingly dead villain from season one (Nobu) is inconceivably still alive. Convinced that he is the trouble that brought Electra to Hell’s Kitchen, so they decide to get together with Stick and fight their way to the heart of a Yakuza enclave hoping to find Nobu.

Meanwhile, Castle has been apprehended and is standing trial for his crimes, represented by Nelson and Murdock. The Murdock half of things is almost never available because he is so wrapped being Daredevil.

The trial is a media sensation with the court of public opinion generally in support of Castle, but in the end the jury hands down a guilty verdict and a heavy sentence is imposed.

Castle’s time in prison leads him to Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) who manipulates him into eliminating his competition by which I mean Castle is driven to murder the only other powerful person in the prison.

Now firmly in control of the institution, Kingpin locks Castle alone in the cellblock with the dead gang leader (whom he’s just killed) and the gangsters who were the dead man’s top dogs. Another fantastic fight scene ensues which will paint the walls with your brains and clog up all your drains I’m telling you: your screen will have blood stains.

This show had everything I look for in good television: fantastic, visually spectacular fight scenes in every episode; deeply compelling character-driven stories; subtle yet powerful and unmistakable social commentary; beautiful woman who kick ass and take names; and amazing cast.

One of the best things is that the entire season comes out at one time allowing a madman like myself to watch the entire season twice in less than 24 hours. (5/5 Stars)