I really love this show. When I discovered the Punisher was going to be featured I was super excited because there is very little I love more than a great antihero. I watched the entire season over the span of two days, I couldn’t put my screen down.  So anyway, here are some thoughts-

.I’m not that into daredevils new costume. A huge part of what makes this show so impressive is it’s utter lack of CGI, and the costume, which has a very unearthly look to it, kind of takes away from that. Sometimes when he’s busting out his ninja moves it LOOKS like animation, even though it isn’t, and just kind of takes from the coolness. Also, While on one hand I appreciate that it represents that he has accepted himself as the ‘devil’ and is slipping down a path of become more and more lenient in his morality, the beady black eyes and devils horns can kind of dehumanize him during his more tender or emotionally raw scenes.

The Punisher is an amazing character with amazing motives, moral grounds, and a thick, rich backstory. Daredevil has a wonderful way of making it’s villains very sympathetic, so bringing it Frank Castle was a genius move, seeing how well he compliments Murdock’s character. While there may be a lot of scum that gets very satisfyingly beat up over the course of the series, we can count on the big, end game, boss-level bad guys to be more complex. It is so much more engaging for the audience when the villain, like the hero, is  harder to pinpoint as being inherently “good” or “bad”. Both Fisk and Castle have seemingly pure, honest motives. The punisher though you really find yourself fighting for. Unlike Fisk, Castle doesn’t want to hurt anyone who doesn’t fit into his ideal world. He’s not as temperamental. He is a lost, grieving, ptsd suffering decorated war veteran who has decided he is going to weed out the bad guys. This is why he so perfectly aligns with Daredevil as a character, they have very similar goals and ideals. The only difference is that Castle thinks he is entitled to the right to kill people. To play judge, jury, and executioner. Murdock is the exact opposite of this, sometimes to the point where it’s just plain irritating. Fans of the comics know that Daredevil is one of the few Marvel heroes to kill his archrival, and when he does kill fisk he does it brutally, in public, everyone knowing who he is and what he has done and it changes that characters life forever. He unintentionally BECOMES the new kingpin, in a way. But for right now, we get to see him standing over Castle telling him that the only one who has a right to take lives is God. Daredevil has not suffered losses to the extinct that The Punisher has, and when he does he will start taking lives. Daredevils has chaotic control and the Punisher has controlled chaos.

I want to take a minute to discuss Karen, and how much she has really come into her own. What makes a Female character “strongly written” is not her ability to fight, her snappy comments and ferocious attitude, her masculine traits, or -and really try to get this through your head, Marvel- her sex appeal. It is a character that it well rounded, well written, given the same thought and complexity as male characters, and is not just designed for the admiration of the male characters/audience. Que Karen Page. She is determined, she is prideful, she is stubborn, she has interesting and deep run motives and a full and intriguing backstory that isn’t about a man who broke her heart or girlhate. She is curious. And now we have seen her outgrow nelson and murdock and become a journalist. She’s receiving well-deserved respect. She can be this independent character and can still be feminine, and can still have a story thread about her relationship with Matt without that relationship taking over her arc. There need to be more characters like this out there, which is exactly why I am choosing NOT to talk about Electra, who is, in short, a trope.

On a final note, I am still deeply impressed by the practical effects, stunting, and prosthetic makeup being done on the show. There is a scene towards the end of the season where the Punisher is locked in with a bunch of convicts who are out for his blood, which results in this total bloodbath. And I was watching this and thinking “I aspire to be this good and this.” If you do any of the above or would like to, Daredevil is a great show to be watching.

 

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