Marvel’s Man Without Fear returns for another season of street level heroics.
It barely feels like a year since Daredevil was last on our screens and the show returns in confident, assured style. The episode makes great use of Matt’s enhanced hearing, straight away we see him on the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen, listening, waiting to strike. As he chases down some diamond thieves, the show teases the hero and his skills effectively, that wry smile as he watches the final crook get put away is both confident and oddly chilling.
The suit will continue to divide fans but as he comments on how uncomfortable it is I wouldn’t be surprised to see it evolve as the show progresses. It’s effective in the dark, hiding some of that bulkiness in the armour. The way light reflects off the eye pieces gives the mask a unique quality, the impression of Murdock’s eyes, blind but seeing.
The episode quickly sets the groundwork for the season. Since season one’s climax it looks like the law firm of Murdock and Nelson is on the up and up but they’re still broke. That sexual tension between Karen and Matt is back. Foggy seems okay with it. The ensemble just as engaging and, in their own way, as capable as the hero. Each get their moment; Foggy going one to one with a biker and Karen especially gets to shine in the hospital. The show keeps a keen sense of humour among the darkness, something the Marvel Cinematic Universe does well at.
We’re in a heatwave. Hell’s Kitchen is literally hotting up. Subtle? No. But then that’s not the Punisher’s style either. The Irish are looking to fill the void left by the Kingpin, that is until they are gunned down by the gun toting vigilante. More power fantasy than hero, the Punisher is one of Marvel’s most popular killers, yet to be served effectively on screen. Here Frank Castle is a villain but the show has never been afraid to paint it’s characters in shades of grey. He is teased throughout, the camera not shying away from (that pull back through a bullet wound was grim) the bloody wake he leaves. Trailers have already told us he won’t be the only threat Matt will face this season so action fans have a lot to look forward to.
The show isn’t afraid to pose tough questions however and character remains front and centre. The gunrunner knows he will be out by the end of the month and Matt promises he will be waiting for him. It’s a fight Matt will keep fighting but the Punisher is determined to finish. What if a criminal wants to turn good? Matt is prepared to give second chances. The Punisher? Not so much. We don’t actually get to see Frank Castle until the climax of the episode. He is cold, efficient, neatly revealed.
The production team do a god job of making the fights clear and easy to follow, especially when so much takes place in shadow. Brutal and raw are words that will likely be used throughout these reviews. And what a way to finish the episode! Don’t worry though, the joy of Netflix is you don’t have to wait until next week to find out what happens next…
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