The Netflix Marvel Shows have been having a tough time lately. They started out great, with DD season 1, season 2, and Jessica Jones season 1 all fantastic. Then Luke Cage happened. The first half was great, in fact, it was some of the best stuff from the series of shows. But due to a misguided twist and a change in villains, the show fell apart. And then Iron Fist happened, which just, yikes. The Defenders was okay, but I could not finish JJ season 2, or LC season 2, and didnt even bother with IF season 2. Not to mention that now IF and LC have both been canceled.
But DD season 3 offered hope. Vincent D’Onfrio was back to play Fisk. He played a small role in season 2, but his overall presence was missed. He really was what made season 1 work so well. He was perfect as Kingpin. He was brutal, imposing, yet also captivating.
And he delivered again in season 3. But not just him, almost everyone. Matt Murdock was more interesting than ever. He was a little boring in the first two seasons. But in this season he had this rich arc about struggling with his morality and his faith.
Foggy was interesting again as well. I hated Foggy in season 2, even including him in my list of most annoying tv characters. But this season, he wasn’t the whiny friend being a stick in a mud, but instead, a full character, battling his own obstacles, with his own arc that doesn’t revolve around complaining about Matt.
But what really made the season great, was the new characters, mostly Nadeem, and Bullseye. I do not think Nadeem is a comic book character, or at least not an important one, but his addition grounded the story. And Bullseye was the secondary villain that put the show over the top. Rebranding Bullseye as this deeply disturbed was genius. He isn’t as comical as he is in many of the comic runs. He is much more menacing, with a better motivation. Seeing Fisk break him, and then use him to further his own goals, was both disturbing, yet also impossible to look away from.
For the first time in a while, I found it hard to stop watching one of these shows. I went from episode to episode, not wanting to take a break. Everything worked. It was brutal when it had to be, fun when it had to be, and serious when it had to be.
Fisk was still the best part of the show, but even when he was not on screen, I still couldn’t look away. In season 2, I really only cared about the scenes with The Punisher. When they were focusing on the Hand storyline or Elektra, I was bored.
Unfortunately, the Netflix Marvel shows seem to be in danger. Two of the five have been canceled.