Season 2 of Daredevil was just released, but hey – we’re already looking ahead to the next one! We’re all excited about Elektra and the Punisher making their debut, but where can the series go from here? We got some help from the Marvel Database and we’re taking a look at the biggest Daredevil villains that the series hasn’t used yet.
10. Black Tarantula
Black Tarantula would go on to become one of Daredevil’s closest allies and honestly began as more of an antagonist to Spider-Man. His early conflict with Daredevil is worth mentioning, though. Carlos LaMuerto is the latest in a long line of Black Tarantulas, as the mantle has been passed down from father to son for many generations. In addition to being an expert martial artist, he also has a superhuman physique and an accelerated healing factor. LaMuerto is an interesting character because of his great redemption arc. He comes to New York City as a killer, a thief, and a crimelord. By the time he meets Daredevil he’s become sort of a Robin Hood figure, stealing to give to the poor, but his methods are still a lot rougher around the edges than a traditional superhero. Carlos LaMuerto isn’t exactly a bad person, but he’s probably a more realistic reflection of what the average person would do with superpowers. He wants to be good, but he doesn’t feel the need to become a paragon of virtue and ethics.
I’m doing the obvious choice early for two reasons: 1) I want to get him out of the way, and 2) I am a slave to alphabetical order. Bullseye is arguably the single greatest Daredevil villain, with many people considering him to be Daredevil’s Joker. His ability is simple: Anything he can throw is a weapon to him, and he supposedly never misses. Bullseye is a sadistic killer-for-hire who murders people purely for the entertainment of watching life leave their body. His obsession with Daredevil has led him to murder several of Matt Murdock’s girlfriends. I feel like people are still a little apprehensive about Bullseye because the 2003 movie version left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. I would love to see the current Daredevil writing staff explore his deep psychological obsessions, though.
Look, I’m not gonna sit here and explain to you how Bushwacker is this tortured complicated soul with a lot of dramatic depth once you take a look. He’s a dude with a gun for an arm. I have always admired him because he knows he’s a dude with a gun for an arm, and he doesn’t have any great aspirations beyond that. He is happy, he knows he is beautiful, and he loves himself. I haven’t read any Bushwacker origin stories, and honestly, I’ve kind of avoided them because I’m worried an explanation will ruin the magic for me. Here is my reasoning for why Bushwacker — a man with a gun for an arm — should be on the next season of Netflix: Please. I deserve this. We all do. I have personally had a very rough year. We have all had a rough year. America has had a rough year. Put a man with a gun for an arm on television, and it will all feel worth it to me. Let me have this. I need it. Please.
Despite a later stint in the New Avengers, Echo began her career trying to kill Daredevil. Maya Lopez is an interesting mirror to Matt Murdock, having gained superpowers after losing her hearing instead of her sight. Her power lets her duplicate anything she sees someone else do, which has allowed her to become a concert pianist and a world-class martial artist. Maya had an interesting childhood: her father was an enforcer for the Kingpin until the Kingpin brutally murdered him. The Kingpin took care of her until she reached adulthood, then he told her that Daredevil was the man who killed her father and sent her out for revenge. Using the alias Echo, Maya came very close to killing Daredevil even as she fell in love with Matt Murdock in her civilian life.
We’ve already met the slightly unhinged costume designer Melvin Potter in Season 1, where he helped Daredevil make his red suit. Potter was introduced reluctantly working for the Kingpin until Daredevil won him over. In the comics, Melvin Potter is known for his super-villain alter ego Gladiator. In his earliest comic book appearance, he decided to become a criminal and built an armored costume complete with spinning buzz saws attached to his wrists. It is every bit as awesome as it is impractical, and that’s an underdog combination that will win my heart over every single time. The show alludes to Potter having some kind of mental problems, but in the comics, he’s known for full-on psychotic breaks. Gladiator always makes for great Daredevil stories because he brings out both sides of Matt Murdock. He’s a force of destruction that Murdock must deal with ruthlessly, but he’s also Matt’s close personal friend who needs care and understanding if he’s going to get better.
Kirigi was a short-lived but memorable part of Frank Miller’s classic Daredevil run, and also had an appearance in the terrible Elektra movie that nobody saw. He is a legendary ninja assassin considered almost impossible to kill because meditation allows him to shrug off anything other than a direct killing blow. Kirigi has worked for the Hand and been an opponent to Daredevil, Elektra, and the larger Chaste group. The best thing about villains like Kirigi (and it doesn’t have to be specifically Kirigi) is that he takes a shadowy organization like the Hand and puts a face on it. The Hand is great, but there’s a certain point where endless faceless ninjas lose their impact. Daredevil seems to cut through them like butter, and you know Random Ninja #5 isn’t gonna be the one to take him down. The Hand works best when they have big powerful members like Kirigi to pose a larger threat than the rank and file.
4. Mr. Fear
There have been several versions of Mister Fear, usually with the same gimmick. They are villains who use a gun that releases “fear gas,” paralyzing their enemies or victims while they commit crimes. The most classic version is probably Larry Cranston, an old law-school classmate of Matt Murdock who develops an obsession with Daredevil. In addition to mass-marketing a drug that makes people unafraid of death, Cranston has also shown the ability to control fear in others. Since fear is a primal instinct that governs most of our basic actions (i.e. the fear of death, the fear of losing everything, the fear of loneliness), he is able to make almost anyone do whatever he wants them to. This presents an interesting challenge for Daredevil, and it’s also an interesting parallel for the hero known as “The Man Without Fear.”
3. The Owl
The Owl has always been one of Daredevil’s weirder villains — a sadistic low-level crimelord with a hideous appearance. In a city ruled by the Kingpin, the Owl keeps his own businesses running by being completely ruthless. In the comics, traditionally the Owl is Leland Owlsley. We met Leland Owlsley as an associate of Kingpin last season, but after he suddenly dropped out of the cast, it seemed like we wouldn’t be getting our Owl after all. However, it has been mentioned that Leland has a son named Lee Owlsley, and it’s been confirmed that Lee might arrive to take up his father’s legacy in the show’s future.
Things have very rarely been personal between Daredevil and Tombstone. Tombstone is more of a punch-clock villain than the kind of guy who wants to write his name on the moon. Tombstone has always been a great Daredevil villain, though, simply because of the physical challenge he represents. At the end of the day, martial arts training and heightened senses aside, Matt Murdock is just a man. Tombstone is an unstoppable goliath, a monster with diamond-hard skin that you simply can’t take down with your fists. Hell, even the Punisher has a tough time taking him down.
1. Typhoid Mary
You gotta love Typhoid Mary, if only for the crazy-awesome fact that she has telekinesis and can set people on fire with her mind. I know we’re kind of establishing a trend here with Matt Murdock’s crazy ex-girlfriends (sorry, I know that’s a sexist term, but once again, she sets people on fire with her mind). Mary Walker was a prostitute who encountered Daredevil early in his career, and had her mutant (er… I mean… Inhuman) powers unlocked when Daredevil pushed her out a window. Mary suffers from dissociative identity disorder and has three distinct personalities: Mary, the sweet innocent pacifist; Typhoid, the adventurous thrill-seeker; and Blood Mary, the violent man-hating sadist. Typhoid Mary is famous in the comics for dating Daredevil with one personality while another personality was trying to kill him!
I didn’t include the insane string of early Daredevil villains on this list, and I feel like it would be wrong to not mention them at all. It’s easy to forget that Daredevil wasn’t always grim and gritty. Until Frank Miller got his paws on ol’ Hornhead, Daredevil was more of a light-hearted wisecracker in the spirit of Spider-Man. There are all sorts of great silly villains from those early years that we would probably never get if Daredevil was introduced the way we see him now. Jester, Leap-Frog, Man-Bull, Masked Marauder, Matador, and of course my homeboy Stilt-Man. Don’t get me wrong, I would absolutely love an episode where the current ultra-serious Daredevil has to fight a live-action version of Leap-Frog. I doubt we’ll be getting that anytime soon though.