If, by now, you haven’t finished Daredevil’s season 2 in one eye-burning run over the weekend then stop reading. These Easter eggs will contain spoilers. These are the best or most interesting references in the second season - everything from teasers for the future and other shows, to interesting nods to the original comic worlds of both Matt Murdock’s Daredevil and The Punisher, Frank Castle.
1. The Dogs of Hell
This motorcycle gang help open up the first episode of Daredevil but it’s not their first rodeo. Rather than any comic book heritage, though, they first appeared in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D helping out the Asgardian Lorelei. Their role’s expanded here though with repeated appearances as one of the gangs targeted by The Punisher.
2. James Bond
Quick one here: when Matt Murdock breaks into The Punisher's hideout, one of the crates is labelled ‘007’. Sure, it could be a coincidence but everyone knows what those numbers mean. I guess in this world there’s a mangled up body in a tux being flown back to M.
3. DA Samantha Reyes
Reyes appeared briefly in a scene in the final Jessica Jones episode alongside the lawyer Jeri Hogarth. While she was only on-screen for a little while, it established her Marvel role as a District Attorney with a very dim view of superheroes.
4. Max the Dog
The Punisher actually had a dog (called Max) in the comics that was also rescued from a life of fighting, but trained not to bark, unlike the TV version. In the original story, Max chased down and killed the criminals that murdered his master, instantly making him The Punisher’s kind of dog. The comic book Punisher and Max had a strong bond, reflected in Daredevil when threats against the dog break Frank in a way that his own torture hadn't. The original comic had The Punisher put down a badly wounded Max, but public outcry saw that retconned to an operation to save him.
Image credit: Marvel.
When Assistant DA Blake Tower is briefing Foggy about a new ultra violent criminal he mentions a codename, causing Foggy to joke about it being ‘Killdozer’ before ‘The Punisher’ is revealed. ‘Killdozer’ is actually a very minor ‘90s Marvel character who fought Falcon as part of the team Iron Trinity, which also included the characters Heavy Metal Jacket and Steel-Fist. There's also a murderous bulldozer possessed by an alien with the same name but let’s not talk about him.
6 The Roof Scene
Image credit: Marvel.
Episode 3 takes place with Daredevil chained to a chimney and a gun taped to his hand, being lectured by The Punisher about shooting criminals. This entire setup is almost a direct lift from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s 2001 The Punisher comic “The Choice”. It even takes some of the dialogue wholesale, such as when Daredevil asks what kind of choice is it to shoot a criminal dead, and The Punisher replies, “The one I make every time I pull the trigger.”
7. The Original Origin Story
While The Punisher has Daredevil tied up, the noise attracts an old man to the roof to see what’s going on. It turns out he’s a former marine who served in Vietnam. That was Frank Castle’s original back story before being updated to the more recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
8. Are You a Gladiator?
We already know Matt's tailor, Melvin Potter is, at least in the comics, the alter ego of a semi-villain called The Gladiator. It’s been hinted at heavily since the start of Daredevil with a poster on his wall and constant references to his signature buzzsaw weapons. While we've yet to see the character appear on the screen, when he shows Daredevil the armour he’s wearing under his shirt in season 2 it’s baring the Gladiator’s logo.
We've already seen the legs of the Stilt-Man armour in season 1, but in season 2 there’s now a torso as well. In the Daredevil comics he was a character called Wilbur Day who created a suit of battle armour with telescopic legs to rob tall buildings. Because what easier way could there be to do that?
10. Finn Cooley
In the Daredevil universe Finn Cooley was a former IRA bomber who blew the top half of his face off with a botched blast, leaving him with a skull-like look. While the TV version doesn't start with that, the gratuitous shot of The Punisher shooting his features off with a shotgun seems to reference the original character’s disfigurement.
11. The Battle Van
In the original Punisher comics Frank Castle managed his one man vendetta from a high tech van kitted out for the murderous vigilante on the move. This slightly less impressive camper is a nod to those original wheels.
The New York Bulletin’s walls are littered with Easter eggs thanks to its framed front pages referencing varied events in the Marvel universe. Most of them were there in season 1, but a corridor scene between Karen Page and Mitchell Ellison gives us an extended look at a “Cybertek Settles” headline. Cybertek created Deathlok and it’s another Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D reference.
13. Blake Tower
When Tower first arrives he’s shadowed by his boss Samantha Reyes. However, he later takes on a more active role and is worth mentioning because he’s a prominent character in Luke Cage and Iron Fist’s universes - both upcoming Netflix shows.
14. Roxxon Energy Corporation
After the Dogs of Hell and Cybertek, the Roxxon Energy Corporation infiltrated by Elektra and Daredevil makes for a third Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D reference; although the organisation has also appeared in Agent Carter and Iron Man.
15. Mr Magoo
At one point Elektra says “not bad, Magoo” to Matt after he uses his powers to sense some patrolling guards. It’s a reference to blind cartoon character Mr Magoo, and is usually Spider-Man’s nickname for Daredevil. Because Peter Parker knows Matt’s secret identity, and hence his disability - it's a hilarious in-joke.
16. Benjamin Donovan
Wilson Fisk’s lawyer Benjamin Donovan is another Luke Cage character making an appearance in Daredevil. In the comic books he’s a giant of a man, capable of taking on Daredevil in a fight, but here he’s only got his distinctive white-streaked hair.
17. Cell Block D
It’s worth noting that both The Punisher and Kingpin are housed in Cell Block D. It’s not a comic reference, but Cell Block D is where Alcatraz housed its worst inmates.
18. Born Again
When Kingpin beats Matt Murdock’s head on the table and promises to destroy him and anyone he cares about, it’s a reference to Born Again, a comic plot line where he does just that (leaving Matt homeless and more or less insane). There’s also a policeman called Nick Manolis briefly mentioned who plays an important part in that arc.
19. Jeri Hogarth
You’ll recognise Hogarth as Jessica Jones’ stern lawyer friend. Her recruitment of Foggy suggests he might be making a jump to other Netflix shows seeing as Hogarth’s law firm has links to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
20. Nobu is Basically Kirigi
While Nobu doesn't seem to be a Daredevil character called Kirigi (yet), he’s basically taken on that role. His resurrection after dying in season 1, use of the Kyoketsu shoge (knife on a chain), and eventual decapitation are all things that happened to Kirigi in the original comics.
When we see Frank packing up and getting ready to leave at the end of season 2 he removes a CD with ‘MICRO’ written on it. That references Microchip, The Punisher’s tech building former ally turned enemy.
22. Electra’s Costume
When Electra is laid to rest in what I'm assuming is the ‘make people not dead’ urn, her burial gown is the closest she’s got to wearing her classic red outfit from the comic books.
23. IT’S A WARZONE!
Image credit: Marvel.
There are at least two mentions of The Punisher’s killing spree turning the city into ‘a Warzone’, referencing one of the character’s more famous ‘90s comic runs.