The second season of Daredevil has been available for streaming on Netflix for a few weeks now, and the reviews have been largely positive. Indeed, the growing Netflix branch of the Marvel entertainment empire is starting to look unstoppable. But that’s not just because shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones have been successful. It’s also because Marvel has done a wonderful job of introducing side characters with the potential to be expanded upon in later shows.
The clearest case of this sort of character introduction was the presence of Luke Cage as a supporting character in the Jessica Jones show, when fans were already aware that a whole Luke Cage-based series was (and still is) on the way. But with the new season of Daredevil, Marvel has also introduced two characters that fans have been dying to see, and who will certainly factor into future series, whether or not they get their own franchises. Those characters are The Punisher and Elektra.
Of those two, The Punisher is probably the fan favorite. But Elektra is the more important character for the MCU given that she immediately became one of the most prominent female heroes we’ve seen on TV or in film. And happily enough for all involved, Marvel and Netflix knocked it out of the park with this new take on the character, played by Elodie Yung. Below are three (spoiler-free) reasons Elektra is a huge hit.
1. She’s A Genuine Mystery
Too often, Elektra is explained away by even the most well-versed comic fans as Daredevil’s ex-girlfriend who also happens to be good at fighting crime. But how boring is that? Daredevil is a show that thrives largely thanks to the depth of its characters. Yes, those characters can get a little talky sometimes over the course of superhero sagas stretched into TV seasons, but we also get a lot more development and history than we tend to see in two-hour movies. An explanation as simple as “crime-fighting ex” would have been excruciatingly out of place. Fortunately, we get much more, to the point that Elektra’s own motives and purpose are among the most compelling mysteries of the season. In one interview, Yung herself explained in one interview that her Elektra is a sociopath who views the world as a chess game – and what motivates her is what she wants. A lot of the fun of getting to know
this character is figuring out exactly what that means.
2. She Holds Her Own
Obviously Elektra is going to be able to win a fight or two, or there’s no point putting her in the show. But those who know the character know that she’s not just some sexy potential love interest who can throw a punch. She’s a bona fide badass in her own right, every bit as deadly as Daredevil. This site’s Elektra-themed slot machine game might actually describe her best, calling her “an intimidating presence that can send even the bravest of men cowering into a corner.” That may come from a Marvel-branded casino game on a page full of pop culture-based jackpots, but it reads like a review of the Elektra we see in Daredevil’s second season. And believe me, that’s a good thing.
3. Yung Was A Gamble
It may seem as if the Netflix/Marvel collaborations have taken a few gambles on prominent roles, but the truth is that they’ve done a very good job of finding B-list actors who are popular, but not necessarily mainstream in Hollywood. There’s a certain brilliance in that, but also a certain level of safety. For instance, droves of Law & Order fans already loved Vincent D’Onofrio, who earned rave reviews for his depiction of Wilson Fisk in Daredevil’s first season; Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil, is known from Boardwalk Empire and The Theory Of Everything; and Krysten Ritter, who starred as Jessica Jones, earned fame for her brief but impactful role in Breaking Bad. Elodie Yung, by contrast, was pretty much a total gamble, as she’d had only minor supporting roles before this one. Fans can appreciate a brand new face when it works out, and in this case it absolutely did.