daredevil season 3 storyline

Spoilers for the end of The Defenders follow.

Matt Murdock will likely be the one who walks out the most changed from The Defenders miniseries that just dropped on Netflix this weekend. The climactic team-up series revolved around the Hand, a common foe for Matt since the first season of Daredevil, and Elektra, his tragic, star-crossed killer ex.

So how will Matt Murdock come out of Defenders into Daredevil season 3, set to hit Netflix in 2018? Not great, if star Charlie Cox‘s hints at the third season’s storylines come to fruition.

The final shot of The Defenders slowly panned on Matt’s broken and bandaged body under the care of nuns. It was an image that echoed a panel from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil “Born Again” arc  — hinting at what the third season of Daredevil would entail.

daredevil born again defenders

Now star Charlie Cox is joining in on the “Born Again” hints, telling The Hollywood Reporter cryptically, “That’s such an amazing story. Everyone who loves Daredevil loves Born Again.

Cox responded to THR’s question about whether Daredevil season 3 would adapt the Man Without Fear’s most famous comic book arc, with:

“You can’t not. And if that’s the case, then the implications of that would be very exciting to me. That would be great.”

The important question, however, is whether this will be a straight adaptation of the 1986 series, because many of Miller’s stories — though famous and ground-breaking at the time — have not aged well, particularly in their treatment of female characters. Cox seems to be of the opinion that Daredevil season 3 will only adapt elements from Born Again, rather than the full story:

“Having said that, I know we don’t tend to follow any story blueprints too closely, because if you do, then you become a foregone conclusion. There may be elements from Born Again, but I’m sure there will be elements that are unfamiliar and surprising and different in order for the show to be compelling to fans who know the comics very well. If we start making Born Again page-for-page, then the people who have read it and loved it — the hardcore fans — they won’t have too much drama.”

For those unfamiliar with the story, “Born Again” is kicked off after a heroin-addicted porn actress Karen Page (yeah you read that right) becomes desperate for a fix and sells Daredevil’s secret identity to her dealer. The secret makes its way to Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin, who does everything to effectively destroy Matt’s life — freezing his bank accounts, foreclosing his home, getting him disbarred from practicing law. Matt is driven to paranoia and insanity until he’s saved by Sister Maggie, who turns out to be his mother, Maggie Murdock. Meanwhile, Ben Urich investigates his friend’s misfortunes and finds that it all leads to Kingpin.

The heroin-addicted porn-actress Karen Page is the part that is very Frank Miller and that the series will likely nix, especially considering Deborah Woll‘s fantastic job at making Karen a likable and strong character (though the writing for her in Defenders was pretty horrendous). The fact that Ben Urich is also out of the picture, now essentially replaced by Page herself, also indicates that she will be treated better than she has in the comics — and get more to do!

The Defenders readily sets up Born Again to avoid a lot of those “edgy” plot twists too. With the disappearance of Matt Murdock and Daredevil at the same time, it’s likely that someone will make the connection — perhaps in the police department where Misty Knight works — and sell that information to Wilson Fisk, who is still ruling over his kingdom in prison. It would be an exciting return for Vincent D’Onofrio‘s Fisk, who is easily one of the best villains in the Marvel Netflix shows, if not the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just keep drugs and a cheap betrayal by Karen Page out of this.

The Defenders is now streaming on Netflix. Daredevil season 3 is not yet in production, but is set to premiere sometime in 2018.

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