Marvel’s Daredevil is a hit! The Netflix show has already been renewed for a second season to air in 2016, and I’m sure if you’re reading this right now, you’ve already binged through the series. If not, what are you waiting for?
Since the first season has been available for a few weeks now, it seems like the perfect time to take a closer look at the many Easter eggs and references to the Marvel universe at large that were peppered throughout the series. Some were obvious, and some were a little more hidden, but they all served to enrich this Netflix extension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Episode 1 – “Into The Ring”
– Interesting to see Leland Owlsley, played here by Bob Gunton, make an appearance as a member of the NYC’s organized crime. In the comics, Owlsley ruled his part of New York as the super villain, the Owl, with an appearance to match the name. I doubt we’ll be seeing him wearing any claws or flying through the skies, but it’s still a nice pull.
– Madame Gao hints at the incorporation of “The Hand,” which is a group of ruthless ninjas who take up a good deal of Murdock’s time in the comic books.
– In one of the final shots with Matt in the gym his father once trained in, a poster reads “CREEL V. MURDOCK.” “Creel” refers to Crusher Creel, aka the Absorbing Man, who appeared earlier this season in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Episode 2 – “Cut Man”
– Claire refers to Daredevil as “Mike”, not wanting to know his real name. This is a nice Easter Egg for fans of the comic characters: early in Matt’s career as a costumed superhero, in order to lead folks off the trail of his identity, Murdock would sometimes pretend to be his own twin brother named “Mike Murdock.”
– Josie’s bar is a mainstay in the comics, as numerous big events that happen in the Daredevil universe transpire there in the underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen.
– Rosco and Silke, the two men demanding that Jack throw his boxing match, are respectively “The Fixer” and one of Kingpin’s goons in the comics. The Fixer was the lynchpin in the creation of Daredevil, a man who gained his moniker for “fixing” fights.
Episode 3 – “Rabbit in a Snowstorm”
– If you look in Ben Urich’s office, you can see two articles that were written about the events in Avengers and Incredible Hulk. Man, what news days those must have been!
– Speaking of Ben Urich, here he works for the Daily Bulletin, though showrunner Steven S. DeKnight recently went on record saying that had the Marvel/Sony deal come through 8 months earlier than it had, he would have been working at Spider-Man’s Daily Bugle, which is where he primarily works in the comics.
– Along with Kingpin, we’re also introduced to his soon-to-be love interest, Vanessa. In the comics, the two had about what is the most dramatic, unhealthy relationship you can find in fiction. Though this is to be expected when you’re dating the top mob boss, I suppose.
Episode 4 – “In the Blood”
– Fisk mentions getting his suit repaired at one point by a “Mr. Potter”. In the comics, Melvin Potter is the sometimes supervillain named “The Gladiator” Something of a nutcase who believes himself to be an actual Roman Gladiator from the times of Julius Caesar, he looks like a strange combination of Iron Man and the Man in the Iron Mask.
– Urich briefly touches upon Karen Page’s shady past, which, in the books, involves the world of hardcore drug use and pornography. Page is a tragic character and this tragedy eventually spells quite the downfall for Matt Murdock in more ways than one. It will be interesting to see if they incorporate this into the show moving forward.
Episode 5 – “World on Fire”
– Vanessa mentions a man wearing a white suit and ascot to Wilson during their dinner. This is of course a light jab at the outfit the Kingpin normally wears in the comics.
– In the police station, there’s a poster in the background that reads: “You don’t have to reveal your identity to stop violent crime.” This could potentially be a reference to Marvel’s big crossover, Captain America: Civil War which, in the comics, dealt heavily with the idea of secret identities.
Episode 6 – “Condemned”
– Not too many Easter eggs in this episode, though I’ve seen a lot of interesting theories that the sniper who took out the police next to the warehouse was in fact the Daredevil baddie Bullseye. In the comics, the character is an insane assassin who works for Fisk, able to take any object and essentially turn it into a weapon. In fact, in one story, Bullseye got his teeth knocked out by Murdock and began tossing them at him like throwing stars. It’s pretty much a guarantee we’ll be seeing him show up in Season 2.
Episode 7 – “Stick”
– When Stick is first brought to the orphanage to pick up Matt for training, the nun states that Matt’s mother is alive but “an entirely different story”. Murdock’s mother is in fact a nun herself, who found the church but abandoned Matt and his father in doing so. It’s an interesting arc that I’m sure will be spotlighted in the show’s future.
– The Black Sky is the first encounter Matt has with something super human, and while his origins are dubious, this is obviously a build up to the next big threat in the Marvel Netflix universe. Perhaps this will be the big challenge The Defenders are tasked with defeating.
– At the end of the episode, Stick is talking to a mysterious man in the shadows, which is a scene directly lifted from the comic book mini series, Daredevil: Man Without Fear. The man is Stone, a partner to Stick in a team called “The Chaste” who helps him fight the supernatural ninja organization called, “The Hand”.
Episode 8 – “Shadows in Glass”
– Kingpin’s origin story is a tad different from here than how it’s portrayed in the comics, but the spirit is the same. In the Marvel comic Punisher Max, Fisk actually took a bag filled with hungry rats and taped it over his father’s head to do him in. Yikes.
Episode 9 – “Speak of the Devil”
– Nobu fights Daredevil in full on ninja attire, proving definitively that Nobu is a member of The Hand. While he doesn’t seem to exhibit any supernatural abilities himself, it’s entirely possible that he returns for Season 2 as the Hand are all about resurrection.
– One of the heroin packets that is made by Madame Gao has the symbol of the Steel Serpent, one of the main antagonists of Iron Fist. As you can see, the seeds are being planted quite early.
– Foggy’s discovery of Matt’s differs from the comics portrayal of this particular development, in that Foggy pretty much always knew about Matt’s “extracurricular activities” in the books.
Episode 10 – “Nelson v. Murdock”
– Foggy mentions that Matt, in the flashback to their college years, moved seats in one of his classes to be closer to the “hot Greek chick”. He is of course referencing Elektra Natchios, one of the biggest love interests in Matt’s life who is killed by Bullseye. But don’t worry, she gets better.
– Roxxon Industries is mentioned in another flashback, which is one of the big evil companies in the Marvel Universe. While not necessarily full on supervillains like Hydra or the Hand, Roxxon is corrupt to its core and is responsible for producing some of the villains that give heroes problems on a regular basis.
– In the party scene, Owlsley mentions “keeping Richmond on the list”. He is possibly referring to Kyle Richmond, aka Nighthawk, who is another member of the Defenders in the comics. Point of fact, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones haven’t really ever been prominent members of the Defenders team in the books, but the team name works well for them so Marvel ran with it (beats Heroes for Hire, that’s for sure).
Episode 11 – “The Path of the Righteous”
– Matt fights Melvin Potter, whose workshop is bursting with references. A design for the Gladiator symbol is on Melvin’s drawing board and you can see the stilt legs for Stilt Man in the background (Stilt Man is a terrible Daredevil villain who has the power to get really tall using stilts)
– Karen once again alludes to her tragic past as she states that this isn’t the first time she’s shot someone. Eventually, Karen may sell Foggy and Matt down the river, as Karen’s never had the strongest character.
Episode 12 – “The Ones We Leave Behind”
– In the background in Matt and Foggy’s office, you can see a company named “Atlas International”. Atlas was the name of a little comic book company that would eventually become Marvel.
– Madame Gao states that she’s not from China, but from somewhere considerably further away. This could be alluding to the mystical land, K’un L’un, where Iron Fist became the super powered kung fu master he is today.
– Ben Urich actually never dies in the comics. He’s believed dead a few times, but he’s always made it through by the skin of his teeth. It was a nice shocker to see the show pulling the trigger like that, though I will miss his character.
Episode 13 – “Daredevil”
– RIP Owlsley. We’ll have to see if the son he mentioned throughout the series actually becomes the supervillain, “The Owl”.
– Stan Lee cameo! The Main Man himself appears in the police precinct, as a picture hanging from the wall behind Officer Mahoney.
– Daredevil dons the red suit! While there are a number of changes to the suit, such as adding more black into the overall design and looking much bulkier with some light armor thrown in there, Potter specifically mentions that he hadn’t really finished it before handing it to Matt. Perhaps in Season 2 the suit will continue to evolve, but it looks good as is!
Did you spot any other Easter Eggs or references that we missed? Sound off in the comments below.