One of the most famous rivalries in geekdom is Marvel vs. DC. Inevitably, at some point, everyone is forced to pick a side. And after Saturday’s New York Comic Con panel, Team Marvel may have just gained a whole lot more devotees with a showcase that included a Daredevil Season 2 trailer and a first public screening of the first episode of Jessica Jones.
In just a year’s time, Daredevil has catapulted into one of the most coveted panels at the Con, further solidifying Marvel as a powerhouse both on the big and small screens. Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb had lots to be excited about, kicking off the panel by bringing Charlie Cox, Mike Colter and Krysten Ritter onto the stage very briefly and telling fans they were getting a sneak preview of The Defenders.
That enthusiasm, from both Loeb and the audience, never wavered. In addition to seeing Elektra (Elodie Yung) and Punisher (John Bernthal) teased in the footage for Season 2, both actors joined leads Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson on the panel. Bernthal made it abundantly clear he knew how much the role of Frank Castle means to fans, and he promises not to mess up. Elodie Yung let fans know just how qualified she was to play Elektra by sharing her impressive martial arts background, explaining that her ability to actually kick ass led to her being cast in the role.
So what, exactly, can fans expect in Season 2? Marvel being Marvel, they didn’t say too much. But after a highlight reel from Season 1, footage from Season 2 showed Elektra sliding a mask on and the trio of Foggy, Karen and Matt Murdock talking to Father Lantom about the choices they'd made. But the big moment in the trailer was clearly the back of Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle walking down a hospital hallway sporting some impressive weaponry. Just the back of Bernthal's head got the crowd cheering so loudly that no one could make out Castle's one-word line.
Regarding the amped-up upcoming season, showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez were able to say that the success of Season 1 proved that there was room for “dark, gritty and sophisticated” when it comes to superhero TV shows, and Season 2 will further explore those tones. Of course, they added, you can’t have dark and gritty without having the Punisher. I'm sure you can imagine how the audience responded to that comment.
Deborah Ann Woll did hint that Karen and Matt’s relationship may evolve into something more than platonic before gushing about how amazing it is to work with Charlie Cox. As for Cox, he was incredibly gracious to fans for their love and support of the show.
Initially, it may have seemed like Jessica Jones was merely tagging along for the ride. Of course, not having seen any footage, fans were hopeful about the casting (Marvel has more than proved they know what they’re doing by now), which now included genre favorite Carrie Ann Moss as Jeryn Hogarth. And while, at first, it seemed like the big surprise of the panel would be an unannounced appearance by David Tennant (who did provide a pretaped message and jokey faux intro to footage), it turned out the beefed-up security was for an advance screening of the first episode of Jessica Jones.
Of course, I can’t and won’t tell you any details about the episode. Sorry, kids, I don’t believe in opening your presents before Christmas. What I will tell you is this: Jessica Jones not only meets the precedent set by Daredevil, but it finally gives us a female superhero who is as layered as her male counterparts. Ritter’s Jones is dark and damaged and relies on biting sarcasm and lots of booze to make it through the day. The episode embodies a lot of the feel of Daredevil, both stylistically and in its serious tone, but it's still very much its own show. You know these two supers exist in the same world, even the same city, but their lives and stories are running paralell to each other (for now). In fact, Jessica Jones seem to push the envelope even further. While it's obvious from the beginning that Jessica is struggling with both her past and her conscience, it's the end of the episode that truly solidifies the evil Jessica is taking on and the demons she relentlessly tries to drown with whisky every day. There's a gasp-inducing and chilling final scene, and the first epsiode perfectly sets up what is sure to become a binge-worthy first season. Between Daredevil and Jessica Jones, it’s safe to say this is what it looks like when the superhero genre grows up.