Okay, Marvel. You made talking trees and anthropomorphic raccoons work in Guardians of the Galaxy. We’ve seen seemingly unadaptable villains such as Mister Hyde and Lash work over on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. You even took Purple Man, a character who could’ve easily been lacklustre in the wrong hands, and moulded him into perhaps the most terrifying yet endearing villain in the entire MCU with Jessica Jones.
But don’t get cocky just yet. With Daredevil season 2 just around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look back at the Man Without Fear’s rogues gallery and really test your mettle.
From unbelievably bad back stories to laughable character designs, we’ve picked 6 of the most ludicrous Daredevil villains for you to try to give the “dark and gritty” treatment to.
Leap-Frog is the alias of two supervillains, both of whom don the ridiculous frog-inspired exoskeleton seen above. Created by failed inventor Vincent Patilio, the suit utilises electromagnetic coils that allow the user to… hop. High. That’s right, instead of using his knowledge of electromagnetism to craft some kind of weapon that could legitimately subdue his enemies, Vincent decided that the whole frog suit idea was his best course of action. It’s really not hard to see why his career as an inventor never really took off.
Oh, and later on the suit was given upgrades to increase the wearer’s strength. Because that makes him a much more credible villain, right? So go ahead Marvel, let’s see you try to dress this one up to make any shred of sense! There’s just something unavoidably hilarious about a self-appointed ‘bad guy’ hopping round dressed like a frog, and that’s something that the dark tone of the Daredevil Netflix series would only make more ridiculous.
I’m pretty sure even Matt Murdock could see how much of a blatant Joker rip-off this guy is. Employing a slew of toy-based weaponry, Jester is about as gimmicky as they come, with all the pageantry of The Joker but none of the menace.
That said, Jester can actually be fun in small doses, though it’s probably no coincidence that all of these moments seem to involve the various incarnations of the character being severely injured or killed. I mean seriously, why villains continue to take up Jester’s mantle is beyond me.
Take the latest version of the character for instance, who embarrasses the Superior Spider-Man by giving him a swift kick in the junk before dousing him in brightly coloured paint on a live internet stream. How does the Superior Spidey respond? By beating him nearly to death, naturally! His brief appearance in the Civil War storyline ends on a similarly violent note, after he’s unceremoniously shot and killed by The Punisher. So it seems the character is doomed to be the punch bag of the Marvel Universe forever, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing.
Since The Punisher is confirmed for Daredevil‘s second season, this could be a fun way for Matt to come into conflict with the character, after witnessing the brutal murder of Jester – clearly a mentally unstable man – and deciding that this guy is not good news.
Still, explosive yo-yos and paint-filled balloons just aren’t the kind of thing that would fit the tone of this show, and his ostentatiousness would need to be dialled back tremendously; kind of defeating the point of the character in the first place.
Okay, so I’ve cheated a little bit here as Hammerhead isn’t strictly a Daredevil villain, but I’ve chosen him anyway due to his history with both Kingpin and Hell’s Kitchen. Hammerhead is a member of the crime syndicate known as the Maggia, and has a strange obsession with prohibition era gangsters. He also has a steel-plated head, which explains his absurd head shape, apparently.
The twist here though is that despite his ludicrous appearance, Hammerhead may actually be a great fit for the show. In the comics, the power vacuum left by Kingpin’s incarceration causes Hammerhead to come out of the woodwork, hoping to fill the void that Kingpin left behind. This power vacuum is very likely to be present in Daredevil season 2, given how the first season ended. This would also give Fisk and Murdock a common enemy (Kingpin/Daredevil team up, anybody?) which would serve as an interesting concept. I mean, just imagine Kingpin playing the Hannibal to Matt Murdock’s Will Graham – really intriguing stuff.
Once again, I’m sure Marvel would change his character design to make him more palatable to audiences, which is kind of a shame, and given the character’s style he might be better suited to appear on Agent Carter. Still, I’d like to see Kingpin try to crush his head in a car door.