Summary

  • Daredevil: Born Again can explain Kingpin’s freedom and Punisher working for the CIA simultaneously.
  • The series will have to justify Punisher’s return and address Daredevil’s conflicted stance on his lethal justice.
  • The show may explore Punisher potentially targeting Kingpin, who is running for mayor and will likely take a public stance against vigilantes.



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Daredevil: Born Again has a great way to answer two questions from the Netflix Defenders era that ultimately went unanswered. Marvel Studios is currently filming Daredevil: Born Again, a new series that is set to carry over significant history from the original Defenders shows into the official MCU canon. This means that major mysteries involving the Punisher and the Kingpin can finally be answered.


In recent years, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and Vicent D’onofrio’s Kingpin have made multiple appearances in canonical MCU shows. To that end, Marvel’s Echo provided some of the best evidence yet that their existing history from Netflix’s canceled Daredevil series and its connected Marvel shows were also still canon with the rest of the MCU as originally intended. With that in mind, here’s how Daredevil: Born Again can explain both the Kingpin and Punisher’s current status quo simultaneously.

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Born Again Can Answer Why Kingpin Is Out Of Prison & If Punisher Works For The CIA At The Same Time

An Ongoing System Of Corruption


Following the cancelation of all of Netflix’s Marvel shows with the imminent release of Disney+, Jon Bernthal’s Punisher and D’onfrio’s Kingpin fates were left very ambiguous. As seen at the end of Punisher season 2, Frank Castle was offered a contract with the CIA by his contact Agent Madani. While he declined her offer to take out a high-profile target, it was perhaps only because he was busy taking out criminals on his own, hence the finale ending with The Punisher opening fire on two gangs he’s tricked into meeting.

It was left unclear if Frank would later elect to work with the CIA, though it’s a logical role that would allow him to continue his crusade of lethal justice in a somewhat sanctioned manner under the CIA’s discreet purview. In the case of Fisk, Kingpin was headed for prison thanks to Daredevil, having agreed to his permanent arrest to protect his new wife from the threat of exposure (she was complicit in his recent illicit affairs). However, Kingpin’s future appearances in the MCU saw him as a free man, inexplicably continuing to run his criminal empire in New York.


As a result, Daredevil: Born Again has the unique opportunity to answer both mysteries at once. Kingpin could be revealed to have connections within the CIA, just as he did in the FBI in Daredevil season 3, manipulating and blackmailing agents which led to his initial release from prison the first time. Assuming Punisher did end up being contracted with the CIA, Kingpin’s corruption could explain his role in Daredevil: Born Again. Perhaps Castle cut ties with the CIA because of Fisk’s freedom and is now seeking justice upon Kingpin himself, a concept that could perfectly put him working alongside Daredevil.

Is Punisher A Villain Or A Hero In Daredevil: Born Again?

Daredevil: Born Again Will Need To Justify His Return

Frank Castle covered in blood in The Punisher


It’s going to be important for Daredevil: Born Again to justify the Punisher’s return. After all, Daredevil and Punisher’s first confrontation ended with an uneasy truce, even with Frank Castle offering some brief support against The Hand in Daredevil season 2. Regardless, it doesn’t mean that Matt Murdock supports Frank’s more lethal methods. However, potentially establishing that Frank had been working with the CIA with a degree of legitimacy is something Daredevil could perhaps tolerate, especially if Punisher agrees to play by Murdock’s rules during a possible team-up against Fisk.

However, it’s also possible that Daredevil and Punisher won’t ever be able to see eye to eye on how they dispense justice. Punisher could become just as much of an adversary to Daredevil as Kingpin himself, or even the return of Bullseye who’s confirmed to appear in the MCU’s new Daredevil show. As such, it’s not hard to see Daredevil trying to take on Fisk while also trying to prevent Punisher from killing Kingpin at the same time.


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Will Punisher Kill Kingpin In Daredevil: Born Again?

Doing What Daredevil Won’t

Kingpin showing off his bullet wound in Echo episode 4

Ultimately, The Punisher has always been willing to do what Daredevil won’t when it comes to lethal justice. Frank Castle may be more disciplined and less full of rage now than he once was when he first appeared and crossed paths with Murdock. However, he’s still willing to kill to obtain a more permanent solution when it comes to criminals and widespread corruption.


As such, The Punisher trying to kill Kingpin certainly seems like a logical outcome at some point in the future. This is especially true considering the setup in Marvel’s Echo teasing that Fisk will soon be running for Mayor of New York. If Daredevil can’t touch Kingpin and bring him to justice via the arm of the law, The Punisher will likely be there to cross the line Murdock never will, as much as Daredevil wanted to and nearly did with Fisk at the end of Daredevil season 3.

What Daredevil: Born Again’s Set Photos Have Revealed About Kingpin & Punisher’s Stories

Running For Mayor and A Punisher Imposter?

Warning! This section contains some potential SPOILERS for Daredevil: Born AgainDaredevil: Born Again’s set photos have also revealed some key details regarding where Fisk and Punisher’s stories are headed. It looks as though much of Kingpin’s arc in the new MCU show will be his mayoral campaign. It’s been theorized that a big part of his platform will be to outlaw vigilantes in New York, just as it was when Kingpin became New York’s mayor in the original Marvel Comics. With Frank Castle being one of the most lethal and dangerous known vigilantes, perhaps The Punisher will be used by Fisk as a key symbol to gather public support.


Set photos have also featured a hooded figure wearing the Punisher symbol, shooting another vigilante hero who looks to be White Tiger (a newcomer to the MCU). This seems out of character for Frank Castle’s Punisher who usually only kills criminals, so this hooded figure may be an impostor, potentially even hired by Kingpin to drum up fear-based votes regarding vigilante violence in New York (though that’s purely conjecture). At any rate, it should be very exciting to see what Daredevil: Born Again reveals about both Kingpin and Punisher in the new MCU show.

Daredevil: Born Again

After Charlie Cox’s cameo appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home and supporting role in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Daredevil: Born Again gives Matt Murdock his first show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil: Born Again, composed of 18 episodes, serves as the spiritual successor to Netflix’s three-season Daredevil series and adapts its characters to the MCU’s main continuity while establishing a new beginning for the superhero lawyer.

Cast
Charlie Cox , Vincent D’Onofrio

Release Date
January 1, 2024

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Writers
Chris Ord

Directors
Michael Cuesta

Showrunner
Chris Ord

Key Release Dates

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