Ever since the explosive conclusion of DEFENDERS, fans have been endlessly speculating about what DAREDEVIL season three might hold for the vigilante (i.e. Bullseye). Presumed dead by his loved ones, Matt Murdock ended the season beat up and prone, convalescing in a convent.

This cliffhanger draws obvious inspiration from Frank Miller’s BORN AGAIN storyline. With Vincent D’Onofrio confirmed to return for DAREDEVIL season three, it makes sense to embrace Kingpin as a formidable foe once more. However, Bullseye, a staple Daredevil villain, has been rumored to be making an appearance on the show.

What role could Bullseye play in the next season?

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A Brief History of Bullseye

Bullseye first appeared in DAREDEVIL #131 in 1976, battling the titular hero to establish himself as an up and coming villain. He initially attempts to murder Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson. Daredevil thwarts his efforts, long before Matt’s heroic alter-ego is revealed to the public.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As a kid, Bullseye was named Lester with a brother and an abusive father. His brother had a penchant for playing with rifles, which cultivated Bullseye’s deadly aim. Bullseye becomes a gifted baseball player after being placed into foster care. However, in a major league game, a batter from the opposing team mocked him. In response, he launches a ball at the batter’s head. The blow kills him, and our newly-minted villain simply says “Bullseye.”

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Bullseye’s long and bloodied history with Daredevil stems from his inability to kill the hero — as someone who’s supposed to never miss, this severely damages his reputation amongst the other villains in Hell’s Kitchen. However, this doesn’t mean he hasn’t been able to hurt Matt in many other ways.

In the comics, Bullseye is responsible for the deaths of both Elektra and Karen Page. The introduction of this character could mean bad things for Matt Murdock’s two leading ladies. That is if Elektra also managed to make it out of the collapsed remains of Midland Circle.

What We Know About Bullseye’s Casting

Current rumors floating around concerning Bullseye’s casting pin the character down as remaining much more street-level than fans might expect. In DAREDEVIL (2003), Colin Farrell portrayed an intensely Irish version of the sharpshooter. Anyone remember when he killed that old lady on the plane with some complimentary peanuts?

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It was nice knowing you, old lady. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

At the moment, the Netflix universe appears to be taking a different path with Bullseye’s character for season three. Wilson Bethel has been pegged for the role of the sharpshooter. Previously, Bethel has starred in HART OF DIXIE, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, and BATES MOTEL.

Bethel’s incarnation of the villain is described in the casting announcement as “an FBI agent who will play a critical role in the conflict between Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk.” While there has been no official confirmation from Marvel that Bethel is, in fact, playing Bullseye, he will certainly be integral in the battle for Hell’s Kitchen.

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At the end of DEFENDERS, Matt Murdock stays behind in the Hand’s fortress beneath Midland Circle with Elektra Natchios. The entire building collapses on top of them as Matt pleads with Elektra. The rest of the team makes it out. Unfortunately, Karen and Foggy are left to believe, like everyone else, that Matt bit the dust with Elektra.

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The concluding scene of the show features Matt Murdock, battered in a convent bed. Someone out of frame tells another person to send for Sister Maggie. If the show is to follow the comics, Sister Maggie is Matt’s mother. Her on-screen motives are still a mystery, but in the comics, she left Matt and his dad after post-partum depression made her feel like she was a threat to her family.

Frank Miller’s BORN AGAIN in Season Three

Frank Miller’s BORN AGAIN run is perhaps one of the most famous Daredevil stories in the character’s history. Miller redefined Matt Murdock, leaning heavily into religious imagery that provides much of the inspiration for his on-screen counterpart. The most important aspect of BORN AGAIN lies in the Kingpin’s discovery of Daredevil’s secret identity. After receiving the information, Kingpin methodically and systematically destroys Matt Murdock’s entire life. In the comics, Matt meets his mother after Kingpin beats him so severely that he ends up in the hospital where she is a nun.

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[record scratch] [freeze frame] Yeah, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.
However, there are a ton of other aspects of BORN AGAIN that probably won’t make it to season three. One of them being, for example, the fact that Karen Page is a drug-addicted prostitute who sells Daredevil’s secret identity in a low moment for another hit. DAREDEVIL has never strictly adapted any particular story before.

Bullseye’s introduction into the show will most likely be similar to the Punisher’s season two debut; two loosely interlocking story arcs with a dedicated focus in either half of the season. Charlie Cox has repeatedly stated that he wants the iconic villain to appear in the show.

What Could Bullseye Bring To The Table?

Bullseye’s long history with Daredevil provides plenty of interesting story opportunities to introduce to DAREDEVIL season three. While the official description given out for the unnamed villain doesn’t initially sound like the typical Bullseye archetype, it’s been theorized that Marvel may be drawing from the PUNISHER MAX comics.

Known by the name Sheldon Pendergrass, this Bullseye is a complete psychopath, obsessive in his missions to assassinate targets. The PUNISHER MAX Bullseye takes a more realistic approach to his flawless aim, whose interest in getting into the Punisher’s head leads him to incredibly cruel and deadly lengths.

DAREDEVIL: Will We See BORN AGAIN in Season 3?

The fraught relationship between Daredevil and Bullseye in the comics provides an interesting bridge to Matt Murdock’s ongoing battle with Kingpin. In the comics, Kingpin frequently hires Bullseye to murder Matt, Daredevil, or both. While Wilson Fisk doesn’t appear to know the connection between Matt Murdock: Lawyer and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, it’s heavily implied that he’s close to figuring it out. Being in prison hasn’t significantly impeded Kingpin’s ability to wreak havoc — and Bullseye’s possible role as an FBI agent a hair away from snapping would be the perfect opportunity for Kingpin to exploit.

Bullseye’s connections to both Daredevil and the Punisher make him a perfect addition to the Marvel Netflix universe. Though it seems unlikely that another DEFENDERS series will happen, it’ll be interesting to see how the shows take advantage of their shared universe. Karen Page has already proved herself to be an important character to Frank Castle — and considering Bullseye’s unfortunate history with her, I’d love to see that play out on screen.

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  1. […] of Daredevil’s primary foes that have yet to make an appearance is Bullseye. A master assassin with perfect aim, Bullseye is often employed by Wilson Fisk and his criminal […]

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