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Netflix's Daredevil: 15 Best Fight Scenes That Took The Show To A Whole New Level

"Daredevil" — which premiered on Netflix in 2015 before moving to Disney+ in 2022 — is beloved by comics fans for its excellent take on Matt Murdock aka The Man Without Fear aka The Devil of Hell's Kitchen aka Hornhead aka The Scarlet Swashbuckler.

The show takes fan-favorite characters like Murdock (Charlie Cox), his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), his love interest Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), and his mortal nemesis, Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk (Vincent D'Onforio), off the page and places them on the streets of New York. From the jump, the creators hoped to create something closer to gritty '70s thrillers like "The French Connection" than "Marvel's The Avengers." They did this by keeping the show's focus on how a hero like Daredevil interacts with his community and investigates crimes that affect folks on the street. In other words: Thor saves the universe, and Daredevil saves The Bronx.

To do this, the showrunners lifted gritty Daredevil storylines from comic runs by the likes of Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis, and they also heavily leaned into crafting hard-hitting (and generally incredible) fight scenes. So, with the upcoming "Daredevil: Born Again" series now on the way, let's look back at some of the show's most furious fisticuffs. Warning: spoilers for the entire series throughout.

The hallway fight

After an engaging series premiere — that largely served as a table setting for the rest of the season — "Daredevil" announced just how incredible it could be in the second episode of Season 2, "Cut Man." In the episode, Murdock tracks down some bad men who have kidnapped a young boy. Once he discovers their hideout, he attacks the group in a single, unbroken long shot in a hallway. It's gritty, emotional, and flat-out awesome.

The fight scene raised the series' profile for a few reasons. Not many (if any) superhero programming had attempted something like the technical feat pulled off in "The Cut Man" fight scene. But more than just the impressive camera work and choreography, the scene's obvious inspirations — the hammer fight scene in "Old Boy," John Woo movies, and a sprinkle of action movie hall of fame entry, 2011's "The Raid," — seemed to distinguish "Daredevil" from other Marvel projects.

It plays like a throwing of the gauntlet of sorts. At the time, it was said that Marvel was going to do a gritty superhero show; a show where climaxes came down to a lone, injured, and exhausted hero giving it his all to rescue a child. No space gods or magic metaphysical stones here, just a guy cracking heads in a dark hallway.

Daredevil vs Stick

Season 1, Episode 7, "Stick" brings Murdock's mentor and father figure, Stick (Scott Glenn) to the small screen. For comic fans, this episode is pretty fantastic. First, it dives into Murdock's backstory and training. Second, it delivers a pretty righteous take on the man who trained the Devil and their relationship. And finally, it ends with the pair duking it out. 

However, all of this would've been for not if the episode didn't land its final blow. After having a dispute over whether they should kill a possible terrorist or let him go — Stick believes bad men have to pay and Murdock believes everybody deserves a second chance — the pair duke it out in Murdock's living room. It's quick, brutal, and clearly cathartic for our hero. Stick abandoned Murdock as a child and Murdock clearly hasn't forgiven his mentor for it. But outside of the courtroom, Murdock's not one for using his words, so he decides to brawl it out. It's like a hug goodbye ... if that hug is a series of swift kicks and punches. It's also another fine example of the way "Daredevil" connected its crazy fight scenes to grounded character drama.

Daredevil vs Nobu

Over the many years since his first comic book appearance in 1964, Daredevil's gone on to fight all manner of criminals, supervillains, and some bizarre intergalactic baddies. However, if there's one type of foe it seems Murdock's squared off against aplenty over the years, it's got to be ninjas. This is largely thanks to writer Frank Miller's introduction of "The Hand" in 1981 ("Daredevil" #174). The secret group of ninja assassins has plagued Murdock ever since.

Fans who know about Daredevil's ninjutsu escapades may have wondered just how exactly Netflix's mature and gritty show was going to deal with ninjas popping up in modern-day New York. Luckily, the Season 1 episode, "Speak of the Devil," gave fans an answer. In the episode, Murdock squares off against a Yakuza goon named Nobu (Peter Shinkoda). But Nobu's not just any assassin — he's a kusarigama-wielding ninja.

Their throwdown is a dream come true for ninja-movie lovers and comic heads alike. It's got fire, tons of close calls for Murdock, and a weapon called a chain-sickle. In the end, Murdock defeats Nobu, and the show wisely (mostly) sidelines The Hand and its mystical ninja warriors until Season 2 (more on them later). This fight is not only epic, but it also proved to Marvel fans that Netflix could find a way to incorporate the wackier parts of Daredevil's history into its bare-knuckle universe.

Daredevil vs Fisk: Round one

The whole of Season 1 is built around the early outings of Daredevil and one Fisk aka The Kingpin of Crime. Kingpin, with his immaculate white jacket, enormous strength, and devious schemes, has been a favorite villain of comics readers for years — he's essentially the Joker to Daredevil's Batman. Needless to say, expectations were high for the pair's big on-screen confrontation.

In the Season 1 finale, Murdock finally gets an open shot at the maleficent behemoth. For the majority of the season, Kingpin keeps himself largely removed from the day-to-day crimes Daredevil fights on the street. This distance builds an odd parallel between the show's protagonist and antagonist. As Murdock finds his footing as a vigilante, Fisk secures a vice grip over New York's organized crime elements. After a season of mounting tension and cornering the gangland gargantuan in an alley, Daredevil finally confronts the Kingpin.

The scene is also the debut of Murdock's proper Daredevil suit — batons and all. The finale's fight is not only an epic knockdown drag-out brawl but also the first true realization of each character on the screen. Was it a bit of a gambit to keep the enemies so far removed from one another for an entire season? Maybe, but the payout in the finale is gangbusters. Each man knows exactly who he is and what's at stake. The season most definitely goes out on an action-packed high note.

Daredevil gets punished

Season 2 of "Daredevil" — like most successful second seasons — expanded Murdock's world and introduced new characters for Daredevil to bounce off of. Fans everywhere were thrilled to discover one of those new characters was Frank Castle aka The Punisher (Jon Bernthal). For the unfamiliar, The Punisher is an ex-special forces soldier turned ruthless vigilante after the murder of his family.

He's also Murdock's cracked mirror image. Whereas Murdock believes in the inherent good in everybody, Castle assumes evil is a disease that needs to be eradicated with extreme prejudice (and high-caliber bullets). So naturally, the pair's initial introduction isn't a meet-cute. In fact, it ends with Murdock being shot. The second meet-up — a rooftop throwdown drenched in heavy rain — doesn't go much better. But it is epic to behold.

Both men gain the upper hand at certain points. They both get opportunities to use their opponent's weapon against them. And it all comes crashing down, literally, when Castle and Murdock go careening through a glass ceiling. The promise of Season 2 was serious Punisher and Daredevil action and their rooftop battle was the first sign that showrunners intended to make good on that promise.

A rescue mission

Daredevil and Punisher are not only separated by their ideologies but they're also separated by their literal approaches to fighting crime. Murdock, with his heightened senses and reflexes, is constantly looking to stun and disarm enemies with surprise, stealth, and careful timing. Castle is basically a one-man death-dealing machine. Chances are, if it shoots, stabs, bludgeons, or blows up, Castle's going to find a way to use it in a fight. 

In Season 2's "Penny and Dime," smart writing shows exactly what separates the two superheroes. After Castle is kidnapped by vengeful mobsters, Daredevil sets out to rescue his new frenemy which is a masterclass in clever staging. As Daredevil attempts to break into Castle's holding room from the outside, he quietly dispatches mob goons one by one.

Meanwhile, in the holding room, Castle waits (and takes a serious beating) to find the perfect opportunity to lash out at his attackers. It's loud, gnarly, and decidedly unclean. One of the baddies even screams, "he's loose," after Castle breaks his bindings. It's a brief scene, but it serves as proof the writers understand their central characters and those characters' relationship to the heinously awesome action on screen.

They're locked in here with him

Any fan that was skeptical of Marvel's ability to bring Castle to screens after some mostly average outings in movies like 2004's "The Punisher" and 2008's "The Punisher: War Zone" must have been relieved after seeing our next entry for the first time. In Season 2's "Seven Minutes in Heaven," Fisk approaches an incarcerated Castle with a proposition: One of the men, Dutton (William Forsythe), who is responsible for murdering Castle's family, is locked away in a different cell block. Fisk tells Castle he can get the vengeful vigilante seven minutes free of guard presence in Dutton's cell block.

Castle takes the deal, offs Dutton, and attempts to leave the cell block. However, he's caught in an ambush and various criminals flood the cell to trap Castle. Naturally, Castle doesn't take this lying down. Instead, what follows is one of the most harrowing fight scenes to ever appear in a project bearing Marvel's name. It's like somebody saw an opportunity to make a scene from 2011's "The Raid" and tuck it into a superhero show, R-rated violence and all.

Plus, it garnered positive critical reception as well. Some critics even suggested it may have been the best fight on the show yet in their initial reviews. To any producers out there in need of ideas, more Punisher, please.

A classic team-up

Elektra (Élodie Yung) and Daredevil's fight with Yakuza baddies in Season 2's "Regrets Only" is a fairly brief scene. However, it's also the first time Murdock and Ms. Natchios go crime fighting together (in full regalia) on the show. Which, for fans of the series, is a pretty big deal.

Elektra first appeared in 1981's "Daredevil #168" and was the invention of, who else, Frank Miller. Given her and Murdock's knotty history, her questionable ethics, and her splashy crimson look, she's been a fan favorite since her introduction. Young clearly has a ton of fun playing the ultimate femme fatale archetype in "Daredevil." Critics noticed the energy she brought to the screen, too, with Entertainment Weekly even describing her as one of the most "engaging" parts of superhero's second season. Given the page history and the strong on-screen presence radiating off of both Young and Cox, it's no wonder their true costumed mission is a success. Elektra and Murdock on the hunt for justice — what more could fans want?

The Hand arrives

If Season 1 introduced fans to the idea that Murdock may somehow be connected to an eternal war between an evil organization of mystic ninjas (The Hand) and the few folks who dare to oppose them (The Chaste), Season 2 made it explicitly clear. While "The Hand's" inclusion in Season 2 served mainly to drive a wedge between Murdock and Elektra, the organization's first full-fledged appearance on the show is fantastic.

When Murdock and Elektra investigate the Roxxon Corporation, they find themselves in an abandoned warehouse surrounded by ninjas. But not just any ninjas — completely silent and maybe undead hand ninjas. The quick edits between a panicking Murdock and the quiet footsteps he can't hear as the enemy approaches really sell The Hand as a frightening antagonist. Plus, the zombie ninjas get the upper hand on our heroes. All is lost until Stick returns in the nick of time to save our heroes.

Stick, Elektra, and Daredevil fighting ninjas is an awesome reference to some of the coolest big panels and covers published in the comic's run. It's also probably the last time The Hand is ever truly freaky on-screen. As Season 2 of "Daredevil" and "The Defenders" continues to widen the scope of The Hand, the sillier the organization seems to become.

The prison one-shot scene

In Season 3 of "Daredevil," showrunner Erik Oleson set out to top the one-take fight scene in "The Cut Man" from Season 1. In Season 3 Episode 4, "Blindsided," he did just that. The whopping 10-minute-plus scene sees Murdock trying to escape prison after being trapped by a vengeful Fisk. Its execution is largely inspired by the massive tracking shot from the finale of Alfonso Curan's "Children of Men."

According to Oleson, the entire sequence required seven takes (three full uninterrupted takes) to capture correctly and the crew was over the moon when they finally pulled it off. It's a pretty incredible television long take and it ranks right up there with other moments like Rust's drug house escape in HBO's "True Detective." Even more interesting is the fact that Marvel TV execs were nervous to even attempt the sequence.

The final result is genuinely awe-inspiring and really does separate the show from other superhero projects released around the same time. Plus, the scene's kinetic and strained forward motion acts as a signal for the mass amounts of suffering Murdock's going to wind up experiencing in Season 3 (arguably the show's darkest season). In other words, to quote showrunner Oleson, the whole sequence is "f***ing nuts."

Bullseye's introduction

In Season 3's "Please," Fisk is moved out of prison for cooperating with the FBI. During the madman's transfer, his convoy is attacked by rival Albanian gangsters. For a brief moment, it seems all is lost for the cruel elephantine criminal. But just when it looks like Fisk has schemed his last scheme, a single FBI agent, Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel), proceeds to eliminate each member of the Albanian outfit entirely by himself.

This scene is awesome for a couple of reasons. First, it's entirely framed from Fisk's perspective. As the criminal looks out from his hiding place in horror, the audience can only see glimpses of the ensuing fight. But those glimpses clue the viewer in to who this rogue operator might be, or what he might become. As he slides, ducks, aims perfectly and bounces bullets off of surfaces to hit baddies behind cover, it slowly dawns on the audience that the man saving Fisk may eventually become Bullseye (another heavyweight Daredevil villain).

Introducing a villain with an ironic bit of heroics is a pretty creative trick. It's also only a taste of what Bullseye is capable of. His introduction clearly makes an impression on Fisk as well, as the king of New York's underground immediately begins a plan to bring FBI Poindexter under his influence.

Bullseye meets the press

In Season 3's "The Devil You Know," Murdock and Bullseye meet face to face and throw down in the offices of the New York Bulletin. The fight perfectly captures the elements that make their dynamic so interesting in the comics. Mainly, Murdock is a decidedly close-quarters combatant and Bullseye is all about being lethal at range.

The fight kicks off when Bullseye, dressed in a replica Daredevil outfit, attacks the Bulletin, to frame Daredevil for murder. Once Murdock arrives on the scene to stop him, the two go toe to toe for the first time and Bullseye quickly makes use of every impromptu office supply weapon he can find. It's also another example of the creators behind "Daredevil" bringing some particularly comic-bookish details and abilities to the small screen successfully.

Compared to the campy Colin Farrell take on the villain in 2003's "Daredevil," the show's version seems like a much more faithful adaptation. Even though Poindexter never dawns on the villain's iconic blue and white suit, moments like the Bulletin fight definitely honor the character's comic book legacy.

Karen's climax

The showrunners played a bit of a trick on fans with Season 3's "Karen." Just like the comic that the episode takes clear inspiration from — "Daredevil Volume 2 #5," written by Kevin Smith — "Karen" ends with a massive fight between The Man Without Fear and Bullseye in a church. However, luckily for fans of Ms. Page, the show changes the comic's ending.

The fight is instigated when Poindexter, once again in his faux-devil suit, shows up at Murdock's local Hell's Kitchen church in search of Karen. He's out for blood and our heroes are forced to take a pretty grueling stand. As the fight unfolds, all manner of Catholic sacrament is turned into candles. People are bashed into pews, prayer candles are pitched like baseballs, and rosary beads are wielded like machine gun bullets. During the fight, Bullseye has the upper hand on a wounded Daredevil. He revs up to take Murdock's life, but Karen clubs Bullseye and saves Murdock. Then, she cradles a gravely wounded Murdock in her arms.

By having Karen save Murdock and survive her encounter with Bullseye, the writers entirely subvert any comic fan's expectations since Karen dies on the page. This deviation from the source material not only earns this battle a spot on the list but serves as a reminder that there are plenty of ways to create tension between heroes and villains without "fridging" a female protagonist.

The final battle royale

Last but certainly not least, is the series' final fight in Season 3's "A New Napkin." In the fight, Murdock turns Bullseye against Kingpin and sets the mad killer loose on Kingpin's protected penthouse. Eventually, all three men square off in Kingpin's glamorous apartment.

It's a clever setup and its payoff is a real beauty to behold. All throughout Season 3, Kingpin seems untouchable, but in the series finale, the master manipulator's chickens come home to roost. Bullseye specifically targets Kingpin's loving partner, Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), and both Murdock and Fisk go out of their way to keep her safe. Eventually, Fisk eliminates Bullseye from the fight like a WWE heel and the battle royale narrows down to our main hero and leading villain.

Naturally, Murdock comes out on top. But after every horrible thing Fisk put Murdock through in Season 3, it's genuinely cathartic to watch The Man Without Fear wail away on his personal boogeyman. It's harder to think of a more perfect ending for the story the show kicked off all the way back in Season 1, and it's a masterclass in what a final fight should be. It's got understandable stakes, emotional depth, and clear choreography so the viewer is never lost in the melee. Bravo, "Daredevil," bravo.