Alright, let’s not pretend that we all didn’t know Daredevil season 3 was going to feature Bullseye even before it was officially “confirmed” this weekend during New York Comic Con. People have been speculating about his eventual entrance into the Netflix MCU since Daredevil Season 1, so even without the heavy handed foreshadowing and early guesses, this is a payoff that has been a long time coming.

But now that we know we’re getting him, we’re going to need to learn about him. Who the hell is Bullseye, really? And why does he matter to Daredevil so much? The answer is, like most things in superhero comics, a little bit complicated.

Bullseye got his start in Daredevil #131 in 1976 and was honestly kind of a joke for a while. He didn’t really aspire to be much other than an extortionist thug and assassin with really good aim. He had a number of cheap money making murder schemes, including a contract to assassinate Matt Murdock, but Daredevil was largely able to beat him and send him to prison just about every time he showed up. These repeated defeats gave Bullseye a bit of a complex and he basically became a running gag for his early years. He’d show up, pull some grand gesture like kidnapping Black Widow to get Daredevil to fight him, Daredevil would beat him, and he’d get sent to jail.

After a minor health scare (he got a whole plot about having a debilitating brain tumor, you know, as you do), Bullseye was hired by Kingpin to be his assassin on retainer–a confusing business move for someone like Wilson Fisk, considering Bullseye had basically proven over and over again to be a really, really bad assassin. Fisk promptly realized his mistake when Bullseye got his ass kicked by Daredevil that very day and fired him. While Bullseye sat in prison, Fisk hired Elektra, Daredevil’s on-again-off-again flame–a detail that became crucially important when Bullseye eventually escaped from jail.

This is where Bullseye stories start pivoting from running gags to real deal Daredevil drama. Bullseye attacked and killed Elektra by infamously impaling her on her own sai. Matt, of course, was less than happy about this turn of events, and the two broke out into a grief-fueled fight to the death that ended with Daredevil dropping Bullseye from a telephone poll. The fall shattered Bullseye’s spine, paralyzing him.

He eventually got better, but not after an incredibly dark encounter with Daredevil in the hospital where Matt forced him into playing a two-person game of Russian Roulette with a gun that was secretly unloaded, just to torment him.

From there, things between Matt and Bullseye began to get exceedingly personal. Eventually, Bullseye recovered from his paralysis (because we’re talking about comic books here, remember) and returned to Hell’s Kitchen, where he proceeded to do everything within his power to ruin Daredevil–not for money, but for pure, murderous vengeance.

For a brief period, Matt lost his memories and Bullseye took up his own Daredevil costume, cutting a swath of crime and murder through Hell’s Kitchen to ruin Daredevil’s reputation–a plot that probably sounds familiar to anyone who’s watched any Daredevil Season 3 trailers. During that time he even began to believe he actually was Daredevil, which only served to make the psychological and personal stakes even higher.

Later, Bullseye was responsible for the deaths of not one, but two more of Matt’s girlfriends: Karen Page (so, yeah, maybe be a little worried this season, Karen fans) and Millia Donovan–which honestly might be a record as far as super specific murder is concerned for a single character.

You’ve probably noticed by now that we haven’t called Bullseye anything but “Bullseye,” and there’s a reason for that–he actually doesn’t have a real name, or even a legitimate backstory. In the show, his name is going to be Benjamin Poindexter, which is one of the names used in the comics, sometimes. Other times, he’s called “Lester” and “Leonard,” but no names have been really confirmed. His history has been vaguely established and retconned several times over, but it’s usually agreed that he grew up in an abusive household (he may or may not have killed his own father) and spent some time nearly pursuing a career in baseball–before he murdered a member of the opposing team for mocking him and was sent to prison.

It’s also usually agreed upon that he spent some time recruited for his brutal skill set by the NSA as an assassin. Unsurprisingly, he wound up being too much of a sociopath to make even a career as a government employed assassin work.

It looks like we’re going to get some version of these events in live action. We know that Benjamin Poindexter is an FBI agent who goes by “Dex,” and we know that he’s a really, really good shot. We know that he’s very likely got some sort of shady past in the mix, and we know that Kingpin is going to wind up, potentially, manipulating him in some way. And we know he’s going to put the Daredevil suit on and try to smear Matt’s reputation.

Beyond that? Anything is really on the table. Bullseye is closer to Daredevil’s own version of The Joker than maybe any other Marvel villain–their grudge is brutal and forces both of them into some really drastic, horrible positions on the regular. No matter what the medium and no matter the universe, when Daredevil and Bullseye clash, no one comes out with clean hands.

Bullseye will make his live action debut when Daredevil Season 3 hits Netflix on October 19. Read on about how Daredevil Season 3 is getting political and how Fisk winds up making his comeback.



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