When it comes to great Daredevil villains, the only character who can give Kingpin a run for his money is Bullseye. This deadly assassin has been a thorn in Matt Murdock’s side for years. And now he’s making his return to the MCU, as ComicBook.com and Deadline report that Wilson Bethel will reprise his role as Benjamin Poindexter in Daredevil: Born Again.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Bullseye in live-action. To help get you up to speed, here’s everything you need to know about this feared killer who almost never misses his target. These are the topics we cover here:
- Bullseye Explained: The Basics
- Bullseye’s Powers and Abilities
- Bullseye: Origin and Background
- Bullseye in Movies and Games
- Bullseye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Bullseye Explained: The Basics
The Marvel Universe is full of deadly costumed assassins, but Bullseye is the man you turn to when you absolutely need the job done right. As one of the best marksmen alive, Bullseye seldom misses his target, and no job is too difficult, dangerous or downright evil for this amoral killer.
The only hero who’s consistently confounded Bullseye over the years is Daredevil. The two have built up one of the most heated rivalries in the Marvel Universe. But no matter how many loves ones and innocent bystanders Bullseye claims, he can never seem to defeat the Man Without Fear.
As one of the best marksmen alive, Bullseye almost never misses his target, and no job is too difficult, dangerous or downright evil for this amoral killer.
Bullseye’s Powers and Abilities
Bullseye technically has no superhuman powers, though his aim is so incredible it may as well be superhuman. Bullseye can turn just about any object into a deadly projectile, be it a knife, a bullet, a paperclip or even a tooth. He can hit his targets with pinpoint accuracy from almost any distance or angle. Only heroes like Daredevil or Spider-Man, who can sense these attacks coming, stand a chance of surviving a run-in with Bullseye.
Bullseye also had his spine reinforced with pieces of adamantium after nearly dying in a fall. The same metal that coats Wolverine’s bones, this adamantium makes Bullseye resistant to injury and capable of bending and contorting his body in ways that most people would find extremely uncomfortable.
Bullseye: Origin and Background
Bullseye was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist John Romita, Sr. and first debuted in 1976’s Daredevil #131. Another villain named Bull’s Eye had previousoly appeared in an issue of Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but despite also being an expert marksman and assassin, this character has no apparent connection to Bullseye.
It wasn’t long before a bitter rivalry formed between Daredevil and Bullseye. Bullseye became obsessed with proving himself Daredevil’s better. In more ways than one, Bullseye became the Joker to Daredevil’s Batman. Like Joker, Bullseye has a past shrouded in mystery and half-truths. Some people say he’s an ex-baseball pitcher who grew so bored after throwing a perfect game that he killed the batter. Others say he grew up in a broken home and used his marksman talent to fake his father’s suicide. Also like Joker, Bullseye has developed a habit of surviving near-death experiences and always returning to make Matt Murdock’s life miserable.
Bullseye’s defining supervillain moment came in 1982’s Daredevil #181, where he murdered Elektra in a failed attempt to impress Kingpin. Daredevil repaid Bullseye by dropping him from a telephone wire and leaving him paralyzed.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of this deadly villain. Bullseye was later recruited by Lord Dark Wind, the man responsible for creating the adamantium bonding process. He would continuously resurface in the Daredevil comic, eventually claiming the life of another one of Matt Murdock’s girlfriends when he murdered Karen Page in a story called “Guardian Devil.”
In recent years, Bullseye has shifted from fighting characters like Daredevil and Punisher to taking a more active role in the Marvel Universe. He even joined Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers, a team of villains masquerading as heroes, and stole the mantle of Hawkeye.
Bullseye finally pushed Daredevil too far in Shadowland, a story which dealt with Matt Murdock falling to the dark side and becoming leader of the Hand. Daredevil finally killed his nemesis and attempted to resurrect him as a servant of the Hand. Daredevil’s allies prevented that resurrection, fortunately.
As he so often does, Bullseye managed to cheat death yet again and has now gone back to being one of the most feared and reliable assassins in the Marvel Universe. When you never miss, there’s no shortage of opportunities.
Bullseye in Movies and Games
Despite being one of the more popular villains in the Marvel Universe, Bullseye hasn’t had a great deal of exposure outside the comics. That’s probably because his penchant for murder makes him a difficult sell on Marvel’s more family-friendly animated series.
Marvel Movies: Bullseye’s biggest non-comics role came in the 2003 Daredevil movie, where he was played by Colin Farrell. This Bullseye is an agent of Michael Clarke Duncan’s Kingpin who takes a special interest in Ben Affeck’s Daredevil after the hero causes Bullseye to miss his first target ever. The film loosely adapts Miller’s Daredevil work, including the iconic Bullseye vs. Elektra deathmatch from Daredevil #181.
Marvel Games: Bullseye has also appeared in a number of Marvel video games. He was a major boss character in the 2005 Punisher video game (voiced by Stephen Blum), and he’s also appeared in games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3, Marvel Future Fight and the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes series.
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Bullseye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Bullseye returned to prominence thanks to Netflix’s Daredevil series. Bullseye is a major villain in the show’s third and final season, though he never actually uses the “Bullseye” name or wears the iconic black and white costume.
Instead, the Netflix series introduces the character as FBI Agent Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter, a mentally troubled sniper who catches the eye of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. Fisk manipulates Dex into donning Matt Murdock’s discarded Daredevil armor and killing his enemies, enabling Fisk’s return to power. Dex and the real Daredevil clash multiple times over the course of the season, culminating in a threeway battle between Dex, Daredevil and Kingpin in the finale that leaves Dex paralyzed.
Though defeated and disgraced, Dex is set up for a recurring role in the MCU thanks to the finale’s post-credits scene. That scene shows his shattered spine being operated upon by a character who may or may not be Lord Dark Wind. Is that our first glimpse of adamantium in the MCU?
Though defeated and disgraced, Dex is set up for a recurring role in the MCU thanks to the finale’s post-credits scene.
With Netflix cancelling Daredevil after Season 3, it was unclear where or even if that twist would be followed up. However, Marvel Studios has since begun including Daredevil characters in its Disney+ series, starting with D’Onofrio’s Fisk in Hawkeye and then Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in She-Hulk and Echo. Now ComicBook.com and Deadline report that Bethel is reprising his role as Dex/Bullseye in Daredevil: Born Again.
It’s unknown how many episodes Bethel will appear in this time, but we may finally see his character don the traditional Bullseye costume and name. And who knows? We could see this deadly villain pop up in other areas of the MCU, battling characters like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man or Hailee Steinfeld’s Hawkeye. A good assassin always stays busy.
Note: this article was originally published on 10/11/2018 and updated on 1/26/2024 with the latest news about Daredevil: Born Again.