With a lower budget, focused human drama and real-world feel, it's easy to forget that Daredevil is still part of the larger Marvel brand. While fists, blades and handguns might be as advanced as these characters get, they also live in a world where gods and rich billionaires in iron suits can tear down buildings before lunch.
No matter how much it wants to separate itself from the Avengers and Ant-Men of the world, though, Daredevil still has plenty of ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the burgeoning Marvel Knights world of Netflix.
However, don't expect the type of obvious winks and nods that the film universe has driven into the ground; instead, Daredevil has organic connective tissue that makes it fit into the larger universe without going overboard to the point of distraction.
Eagle-eyed fans and Marvel zombies probably picked up all of these in one sitting, but for everyone else, here are some of the notable connections Daredevil makes to the world of Marvel.
The Roxxon Energy Corporation
One of the most obvious name-drops in Daredevil is the Roxxon Energy Corporation. This is the company that Elektra has to meet with early on, and it helps propel the plot of The Hand forward for much of the season. This is more than just a generic company for the heroes to fight against, though, because Roxxon is one of the largest — and most corrupt — companies in the Marvel comics.
More importantly, the corporation has shown up in everything from the Iron Man films, to Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, although in much more primitive fashion. The corporation also made an impact during the first season of Daredevil when it was shown that Foggy and Matt worked as interns there before they began their own practice.
Hey, They Mentioned Jessica Jones!
Hell's Kitchen has another crime-fighting vigilante in Jessica Jones. However, just because Jessica doesn't make an actual appearance in Daredevil, her name is actually mentioned, albeit once by Marci Stahl when she name-drops Jones on a list of vigilantes on the DA's "hit list" to be locked away.
With The Defenders coming down the pike soon enough, a single name reference is enough to reinforce to viewers that this is all connected without forcing cameos or shoehorned team-ups. Plus, it's obvious that Jones is on the radar of some pretty powerful people, and that can hint towards where she might be going next.
Iron Fist, Mystic Hand
Daredevil tends to play things pretty realistically — well, as realistic as a blind Catholic in red pajamas that beats up pimps can be — but the one thing this season is really bringing to the table is mysticism. This plays an integral part in the appearance of The Hand, the otherworldly, immortal cadre of ninjas out for Daredevil's blood.
However, what's more interesting than Daredevil fighting dozens of ninjas is the potential world this sets up for Marvel's upcoming Netflix series: Iron Fist. In the comics, Danny Rand's Iron Fist powers are fueled by bits and pieces of Eastern mysticism, and the portrayal of The Hand can bridge the gap to that. The show presents it all in a grounded way, but one that can still be true to the character.
Another smaller connection to Iron Fist deals with the appearance of Jessica Jones' Jeri Hogarth, again played by Carrie-Anne Moss. In the books, Jeryn Hogarth (who is a male) is a friend of the Rand family and eventually becomes the attorney for the Heroes for Hire, which also features Luke Cage.
So no, Daredevil does not feature mammoth easter eggs or winks at the audience often, but all of the references, no matter how small, serve a purpose. They add depth and continuity to this self-contained Netflix universe, while also acknowledging Daredevil's big screen siblings.
Also check out the five comic books that inspired Daredevil Season 2: