grottofilmFinally, the second season of Daredevil is out, and we’ve got plenty of new characters to see together! Just as the other time, let’s start from the first episode, Bang. In here, we witness the “social debut” of The Punisher, who targets a gang of Irish mob leaving just one survivor (not that it’ll take much for him to fix the mistake…): the lucky gangster is Elliot Grope, better known as Grotto, portrayed by McCaleb Burnett. The young man, barely surviving the experience, seeks legal protection from Nelson & Murdock firm…thus starting a manhunt with one of the deadliest vigilantes ever on his trails. Now, while Elliot Grope never appeared in the comics, his alias Grotto is quite a familiar name: let’s see together.

Not much is known about Grotto’s early life, actually not even his true name. He lived in the slums of New York City, mostly hanging around ill-reputed neighborhoods like Hell’s Kitchen. A big and strong guy, Grotto was also quite dumb and dull, the perfect man for the kind of jobs Hell’s Kitchen’s mobsters usually needed. Since his youth, Grotto worked for this or that criminal boss, resulting in a pretty reliable thug: stupid enough not to question the orders he received, he was however clever enough to avoid useless dangers. From an employment to another, Grotto finally was hired by Eric Slaughter, an old mob boss who wanted to make his influence felt again before the end. It was while serving under Slaughter that Grotto met the man who would have become his life-long friend and partner in crime, Turk Barrett, a street-smart man who however had quite a high opinion of himself, and always believed to be smarter than he actually was. Along with Turk, Grotto was among the men sent to kill the superhero Daredevil when Bullseye put a bounty on his head, but obviously he got badly beaten up along with the others. After that, Slaughter ordered Grotto to confront yet another crazy costumed person who was messing with his business, the Greek mercenary grottocomics1Elektra: Grotto tracked her down to the West Side waterfront, but he was once again defeated, barely escaping with his life. When Grotto managed to come back to Slaughter’s headquarters, he found out that his friend Turk had messed up pretty badly: upon failing to kill Daredevil’s friend Matt Murdock, he inadvertently led the hero himself to the old man’s base, thus bringing to his arrest. Grotto was now unemployed, and he hit the streets again with Turk. Things, however, didn’t stay that way for long, as another crime boss, much more powerful and menacing than Slaughter, had come back to the scene.

Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin, had come back to regain control of the entire New York City criminality, and he was looking for henchmen: convinced by Turk, Grotto followed him, and entered Kingpin’s employment. Despite Grotto’s warning, Turk kept boasting around about his new employer, and eventually, while the two were together in their favourite bar, Josie’s (the owner, Josie, beat them as many times as Daredevil, but they still enjoyed the place, and often played poker there), Daredevil broke in, and interrogated them about Kingpin’s return. While Grotto took most of the beating, Turk had the time to have a smart idea (for once), and he informed Kingpin in time of the vigilante’s investigations, thus allowing him to plan his countermoves and to corner the hero. After this episode, Turk and Grotto received more attention from Fisk, who even entrusted them with his personal files, to be removed from their current location and hidden into a second vault (quite a responsibility task, considering that Fisk’s public image was the one of a perfectly honest businessman). When Sheldon, a smart and greedy kid, started blackmailing Randolph Cherry, the candidate for mayor Fisk had on his paybill, Grotto was ordered to kill him, and he followed Turk’s plan to eliminate the target during the Fifth Avenue Parade, exploiting the crowd…but as many other “brilliant” plans from Turk, that failed as well. Despite working for Kingpin, Turk still involved Grotto and others in “secondary jobs”, as old fashioned robberies; during one of those, while Turk was dividing the loot with Grotto and Zeke, Daredevil spotted them, and left them to be arrested. This time, not even grottocomics2Kingpin wanted to take them out of jail (while Zeke was freed soon after), so the duo was meant to spend quite a lot of time behind bars… But Turk, of course, had another brilliant plan to break out. This time, however, Grotto was sick and tired of his partner’s great ideas, and refused to follow him: maybe it was about time he stopped following people allegedly smarter than him, and he started thinking with his own head…well, the best he could, of course.

Grotto is a simple-minded and dull man, used to use his muscles more than his brain. A criminal for all his life, Grotto lives maiming, robbing and killing people, and is quite good at that. He usually works in pair with his friend Turk, and surprisingly enough, despite his obvious lack of intelligence, he acts as the voice of reason for his friend’s arrogance and overconfidence. An old-fashioned brute, Grotto is the perfect man to survive in the ugliest streets…as long as he doesn’t listen to his “smart” partner, that is.



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