The principle reason we’re going to be getting The Punisher Netflix series this year is the amazing performance that Jon Bernthal gave during the last season of Daredevil on the same network. Perhaps because all of the various Punisher movies have been so profoundly disappointing, viewers got much more than they probably expected from this deadly Marvel character on Netflix.
As noted by Science Fiction, the decision was made to give The Punisher his own series, which will apparently premiere sometime in the fall of 2017. Given the universal accolades that Jon Bernthal received for his version of the character, it’s safe to assume that the upcoming The Punisher series will give us more of the same.
Frank Castle – aka The Punisher – in the comics is a former Marine whose family was murdered and who seeks out vengeance against those responsible, at least initially. Ultimately, the character in Marvel comics has become a personification of vengeance in a way that even the fiery-headed Ghost Rider doesn’t quite match.
In some elsewhere versions in the comic books, Castle has even killed the entire Marvel Universe, blaming all of the characters for the death of his family. This bloodthirsty and merciless seeker of justice has been difficult to transfer to the screen in a way that really works.
— Punisher HQ (@PunisherHQ) January 4, 2017
Previous cinematic incarnations of The Punisher made the character of Frank into such a caricature that he didn’t seem quite human. Jon Bernthal presents us with a realization of Frank Castle that the audience can actually sympathize with.
Another interesting aspect of the Punisher character is that –unlike the other characters in the various Marvel Netflix series –he has no super powers. He doesn’t have Jessica Jones’ strength, Luke Cage’s invulnerability, the Daredevil’s heighten senses or Danny Rand’s Iron Fist magical punch.
The Punisher is just an ordinary man who happens to know how to fight and kill and is remorseless is doing so. This training and his motivation to serve justice on the bad guys of Hell’s Kitchen makes him – except for the killing – not unlike DC Comics’ Batman, who is driven to seek out and “punish” crime and criminals wherever he finds them in Gotham City.
This difference in how the Punisher deals with criminals is important.During a lengthy dialogue on the roof of the building with a chained up Daredevil, The Punisher engages in a back and forth with his adversary/rival over the use of lethal force in stopping bad guys. While the Daredevil suggests that it’s only a last resort, The Punisher points out that when he kills the bad guys they stay gone.
As described on IMBd, The Punisher series will be comprised of 13 episodes that – like other Marvel Netflix series – will be made available simultaneously for binge watching by viewers if they wish.
Whether the character of the Daredevil will make an appearance in the show – either in a large role or in a cameo is unclear, but Daredevil actor Charlie Cox is not listed in the cast on the IMBd page. On the other hand, the producers might be holding back his appearance as a surprise.
One thing seems fairly clear, the Punisher will probably not show up in The Defenders – at least not as an ally. His bloodthirsty approach to dealing with the baddies probably wouldn’t sit too well with the rest of the team.
It’s almost certain that the 2017 The Punisher Netflix series isn’t going to show us any significant change in the character. In fact, it seems probable that the body count and blood splatter will only increase when Frank Castle gets his own series this fall.
[Featured Image by Netflix]