No offense to ol’ Horn Head, but The Punisher was easily the best part of Daredevil Season 2. Which is why it was cruel and unusual punishment to have to wait this long for the gun-toting Frank Castle to get his own series on Netflix.
Yep, The Punisher is back, full guns a’blazin’ in his own Marvel series on Netflix that ties right into the same TV universe filled with DD, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Elektra and the Immortal Iron Fist. Only he’s got no powers. No radar sense. No impenetrable skin. No resurrections, unless you count the number of times the world thought Frank Castle was dead.
Picking up straight from his stint in Daredevil, Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher) is on a mission to kill every last person involved in his family’s murder. See, the guy with the big white skull on his chest who goes around savagely poppin’ bad guys actually used to be quite the family man. Sure, tough on the exterior but soft on the inside with the proverbial heart of gold. That’s Frank Castle who loved his wife flawlessly, as well as his two young kids.
That is until this marine was out picnicking with the family for one last time. Wrong place at the wrong time. That pretty much sums it up as Castle’s family soon finds themselves in the middle of a major gang war with bullets flying left and right, leaving them all dead. All except for Castle himself, who’s dedicated his life to punishing those responsible for his family’s death.
All of that backstory was slowly revealed in Daredevil Season 2, but The Punisher picks up the ball and runs with it. Far. Turns out that gunfight in the middle of the park may not have been as random as everyone thought. Mix in drugs, corrupt military officials and Frank’s old soldier buddies and you’ve got one mega action-packed mystery of a gun fight.
Make no mistake, The Punisher is violent. There’s guns. There’s neck-snapping. There’s sledgehammers smashing body parts. Yet there’s some crazy elegance to it all. Watching The Punisher sneak into a room where he’s massively outnumbered and dissect his enemy like a surgeon is amazing. It’s also a bit hilarious too. In a black humor kind of way.
Frank is pretty funny the way he plays with his prey. He also has a fantastic love/hate relationship with the guy called Micro. (He’s known as Microchip in the comics!) This guy’s a super computer whiz and has some mysterious backstory that overlaps with Frank’s a bit, pulling them closer together. Their first face to face meeting, however, is pretty priceless.
As a series, The Punisher hits so many different buttons. Fights. Gun fights. Car chases. Espionage. Military secrets. War. If you’re looking for bunnies and rainbows, well, sorry but you’ll have to try elsewhere. But if you’re looking for one rip-roaring ride, this is one punishment you won’t mind accepting.
What really makes this show so can’t-miss for me, though, is Jon Bernthal. I HATED this guy when he played the traitorous Shane on The Walking Dead. This was a guy who did a lot of bad things. I prayed for him to become zombie food every week. But as The Punisher, Bernthal is spot-on perfect!
He doesn’t just have the look (that very jagged face and harsh nose) right out of the comics, but he has the crazy in his eyes. Toss in a slow, grunt-filled gravelly voice and Mr. Castle literally seems to be leaping out of the four-color pages of the comics world.
I’m not sure where I’d rank The Punisher on Marvel’s Netflix scale of shows, but it’s definitely Top 3, right up there with Jessica Jones and Daredevil. I just hope The Punisher gets a chance to reload for a few more seasons because I’m far from done taking my punishment.
What do you think of The Punisher?