By Phillip Fleming
After making his first appearance in the smash hit, “Daredevil,” Jon Bernthal finally gets his time to shine with his portrayal of the violent anti-hero in Netflix’s “The Punisher.” The sixth series in Marvel’s Netflix roster, it follows events directly after “The Defenders.” It features returning characters from “Daredevil” including Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Detective Brett Mahoney (Royce Johnson).
After the tragic murder of his wife and kids in a park shooting, ex-marine Frank Castle takes it upon himself to send all who were involved to their graves in the most gruesome way possible, adopting the persona of The Punisher. With the world thinking him dead after his alleged death in “Daredevil” Season 2, Frank starts tracking down and eliminating his final targets.
When he offs the last man, Frank tries to put the past behind him, including the existence of The Punisher. He does his best to integrate back into society and resume some semblance of normality.
When criminals threaten an innocent man’s life, Frank can’t ignore it, and he is forced to act. His resurface attracts Microchip (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), who believes they share common interests, thus bringing Frank out of retirement.
After giving a fantastic performance in his first appearance, Bernthal thrilled fans who were more than excited to see him reprise the role in his own show. While Castle’s violent nature and no-nonsense attitude seem to be ripped right from the comics, fans may be disappointed with how little he actually gets to ‘punish.’
It starts off slow paced, with little action sequences sprinkled in, but it leads to thrilling and brutal final episodes. Bernthal has great chemistry with Moss-Bachrach and other supporting characters. He seems to steal the spotlight in every scene. However, this can be a bad thing at times. You may find it difficult to get invested in other characters’ lives and become bored when Bernthal isn’t on screen.
Furthermore, the show is filled with fantastic performances and a compelling narrative. It takes the Punisher’s origin and characters and puts an interesting new twist on them. You feel invested in the story, and the actors really make the world feel real.
Compared to other Marvel characters, Frank has no powers. This is a very grounded story with realistic scenarios unlike “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage.” Although fun and entertaining, “The Punisher” is much darker and more serious than other superhero shows. For fans of The Punisher comics, this is a must-see. There are tons of references and characters that will make you gasp with excitement. This is definitely a show made by fans, for fans.