Marvel is back with their latest Netflix The Punisher. Following in the same world as previous Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, we see Frank Castle take the lead in his own series. The new series is the bloodiest in Marvel’s Netflix lineup, but what would you expect from a show about a semi-psycho murdering vigilante?
Fans have been anticipating The Punisher series for a while now. After seeing Jon Berthnal’s amazing portrayal of crazy murder vigilante Frank Castle in Daredevil Season 2, expectations were set high. The series follows Frank Castle after the events of Daredevil Season 2, but before the events of The Defenders
Episode 1 opens with Frank taking out everyone involved in the murder of his family. Using the persona of “The Punisher” he takes out the bike gangs, the drug cartels and everyone else linked to the incident. Afterwards, he burns his iconic skull costume. To the rest of the world, Frank Castle is dead.
This quick introduction works really well to remind us what sort of character Frank Castle is and what kind of show this will be. From a single sniper shot to the head incognito to a rather conspicuous choking in a bathroom stall, Frank’s talent for killing is both climatic yet chilling.
It’s hammer time
Frank Castle has grown a beard. With a new identity, he works doing manual labour in construction. Keeping to himself, Castle is dubbed “The Gimp” and other workers consider him retarded. Even in the scenes where he’s just hitting a wall with a hammer, you can feel his pent-up anger.
Castle really rocks the beard and long hair look. He looks mean and unapproachable, but not scary like The Punisher. The thuggish group at the construction site do a great job of being assholes and perfectly antagonise the audience. We want Castle to beat them up but he doesn’t.
Enter Donny, the new kid on the site, wants to fit in. Gets manipulated by the thug group and ends up helping them rob some gangsters at a poker game. Donny is a likeable character with a cliched sob story. That being said, when things go south, we are all rooting for him to survive. He’s the perfect damsel in distress and Castle saving him feels like justice.
Marvel’s most violent yet
The show has gained a lot of criticism for its violence. Bloodier than any of the previous Marvel shows, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. The first episode alone has death by hammer, death by drowning in cement, a shootout and lots of close combat fighting.
The scenes are fairly brutal, although you don’t see anything such as brain matter. There’s definitely blood though! On TV, it’s more violent than normal. Compared to The Punisher comics, it’s fairly light. So judge for yourself if you think there’s too much violence, not enough violence or just the right amount of violence.
More jarring to me than the violence, which we’ve experienced with this character in Daredevil is the take on PTSD. It’s a fascinating subject and I’m expecting to get hit in the feels at a few points in this series. Seeing Frank Castle as a killing machine is cool, but seeing his psychological suffering is going to be a tough one.
Overall the first episode is fantastic and it might be my new favourite Netflix Marvel offering. It’s gritty, the pacing is good, the characters so far are interesting and it has a kickass soundtrack. I have very high expectations.