Netflix’s The Punisher: A Philosophical Counter To Common Hero Troupes

The Punisher, was first introduced in Spider-Man #129 as something of a philosophical and literal counter to the traditional superhero troupe that says heroes are morally forbidden to kill. Frank Castle, the long-tortured vigilante introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in season 2 of Netflixs Daredevil, is a ghost.   

Everyone believes him to be dead, but Castle isnt dead. Hes just crazy and perpetually angry. Played with intensity and fire by Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Fury), the series opens with Castle living under the perpetual angst of witnessing the violent death of his wife and children at the hands of a group of paramilitary conspirators with connections to his time in covert ops in Afghanistan.

Talented and beautiful actress Amber Rose Revah plays Department of Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani. Essential to the series arc is the fact that Madani runs into what appears at the time to be bureaucratic red tape when asking the right question about the circumstances surrounding the death of an Afghan police officer, who apparently asked the wrong question. 

Marvel’s The Punisher | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | Netflix

Known throughout New York City as The Punisher, Frank Castle must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone. Marvel’s The Punisher premieres globally November 17, only on Netflix.

Conspiracies swirl as Agent Madani finds herself back stateside under the auspices of a promotion. But she eventually and as expected runs into trouble, but keeps pushing for more information.  Tough, relentless and unapologetically American, Madanis Iranian ancestry is central to the characters identity.  She believes in law and order, but a conspiracy that finds tendrils writhing in the high places in the United States government will shake her confidence in all she thought was right about her world. 

As she moves along, the name Frank Castle keeps coming up as essential to the investigation. Meanwhile, as everyone in the world believes him to be dead, a former NSA analyst called Micro (played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach) is alerted to Castles existence by Frank himself as he follows a lead provided by New York Bulletin Reporter Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).

Actor Jason R. Moore, who plays counselor Curtis Hoyle, is essential to the overall plot. Initially, he is the only individual who knows Frank Castle is alive.   Hoyle and Frank served together in the same covert unit, along with Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), who now runs private military contractor Anvil.  One of the keys to the series is the relationship between these three men, as well as the nature of their missions overseas.

 Thats gonna be an interesting thing to watch as it unfolds. My loyalty is with both camps. Something about Frank is more immediate, said Moore during a recent interview. Billy is successful, he has been able to act in the interest of society and is doing well for himself. The relationship with Frank is more secretive. My character is a bit more of a counselor on the show. So, I can see things about people that theyre unable to see about themselves. Its a pretty interesting dynamic between that buddy triangle there. I dont want to give away any spoilers, but you know that somebody is going to get betrayed.

The Punisher & Wilson Fisk – Fight Scene (In the Prison) | Daredevil 2×09 | 2016 (HD)

Uploaded by MK VISUALS on 2016-03-24.

                                                                                  Fight Scene from Season 2 of Daredevil

Violence, gratuitous and bloody, is essential to this series. Both those who are intimately familiar with the series, and those who only know it as a vague part of comic book Americana, are aware of the nature of this character. Frank Castle kills people in every way one would imagine a person could be killed in this series. While that might throw some off their lunch, this wouldnt be The Punisher without that quality. 

The street-level world of Marvel has been the setting for all of Netflixs offerings from the very beginning. Initially, we enjoyed the ties that bound the world of Jessica Jones, to that of Daredevil, to that of Luke Cage, and even that of Iron Fist. However, The Defenders gave me a slight case of superhero indigestion.  

So, it was with glee that I was able delve into this dark, bloody world. This is a departure from those morals and sensitivities that other Netflix Marvel characters and properties faced.  With The Punisher, it is expected that the enemies of Castle will find a fiery death, and that this will play out in some form each episode.

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Marvel’s THE PUNISHER has jaw-dropping action scenes whilst being an superb character piece on Frank Castle and the supporting cast around him. The writing, directing and acting is some of Marvel (and Netflix’s) best making this show a must watch when it releases!

But what is also certain is that Castle will find betrayal at the hands of one of his most trusted allies. Jon Bernthal is perfect as Frank Castle. The expressions that he is able muster in reaction to pain, anger or rage, as well as intensity of emotions depicted, breathed life into Castle. But were also shown how Castles somewhat warped sense of morality is genuine on multiple occasions. Themes of PTSD, false patriotism and abandonment are prominent throughout the series as well. 

There are places where the story seems to crawl, but its nearly impossible to pace a show for speed without sacrificing some elements of storytelling, which is something each of Netflixs Marvel-based series has at least attempted to do. The Punisher is something totally different, welcome departure from other series spawned from similar material. 

I liked it.

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