Netflix’s “The Punisher”

I finally found time to watch the “new” trailer for Netflix’s upcoming Marvel series, The Punisher, and I’m a bit…. uneasy? Unhappy?

First, let me just say I wasn’t necessarily a fan of how the Punisher was portrayed in season 2 of Daredevil. Not that Jon Bernthal didn’t portray the necessary gravitas or bad-assedness that is Frank Castle, but that they made the character a bit chattier than I remember from the comics (back in the day).

That long, lofty conversation he has with Matt/Daredevil on the rooftop was something out of exposition 101, and I just couldn’t see the Punisher doing that. It was a freaking Shakespearean monologue.

And so, because of that, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the Punisher’s origin story in that show. The trailer for the standalone series, however, makes it clear Frank Castle is being hunted due to his association with some super-secret government task force/spec-ops/spook stuff.

Is it me, or does that kind of fly in the face of the real character that is Frank Castle? Yes, in the new series, his family is killed to “get to him,” so that loss is what drives him, along with the continued pursuit of him, but it doesn’t really fit the whole “Punisher” thing for me.

Frank Castle became the Punisher because his family was killed by random violence in the city, and he vowed to punish (see what they did there?) all the criminals that went uncaught.

The Punisher is a vigilante, pure and simple. Perhaps the closest thing to Batman Marvel has, but without Bruce Wayne’s penchant for not necessarily killing the criminals. Frank Castle is 100% about punishment. Period.

He is, in some ways, Judge Dredd without the de-facto legal authority.

That’s not to say the action bits and whatnot for the Netflix series don’t look impressive, but I’m just not certain they do real justice to the original character concept. Netflix would have us think Frank Castle is some sort of James Bond/Jason Bourne kind of character, when that is perhaps the farthest thing from the truth.

I don’t know. Am I completely off-base, here?


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