It feels as if the Marvel Universe has been exploding a new hero narrative in our theaters and screens every other minute. With their blockbusters, their ABC programs and their Netflix shows, you can’t really escape them. Netflix currently has six original shows featuring Marvel characters and their inevitable team-ups.
The Punisher is the latest addition to Netflix’s original Marvel lineup. Jon Bernthal first graced Netflix’s many screens as Frank Castle on Daredevil. Now the grumbling hero has his own show that explores how Frank Castle, famed for killing mobsters and gangsters in Daredevil, evolves into the Punisher.
The series picks up where Frank Castle’s story line ended in Daredevil, with Frank trying to quietly live his life after faking his own death and killing off the last of his family’s murderers. The gritty series plummets into his past, stepping beyond the traumatic deaths of his family members to explore Frank’s military career. While the audience gets a brief glimpse into who Frank was before losing his family, it doesn’t depend on it to drive the plot.
Frank is pulled away from his quiet new life after Micro sends him a video clip from his Marine days that drags Frank on a renewed quest for vengeance. In this series we see a softer version of the Punisher, with Frank risking it all to protect the innocent. While he still runs about New York City, guns a blazin’ with plenty of gore, Frank is portrayed as being more than a killing machine. In fact, after witnessing personal betrayals and new relationships, the audience has the opportunity to see the man behind the scope.
The Punisher is a 13-episode series with each episode running for just under an hour. The show stars Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Amber Rose Revah.
Looking for a similar show? Jessica Jones, another Marvel series, also features a traumatized and unwilling hero trying to live her life before being thrown into a much larger mystery. Luke Cage, another Marvel series, follows the titular character as he tries to hide his super strength from the public while seemingly unable to avoid helping people.