The second season of Daredevil introduced The Punisher as the darkest Marvel character to date. While his appearance was only a half-season arc, it was still a terrifically written and acted piece of work. Now, The Punisher has received his own Netflix series and it has all the gruesome grit a fan could hope for.
The Punisher opens like no other series has before with Frank Castle immediately hitting the streets in his skull-painted uniform, murdering criminals with questionably merciless rage. Compared to all the other series that take the entire season to put the main character in the hero position everyone was watching for, this is a breath of fresh air.
The show follows three main plot lines that interconnect at various points throughout the season. The main storyline revolves around Frank and his newfound ally “Micro,” otherwise known as David Lieberman. Castle and Lieberman have both been screwed by government conspiracies and now live in hiding as dead men, navigating a solution to free themselves and hold those accountable while dealing with their philosophical differences. Their chemistry is well developed from the beginning and by the end you truly feel a bond between the two.
The secondary plot line acts as The Punisher’s political message, dealing with a support group of ex-military who have trouble readjusting to civilian life led by one of Frank’s old marine buddies. Eventually this support group story begins to focus on Lewis, the most disturbed of the bunch, with the actor delivering some very heavy and emotional scenes.
The final side story takes an awful long time to lead to anything useful. It follows Homeland Security agents following the same conspiracy as Micro and Castle, but in a governmental capacity. While the scenes that follow this plot make it tempting to grab your phone and wait it out, once it begins to pick up there is some very unexpected payoff.
Even if there is suspension of disbelief issues, The Punisher definitely blows it out of the water, but be warned it is not for the faint of heart.