The Punisher is the latest Marvel series to drop on Netflix. It stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle aka the Punisher, Ebon-Moss Bachrach as Micro, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page (from Daredevil).
The Punisher takes place after Daredevil season 2 and maybe after Defenders (but the show wasn’t really clear on that, where Frank Castle is trying to keep a low profile. Then, he catches wind that someone else may be responsible for his family’s death. This leads him back on the path of vengeance and he is forced to team up with Micro so that they can both get what they want.
I can’t really go more into the plot that what I summed up above without getting into spoilers, but let’s just say this show delivers. It is the best Marvel Netflix show in terms of quality (but Jessica Jones is still my favorite), there are no filler episodes like there are in the other Netflix shows. It is very violent, gory, rated R show – especially episode 12. But it isn’t all about the violence, there is really great character development in the show for all its main cast. I really like the sort of bromance there was between Frank and Micro. It also delves deep into PTSD and how we as a country are not taking care of our vets when they return from war.
This is a very serious show and while you can binge it, I suggest taking breaks between every 4 or 5 episodes because of all the violence. If you didn’t already know, this series was actually supposed to air earlier, but was pushed back because of the mass shootings. And awhile back I watched this great episode of ScreenJunkies were they talked about glorifying gun violence in shows and movies, like The Punisher has done, and why that’s a problem. And I just want to reiterate that the Punisher is not someone you want to look up to, of course he is a really cool anti-hero that we all root for, but he clearly has very serious mental issues due to the trauma he has faced. While he is the protagonist of the series, I think the show does a good job of showing that he is not a good person.
As for negatives, there aren’t very many in this series, but I do have two. One is more of a nitpick and its that in the show, Frank Castle seems to heal very quickly for someone who gets hurts (really badly) a lot. And two, the character Lewis played by Daniel Webber, was a really interesting and a good parallel character to the Punisher, but I don’t think that he really payed off at the end, but I may have been just excepting more. And Karen, who I find annoying in the Daredevil series, is actually pretty good here.
Overall, I think this is the best Marvel/Netflix series to date, and Jon Bernthal is really fantastic in this role. But this show is not for everyone – especially not for kids or those with weak stomachs. I give it an A-