Fans of Daredevil season 2 — that is, television viewers with a Netflix password and a pulse — have wanted this since March 2016. For some, even before then: before we knew how well Jon Bernthal would embody Frank Castle; before an electric drill spun through bones of his foot met only with promises of his captors’ deaths; before conversations on rooftops and in cemeteries; before a prison hallway; before “You’re one bad day away from being me.” As Marvel raised the bar with compelling villains from Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin to David Tennant’s Killgrave — villains who, in no insignificant part, made their respective series what they were — Frank Castle stood in an ambiguous gray.
And that’s where this beauty should live: Frank Castle done right is a Frank Castle made justifiable, one whose actions lend themselves to our basest desire for justice, the revenge we wish we could take in our worst moments if not for the ubiquitous ounce of reason that maintains our standing as “sane.” “You’re unhinged,” Matt told Frank on the rooftop. “There’s something broken in you.” Yet if you paused long enough to entertain a devil’s advocate “but,” you confirmed the horror and thrill of a Frank Castle done right: “You’re one bad day from being me,” if you just happened to be a trained soldier who can turn the semi-auto sideways like this is Mercenariez n the Hood:
And so we are given this, Netflix’s The Punisher, one part Marvel superhero series, two parts Man on Fire down to the quintessential weapons montage and promises to kill them all. Look at me as I say this and catch glimpses of my family’s death in my pupils where it lives to haunt me: Metallica in the background with Frank Castle walking forward and holding the trigger to fucking meter burn.
Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?! The Punisher abandons the ‘darkness vs the light inside’ conflict to ask what if the darkness won and was given an armory and Frank fucking Castle is here to show us. You may find me standing in front of a TV screen, arms flowing, conducting the violence like Willem Dafoe Boondock Saints-style. May it be the darkest, most haunting Marvel series brought to Netflix, and based on the trailer this writer is willing to call it right now: The Punisher will be a top 3 Marvel season aired on Netflix to date. See for yourself.