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The Punisher on Netflix Discussion


Bernthal is great. Just in episode two alone he has to portray Family Man Flashback Frank, Punisher Frank, Guard Down Frank with Karen and the other veteran, Guard Up Frank in the diners and Pretend Family Man Frank with Micro’s wife. That’s quite the feat.


Really enjoyed this season. The Frank/Micro relationship was very affecting and I like how Frank was contrasted against the very similar Lewis Wilson character. Overall the show’s an effective portrayal of the addictive and self-destructive power of violence, as well as how our country neglects veterans.

I don’t think it handled the gun control topic well, though. Making the anti-gun senator a cartoonish coward seemed like bending over backwards to appease the fringes of pro-gun people. It was also weird when Karen pushed him on background checks. That felt like another needless capitulation–and to whom, exactly? Most Americans, even gun-owners, want stricter and more expansive background checks. It just made Karen seem kinda nutty. Karen’s reasons for owning a gun are compelling and a more deftly written debate between her and the senator could have been interesting. Maybe that’s asking too much of the show but if it couldn’t handle the topic with more care then perhaps it shouldn’t have taken it on. I get why they wanted to, though.


First, this is far less a reply to you Will and far more my using your post as a starting point.

I did read the spoiler text, but that only emphasises my initial response to this info, which was: What the hell was this doing in a Punisher story at all? Maybe they didn’t feel they could duck it, maybe that’s what happens when superheroes become too grounded because, in every much a way as other superheroes, the Punisher is a total fantasy. Castle shoots perfectly every time. No matter what - no stray rounds, no collateral damage, every bullet goes precisely where it should - and no further.

I’m reminded of Ennis’ afterword in Welcome Back Frank where he has a good rant about the absurdity of trying to justify the Punisher. There is no justifying the character save as mad entertainment that you don’t think too much about.

Oh, great. That probably rules me out then.

What is interesting to me about this to me is it highlights the difference the medium makes. For instance, I love Ennis’ Punisher Max run - it’s superb. Similarly, Scalped is brilliant. Would I enjoy them as much if they were rendered as full-on TV? Probably not and it’s all to do with the difference of comics versus TV. With comics you get to control the sensory input far, far more - you actively make the story ‘flow’, whereas in TV, you’re in a more passive, receiving mode with zero control over the sensory input. I can’t stop things going too brutal in TV but I can dial it back a bit in comic form.


So I’m four episodes into this oddly we bounced from Peaky Blinders season 3 (which had a few moments of violence) straight into this, the pace is a little slower here in Punisher to PB (short series length) but I’m finding it to be as enjoyable.

Don’t know why I’m comparing them. But I could see how they could so far have cut a good portion of content to fit into a 6-8 episode series. Still Bernthal is brillant for me. Loved the interaction and initial clash with Punisher and Micro. Think both actors had a great chemistry and vibe together, looking forward to seeing how this plays out in later stages of the series.

I’ve enjoyed all the Netflix Marvel series so far. There have been issues and others weren’t as compelling as each other but the tone for the most part has been great.


Should probably put a spoiler note around that. Mind you it’s not so much telegraphed, more you get hit with 20 pop-ups every time he’s on screen.



That’s got to be one of the most insulting articles I’ve read in a while.

It seems to start from a basis that people do not and cannot tell the difference between story and reality.


I thought that series was fantastic. It’s far and away the best of the Netflix shows. One of the reasons is Bernthal. He has real screen presence. I could genuinely see him alongside the MCU movies characters on the big screen and I haven’t felt that before. I loved the story, I loved the slow creeping political conspiracy aspect they spray-tanned on, I loved the action movie aspect, I loved that the violence wasn’t dialed back and played (relatively) real, I loved the fact that on more than one occasion The Punisher actually punished, I loved the buddy movie interplay, I loved Frank talk about Wu-Tang…

Frank is more than an anti-hero at times, he is the villain, he is Dredd. He is wrong but you understand why he thinks he’s right. In this you can feel his pain and why he wants to punish people without resorting to discussing the judicial system or how it’s wronged him. He DGAF about that, it exists in a different realm. He is the law. The music is great, the tone is consistent and while it may have some faulty plot and is devoid of realism for certain areas of it ramification wise, it has the notes of a 70’s political thriller and the heart of an 80’s action blockbuster.

It’s not a documentary, nor does it really get to the heart of gun violence, foreign policy or veterans, not in any real way, but the use of those things as a back drop is effective enough to give it the shallow depth needed for Frank to get away with the shit he gets away with in terms of Punishing.

No one wants The Punisher (or Judge Dredd for that matter) to actually exist in real life, but fuck is that type of character entertaining to watch shoot the place up and serve justice the way they think it should be served.


I would love to see a Steve Rogers and Frank Castle MCU scene at some point. Two vets who are choosing two different paths who both have a bone to pick with government agencies. Bernthal is on fire right now and he can more than hold his own on a big screen.


Yeah, I’m only on episode three but already I am far more interested in Bernthal’s Punisher being the one Netflix Marvel character to get a big-screen promotion if such a thing is possible.

OR have a crossover with Iron Fist and beat the shit out of him…

A random guess - Frank will wind up having to save the life of the traumatised kid from the support group in such a way that reveals to the world he is still alive.


It should be called the PunishED 'cause holy fuck he gets a superhuman amount of physical damage every so often an walks it of like it’s nothing… It’s even worse than DD :smile:


It’s Batman levels of physical damage :wink:




Episode 4 - quite appropriate that it ended with a car chase given the amount of wheel spinning going on here.



Buh. While I agree with parts of this article, the fear mongering aspect that runs throughout is pretty grating. Marines were channelling The Punisher through the his trademark skull on their gear long before Trump arrived.


Just finished the season - Hands down my favorite Netflix Marvel series. I think that there were no powers/tights/comic book tropes is what saved it for me. While watching DD, i felt taken out of the action every time he put on the tights.


I quite enjoyed that. Worried about the 13 episodes but didnt feel too long or padded. No complaints (well, maybe overuse of flashbacks but it’s not a hindrance).

Just keep this quality level for season two and beyond please.


Agree. It never dragged for me. I know if it passes the cell phone test - go a whole episode without checking emails, etc.


I quite agree!

Up to episode 8 now. I feared the show was on the brink of dragging everything out but the last few episodes have really thrown the proverbial poop at the proverbial fan. The dynamic between Frank and Micro is quite engaging. After Micro’s wife kisses Frank it would have been so damn easy for the show to go down the obvious road of Micro turning on Frank, yet here they act like actual adults. Foolish, messed up adults but adults nonetheless.

Also, the kid who plays Lewis is outstanding. I’m getting strong Giovanni Ribisi vibes from him. Hopefully he goes onto bigger and better things. And hopefully Lewis’s father is okay…

I’m enjoying the Billy character too. I suspected from his introduction that he would turn out to be the bad guy but the show did just enough with him to make me doubt that… only to then make him even more of a bad guy in more terrifying ways than I had imagined.

Still can’t quite get over how Agent Orange and his merry crew managed to remove the corpses of their Stormtroopers from that remote Kentucky forest and yet did not remove the corpse of Gunner at the same time. That seems like basic introductory covert villain procedure.