The last time we saw Frank Castle, he was helping Matt Murdock in Daredevil dish out some vigilante justice in Hell’s Kitchen. The vengeful ex-marine is now back to continue his crusade in his own Netflix spin-off, The Punisher.
Starring The Walking Dead alumnus Jon Bernthal in the titular role, The Punisher tells the story of a broken man who goes on a bloody rampage as he seeks revenge for the murder of his wife and children. And expectedly, there’s plenty of grit, guns, guts and gore in the new Netflix series. The Punisher is the latest in a string of Marvel series to hit Netflix in recent years after Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and this summer’s The Defenders.
Created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr and Ross Andru, the comic made its debut in 1974 in an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. The character of Frank Castle, a Vietnam War veteran, was born out of an era of social upheaval and cynicism. After his family’s murder, he goes on a one-man mission to ‘punish’ criminals by adorning his body armor with a symbol of a death’s head skull and taking on the name Punisher. In his various vigilante battles, Castle crossed paths with other costumed Marvel vigilantes, like Spider-Man and Daredevil but these encounters often ended with him in prison.
Bernthal described his role in an interview with Awards Daily: “He has no superpower. His superpower is his humanity. It’s his drive, his rage, and his loss. I could never have played this part if I weren’t a husband or father. Until you really understand what it’s like to love somebody more than yourself and to willingly give your life for them, only then can you understand what it would mean if they were taken from you.”
Picking up from the end of Daredevil’s second season, after speedily bringing his family’s murderers to justice, Castle looks to assimilate into New York and shuffle back to normal life in the Big Apple considering everyone presumes he’s dead. But suffering from a severe case of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), the transition is not as easy.
The show hopes to delve into the humanity behind the anti-hero as he uncovers a larger conspiracy behind his family’s death with the help of Daredevil‘s Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a Homeland Security special agent named Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) and best friend Billy Russo (Ben Barnes). “The Frank Castle you find in this story is not The Punisher. He’s reeling from the loss of his family. He’s driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible,” says Bernthal speaking to Awards Daily.
The show is created by Steve Lightfoot, who worked as an executive producer and writer on the critically acclaimed NBC drama Hannibal. The 13-episode season will be available for streaming on Netflix on 17 November.