Get Ready To See Marvel's Baddest Vet Before He Was The Punisher

Entertainment
Photo via Netflix

Long before Frank Castle swapped his cammies, plate carrier and Kevlar for a set of black body armor emblazoned with a leering white skull and set out to punish the world’s criminals as The Punisher, he was a U.S. Marine. And it looks like Marvel and Netflix plan on giving us a glimpse at Castle’s wartime service.


On Sept. 12, Netflix released a string of new promotional images for The Punisher, the latest preview ahead of the closely kept release date the streaming service can’t resist teasing. Among the photos was an image of Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, kitted up, armed, and, in all likelihood, in a warzone.

With Netflix and Marvel's The Punisher we might get to see Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle as a Marine, and maybe the show will explain why he's rocking MULTICAM instead of MARPAT.Photo via Netflix

If it’s a flashback, it’s probably somewhere in the Middle East, given what we learned of Castle’s battlefield heroics in Pakistan, Iran (we’ll ignore the ridiculousness of this scenario), and Afghanistan in Daredevil’s second season. In northeastern Afghanistan, while serving as a recon Marine, Castle single handedly annihilated an enemy ambush, for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Related: Bone Deep: The Relationship Between The Punisher And The Military »

Adding to the hunch that The Punisher will feature some flashbacks to Castle’s time in the Corps, is the episode list, which was released in morse code on twitter last month. Among the episode titles were more than a few that have a uniquely military vibe: Kandahar, Gunner, Cold Steel, Front Toward Enemy, and Danger Close.

That look says that maybe he messed up on the white skull spray paint job, and it came out as a smiley face instead.Photo via Netflix

Another image shows Castle in a dilapidated warehouse holding a black set of body armor, possibly a safehouse to lay low from the unknown enemy hunting him. And based on a second teaser posted to the shows official count the same day, it’s possible this hideout belongs to an ally — an ally teased in yet another promotional video tweeted by the show’s official account:

The tweet features cryptic passages mentioning Kandahar, a cover up (which was alluded to at the end of Daredevil season two), and Micro, a cyber super-sleuth and hacker who teams up with The Punisher in the original Marvel comics to provide support and intel.

Frank Castle exercising those reconnaissance muscles from his time in the Marines.Photo via Netflix

Other photos showed Castle and Karen Page, played by Deborah Ann Woll, meeting secretively, and indicates that the relationship the two formed in Daredevil season two hasn’t eroded now that Castle’s successfully hunted down the men responsible for his family’s death. After all, he’s going to need some help now that he apparently has a target on his back.

For a relationship that started with Frank Castle shooting at Karen Page in a hospital, it's certainly improved.Photo via Netflix

Given how important his military service is to his identity, it’ll be exciting to see Castle as a Marine, whether there’s a prologue episode or just a few flashbacks. Compared to other Marvel heroes who spent time in uniform, Frank Castle’s military service continues to drive and guide him, and it goes far beyond his skill with firearms.

If you're close enough to see the skull, it's too late.Photo via Netflix

In Daredevil season two, when Castle was given the option to claim post-traumatic stress disorder in order to get a leaner punishment during his trial, he declined, seeing it as a disservice to the men and women who actually needed help. In Castle’s eyes, it wasn’t combat that broke him: it was the lawlessness and cruelty he witnessed when he came home. And it’s that mix of moral steadfastness and a willingness to do the hard, but right thing — in Castle’s eyes at least — that makes him such an intriguing anti-hero to so many.

“He takes with him a military code for accountability and responsibility and he is very much an objective oriented person,” Gerry Conway, one of the character’s original creators told Task & Purpose in March 2016. “There’s not a lot of room for nuance when you’re in a  firefight. … He in that sense has a certain appeal.”

WATCH NEXT:

Photo: Twitter

For an organization that is constantly shining a light on things that would rather be kept out of the public eye, the moderators of U.S. Army WTF! Moments have done a remarkably impressive job at staying anonymous.

That is, until Monday.

Read More Show Less

For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.

"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.

In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.

"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."

Read More Show Less

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.

Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.

Read More Show Less
ABC News anchor Tom Llamas just before his network airs grossly inaccurate footage

Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.

On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.

Read More Show Less