The Final Countdown To ‘The Punisher’ Has Begun. Here’s What’s In Store


After months of waiting and relentless teasing from Netflix, Marvel’s The Punisher is finally upon us — and a string of recent interviews with cast members shed light on what we can expect when Frank Castle returns on Nov. 17 to dish out some bloody, bullet-riddled justice punishment.

Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead fame reprises his role from Daredevil season 2 as the spin-off’s titular anti-hero, but instead of serving as a moral foil to an uptight blind acrobat in a red suit, the standalone series fully embraces Castle’s “the ends justify the means” approach, exploring more gritty territory than previous Marvel franchises. Gone is the stoic yet somehow sentimental Frank Castle, searching for meaning by taking out criminal underlords and their goons. Instead, we’ll see a man with nothing left to lose on a mission to dismantle a clandestine organization — and because The Punisher will be all about a gun-toting vigilante on a quest for revenge, there’s going to be a hefty body count by the season’s end.

“The show takes you on this journey of Frank becoming more and more human again and then shutting off and shutting off and going back to what works for him, and the place where he kind of belongs, and I think that’s a place of solitude and of darkness and destruction,” Bernthal told Entertainment Weekly in September. “It’s going to get into as dark and as brutal a place as you’ve ever seen in the Marvel world, I can promise you that.”

Related: Get Ready To See Marvel’s Baddest Vet Before He Was The Punisher »

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for witty repartee, though there may be a few quips and jabs, bounced off Bernthal’s co-star, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who plays David Lieberman aka “Micro,” a tech-wiz who functions as Castle’s eyes and ears on the dark web. He’s essentially a bearded, one-man S-shop outfitting with all the data, support, equipment, and intel he needs to get the job done.

“I do think there’s a sense of humor to Frank Castle, but there is absolutely nothing tongue-in-cheek about [their interactions],” Bernthal said in recent Entertainment Weekly article about Micro and Castle’s relationship. “The last thing in the world he can give a sh– about is making someone else laugh.”

"Micro" is pretty much a one-stop S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4, except it doesn't take him a month to file The Punisher's paperwork.Image via Netflix

No wonder: A war hero and former Force Reconnaissance Marine, Castle returns home from service overseas, only to lose his family to what at first appears to be crime-related violence, but in reality, is a deliberate attack by faceless government goons. While Castle dons his grim nom de guerre and goes looking for those responsible, he remains, at his core, a tragic and complicated character with blood on his hands.

“I think these characters, even more so than in other superhero shows —  which is why you don’t see a lot of guns in other superhero shows unless it’s a gun being kicked out of a nameless bad guy’s hand by a hero that would rather be nonviolent — but I think our characters are complex, particularly the character of The Punisher,” Bernthal’s co-star, Ben Barnes told Screen Rant in a recent interview.

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

While the show’s emphasis on violence, especially gun violence, has turned some would-be viewers away in the months since the first teasers hit the Internet, recent real-world tragedies have impacted the show’s promotional lead up, with Netflix and Marvel cancelling an Oct. 7 New York Comic Con panel in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and nearly 500 wounded.

“I think it was always laid out for us that the violence in our show was supposed to make you uncomfortable and you’re supposed to see the wear and tear on characters if they are violent,” said Barnes, who plays Billy Russo, a once-close friend of Castle’s from before the latter traded his MULTICAM duds — a uniform choice that left some scratching their heads — for his signature black attire and white skull logo. “Nobody, I think, in our show is violent and lauded for it, especially if they’re using weapons. So that’s definitely not a message that’s being put out there, and that was something that was talked about.”

For many die-hard fans of The Punisher, it’s precisely those complicated and, at times, morally dubious actions that make him appealing. Frank Castle is not a cookie-cutter hero or a Boy Scout, but he’s not an outright villain: He’s something inbetween.

“The thing about The Punisher is that he fights crime we can all relate to — street crime, quality of life crime, and things like that,” Chuck Dixon, a long-running writer on The Punisher series for Marvel told Task & Purpose in September. “You know, like when you see criminals getting away, not getting caught, or the justice system fails and you see this in the news, it frustrates everybody, and The Punisher is like an answer — an escapist answer to that frustration.”

Marvel’s The Punisher will premiere on Netflix Nov. 17.


Image via Netflix

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."

In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army photo)

A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Capt. Jason Welch)

Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas, returned from a deployment to Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, in February 60 combat badges richer.

Read More Show Less
Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Porch/U.S. Army

Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced

Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.

Read More Show Less

In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.

"The adjectives a majority of witnesses used to describe his leadership were abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,"a DoD IG report on the investigation into Cooling's conduct found. "Some subordinates considered him an 'equal opportunity offender,' disparaging men and women. BGen Cooling denied making some of the comments attributed to him, but more than one witness told us they heard him make each of the comments described in this section of our report."

Read More Show Less