I’ve been pretty outspoken about my excitement for Frank Castle’s return to Netflix in The Punisher ever since Marvel’s October 2016 announcement that Jon Bernthal’s ex-Marine anti-hero would get his own show. I’ve devoted lots and lots of time to speculation on how Castle’s military history, originally teased in Daredevil season 2, would play out in a superhero series all about a one-man firing squad emblazoned with a white skull. I’d say I’ve been counting down until its release, but Netflix and Marvel are still keeping that under wraps.
The military is a strange institution. It must be on the cutting edge of innovation and change in order to win the nation’s wars. If it falls behind, even for a moment, the costs can be immense. In some cases, it even leads social change when it serves military goals — the military was at the forefront of civil rights when it integrated blacks in 1948.