The series starts off a bit slow. Not as slow as the extremely disappointing season one of Iron Fist, but it is very methodical. However, the performance of Bernthal in the titular role, buoyed by the scene-stealing Ebon Moss-Bacharach as his sidekick “Micro,” makes the pacing tolerable.
And the payoff is ultimately worth it, as episodes 10-13 are some of the finest that Marvel’s “Netflix universe” has had to offer.
What I like most about the Punisher is that it deftly addresses issues that continue to plague veterans in the U.S. While the country superficially praises the bravery and valor demonstrated by its veterans, it hasn’t often backed that praise with the tools necessary to integrate its heroes back into society.
The series tackles the aforementioned issue, as well as PTSD, which impacts nearly all of the key players (heroes and villains alike) on the show. As the son of a veteran, these topics resonate loudly with me.
Blood, Guts and (Some) Glory
This series is not for the faint of heart or weak (of) stomach. There’s a lot of blood and guts, literally. But if you read the Punisher comics, the extreme violence is what made the Punisher so different than “humane” vigilantes like Batman and Daredevil. But these life and death consequences are part of what make Frank Castle a more compelling character than the aforementioned in some ways.
The line between hero in villain is often blurred, as good people (e.g. homeland security agent Dinah Madani) are forced to do bad things to affect change, and even bad people (e.g. Jigsaw) often display honorable acts. But the end for the heroes and villains are only sometimes glorious, as you get the sense that right and wrong varies, depending on the situation.
It’s not revenge, but it’s a damn good show. I look forward to season two. 💀