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Advance Review: Marvel’s The Punisher – Season 1 (MINOR SPOILERS)

by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor,

Following his debut in Daredevil: Season 2, Frank Castle breaks out into his own Netflix original series: Marvel’s The Punisher! Castle continues his one man war on crime and attempts to escape the ghosts of his past. Can the horror ever truly end for him, or will he be forced to face his demons?
 
Minor spoilers ahead!
 
Though he made it home from war, Frank learned that nowhere was truly safe. With his family gone and the mobsters responsible for their deaths now dead, Frank attempts to move on and cope with his new state of affairs. When a mysterious man named “Micro” enters his life, he quickly learns that there was more to his situation than he believed. Why was his family truly killed? It’s time for Frank to find out. 
 
 
Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) reprises his role as Frank Castle/The Punisher for the latest Netflix Marvel collaboration. Bernthal manages an impressively complex performance, balancing the intense vengeance of The Punisher with the moral core of Frank Castle. Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil) also returns as Karen Page, who continues to reluctantly aid Frank’s crusade. The relationship dynamic between these two characters continues to grow, allowing Frank and Karen to try to find their place in the crazy Marvel world. The Punisher also features Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Last Ship) as Micro, Amber Rose Revah (Emerald City) as Dinah Madani, Jason R. Moore  (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) as Curtis, and Ben Barnes (Westworld) as Billy Russo. 
 
In typical Netflix/Marvel style, The Punisher has an impressive opening title sequence. The black and white mix of photography and CGI works on multiple levels, not only mirroring the traditional color scheme of Frank’s attire, but also his outlook on life. In the world of The Punisher, there is only black and white, no room for gray. 
 
 
The Punisher features an extremely brutal vigilante but chooses to use the brutality to illustrate the world that created Frank Castle.This is truly the most morally ambiguous of the Netflix series, and it doesn’t shy away from what Frank is actually doing. It doesn’t flinch from showing the actual effects of the violence he metes out. The show references the complexity of the debate on gun control and politics is early on but doesn’t follow up on that narrative thread (at least not in the first few episodes). This latest series is compelling, and it will be interesting to see where Frank’s journey will take us. 
 
ComicsOnline gives Marvel’s The Punisher – Season 1 – 4 out of 5 moments of vigilante justice.

Check out our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS with Jon Bernthal (Frank Castle/The Punisher) and Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page) below:

 

 
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About Matt Sernaker

(Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations) Matt interviewed MacGyver once (true story), and was invited on a submarine to the Arctic. It hasn't happened yet, but Matt hopes that some day he will get the call and he and Richard Dean Anderson will go off and have a wacky adventure.

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