TV REVIEW – ‘THE PUNISHER’ (Season 1/2017)

We truly live in extraordinary times.  We have went from the beginnings of comics as a form of entertainment in print form with the first Action Comics, to rivaling studios delivering characters that not only became household names, but entrenched itself into our very cultural landscape.  As with comics, TV and Movies have always been that physical representation of what we read about, springing to life on the large and small screens.  Some of these have far exceeded our expectations as fans, and many others better left to swirl around in the office toilet bowl..
(image courtesy of Netflix)
Enter Netflix, and their unique platform for movie viewing, and realizing they could compete with the likes of the TV stations for long running series, and a lot of talented writers looking for work, and you have the perfect recipe for more comic book characters being brought to life in a proper manner. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, and the combined Defenders have proven to be the experiment that has been an overwhelming success.
The Punisher, the newest injection into the Netflix side of the Marvel franchise, initially was just a side character in Daredevil.  However, with his gritty anti-hero persona, and armed with nothing more than his Marine training, Frank Castle AKA The Punisher, quickly gained popularity.
(image courtesy of Netflix)
Apart from a couple less-than-stellar film appearances, The Punisher only had the aforementioned small side role in the second season of Daredevil, meddling in the activities of not only Kingpin, but Daredevil as well, before Netflix was again caught off guard at how well John Bernthal (The Walking Dead) portrayed the role, and soon fans responded in overwhelming numbers asking Netflix when we were getting a Punisher series (initially they had zero plans to make a Punisher series, merely to have him as an antagonist to Daredevil.)  Thankfully there is a network that still pays attention to its viewer base, and they set about assembling what would be the first season of The Punisher.
(image courtesy of Netflix)
I’m here to tell you, that this show has been well worth the wait. Frank Castle has been updated, being written initially as a Vietnam Vet, he Is now a fugitive from the very government that trained him and set him loose in Afghanistan.  Bearing all this in mind, the core initial story of Castle is completely intact, written as he was back in the 70’s.  He sets out to exact revenge on the CIA, and others responsible for framing him for a botched off the books operation in Afghanistan.  Castle fights the CIA, Homeland security, the Mob, unstable veterans, and old war buddies in his fight to the truth of who killed his family, with assistance from another government fugitive David Lieberman, (Micro), who has video evidence of the activity that the CIA are trying to pin on Castle, serving as his electronic eyes and ears.  Castle soon figures out, through his bloody trail, that one of his fellow platoon members has been working with the CIA to frame him, culminating in the final fight of the season and the creation of The Punisher’s nemesis, Jigsaw.
One thing that was integrated into the show that I commend the show-runners greatly for, is bringing to light the struggles, and mental hardships our veterans face when returning from wartime.  I have heard from several veterans that scenes in the show have left them getting up and leaving the room weeping for its realism and how close to home it hits.
(image courtesy of Netflix)
The Bottom Line:
Netflix has hit yet another home-run with putting a proper to-screen adaptation of The Punisher together along with the rest of the Hell’s Kitchen bunch.  We as fans can only hope that the higher-ups see the beauty and popularity of this formula and we will have not only The Defenders, but much more Frank Castle for years to come. This one is highly recommended, and is hands-down one of the best comic-adaptation series out there today. – 10.0/10
-Dave Ward
First Ambassador/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine



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