Welcome Back, Frank

Opinion by Dax Guilliams, Opinions Editor

Out of every Marvel Netflix show, the one I’ve been excited for the most is “The Punisher.” And baby, it did not disappoint. 

With the first couple of episodes, it seems like “The Punisher” isn’t going to go against the formula these shows follow, but it does change things up and ends up having one of the best narratives of them. 

I was worried that the show would be nothing but gritty violence with no meaning to what the characters were doing, but “The Punisher” ended up having some of the best character development I’ve seen on a show. 

The greatest strength of “The Punisher” is the acting. There is not a single bad actor in this movie. There isn’t even a single average actor as everyone did a tremendous job. 

Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is the absolute greatest performance of any Marvel character I’ve ever seen. He is so full of emotion and everything he does keeps you hooked. 

And when I say he’s full of emotion, I mean every emotion. He’s full of rage and sadness, but he also feels happy around certain people and even makes a couple of jokes. 

I was so happy to see that they gave the character a sense of humor. So many people who write The Punisher write him as an angry killing machine instead of a human who has experienced hell, but still holds on to what sanity he has left. 

Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays Microchip, The Punisher’s hacker ally and if it weren’t for Bernthal’s incredible performance, he would have stolen the show. 

Also, Deborah Ann Woll reprises her role as Karen Page and her character has never been better. Her relationship with The Punisher is so well-written and it really helps build both of their characters. 

I didn’t really like Karen in “Daredevil” because I know what she did to him in the comics, but she is a much greater character in “The Punisher.” 

All of the actors who play the villains are good, but some of those characters aren’t very interesting. Rawlins, while not being a terrible villain, still isn’t as impressive as I thought he would be. 

Thankfully, he’s not the only villain, but I’m not going to spoil any of those people. 

The violence, while very graphic, is pretty fun to watch because of how those scenes are shot. And while some of it is a little mindless, it’s fine because “The Punisher” is a violent character and a violent series. 

But the show isn’t an excuse for violence as there are deeper meanings all throughout the show. A big part of the series is how important families and friends are to people and what they go though when they either lose them or have to make sacrifices to protect them. 

There’s also the message that war veterans are still treated very poorly and they suffer from so much trauma. 

I’m not gonna pretend “The Punisher” is incredibly deep, but it’s deeper than you would expect and there’s a lot going on in this series. 

“The Punisher” is incredible series, but it still has the flaw of having too many episodes. “The Defenders” had the perfect amount of episodes to tell a great narrative without being too long. “The Punisher” has just a little too many episodes. 

Thirteen episodes was a bit much because there are some scenes that are just there to eat up time. It would have been better if the show was shortened to ten or eleven episodes so all of the important scenes were closer together. 

I also wished the Gnucci’s had a more important role than just being there for The Punisher to kill at the beginning of the series. Just having them get billed up for a future season would have been nice since they’re one of the main mafia families “The Punisher” fights. 

“The Punisher” is easily one of Netflix’s best series and one of the best things related to Marvel. 

Most of my expectations were met with this series and it did the character so much justice. Bernthal is now one of my favorite actors for his portrayal of the character and I look forward to seeing him in more roles, but I also look forward to continue seeing him as The Punisher.