Character Spotlight: The Punisher
One of the Most Underrated Marvel Characters
Alright, The Punisher... I can talk about this character all day if I can. I watched a lot of revenge movies growing up when I could but I never knew that a Marvel character would be this character and how gritty he was along with how violent he can get. Honestly, maybe I was too young to know who this character was or maybe I wasn't but damn, I'm glad I got to meet this character when I did.
So I was in 5th grade when my parents rented the movie, Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea, The Mist) was Frank Castle and I only remember me being really interested in the movie but I couldn't watch it. However, one of my friends at the time had seen it so he told me some stuff that went down in the movie and the video game had come out as well but my stepdad rented it but he let me play it a little bit. The movie was all I wanted to see.
Luckily for me, I saw it about a year and a half later at my aunt's place during a party. I LOVED it but I didn't understand the hate it was getting so then, I found out they did a reboot of it: Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson (The Other Guys, Thor: The Dark World) as Frank Castle and I wasn't feeling the idea of it so I skipped it all together but years of researching this character on and off, I knew enough to where I can point stuff out.
When I was 22, I found out The Punisher was going to be in Netflix's Daredevil and I was beyond happy about that because knowing the history the two share together, I was dying to see it come to life and they did more than deliver on it. The casting of Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Accountant) was so spot on and what was even crazier is that I was on the fence about him but he's The Punisher that I've always wanted to see so when I saw him more in season 2 of Daredevil, I knew he'd get his own show.
Bernthal as The Punisher brought exactly what I wanted to see in the character that Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson couldn't necessarily land. While Thomas landed the emotional part of the character, Stevenson only nailed the physicality of it so Bernthal came in and nailed both of it with no problem but he also made sure you felt everything he was feeling like in the first season when he fights Billy in the finale and fucks up his face beyond recognition, I didn't only cheer that on while it was happening but I was also feeling the same rage as he was which I've never actually felt the same thing as a character since the first John Wick movie.
The Punisher is easily one of my favorite characters of all time because at the end of the day after he's done all of these crazy things, at the core, he's just a man who has lost his family and he wants revenge but even when he does get the revenge for his family, he wants to get rid of all of the people who do wrong that get away with it. Plus he'll literally do whatever it takes to get the job done. Basically, everyone that they hit, they get back up but when he hits them, they stay down. Another thing that makes him one of my favorites is he doesn't have any superpowers. All that drives him is rage and revenge but at the same time, he has these moments where he dearly misses his family.