The Punisher

By Omri Shahar 

Most people tend to recognize Marvel as the wildly popular superhero comic company that has recently had quite an impact on the entertainment industry with the production of a slew of action and adventure movies. These film adaptations of comic book lore have become the face of superhero movies for people of all ages. The hype around the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only been on the rise as of late, especially with the release of several television series, mostly featured on Disney Plus and based on characters already introduced in the movies. However, some have wondered where that leaves smaller heroes and villains that were popular in the comics, but have been kept out of mainstream movies. That’s where Netflix comes in, releasing and promoting several Marvel branded television series’, packed chock-full of that notorious Marvel action and suspense that fans crave. Out of these shows, Daredevil seems to be the most popular, and its’ success even earned Matt Murdock, the main character, a quick cameo in Marvel’s newest blockbuster film, Spiderman: No Way Home. In spite of that, I found the close relative of the hit show, The Punisher, to be a much more satisfying dose of action. Marvel has continuously been known for making sure their movies are mostly family-friendly, sticking with PG-13 ratings on almost all of their movies. On The Punisher, Marvel’s producers leaned toward a more mature audience, making the fighting scenes more brutal and intense, and putting a strong focus on mental illness, mostly post-traumatic stress disorder, and other struggles often experienced by veterans of war. The show focuses on an ex-marine struggling with said illnesses. After his whole family is murdered, he seeks revenge and tracks down who he believes made the order in a vicious killing spree that is only implied on the show. After this brief introduction, the show begins, explaining that the ex-marine, Frank Castle, has made his best effort to move on from his old life, pursuing construction. In spite of his efforts, it is very clear that the man is still dealing with the effects of the war he fought in Kandahar and the loss of his family. After incidentally stopping some crime occurring in the construction site he worked at, Frank is thrown back into the game and attacked by gangs from the New York criminal underground. This leads to him uncovering a massive military conspiracy involving events in Kandahar and the murder of his family. Slowly working through the power chain and digging deeper and deeper into this conspiracy, Frank Castle earns his title as The Punisher as he attempts to avenge his wife and kids. The show consistently keeps the ruthless killer human, making the viewer question whether his killing spree is justified. This morally inquiring show is a must-watch and guaranteed to be entertaining for those needing some extra graphic Marvel in their life.