With enough time gone by to let viewers in Bangladesh bone up on Netflix’s newest offering amongst their Marvel superheroes line-up, it’s safe to take a look back at the debut of our favourite gun-toting vigilante in “Marvel’s The Punisher.”
The series takes place right after Season 2 of “Daredevil”. Frank Castle, played by actor Jon Bernthal, is presumed to be dead, but in real life, he’s living a new life under a new name, until unexpected events yank him out of the shadows and into a violent, rage-fuelled road to redemption. Another fugitive, the super-hacker Micro, is trying to find a way to clear his name and return to his family, and Castle might be his only recourse. An angry Homeland special agent wants answers for an associate she lost in Afghanistan, and once again, all roads point to Castle.
With a fairly drawn out start, the show is a slow brew, and breaking away from the comic baddies and the morally upright heroes, “The Punisher” is a meditative examination into the themes of violence, evil, morality, and human nature. In place of the usual “frustrated architects” looking to tear down the existing order and crafting a new world in their vision and the do-gooder superheroes trying to save the world, we see conflicted human beings struggling with their demons, corruption and greed and war turning good men evil, contrasted against psychopaths and sadists, to give one a full spectrum. And all that darkness was balanced out by light and funny moments too.
While there are places to iron out, particularly in the way Agent Dinah Madani was written, this one turned out to be, in the humble opinion of this reviewer, the most compelling show in the Netflix/Marvel franchise.