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Why The Punisher Probably Won't Ever Join Netflix's Defenders, According To Jeff Loeb

Netflix likes to present itself as the primo alternative to any other form of screened entertainment, and it's arguably the best place to find comic book superhero adventures outside of theaters. Soon, the four-way team-up drama The Defenders will capture all of our attention spans, but some may be a little bummed to find out that the core group at its center will likely never find a fifth member in Jon Bernthal's The Punisher, despite his presence in this universe. Here's why it likely won't happen, according to Marvel TV guru Jeph Loeb.

We haven't gotten to that place, I don't know if there will be a Defenders #2. I think one of the things that is unique to The Punisher, and particularly to Jon Bernthal's performance, is that the character can stand alone. I think even in the comic books, Frank Castle's Punisher is a character that sort of does well by himself. I think that when you start mixing it in, it feels a little off. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen and I'm not saying that it wouldn't happen, I'm just saying it doesn't immediately lend itself toward, 'Sure, I can see The Punisher and Luke Cage hanging out!'' I think you sort of go, 'That feels like peanut butter and asparagus.'

For what it's worth, Jeph Loeb told Collider that he does indeed like both peanut butter and asparagus. But his point is salient, in that sometimes two rights don't always combine to make another right, and arbitrarily including The Punisher within a super-group just to get fans cheering would be far more detrimental than doing what feels natural with the character.

Sure, Frank Castle was in Daredevil Season 2, but it's not like he was tag-teaming with Matt Murdock from episode to episode, and Jon Bernthal spent a lot of the season developing his story outside the watchful eyes of others. He's not exactly the most socially outgoing person, and his conversational skills leave much to be desired All of these things, of course, are why fans are so enthused by Punisher's existence in the first place. Not everybody has to be as quippy as Spider-Man, or as manic as Rocket Raccoon. Frank just wants to chill...and also to murder the people involved in the death of his family.

Over the weekend for Comic-Con, fans got extremely pumped whenever Jon Bernthal walked out onto the stage near the beginning of The Defenders' panel in Hall H, and though that appearance technically didn't have anything to do with The Defenders, audiences did get to watch the very first footage from the standalone The Punisher series, which was absolutely fantastic. (Check out our thoughts if you're interested.) And we also got to see the next big Defenders trailer, which you can watch below. No Frank, but lots of fistfights.

The years-long wait is almost over, everyone, as The Defenders will finally be making its way to our eyeballs on Friday, August 18, at 12:01 a.m. PT. (Hopefully The Punisher will soon follow.) Head to our 2017 Netflix schedule to see what's on the way, and then head to our summer premiere schedule to see what TV will hit primetime with in the near future.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.