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Superheroes are all the rage nowadays, and a whole new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has developed over on Netflix. The Netflix Marvel lineup is currently comprised of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, with The Defenders due later this month. The next character to get a solo series will be Frank Castle in The Punisher. Ben Barnes of Westworld landed a role in The Punisher, and he revealed some of what sets the show apart from the rest of the Marvel shows, saying this:
I was really pleased at the grounded, tough approach to the material. Our show is about men suffering tragedy and trauma; it's about a very real topic set in a world of superheroes--but no character in our show has superpowers and that makes it feel unique in this universe.
When Frank Castle made his debut in Daredevil Season 2, he was a man with a thirst for vengeance and the tactical skills to shed a whole lot of blood. He was a skilled marksman and hand-to-hand combatant who sometimes seemed to feel no pain, despite the various beatings he'd suffer from his opponents. Frank was a force to be reckoned with, and he definitely didn't have any superpowers, which does set him apart from the other heroes of the Marvel series on Netflix. Matt Murdock has his enhanced senses, Jessica Jones has her super strength, Luke Cage has his unbreakable skin, and Iron Fist has his... well, fist. No powers for Frank Castle, but can anybody who watched Daredevil Season 2 really say that he needs them?
Ben Barnes' comments to Da Man indicate that we're in for a new kind of superhero series, and it doesn't sound like it'll be anything especially joyous. Frank Castle's tragic story as related in Daredevil Season 2 was absolutely heartbreaking. While he did get a certain amount of catharsis out of the end of the second season, it wasn't so much that he was going to suit up and become a hero who would join the Defenders. He'll probably be more of an antihero than a hero, which should help set the series apart from the other Marvel installments even further.
Fans are still waiting for footage to give us a good look at the Punisher characters in action, but we do know a little bit about what's to come. Ben Barnes will have an important part to play in The Punisher Season 1, although it's too early to say how much he'll appear. Barnes landed the role of Billy Russo, a.k.a. Frank Castle's best friend from when they were in the Special Forces together. Billy runs a private military corporation by the time the Punisher action picks up.