Of all the vigilantes at the center of Netflix's Marvel-verse, perhaps the least mysterious character would be The Punisher, since Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle doesn't have any superhuman abilities to utilize on his revenge-centered mission. But that doesn't mean the skull-crushing anti-hero isn't worthy of some cryptic teases from Netflix, as evidenced by both the new trailer video below, which intentionally gets glitchy when the premiere date comes up, as well as a slew of social media messages cloaked in Morse code. First, though, some video.
The first Punisher trailer offered up footage of Frank getting vicious with others, while also teasing the different parts of his past that inspired his kill-or-be-killed persona. Here, though, fans are basically introduced to all the major players in The Punisher's origin story, as it were, and it's clear there's an overall motif of "redacted information" at play, since so much of the random visuals seen on the screen feature the word "Classified," along with a ton of official-looking paperwork with key details blocked out and scratched through.
And as far as the characters we see, there's Ben Barnes' Billy Russo, whose ties with Frank go back to their time together in the U.S. Special Forces, when the two were best friends. Second up is the show's biggest tie to the rest of Netflix's Marvel series, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, whose Daredevil-borne character was the most sympathetic to Frank's plight when he was first introduced. Then we see Paul Schulze's CIA bigwig Rawlins, who knows Frank from a time when they both served in Afghanistan. Amber Rose Revah's Dinah Madani, a Homeland Security agent who is very troubled by Frank and his actions. Finally, there's Ebon Moss-Brachrach's Micro, a colleague of Frank's with a past in the NSA and a willingness to help the cause. It's interesting how it all breaks apart and comes back together as Frank's face, implying all of these people made him who he is.
The trailer, which frustratingly hides that release date, was preceded by 13 different tweets that laid out a variety of messages in Morse code. Such as the one below.
If you have a Morse code key nearby, you'll notice that particular message translates to "3 A.M." On the one hand, could refer to the ET time when Netflix shows are released to the public, and it would be a glorious thing if this was Netflix's clever way of hinting that a super-early premiere date was just around the corner.
But no, considering there are 13 different tweets containing the coded messages, it's much more likely that these are the episode titles for The Punisher's first season. And some of them offer hints to the actual storyline that are as interesting as anything else we've seen. Here's a rundown of all the titles.
Ep. 1: 3 AM
Ep. 2: Two Dead Men
Ep. 3: Kandahar
Ep. 4: Resupply
Ep. 5: Gunner
Ep. 6: The Judas Goat
Ep. 7: Crosshairs
Ep. 8: Cold Steel
Ep. 9: Front Toward Enemy
Ep. 10: Virtue of the Vicious
Ep. 11: Danger Close
Ep. 12: Home
Ep. 13: Memento Mori
Excited yet? You know we are. As previously stated, we're still not exactly sure when we're going to get to see The Punisher, although a November bow on Netflix is getting all the more likely. To see what dates have already been cemented for everything else on the small screen, check out our fall premiere schedule.