When The Punisher hits Netflix later this year, we'll get to see Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle get invested in a storyline that strays far from what we saw of him in Daredevil Season 2 (though part of it was mentioned). And the newest video teaser for the Marvel drama mixes up both real history and comic book history through conspiratorial references to a "whistleblower" and "Operation Cerberus." Check out the video below and then we'll dig into what it could all mean.
First, let's talk about the whistleblower aspect, since The Punisher comics specifically got into a storyline by that name in Issue #26, published back in 1989. That politically motivated plot saw Frank Castle rescuing and working with a government engineer whose life is in big danger after he called out Defense contractors for the haphazard job done in building a U.S. nuclear submarine. Things went deeper than that, of course, with a senator and more behind the botched job.
Skip ahead 28 years to the redaction-filled video above, which shows parts of a report that says, "Aimed at Whisleblower, later identified as Fra..." with the rest blotted out by a marker. So is that telling viewers that Frank will have been the one raising awareness about some government corruption for The Punisher's standalone series? (We're assuming the name won't refer to someone else like a "FRAnnie" or a "FRAmboise.")
That would be interesting, as we're still not quite sure what went down in Kandahar, or how any of it directly led to his family getting murdered, if it did at all. (Details about their deaths came up during the trial and elsewhere in Daredevil, sure, but was all of it actually true?) In any case, Frank being responsible for uncovering part of a widespread conspiracy would be just the murder-causing ticket, even if the revenge took years to happen.
It definitely seems like The Punisher TV show will be heavy on U.S. government/military corruption, and less on shadowy global organizations that achieve immortality through resurrected dragons. The video also mentions the mysterious "Operation Cerberus," which was a legitimate operation made by the Germans in WWII. It's definitely not a direct correlation, given the timeline, but perhaps there is still significance to be found even beyond the more obvious reference to the Dogs of Hell motorcycle gang that were part of the shootout that led to the Castle family deaths. (With Cerberus being the mythological three-headed hound of Hades.)
The real Operation Cerberus, also known as the Channel Dash, was a plan to get damaged battleships back to German ports by traveling directly through the English Channel, as opposed to going the longer way around the British Isles. Whatever the Punisher version of the operation is, it could easily involve using a shorter and more surprising solution to a military problem than the more traditional option. And it's not out of the question that corners would be cut in that process, possibly leading to Frank blowing metaphorical whistles.
The video also brings up investigations into the character Micro, whose name comic fans and Daredevil viewers are familiar with, as he was brought up during those final moments, when Frank found a disc with Micro's name on it. He's only known by that codename, apparently, and all information about him appears to be high on the confidentiality scale. Ebon Moss-Bachrach will be playing Micro in the show, so we're already at an advantage for knowing what he looks like.
What do you guys think about all this conspiratorial mess, as well as all the cryptic marketing we've seen so far? Will Frank sell the government out? We'll find out at some point this year, with The Punisher set to hit Netflix before the end of 2017, though the streaming service is being cagey about exact dates. In the meantime, check out everything else that's coming with our 2017 Netflix schedule, as well as our fall TV premiere rundown.