The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever expanding place. In addition to the film installments that arrive every few months, there are also a bevy of small screen adventures-- the best of which are produced over at Netflix. And while this summer delivered the massive crossover miniseries The Defenders, fans quickly looked forward to Jon Bernthal's Punisher spinoff. The gun toting character was first introduced in Daredevil's Season 2, and was so popular that Netflix quickly awarded Frank Castle his own series. And while fans are still waiting to see The Punisher arrive on the streaming service, Bernthal has already received major praise form a Punisher expert. Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway recently revealed his thoughts on the actor's portrayal of his character, saying:
Jon Bernthal gives The Punisher the kind of pathos that's underneath the tough guy, and I really like that.
Well, that's certainly high praise. And considering that many comic book writers like Frank Miller are often unhappy with live-action adaptations of their characters, it makes the wait for The Punisher's release feel even more painful.
Gerry Conway's comments to Screen Geek point out the layered performance Jon Bernthal brings to Frank Castle. Because while he's got all the rage and badassery that we would expect from the popular Marvel anti-hero, there's also an inherent vulnerability at the root of his actions. After all, The Punisher persona was born after his wife and child were murdered by organized criminals. On his very first day back from Iraq he took his family to Central Park, where they unwillingly got caught up in a gang war that took out all of Frank's family. Its this tragedy and heartbreak that fuels him, seeking to destroy organized crime by any means necessary.
It should be interesting to see how this pathos, as Gerry Conway described it, factors into the narrative of The Punisher. Smart money says that Frank Castle opens up to Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, who is one of the only MCU characters who is joining the spinoff. While initially terrified of The Punisher, Karen ended up doing some investigating into Frank Castle's sordid past, and soon began to empathize with the anti-hero. Frank seems to really open up to the paralegal turned journalist, and seeing their relationship further fleshed out will no doubt be the heart of the spinoff.
Unfortunately, it's currently unclear exactly when The Punisher will finally arrive on Netflix. The series recently cancelled its NY Comic-Con and press events in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, and it's likely being pushed back a few months in order to be sensitive to the victims and those affected by the massacre. The Punisher was originally set to arrive before the end of 2017, although now that might not be the case.
We'll be sure to update you on The Punisher details as they become public. While you wait for its release, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.