Why The Punisher's Lack Of Superpowers Was A Good Thing, According To Deborah Ann Woll

Jon Bernthal Punisher

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a crazy place, full of sorcerers, spider-powered teenagers, super-soldiers and billionaires who run around in high-tech suits. And that's what makes The Punisher's Frank Castle so interesting and unique: he has no special powers or abilities outside of his combat training and an insane pain tolerance. In fact, CinemaBlend's own Nick Venable recently chatted with Karen Page portrayer Deborah Ann Woll about Frank's lack of powers, and she admitted that she thinks it's fascinating to see an utterly vulnerable hero inhabiting this new Netflix series. Woll said:

I do think it was nice to remember how vulnerable Frank is. That it's not just emotional -- there was his grief -- but also just physically. He's not bullet-proof, he can't fly, he's not super-strong, he doesn't have supersonic hearing. He is just a man. So it's really nice to remember that not only just your hero, but everyone in the world of Punisher is vulnerable.

The Punisher is an incredibly grounded (and violent) Marvel show, even by the standards of the Netflix-based Defenders series. Frank doesn't have unbreakable skin like Luke Cage keeping him safe, and he most certainly doesn't have the heightened senses of Daredevil. His story is arguably a superhero tale by the loosest definition of the terminology -- I mean, he's not exactly a 98-pound weakling -- and according to Deborah Ann Woll, the storytelling realism has allowed The Punisher to give viewers some of the most vulnerable Marvel characters to date -- both mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. For all intents and purposes, the show even plays out more like a war drama than anything else from the live-action superhero genre, and that's a refreshing change of pace for the MCU as a whole.

The Punisher's lack of superpowers also naturally lends itself to those little moments of humanity that Frank is able to show when he's not gutting criminals, particularly in the moments shared with Karen Page. (Their scenes were also some of the most emotionally driven bits in Daredevil Season 2.) Continuing her chat with CinemaBlend, Deborah Ann Woll also talked about how that ties to the vital role that Karen plays in Frank's life. Woll elaborated:

Not only does his character need [it], but you need to be able to see that the humanity in his character, and I think the scenes with Karen help us see that. But even as an actor, I think that Jon is a really intelligent, talented guy, and I think there's only so much screaming and action sequences you can do before you want to have a conversation as an actor. You want to be able to delve into that part of your work, and I'm just pleased that I could be there in that regard for him.

The Punisher is now streaming on Netflix, so make sure to check out CinemaBlend's in-depth review of the brutally violent new show! You can also check out what else Deborah Ann Woll had to tell us, and how some of the other actors felt about their characters' darkest moments. Not to mention one pretty excellent story about that big finale fight.

Looking beyond Frank Castle's solo series, you can also take a look at CinemaBlend's 2017 Netflix schedule, our fall premiere guide and our 2018 midseason premiere guide to see what's debuting over the next few months, as . Last, but certainly not least, make sure to listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear everything that we have to say about the world of streaming content.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.