Once merely a character from the Marvel Comics stable, the anti-hero known as The Punisher has been co-opted by alt-right activists. With the alt-right activists using his stylized skull as a symbol of intimidation and “holding the line” that they believe in, some have seen this moment as a time for Marvel to retire Frank Castle and his legacy in totality. But after reading a fan’s response to such a call, Jon Bernthal, who played Frank in The Punisher on Netflix, doesn’t believe that his former character should be retired at all.
Accompanied by a piece of fan art, a fan of The Punisher series weighed in on Twitter to express that they would rather the character not be retired. Making the point to contrast Frank Castle’s character and motives versus the meaning invoked by some of those who use his symbol, it was a post that inspired Bernthal himself to respond in kind. Below is what Jon Bernthal had to say about the matter, while retweeting that very fan’s message:
First embodying the role during his time on Daredevil Season 2, Jon Bernthal would go on to become the modern face of Frank Castle on the Netflix series. Eventually getting two seasons of his own solo effort with The Punisher, fans are still probably holding out hope that Bernthal could return in a new series under the banner of Marvel Studios. So when the most recent standard bearer wants the character to continue, with the proper respect for what his character stands for, the world may well pay attention.
Most hopeful of all is probably Jon Bernthal himself, who as recently as last fall went on record as optimistic that The Punisher could make his way back into the world. His optimism can definitely be encouraging to fans whose efforts to revive the former Netflix Marvel shows haven't gotten results, and he clearly still feels strongly about the character.
Ultimately, the enduring impact of a character like Frank Castle depends on how far the public strays from the written letter of the person on the page or the screen. Hopefully a balance can be reached that will allow The Punisher to return to our screens sooner than later in some form or other.
The Punisher is available on Netflix, through two seasons of his own solo work, as well as participation on Daredevil. The premieres of more Netflix TV content are not too far off, and you can head over to our 2021 debut schedule to see what’s headed our way. And if you’re a Jon Bernthal fan, you can catch him in both The Many Saints of Newark and King Richard, which are planning to head to theaters and HBO Max throughout 2021.