How To Introduce The Punisher Properly In The MCU (And What Mistakes To Avoid)

The Punisher, also known as Frank Castle, has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: 

A Still Of Jon Bernthal's Punisher
A Still Of The Punisher aka Frank Castle played by Jon Bernthal

The Punisher, alias Frank Castle, has appeared in the MCU, possibly due to studio concerns that the character is not a good fit for the overall. Despite this, the character remains vastly fashionable, and with 3 feature films and 2 seasons of an artless Netflix series, fans are asking when he’ll be returning in live-action kind, even whereas the comics languish. With Daredevil and Kingpin now formally part of the MCU canon as a result of their appearances on Netflix Marvel shows, fans are wondering if The Punisher can be a part of them, and if so, in what capacity. Fans are distressed that Marvel can either reinvent the Punisher as a watered-down hero within the MCU or utterly disregard him. Neither of those might do the character justice. The Punisher, created by Gerry Conway and illustrators John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru in 1974, first appeared as an assassination attempt on Spider-Man in the fantastic Spider-Man # 29. his family is dead in common, Frank Castle becomes hellbent on “punishing” criminals as a volunteer. Since his introduction, the Punisher has been a recognizable Marvel character, most notably for the symbolic bone on his chest. The Punisher has appeared in nearly five hundred problems with his own self-titled comics, as well as many crossover volumes with alternative Marvel heroes. The character has additionally appeared in a very wide range of original graphic novels, specials, and event publications. The Punisher has become three live-action films: Dolph Lundgren’s The Punisher in 1989, Thomas Jane’s The Punisher in 2004, and Ray Stevenson’s Punisher: Combat Area in 2008. None of these ventures were particularly profitable, and they all didn’t move the needle in terms of capturing the spirit of the character in live action.

After making his debut in the second season of Daredevil, The Punisher, earned his own Netflix Marvel series in 2017:

The Punisher, first appeared in the second season of Daredevil
The Punisher, first appeared in the second season of Daredevil

The Punisher, who first appeared in the second season of Daredevil, will have his own Netflix Marvel series in 2017.The Punisher, portrayed by Jon Bernthal, would also receive a second season before being cancelled (along with all Netflix Marvel shows). Despite some criticism, it is widely recognized as the most successful live-action rendition of the character to date. However, The Punisher has suffered in his source medium as well, with all series being shelved and speculation that Marvel muted the character owing to outrage about the symbol’s unauthorized use in police enforcement, particularly during the previous few years of social turmoil. The Punisher could make the jump now that Daredevil has been officially validated in MCU canon (appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home), but in order to honor the character and his legacy, Marvel needs to embrace his identity and portray him as the anti-hero he is, rather than attempting to make him a good-guy superhero. The Punisher is an R-rated Marvel character, which means that his dark and violent nature may be displayed without jeopardizing the studio’s standards or brand integrity, which means finding the appropriate balance for a character like Frank Castle in the MCU.

The Punisher is motivated by hatred, violence, and vengeance, not by heroism:

A Still Of The Punisher From The Comics
A Still Of The Punisher From The Comics

The Punisher isn’t a hero and will not be represented intrinsically. He’s a person ripped apart by tragedy and a history of violence, driven by an unquenchable want for revenge. Whereas Disney has created animated villains into complete films, like Maleficent and Cruella, they have a tendency to make them “heroic” at the end—but that’s not the United Nations agency that The Punisher is. It totally contradicts what makes him tick. The Punisher ought to be remembered as somebody who opposes the MCU’s superhero system, not as somebody who needs to be attached to it. Trying to make Associate in Nursing attempt to create The Punisher into an MCU hero would be a large error that would go against his elementary essence. He’s not a good man, a hero, or a saviour. Death is the Punisher, sent to penalize the wicked for their crimes against human beings. He is an Associate in Nursing anti-hero, and he should remain so. basic part of his character that all live-action versions haven’t grasped is that what makes The Punisher so appealing is that he’s unwavering in his commitment to his purpose. He’s a tenacious force that may not be deterred from his life’s mission, notwithstanding what.

It’s Time To Reclaim The Punisher’s Symbol:

A Still Of All The Actors Who Have Played The Punisher On Screen
A Still Of All The Actors Who Have Played The Punisher On Screen

Rather than being suppressed, the Punisher and his iconography should be embraced (as appears to be happening in his Marvel comics future). The character should talk about how his emblem has been adopted by law enforcement and how ridiculous it is, but it should not affect how he uses it. Finally, the Punisher must reclaim his symbology from those who would misuse, misinterpret, or adopt it for purposes other than those for which it was created. The Punisher’s insignia is a “memento mori,” which serves as a reminder of death as well as a way of instilling terror in the hearts and minds of those he pursues. Like Batman’s decision to masquerade as a bat, the skull is utilized by the Punisher to establish his own presence rather than as a sign to be exploited by any group that thinks it “looks great.” It also has a practical purpose: it’s designed to draw fire from his body armor during a gunfight. Frank Castle’s emblem, which he uses for his own purposes and devices, should be firmly established in the MCU, leaving no doubt about who it belongs to.

It’s True That The Punisher Is Not A Superhero:

The Punisher Is No Superhero
The Punisher Is No Superhero

Guest actors from throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe aren’t required to convey The Punisher’s tale, with the exception of perhaps street-level figures like Daredevil or Kingpin. The Punisher has a large cast of supporting characters in the comics, ranging from rivals to allies, who would help define and distinguish him from being categorized as a “superhero” in the MCU, allowing him to explore his own diverse range of storylines and characters from decades of comic storytelling. The Punisher’s journey is frequently based on Garth Ennis’s narratives, which are fantastic, but they disregard the many years and issues of comics with an astonishing assortment of people, both good and bad, who play a role in The Punisher’s trip. Those in charge of his live-action appearances have made a huge (and sloppy) error. And, while The Punisher has teamed up with heroes on occasion, it’s always been a one-time deal that ends with the realization that The Punisher is a monster in most heroes’ eyes and must be stopped. This is as it should be, because The Punisher’s techniques will never (and should never) alter, as it would contradict his entire persona.

The Punisher includes a slew of rich villains that the MCU might exploit:

A Still Of All The Rich Villains of The Punisher
A Still Of All The Rich Villains of The Punisher

The Punisher has amassed a colossal list of rogues over the course of his many pages, which might provide fascinating live-action antagonists. Whereas Garth Ennis created a range of colorful and twisted villains for The Punisher, like The Russian, Barracuda, Nicky Cavella, Ma Gnucci, The Holy, and others, the first-run series conjointly includes an embarrassment of villains to choose from, like Yo Yo metric weight unit, Bushwacker, Sniper, Hitman, Shotgun, and others, as well as shared villains like Kingpin and Bullseye. The MCU has simply scraped the surface of The Punisher’s rogues gallery, perpetually returning to his most well-known resister, Jigsaw (both in Punisher: Combat Zone and therefore the Punisher series), opening the door wide enough to explore some wonderful and nasty foes.

The Punisher Can Be Dark Without Being Excessive In The MCU:

The Punisher Could Be A Part Of The Thunderbolts
The Punisher Could Be A Part Of The Thunderbolts

The most prevalent argument against The Punisher’s being incorporated into the MCU is that he’s too violent, which would interfere with Marvel’s typical PG-13 fare (the studio has never done an R-rated feature). Simply put, in a PG-13 universe, The Punisher does not exist. It’s been proposed that The Punisher appear on Hulu, where he may be unhinged, as is the case with a few other shows like Hit Monkey, M.O.D.O.K., and Legion. Having a live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe program on Hulu, on the other hand, may be confusing for viewers and detrimental for Marvel and Disney. The issue, though, is how to embrace a character like The Punisher’s vicious, bloody nature without going overboard, as has already been done with characters like Ronin and John Walker/US-Agent, as well as more extreme ways with Fox’s Logan and Deadpool. It’s past time for Disney to appreciate the heritage of the stuff they already have rather than attempt to dumb down decades of storylines and character development to appeal to every single demographic. The key to translating The Punisher’s violent, brutal nature should be tasteful, artistic, and edgy, finding a method to blend the darkness with the comic book appeal and the Marvel brand. It won’t be simple, but incorporating The Punisher into the MCU proper is possible, and it would demonstrate that Marvel is more interested in portraying its characters as they were intended rather than diluting them for mainstream consumption.

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