The Punisher is a rather interesting character, he's just a regular guy and not technically a straight up heroic individual. He definitely does good things and is a good man, but the way his character handles tasks is definitely along the lines of being an anti-hero. The season takes place after the events of his run in with Daredevil and things are now relatively quiet. Frank Castle is no more and we find The Punisher under a hidden name while just living. His demons continue to push upon is conscience and that's a recurring theme throughout the series. There's a good mix of character development while also building more of a back story during this series of episodes.
It's also rather slow in the setup and while that all pays off eventually it definitely could have used some better pacing. There's certainly not enough Punishing and for someone that's all about violence it's used sparingly. This makes those certain scenes more intense and while they're well done I wanted to see more action. They went for more of a thriller type scenario where Frank is attempting to work with others to take down a haunting memory. This brings in some new perspectives and separate story lines that are explored. This is where the whole pay-off aspect comes as every little thing comes together in an intense way.
Jon Bernthal's take on The Punisher is perfect, I honestly couldn't imagine anyone doing a better job and he's perfect in the role. It's that same sort of strict morals and crazy whatever it takes sort of Frank Castle that everyone expects. He's then joined by a similar yet entirely different in execution individual David Lieberman (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and the two work together. This is in opposition to a number of hidden forces around them that help provide some surprise twists. There are also some Homeland agents with a large focus on Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) to help fill out the narrative.
This cast provides a well rounded tale and while I wasn't a huge fan of the PTSD side venture I ended up being fine with it in how it fit into the larger story. It's a very different sort of tale as powered folks aren't included here with it being a self-contained Punisher story and if it weren't for an already established lead one might not even think this was part of the Marvel universe. The season was well shot, many scenes looked great and the wide shots helped establish events. The action felt visceral, fast paced and was easy to keep track of.
The Punisher was a gritty, great start for the character. It helped build the character's past while presenting a self-contained and intriguing story. There are some definite current modern themes explored and it feels very different from anything on the Marvel Netflix side of things in the past. It was nice to see a character in this series once again take pain and have many potentially fatal situations. This sort of business is dangerous and that sense of loss just wasn't there in the last couple Marvel Netflix shows.
I enjoyed watching the season, fans of the character will find this captured the anti-hero very well though some may feel it's rather slow to get going. Once it does all move quickly and things are all well developed it doesn't hold back on the action or tension. The Punisher is a solid character so it's nice to see a full season actually deliver on what potential there is for this badass within the universe.
The Punisher Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix