Gun-toting Army vet Frank Castle was introduced to audiences in Season 2 of Daredevil and quickly became a fan-favourite. Now, he is back with his own solo TV series this Friday. Thankfully, if critics are to be believed, The Punisher sounds like a good time on the couch.
This year Netflix and Marvel have given us Iron Fist and The Defenders. However, the honest truth is that most fans were really just looking for more of Jon Bernthal as Punisher. It seems the producers have managed to give a good adaptation of the popular character, with many calling it better than the previous films. You’ll be damned not to get super excited for his solo series after reading these glowing reviews:
When these two elements are in alignment, The Punisher is riveting, politically adventurous entertainment, willing to get mired in the complexity of a nation that has come to define itself through the incalculable damage and untold amounts of killings done in the name of peace. When the need to set-up, reiterate, or preempt the plot becomes its more prominent concern, however, it’s emblematic of everything wrong with comic-book adaptations, on TV or elsewhere. – Collider
It’s the cast that really brings it home. Bernthal specifically is at his absolute best here — a lesser performance could have derailed this attempt at a sort of new-look Punisher. Those surrounding him — Amber Rose Revah (a name you’ll want to remember), Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bahrach, Jason R. Moore, Paul Schulze, Michael Nathanson and Daniel Webber in particular — hit just the right notes. – The Wrap
Far better than ‘Iron Fist,’ Marvel’s latest Netflix standalone is a tight, brutal six-episode story of revenge stretched exhaustingly and inexcusably over 13 hours… The Punisher has moments of excitement, moments of bracing violence and a well-cast star at the centre. It’s also tedious for long stretches and, when it comes to plot details, astoundingly forgettable. The gun stuff is just an unpleasant capper. – THR
In all, “The Punisher” is not just satisfying but surprising — an interpretation of Netflix and Marvel’s tried-and-true partnership that offers more depth and challenges to the audience than even the gritty world of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” Free from superpowers and superheroes, the Marvel universe is more forgiving — and more interesting. Of course, the slightly cartoony Marvel Cinematic Universe is still a world where people named Carson Wolf show up and act as if they are not obviously villains. But “The Punisher’s” place in it is a welcome morass of thorny questions and unresolvable answers. At least in this part of the television landscape, there is room for another antihero. – Variety
By ignoring the craziness that’s gone down in the Netflix corner of the MCU in recent months, Punisher builds a world all its own full of CIA cover-ups, NSA investigations, and frenemies who are so ready to go to war with one other. The Punisher is the show Marvel Television needed. It’s the show that proves there might just be hope yet for the studio’s small screen ambitions. And yes, if we’re judging purely on the act of transforming into a character, Bernthal absolutely deserves an Emmy nomination for this one. His performance has been far elevated from the days of Daredevil. – Forbes
It’s a conundrum: The Punisher is most effective when its title character is indiscriminately slaughtering his foes, but that’s also when it most consistently evokes the kinds of real-life horrors that pushed the premiere back once, and could have kept pushing it back indefinitely. There may hopefully be a time when Frank’s actions don’t instantly recall horrors from our world, but that version of his story will still need to be told much more compellingly than this. – UPROXX
The 13-episode show will start streaming on November 17th, the same day DC’s Justice League premieres in theatres.