The Punisher is one of Marvel fans’ all-time favorite antiheroes, giving the corrupt and twisted what they have coming to them. When The Punisher first showed up in comics, Frank Castle was more of a run-and-gun crazy lunatic. But as Castle evolved, so did The Punisher’s tactics.
Early iterations of the character fell into some common Hollywood traps, though.
The film Punisher War Zone was almost near-complete adaptation of The Punisher comics. The film employed crazy, off-the-wall action and run-and-gun tactics — we all know the famous image of Punisher and his two uzis. Though the movie captured The Punisher’s persona, it fell short of its military fans’ expectations.
In 2004’s The Punisher, we saw a more tactical side of Frank Castle. Using a bow to take out opponent after opponent was far more interesting than shooting up a room full of bad guys. This idea kept up with how a special operator would actually work: swiftly, silently, and deadly.
This brings us to the Netflix original series, The Punisher. After watching Daredevil for two seasons, I was so excited The Punisher was getting his own show. Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle was masterful. He clearly knows that many fans of The Punisher are those with ties to the military.
In this first season, we see a modern Punisher setting up improvised explosive devices, placing weapons all around his place of residency, and using shoot-and-move tactics. There is a saying, “movement without shooting is suicide, shooting without movement is a waste of ammo.” How Frank Castle moves with each weapon embodies this expression, showing a level of detail that films typically only mimic.
When Frank Castle explained that he’d rather have a knife than a pistol in certain situations, it had some very sound tactical advice behind it — and made for some really intense action sequences.
The new The Punisher series on Netflix is a good show to binge watch. They took the time to get the tactical concepts right — something refreshing to finally see on-screen.
The major downfall, however, comes when Frank barks and yells. In combat, information is key, so noise discipline is necessary. Barking and loosing a war cry works in some cases, but not every time.
So far, Netflix has done a great job of not making Frank Castle feel so “Hollywood,” making many Marine fans of The Punisher quite happy and ready to move on to the next season.