Marvel and Netflix’s The Punisher wasn’t for everybody. A show about an unstoppable gun-toting vigilante is a tough sell in today’s climate. Perhaps anticipating pushback, Marvel veered from wall-to-wall gunplay in every episode, focusing instead on a handful of character studies. The show addressed the plight of returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans as a core focus, and I really enjoyed that.
I’m an Army veteran, and I count many veterans as both friends and colleagues. In my particular circle, we found The Punisher to be generally compelling and often authentic, but sometimes damned frustrating too. Some of the storytelling was sluggish, and at times pretty stupid (such as staging a firefight on a carousel). So, I can appreciate why this show didn’t necessarily meet everyone’s expectations.
However, I think Marvel took this approach intentionally, to expand their audience and engage in different types of storytelling. The Punisher was more methodical and curious than it was slam-bang, constant action. I liked that, it worked for me, but I understand why it might not have worked for you.
Netflix recently renewed The Punisher for a second season, and the focus appears to be on former-ally and current adversary Billy Russo, as played by Ben Barnes. Russo is clearly being primed as the super-villain Jigsaw… at least based on the gruesome way Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle took him down. And now we’re learning a little more about the show’s new cast members too.
Three new actors are coming aboard in Season 2, including: Josh Stewart (Shooter), Floriana Lima (Supergirl) and Giorgia Whigham (Scream), according to Deadline. It’s important to note that these might be false names, just to throw off people like me. Here are their bios:
Stewart will play John Pilgrim, a quiet character capable of intense and ruthless violence — his past comes back to haunt him, which crosses into Frank Castle’s orbit.
Lima is set to portray Krista Dumont, who is described as a smart, empathetic, and motivated psychotherapist treating combat veterans.
Whigham plays Amy Bendix, who is a street-smart grifter running from a dark past.
I’m not familiar with any of these characters from the comics (only Bendix seems to be an existing Marvel Comics’ character). The Punisher Season 2 also returns Amber Rose Revah’s DHS Agent, Dinah Madani, and Jason R. Moore’s disabled vet, Curtis Hoyle (no word yet on whether Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Micro will return).
The conclusion of The Punisher Season 1 was very open-ended, and aside from Russo’s return, it’s impossible to say where this show goes in Season 2. However, the first year’s emphasis on Bernthal’s inner-life and veteran’s issues was welcome (by me, at least), and certainly helps to distinguish The Punisher apart from the straight superhero flair of Daredevil and Iron Fist; although, The Punisher is somewhat closer to the quasi-reality of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Are you on-board for a second season of Bernthal’s Frank Castle/The Punisher? Let us know in the comments down below!
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