– by Joseph Jammer Medina

This Friday, the entirety of The Punisher is set to hit Netflix. After nearly two years of waiting after Jon Bernthal brought the character to life in Daredevil Season 2, audiences are finally being treated to a full series following the unflinchingly violent vigilante.

But is he a character that will actually hold up in his standalone series? Part of the big appeal of his portrayal in Daredevil was that the entire show didn’t rest on his shoulders. So with that in mind, how does The Punisher hold up? Some outlets have had a chance to review various episodes of the series (some the first three, some the first half, and one seems to have seen the entire show), and have shared their thoughts online.

Check them out below!

Forbes – Merrill Barr

“In addition to being the best, The Punisher is also the most violent, unhinged series ever produced by the house Feige (or in this case Jeph Loeb) built.

Punisher fans are going to be truly pleased by the series’ take on the character. However, unlike the lackluster two (three if you count that 1989 one) feature films, The Punisher finds a way to make Frank a sympathetic character.

Yes, he’s still a psychopath. But he’s one you really care for.”

Variety – Sonia Saraiya

The Punisher transcends what it appears to be. Not completely, and not always; this is still a very violent show, saturated in tortured masculinity. (In just the opening credits, an array of semiautomatic weapons float in the air to arrange themselves in the skull-shaped logo of the Punisher.) But thanks to Jon Berthal’s seamless performance as the non-superpowered vigilante Frank Castle and showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s sharp, conscious storytelling, The Punisher approaches the high points of Marvel’s Jessica Jones by introducing a damaged, deadly character and telling his story as one piece of an unjust whole. Despite first impressions, Frank Castle is in fact a marginalized figure — because he is a veteran.”

The Washington Post – David Betancourt

“What makes Netflix’s The Punisher series stand out is that lead actor and Washington native Jon Bernthal doesn’t need to wear a white skull or even have a gun in his hand for you to know that he is the Punisher.”

THR – Daniel Feinberg

“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.”

Polygon – Susana Polo

The Punisher has a small array of subplots, some of which are wrestling with incredibly weighty issues, like the grooming of young, dissatisfied men into political tools and the care (or lack thereof) the system gives to the mental health of veterans. With some of these elements, it’s unclear how they are going to (presumably) connect back to the show’s main plot.

How well the Punisher writers’ room has crafted those eventual connections and conclusions will make or break a lot of the show. So consider this our Punisher pre-review. And, so far, The Punisher might not be exactly what you’re expecting.”

What do you think of these initial reviews? Are you any less or more excited for the film? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Various

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.