‘Marvel’s The Punisher’ takes aim at violence, revenge in today’s ‘turbulent time’
By Rob Lowman
The Marvel character known as The Punisher first appeared in 1974 as part of an “Amazing Spider-Man” story. The character, whose real name was Frank Castle, had originally been hired to kill the webslinger, but as his story unfolded readers learned that the killing of Castle’s own family had made him that way.
Over the years, the Punisher has appeared in his own comic books as well as on television, films, and video games. Now the character is getting his own show as part of “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix. The 13-episode series becomes available Friday.
As it happens, 1974 was also the year “Death Wish” came out. The Michael Winner movie starred Charles Bronson as a man who buys a gun to exact a violent revenge on those responsible for committing heinous acts against his wife and daughter in a home-invasion robbery. It spoke to something of the times, spawning four sequels. A remake from Eli Roth starring Bruce Willis is set for early next year.
“I feel we are in a pretty turbulent time – the same as the ’70s were,” says “The Punisher’s” showrunner and executive producer Steve Lightfoot (”Hannibal”). “We have a lot of men who have come back from fighting overseas. People’s relationships with the government were tricky then as they are now.”
Whether that means the times are right for a new “Punisher” is debatable.
Having an ultra-deadly vigilante wearing an armored vest with a skull on it toting heavy firearms will give some people pause, especially in the wake of recent mass shootings. “The Punisher” was set to come out in October, then the Las Vegas mass shooting happened. Now the premiere will be less than two weeks after the church shooting in Texas and days after a shooting in Northern California that killed 5 (as of […]