Of Course the First Punisher TV Footage Is Just Chock-Full of Slaughter

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

Before the Defenders panel kicked off at San Diego Comic-Con, Jon Bernthal stepped out to introduce a short clip of the upcoming Punisher series. And it’s exactly what you’d expect, for good or ill.

Image for article titled Of Course the First Punisher TV Footage Is Just Chock-Full of Slaughter

The clip begins with flashback to Frank with his daughter playing guitar and cut with him doing the same alone in nowhere. Then we cut to in rural Alabama, with Frank in truck, shooting at two dudes on motorcycles. They’re apparently part of the group that caused his family’s death. And after he shoots them both, he drives over them with a truck.

Next up is the head of a cartel in Juarez, Mexico, where Frank uses a sniper rifle to take a dude as a woman goes down on him. Because this is a show for adults. A zoom out shows that Frank is shooting into Juarez from across the border in El Paso.

Next, we see a man in a suit in a bathroom stall in JFK (honestly, that’s a true punishment in and of itself) is on the phone and asks, “Hey, it’s Mickey, did anyone else make it?” The answer is no, because Frank has killed everyone.

This will shortly include the man in the stall, whom Frank finds and begins to strangle. The man pleads for his life and says he has a family, too. “I don’t,” says Frank. “What does it change if I’m dead?” the man asks, and that’s a fair question. Two other men in the bathroom think they’re having sex and tell them to get a room. Again: Because this is for adults, you see.

It’s violent and crude and pretty much what you’d think a Punisher show would look like. Whether you’re going to enjoy this or not is really, really going to depend on your own taste.




No. Please no. This is going to do harm. Why are we getting a show about a one-note serial killer supervillain who espouses far-right views on the justice system? For one thing, the Punisher’s only interesting story as a character (Ennis’ MAX arcs had good plots but no character growth) is his origin, which we already saw. Everything else is just “shoot people, repeat.” Second, this is going to embolden or inspire some of the worst elements of society. And Third, Bernthal is so miscast and way too manic in the role. After seeing Grillo in The Purge: Anarchy or Jon Hamm in Baby Driver, Bernthal’s over the top and out of character performance is even more off putting.

We don’t need this show. Please no.