16 June 2020 | someokiedude
They Should've Just Called it Mad Frank
I really enjoy comics. I am not a collector, I have no interest in building up my collection to show off to my fellow friends. I read comics to enjoy the stories, the characters, and even good art work when it comes around. I enjoy anti-heroes quite a bit as well, we all love a good anti-hero, but I have a rather specific interest in them. I enjoy characters who live on the edge, who walk on the line of good and evil, and few come as close to it as Frank Castle does.
I loved the Marvel-flix shows, or I enjoyed most of them. It was nice to see some of my favorite characters be taken seriously and be done well after other adaptations failed to capture their tone and atmosphere, and even see some characters who I wasn't very familiar with capture my interest. Marvel's Daredevil was a refreshingly faithful adaptation of The Man With No Fear, with its 'dark and gritty' storytelling being much more nuanced and disturbing than anything that Zack Snyder put out with the so called 'DC Extended Universe." We also got Luke Cage, which I declare to be a masterpiece of the neo-blaxpolitation genre, combining the absurdity of their tropes while also offering a nuanced exploration of race and finding one's identity. We then finally come to Frank Castle, or as he is known, The Punisher.
Bernthal's portrayal is different from some of the others. While Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson played The Punisher much like in the MAX comics, where he's a force of nature who's long forgotten any of the humanity that he might have once had, the films didn't seem to want to go all the way with such a portrayal and tried to give Frank some humanity, often falling flat. Bernthal plays Frank as a man who's constantly on the edge, a man who retains some semblance of humanity, but also as a man who is capable of committing great violence. A friend of mine once mentioned to me why the Mad Max films still hold up, as Max, obviously broken and a loner, is kept alive based on the connections that he makes in the wasteland, and I'd say the same thing can be applied to Marvel's The Punisher. Frank, broken and traumatized, manages to keep himself alive with the connections that he makes during his crusade, while still insisting on continuing alone, much like the hero of a western.
I was disappointed when they canceled all of the Marvelflix shows, particularly Daredevil. But I was also sad to see The Punisher go, as he is amongst one of my favorite characters from the Marvel universe and I enjoyed Bernthal's portrayal and I wanted to see more of his work as The Punisher.
It has been a struggle to get Frank Castle right on the big screen, but this show has shown that Frank can be done right, though it is unfortunate that it ended as it did.