Marvel Gets it Right!
By Sanuj Hathurusinghe Ceylon Today Features
Capitalising on their huge success in Hollywood the Marvel Cinematic Universe has peeped into the small screen with a number of shows revolving around popular Marvel comic book characters, well, not the already famous cinematic characters but relatively lesser-known characters with a great and relatable backstory so that they would fit in well among the Netflix crowd.
As expected though, many of these shows - despite being quite popular in their own rights - didn’t live up to the standards their cinematic superheroes have set. Some loyal fandom is still quite reluctant to move away from the original ‘90s animated marvel superhero shows such as Spiderman and X-Men while some who are used to the high-quality CGI in the Marvel movies are finding it hard to adapt to the relatively low-budget superhero shows Marvel has released.
Among them however, there are some uncontested winners when it comes to being best Marvel shows ever made. The immediate crowd-favourite is Daredevil. The blind superhero who moonlights as a vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen, New York became so popular that fans are still pushing for another season after six successful seasons. Daredevil introduced another marvel character - The Punisher. Although initially introduced as the villain in Daredevil the heavily-armed character gained so much popularity which prompted Marvel to give him his own show.
The character Punisher is not entirely new to TV and cinema and therefore, Marvel had to come up with something unique to popularise the show. In order to do so, new characters and sub-plots were fused into the show but how Marvel hit the jackpot with The Punisher was with the perfect casting of Jon Bernthal to play the lead role Frank Castle/The Punisher. His rough voice, war-hardened looks, convincing on-screen action, and amazing acting when he is not showering his surroundings with bullets has made the show a quick fan-favourite.
The Punisher is dark, gritty, full-of-action and at times brutal. However, the show is not all about the action. Supporting the disturbed personality of Frank are some amazing characters played convincingly. The first season starts as Frank lays low after going on a rampage seeking revenge and justice for the murders of his wife and two kids.
He works at a construction site keeping to himself but troubles keep finding Frank. No matter how hard he tries to convince himself of the ‘not my business’ approach, the punisher inside him doesn’t let him sit idly while injustice occurs around him. Soon, his nature gets better of him and in no time Frank finds himself in deep trouble which not only threatens his new identity but also the lives of people surrounding him.
What makes The Punisher a great show is the how relatable all the characters are. Frank, although plays an ‘almighty-god’ type of a character, has his own flaws and plenty of inner demons he is in constant battle with. Even the bad guys in the show have quite clear backstories, explaining how they came to be the ‘bad’ person they now are.
The huge success the first season received prompted creators to renew the show for another season. In the second season Frank tries to help a runaway girl who in many ways similar to frank himself. Both seasons of The Punisher are equally enjoyable which something rare in many shows. If you were contemplating if or not to watch this one, I suggest you do as it won’t disappoint.