While fans do not know the exact date Marvel's The Punisher will air on Netflix (my guess is October 13, 2017), all are excited to watch Jon Bernthal return as the titular character and officially kick off Phase 2 of the Marvel Netflix Universe. We know the show will follow Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, as he exacts revenge — punishment — on those responsible for the death of his wife and children. We also know that the show will delve into Frank Castle's past, his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, his military service in the Middle East, and his time with the elite Marine Corps Force Recon unit under the command of Colonel Ray Schoonover. The flashbacks into Frank's past and his government connections may help connect the #Netflix shows to the greater MCU as well as provide a more cohesive thread between the Netflix shows and the theatrical films.
If you have not watched Season 2 of Daredevil or The Defenders on Netflix, then stop here, for there are some SPOILERS ahead.
For those who have watched Daredevil and The Defenders, you know that Frank Castle was released from prison by Wilson Fisk to massacre all the other criminal empires in New York City. Fisk did this so that he will become the new "Kingpin of Crime" when he is eventually released. Frank did not make any appearances in The Defenders and was last seen at the end of Season 2, Episode 12 of Daredevil in search of a mysterious ally from Frank's past called "Micro" after retrieving a CD with this name on it.
David Lieberman, a.k.a. Micro, is the first link to the greater #MCU. Aside from being mentioned in Daredevil, the character is also mentioned in Season 2, Episode 7 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maybe some S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA agents took part in framing Castle along with the CIA, FBI and DHS. Hopefully, we get a couple mentions of Sharon Carter and Everett K. Ross, as they are both CIA operatives.
Shifting back to Frank Castle's past, we know that he took part in many combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Tony Stark, another major player in the MCU, was present for a time during the war in Afghanistan. By now we all know how #TonyStark escaped his captivity with the Ten Rings and was found by a search and rescue unit led by Colonel James Rhodes. There's a good chance that Frank Castle's unit was there for the Jericho missile presentation or at least part of the search and rescue mission. With his military background, I wouldn't doubt it.
We still do not know if The Punisher is set before, after, or during the events of The Defenders. Frank's absence during The Defenders allows for all scenarios to be possible. We do know that the show will include returning characters Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan) and Detective Brett Mahoney (Royce Johnson). Hopefully they all make it out of this first season alive, for it would be a shame to lose them as soon as Phase 2 starts. Lastly, it would be nice if other Marvel heroes, or new ones that we have yet to see, are mentioned or included. Other Marvel Netflix shows taking place in Phase 2 include: Daredevil Season 3, Jessica Jones Season 2, Luke Cage Season 2 and Iron Fist Season 2.
The Punisher premieres globally this fall, only on Netflix.
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