Daredevil Season 2 ended on a sinister note, revealing that Frank Castle's family weren't really victims of organized crime at all. Instead, they were killed as a result of a dark conspiracy, one that Season 1 of The Punisher promises to unearth. What's really going on? What dark forces will Frank Castle wage war on? We're combing through official teasers and production notes released to the press at the Netflix Media Center; here's what we know so far...
The Most Mysterious Teaser Of All
Our first major clue is in this fascinating promotional teaser, released on September 12th. It fleshes out further details on Castle's mysterious mission to Kandahar, revealing that this was a covert mission of some kind. It looks as though this was related to Operation: Cerberus, a secret U.S. approach that became controversial due to the actions of a whistleblower identified as Frank Castle.
This subtly links to the main villain of The Punisher, Ben Barnes's Billy Russo. Known to comic book fans as a crime boss who goes by the name of Jigsaw, the #MCU has reinvented Russo as one of Castle's allies back in Kandahar. Barnes notes that his character always had a deep respect for Castle:
"Billy and Frank were the closest of friends from their days in Kandahar in Afghanistan. I think Billy was initially a little bit in awe of Frank’s skill and strength. Billy is not a man who is generally in awe of anyone or anything because he’s very confident in who he is and his own abilities and capabilities. He knows he has the strength to achieve anything, but there’s something unique about Frank’s vigor and power that he responds to and feels he has a connection with. They became very close because of that."
I wonder how Billy took Castle's whistleblowing?
Meanwhile, you'll notice that the documents on Operation: Cerberus also make mention of a man who goes by the codename of Micro. While Castle turned whistleblower on Cerberus, Micro faked his own death and has been working to oppose it in secret. The Punisher will begin with Micro seeking Castle out, as he believes they're both fighting the same enemy.
Micro's Statements To Frank Castle
Marvel's been having been fun on their official Instagram account, building up to the release of The Punisher by taking full advantage of the app's Story Mode. These clips are only uploaded for 24 hours at a time, but we were able to pull two key videos for your viewing pleasure...
Sinister, aren't they? It's clear that these take place towards the end of Micro's quest for the Punisher and attentive viewers will recognize that there are also brief clips from previous Instagram videos too. Micro refers to dark forces that "tell good men they're doing God's work as they send them to Hell." He's reaching out to Frank Castle, reassuring him that he knows the secret of Kandahar and Operation: Cerberus, and that he's an ally against them.
The reference to Hell is actually a really smart touch, and may mean more than you think at first viewing. After all, in Greek mythology, Cerberus was the legendary multi-headed dog that guarded the underworld.
So far, we really don't have much information about this mysterious Operation: Cerberus. The teasers have referred to disinformation and propaganda, but let's face it; you don't have a man like Frank Castle on the ground unless you're planning to take brutal military action.
The Punisher looks set to be one of the most intriguing #Marvel #Netflix series so far, exploring themes of legality and accountability. Frank Castle and Micro are pitted against a far-reaching conspiracy, one that seeks to target them with deadly efficiency. And that will bring Castle up against his old friends and colleagues...
What do you think Operation: Cerberus will be? Let me know in the comments!