#ThePunisher is coming to Netflix around November of next year. What little we do know about the story came from #Daredevil Season 2, with Frank Castle finding a disc (really? Not a flash drive?) with the word "Micro" written on it. That’s about it at this point.
This is understandable considering we are over a year away. With the unfortunate passing of Steve Dillon, I was reminded of how awesome a run on the Punisher he and Garth Ennis gave us in the late '90s. They brought the character back from obscurity after a stint of fighting demons alongside angels with magic guns. No, really. Some of the initial run, entitled "Welcome Back, Frank," was touched on in the Thomas Jane film, but I think the story had many elements that could be mined for the series.
1. Ma Gnucci Was Made To Be Put Onscreen
As soon as Frank came back from creative limbo, he was faced with one of the most original villains the comic world had ever seen. Ma Gnucci was a mobster’s wife who took control of the family business. Once Frank kills two of her sons, she hires every assassin she can find to take Castle out. This, of course, backfires and after a run-in with a polar bear (leaving her armless and legless) she is more determined than ever to see Frank dead.
After sending the Russian to Frank’s apartment, Frank has decided he’s had enough and takes the fight to Ma’s front door, literally. The story provides fun while taking Frank to his vigilante roots. It was originally a 12-issue mini series, which would be right up Netflix’s alley. They could even sprinkle in the crevices with nods to the Punisher's previous series and appearances — God knows there were enough of them.
2. He Inspired Others To Become Vigilantes
Later on in the Ennis/Dillon era, there were three vigilantes inspired by Frank that were more or less worthless in terms of actually fighting crime. These less than stellar heroes consisted of the Elite — a racist 1 percenter, Mister Payback — a man who targeted corporate shenanigans, and the Holy — a possible nod to Jesse Custer, another one of Ennis and Dillon’s creations. Frank found out about their escapades and made light work of them when he figured out that they didn’t care if they wasted innocent lives in the pursuit of justice.
This trio represents a fascinating aspect of the Punisher often touched on but never dealt with to a lasting degree. There is always the fear that what the Punisher does will inspire others to imitate him, which will lead to anarchy in the streets. This trio could illustrate what happens when people who are inexperienced and untrained take to the streets.
3. He Could Team Up With Spider-Man
First off, let me preface this entry by saying I know legalities will pretty much make it impossible for this to happen. Having that said, it would be pretty awesome. The Punisher and Spider-Man have teamed up on numerous occasions over the years and to see the two onscreen together would be the crown jewel in the Netflix series. The Netflix universe is set in the MCU proper and Spider-Man would be the first crossover actor to guest star in one of the shows — it could be the start of an amazing trend. Why not start off with a bang? Failing to see that happen, I would love to see Matt Murdock guest star, if for no other reason than to follow up on Daredevil Season 2. Both heroes have a hatred for the Kingpin, who would very much love to see them suffer.
The Punisher series is a ways off, so we will have plenty of time for speculation as we wait for announcements about our favorite vigilante psychopath. I know that Deborah Ann Woll will be in the series. Hopefully she’ll have more to do than whine about her boyfriends and getting beloved newsmen killed.
What are your predictions for The Punisher Season 1? Sound off in the comments below!