(Warning - potential SPOILERS for Season 2 of Daredevil lie below...Tread carefully, and all that...)
Now, with the rise in recent years of the superhero movie, there's an ever-increasing number of actors out there being entrusted with playing characters that we, as fans, have known and loved for years (and often our entire lives). With a multitude of different versions of those characters out there, though - with heroes and villains often changing dramatically from writer to writer - it's a major challenge to bring any given character to the screen in a manner that'll satisfy both the film or series' director, the studio, and the fans.
Whether an actor is up to that task, then, is a key element in a show or film being more than just accepted, but loved. The fact that he obviously just 'gets' Tony Stark is a major part of why we all love Robert Downey Jr. Hugh Jackman visibly loves Wolverine as much as any other fan, which is a huge reason why he's so widely beloved. Charlie Cox's clear sense of exactly who Matt Murdock is at his core is similarly at the core of why his Daredevil was so well received.
And, so, with Daredevil Season 2 fast approaching, it's seriously reassuring to see that not only is Jon Bernthal taking his impending role as the Punisher seriously, by hitting his local comic book store (figuratively, and not lethally, thankfully), but that he also looks to be heading in a very much fan-friendly direction with his take on the anti-hero. According to Bernthal's recent tweet, at least:
It Looks Like We'll Be Getting a Very Particular Punisher
Specifically, a Punisher who'll be - at least in part - based on the more recent, Garth Ennis-ian take on the character.
The trade paperback in question is a limited series based around the apparent return of a major crime boss from the Punisher's past, which soon sees him drawn into a deadly battle or seven (as per usual).
Now, the fact that Bernthal's reading that particular series may not ultimately mean too much for Daredevil's introduction of the character - the show's creative team may well have had nothing to do with him reading it, after all - but it certainly suggests three key things:
1. Bernthal Is Taking This Punisher Gig Seriously
After all, there're a whole lot of actors who opt - whether of their own volition, or after being instructed to do so by their director - to not read any of their character's comic book backstory. It's good to hear that Bernthal isn't one of them...
2. Our Chances of Seeing Ma Gnucci Have Gone Up
Whether we'll ultimately see the villain in the series remains to be seen, but Bernthal's posting of a reference to her on Twitter surely makes it a little more likely that we'll see her turn up on the show next season. Her original appearances back in the early 2000s as a dominant mob boss, after all, make her a plausible option should the show be seeking criminals to fill the Daredevil-created vacuum in New York City's underworld...
3. It Seems Bernthal Will Be Skewing Modern in His Influences
After all, that wasn't the only Punisher series Bernthal picked up. Having headed to California's Hypno Comics, he evidently picked up a much wider selection. Which, it seems, consisted of Punisher adventures from 1986 on, including the Circle of Blood story arc, and the more recent PunisherMAX - and not, it seems, Punisher's (somewhat) more family-friendly adventures in his earlier, 1970s appearances.
Which, on the level of Bernthal's performance, at any rate, suggests we'll be seeing a distinctly gritty Punisher...
Which...we probably all kind of expected anyway, right?
What do you think, though?