Note: Contains Daredevil Season 2 Spoilers
Marvel's Daredevil is amazing. The show has so many likable elements that could be the subject of countless posts. One thing that is so cool is how the Hell's Kitchen part of the Marvel Universe is adapted for TV in a realistic way. Aside from small supernatural elements (Jessica Jones, some of the Hand mythos, etc.), most of the show is very realistic. This sets it apart from many other comic book TV shows and movies. Daredevil himself is a pretty realistic character. The emphasis that the show puts on the justice system shows that it is a world similar to ours. One of the new additions to season 2 is the Punisher. I think that he is one of the greatest parts of the show now and his adaptation from the comic is flawless.
In Marvel Comics, the Punisher is a vigilante who will employ any means necessary in order to see justice (in his perspective) prevail. He is a Vietnam War veteran whose civilian name is Frank Castle. His war on crime is set in motion by the murder of his family, which was caught in the crossfire of a Central Park mob shootout.
For those who have watched Daredevil Season 2, it is easy to see how the show did such a good job of adapting his character. The above character bio applies flawlessly to Daredevil's Punisher, with the exception of him serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as opposed to Vietnam. However, the comic book version of the Punisher is not completely applicable to the Daredevil season. The Netflix series takes on a more realistic tone than the comic books do at times. For example, this is how the Punisher looks in the comics.
While he does look cool, his costume does not seem to fit with the style of Daredevil's Frank Castle. He does not seem like one for a tight suit with a giant skull on the chest; he is more subdued. Daredevil's Punisher wears tactical, black clothing that seems to be much more in tune with his character and what a modern war veteran would wear.
The Netflix series even found a way to incorporate his signature skull in two ways. In addition to it being on his shirt in the finale, the show uses an x-ray of Frank Castle's damaged head to make the association between the skull and the Punisher.
Another instance of the Netflix series doing a stellar job is in the Punisher name itself. The Punisher moniker is not something that Frank creates; it is actually a police code name for him that was used when his identity was not known. It stuck simply because the press perpetuated the nickname. In fact, at no point in the series does Frank embrace or even really acknowledge the Punisher nickname. This is representative of Frank's character as he is not flashy or into his reputation. Rather, he is interested in one thing only: his war on crime. It is a cool notion that the audience comes to know the character as a nickname (the Punisher) and by a symbol (the skull) despite him never using either. That is why Daredevil has such a good Punisher adaptation: it stays true to its comic book roots while putting it in a modern perspective.
The grittier tone and live-action media also create an outlet for the series to go into great depth, allowing the audience to better understand the Frank Castle character. The so-called "Trial of the Century" dealt with vigilantism, with the public widely split on whether Frank Castle is a terrorist or a patriot and regarding the lengths to which he should be allowed to go to fight crime. The show also dealt with modern issues regarding war, including whether veterans should be treated differently and PTSD and its effects. The characters also were forced to deal with some of the issues of the justice system. This adaptation allowed for an in-depth character analysis that added to the complexity of the Punisher.
Finally, this adaptation was amazing because of its casting. Jon Bernthal looks and plays the part so true to the comic book character. He totally looks the part and delivered a ghastly performance. A character is only as strong as his actor, and Jon Bernthal crafted a fantastic Punisher. Daredevil's Punisher has a costume, police-assigned nickname, gritty tone, and an actor that all pay homage to the comic book origins, while making the character fit for the semi-realistic Marvel Cinematic Universe. For these reasons, Daredevil's Punisher is one of the best ones yet.