Many fans were ecstatic to hear the news that #Netflix has ordered a Punisher solo series after his popular run during the second season of Daredevil. There has been a lot of speculation from fans about what storyline #Marvel should adapt for the upcoming series.
There are a lot of great Punisher comics out there but I think I have chosen four perfect comic series that Netflix could adapt for the small screen. Keep in mind that this is all opinion based as there are plenty of storylines to choose from. Let's start with:
1. Welcome Back Frank
This was the comic series that brought life back into the Punisher after a long run of disappointing attempts at the famed vigilante. The 90s were not too kind to Frank Castle as he was mostly used for cheap tie-ins and it was becoming clear that Marvel was running out of ideas for the Punisher. This was especially clear when writers tried to give Punisher supernatural powers to compete with the popular stories DC was releasing under Vertigo.
Thankfully, Garth Ennis was able to bring Punisher back to his roots with a simple, brutal tale about the Punisher's war on crime. It was a simple back to the basics storyline that made Marvel fans give a crap about the Punisher again. It was gritty, brutal but also had a somewhat light tone to it at the same time. Frank Castle was portrayed as his usual violent grim self in a world of stereotypical gangster, polar bear fights and a comedic police duo. What better story to bring to life in his upcoming Netflix series.
2. The Slavers
This was a very risky move on Marvel's part because it dealt with the very controversial taboo subject of sex slavery that continues to be a problem today. In most of Punisher's other comics, you could probably get away with letting your child read those comics because even though they were violent to a degree, there were still comedic and light-hearted moments to balance it out. This comic series throws that all out the window and remains as a full on adult only story.
The Slavers introduces a truly disgusting issue with today's world and Garth Ennis, once again taking the reigns of a Punisher comic series, uses the Punisher to voice all his anger and disgust with it.
After Frank Castle rescues a young girl from a gang of rapists, he takes care of her and nurses her back to health. While taking care of her, he listens to her horrific story about what her and her friends had to endure as slaves. This obviously strikes a strong cord with Frank and he uses all of his might and rage take down the people who did this.
Marvel's Daredevil and Jessica Jones has, more or less, dabbled in the more mature themes and they seem to be doing it more and more as their series continue. It might be a while before they want to attempt such a violent and brutal story but all the fans would rejoice if they did.
3. Up is Down, Black is White
Nicky Cavella will probably go down in Marvel history as one of the dumbest villains of all time. In this story, he decides that it would be a great idea to dig up Frank Castle's murdered family, videotape himself pissing all over their corpses and then sending it to the local news station and having it broadcast nationally.
You know, because you didn't think Frank Castle could get anymore violent and angry than he usually is. The Punisher's reaction to the broadcast was the real money shot at the end of the first issue as it left readers wondering what his next move will be.
The rest of the series is a simple story of Punisher's revenge against Cavella as he mows down countless numbers of gangsters and criminals. It's not a story that offers a lot of character depth or complex ideas, it's just an excuse to let Punisher go all out for his family one last time. At some point, I really hope we'll see this storyline adapted for the small screen soon.
4. Punisher: Year One
The Punisher's origin has been well known to the comic book reading community for years. Frank Castle's family is murdered by the mob and after getting revenge, he wages a one man war against all crime. Pretty simple and elegant. Punisher: Year One decides to go into more detail about the days after Punisher's family is killed.
The story depicts a suicidal Frank Castle who demands that the NYPD get justice for his slained family. However, after discovering all the corruption, bribery and lies behind the case, Frank decides to take matters into his own hands.
What's great about this story is that it takes Punisher's origin and adds a bunch of new and complex layers to it. The story doesn't just play Frank Castle as a grim, violent maniac, he's a broken man who has lost everything he has ever loved.
You really feel a level of sympathy for the Punisher's character and that's something the original origin did not accomplish as well. Even though they have already touched on Punisher's origin in Daredevil season 2, it would be good to somewhat go into what Frank actually went through in the days after his family was killed.