We were treated to a soupçon of The Punisher in Daredevil’s second season but now, with the advent of the alt-right, now seems like a good time for Marvel to unveil their most right-leaning vigilante…
I used to wear a Punisher T-shirt when I was fifteen, but now with Frank Castle displaying all the necessary character traits to be seen at a neo-nazi rallies; ex-military, love of guns, paranoia, mental illness and a half ‘genuine’ excuse for revenge – the question rattling round my brain is… in a world where racism, violence and polce brutality is condoned by the so-called President of the United States, will The Punisher make difficult, conflicting viewing for us non-nazis?
In the week that Bruce Willis’s upcoming revenge flick, Death Wish – Eli Roth’s remake of Michael Winner’s 1974 Charles Bronson movie – has received flack for its racism, rape scene and right wing agenda, it will be interesting to see how these vigilante movies and shows are percieved within the backdrop of a looming second American Civil War (and in the future… depending on who wins said war – us “snowflakes”or the facists.)
While I clearly fall into the liberal category, I admit a socialist Jack Bauer wouldn’t really get the job done! We need machismo to get the dirty work done but despite my political leanings, heroes are at their most interesting when they are a) conflicted and b) don’t have a clear loyalty to good or evil – the world isn’t black and white, after all and writers finally working this out ha led to the recent anti-heroes; Don Draper, Walter White, etc.
Incidentally, I’ve always wanted to see a James Bond movie where 007 goes totally rogue. He often almost does, but is then reined back in… No one will be on hand to rein Frank Castle back in unless the paranoid war veteran, played by The Walking Dead and Baby Driver’s Jon Bernthal comes up against one or more of The Defenders this season.
Hopefully he’ll put a bullet between perma-complaining Iron Fist aka Finn Jones’ eyes because his only superpower seems to be that he can’t-act-for-toffee.
Someone once told me “everyone’s a liberal until they get mugged” – it’s not a phrase I’d heard before, nor one I necessarily believe, yet no one can say how a man would react after the rape and murder of his wife and children, other than staring at this photo alot.
In summary, its okay to become a right wing vigilante in fiction. Maybe its okay to become a nazi in real life too, but only if… only if your wife and children have been murdered.
With Englishman Steve Lightfoot (Casualty, Hannibal, Narcos) at the helm, and some genuine inner conflict, this latest Marvel TV Universe addition may revitalise the failing franchise after the distinctly average black history month lesson that was Luke Cage, dire Iron Fist and boring as fuck The Defenders.
The Punisher will be kicking down your door and taking your name later in 2017.