5 Things To Know About The Punisher's Story Before Binging The Netflix Series

by Dylan Kickham

Marvel's got a new hero in town, but he may be the most mysterious one yet. In the previous Marvel Netflix series, fans have known pretty much exactly what to expect when boiling it down: Daredevil is a ninja with heightened senses, Jessica Jones is a detective with super strength, Luke Cage is indestructible, and Iron Fist is... well, that one is the most self-explanatory of all. But the Punisher is more complicated when it comes to discerning how he fits into the mold. Like, does the Punisher have superpowers? And does he have a sidekick or anything? And who is he fighting against? Before you start bingeing The Punisher, here's everything you need to know about the gun-slinging anti-hero.

1. What we learned in Daredevil

The Punisher isn't the first time we've seen the Marvel hero on Netflix. Jon Bernthal's Punisher made his on-screen debut last year in Season 2 of Daredevil, in which he initially butted heads but eventually teamed up with Daredevil to take down a group of mystical ninjas known as The Hand. This introductory juxtaposition against Daredevil served to set up Punisher's characteristic ethos: he has no qualms about killing criminals. While Daredevil and the rest of the Defenders tend to let the law take care of human criminals, the Punisher prefers taking care of them himself. So you can expect a lot more blood and death in The Punisher than any of the other Defenders series.

2. His powers

Although his skills with a gun do seem supernatural at times, Frank Castle is actually the only Marvel hero we've met so far that doesn't have any super powers. That said, he is still a terrifyingly powerful man given his extensive training and proficiency in ammunitions from his time as a sniper in the Marines. The beginning of the new series sees Castle accurately shooting a man in the head from miles away, and he even without his guns, he's an expert in hand-to-hand combat and strategy.

3. His sidekick

Punisher is famously a lone wolf, but he has had some allies in the past, as his stint working with Daredevil showed. In his standalone series, he will be teaming up with his most famous sidekick from the Marvel comics: Micro. Micro is a technologically gifted hacker who provides Punisher with all the guns and information he needs to help him in his mission.

4. His mission

The main motivation of the Punisher in this new series is entrenched in his origin story, which we learned about in Daredevil. Punisher is seeking vengeance on the gang members that are responsible for the deaths of his wife and two children. It was the sudden loss of his family after her returned from his time serving in Afghanistan that caused him to enter into vigilantism in the first place, and that quest for deadly vengeance will also lead him to confront some of the people he worked for in a shady military cell during his time at war.

5. His villain

So, Frank Castle's mission is really clear: find everyone who was responsible for the murder of his family and kill them. In the new series, viewers learn pretty quickly that the antagonist who most messed up Castle's life is his former military commander Rawlins. In flashbacks, we learn that Rawlins enlisted Castle in a lawless underground subsect of the military called Project Cerberus, in which he commanded soldiers to torture and murder perceived enemies to the point where it would be considered terrorism. Punisher will be going through a lot of henchmen in his new series, and that string of dead bodies will likely eventually lead to Rawlins.