With their New York Comic Con panel only days away, The Punisher has moved to the forefront of the Netflix Marvel-verse, even if it does not as yet have a release date. (We hope that's changing soon!) But with new attention on the harder, more bloodthirsty type vigilante from Daredevil, it's time to delve into his past, as well as check out his present quirks, like the catchphrase he says before killing. But what does "One batch, Two Batch" mean, and why does Frank Castle say it every time he's about to take someone down?
The first half of Daredevil Season 2 was spent introducing the character of Frank Castle, and his alter ego "The Punisher," seeding him for his eventual spin off series. As first, Daredevil can't tell if he's a good guy or bad guy, but after seeing him kill his target for injustices committed, Matt Murdoch realizes the two of them are merely two different sides of the same coin. Or perhaps the same side of two different coins.
But what catches Murdoch's attention is the rhyme Castle chants before doing the deed. It seems like a child's nursery rhyme, but one we're unfamiliar with.
Check out this scene from Season 2, episode 4:
For the record, the full phrase is:
Castle: One Batch, Two Batch. Penny and Dime...
Castle recites it much like a talisman. It's the opening lines from a book that sounds like something Dr. Seuss might write. (Think "One Fish, Two Fish. Red Fish, Blue Fish.") The book was his daughter's favorite thing to read with him before bedtime, before he headed out to the war, and even after his time as a marine ended, it was still the book she wanted him to read when he came back. Castle is reciting it as part of her memory, as well to remind himself why he is killing the person before him: to avenge her life.
But unlike Dr. Seuss, which has an air of whimsy about it, "One Batch, Two batch. Penny and Dime" has a more sinister air about it, like it's something from old world Europe that little kids used to sing, that turns out to be about some ancient horror, like the plague or something. (Think "Ring around the rosey.")
So is "One Batch, two batch" a real nursery rhyme, long forgotten, from some long ago history book that Marvel unearthed in their search to give Castle a creepy catchphrase? Actually no. There is no such thing as a kid's books called "One Batch, Two Batch," it's been completely made up for the story at hand.
In fact, it's not even a book that exists in the comics Marvel-verse either. It was totally made up for Castle's character when he arrived in Daredevil Season 2. But even though it's not a story you can buy for your own child to read to them at night (nor will you get to find out what lines three and four are of the first stanza even), it's one that the show has heavily emphasized. They even showed the cover of it in the Daredevil Season 2 trailer that introduced the character.
How big a deal will this catchphrase (and the children's book) be for the spin off series? We're not sure. But we're almost positive that whatever happens, we'll hear Castle say though words at least once or twice during the 13 episode run.
Marvel's The Punisher will debut the first season on Netflix at some point in the Fall of 2017. Will it be sooner rather than later? We will hopefully find out soon.