For a generation of comic book fans, The Punisher was one of the greatest Marvel superheroes, precisely because he wasn't one. With no superpowers, and more anti-hero than superhero, Vietnam vet Frank Castle was a vigilante that stood out from tights-wearing crowd.
He killed the bad guys, rather than handing them over to inept authorities. He clashed with the law as much as he aided it. He had few real connections to the world, and lived a bleak, nomadic existence. His few allies (like Micro, who appears in the new Netflix series) feared him as much as loved him.
For many comic book fans in the late 80s/early 90s, when The Punisher was at its peak, he represented a certain gritty realness, no matter how over-the-top his adventures were. And since then, fans have waited patiently for a proper adaptation. They suffered through the Dolph Lundgren fiasco in 89. The Thomas Jane outing in 2002 gave us a good Punisher, in a terrible Punisher movie (Jane's 2012 short, Dirty Laundry, remains perhaps the best on-screen Punisher to date). Ray Stevenson's Punisher in 2008's Punisher: War Zone seemed like an action movie with a Marvel logo on it.
With the release of Marvel's The Punisher on Netflix, there was a chance we'd finally see a good Punisher adaptation. Sadly, though Jon Bernthal makes the best Punisher outside Jane, there are a lot of ways in which the series dropped the ball in season one.