Almost a year in the making, Marvel's The Punisher doesn't just mark Frank Castle's solo series debut, but a return to form for Marvel on Netflix too.
It's so salient, so authentic, that, despite a rocky beginning and middle, it stakes a claim for being one of the very best comic book adaptations of the last decade. It's certainly the best Frank Castle's ever gotten, with Jon Bernthal again turning in a magnetic performance as the marine turned vigilante, but it's not just him that makes the show so special. Most of the cast excel in their roles, and with a truly compelling narrative to boast as well, it's clear that Steve Lightfoot has done for Frank what he did for Hannibal in 2013.
It's just that good.
And while yes, Marvel haven't had the best of years on the streaming service, they've managed to end 2017 with a veritable bang, delivered in a black and white motif that, contrary to popular belief, in no way emulates the show's frank and honest commentary on war, violence, and the character's at times controversial status in popular culture. It has something to say, and while Punisher fans will of course have the most take away from the series, there's nothing stopping the rest of the Marvel faithful from getting invested.
His return's been long overdue, but welcome back, Frank.