Netflix's acclaimed Daredevil series showed just how dark and violent the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for the street-level crimefighters who will eventually join the Man Without Fear in their own series: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Still, Daredevil has captured fans' imaginations all over again with the announcement that the Punisher will go head to head with Daredevil in season 2.
With Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) cast as Frank Castle/The Punisher - which most agree is a worthy choice to take on the character after a series of cinematic misfires and miscasting - the decision to restructure Netflix and Marvel's development deal to fast-track a second season of Daredevil seems justified.
As for Bernthal, the actor recently shared some of his Punisher research material via Twitter. Check out his tweet below:
The truth. pic.twitter.com/D44t31JT4E
— Jon Bernthal (@jonnybernthal) June 30, 2015
Bernthal also shared an Instagram post from Hypno Comics in Ventura, CA featuring more Punisher reading material:
Jon Bernthal liked the stuff I gave him to read, hooked up again today. He's doing his work! It feels good to know I'm helping my favorite Superhero show in some small way. #punisher #daredevil #netflix #marvel #hype #nerdnews #hypnocomics
Bernthal's solo pic features a six-issue collection of the 2009 Marvel Knights series 'Punisher: War Zone' by Preacher creators Steve Dillon and Garth Ennis, with 'The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci' serving as a sequel to Ennis and Dillon's 'Welcome Back, Frank' storyline. The Punisher took down the Gnucci crime family matriarch - who returns as a legless, armless horror hell-bent on revenge. Ma Gnucci sends an army of goons after Frank, who survives them all.
The other issues Bernthal is seen with at Hypno Comics are an issue of 'Punisher MAX' focusing on Frank as he is trapped in solitary confinement during a prison riot. That arc showed that Frank Castle's transformation into the Punisher was gradual and nuanced, and could be a clue to how Bernthal is approaching his own take on the character's backstory. The 'Circle of Blood' issue is the Punisher's first solo adventure, in which Frank escapes from prison and starts a gang war; the other issue teased is 'The Punisher Volume 1: Black and White,' which finds the Punisher in Los Angeles and includes the nefarious A.I.M. (featured in Iron Man 3).
It's unclear how much or how little of this content will make its way into Daredevil's season 2 plotline. 'Circle of Blood' is notable for the chaos Frank ignites after escaping from Rykers prison with the help of the Trust, an organization intent on brainwashing criminals and turning them into a "Punishment Squad" with goals similar to the Punisher himself. Could the character's origins in Daredevil be similar to his initial solo run in the comics?
The Punisher and Daredevil are both men of violence, but their philosophies as to how and when to apply that violence - and the ultimate outcome of such application - are in opposition to each other. Exploring Frank Castle's personal demons and how they inform his chosen mission of flat-out murdering criminals promises to be one of the highlights of Daredevil's next season.
Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones premieres this fall, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.