Netflix's The Punisher is set to feature Frank Castle's Battle Van. Jon Bernthal reprises his role as the iconic Marvel Comics vigilante after debuting in season 2 of Daredevil and is expected to debut by the end of 2017. The series remains largely shrouded in mystery but will contain familiar themes to Punisher fans, such as the main character's struggles to deal with tragedy and desire for revenge, plus heavy military elements.
Also familiar to fans of the comics is the presence of the Punisher's ally Microchip, whom Ebon Moss-Bachrach will portray as "Micro". The former NSA analyst provided Frank Castle with all kinds of powerful equipment in the comics, which included his Battle Van. The vehicle has made dozens of appearances over the years as the antihero's primary mode of transportation and perhaps his most powerful weapon. It's now known that the van will not only appear but perhaps get plenty of screen time.
Marvel Television chief Jeph Loeb confirmed via Netflix's Media Center (as reported on MoviePilot) that the streaming network's version of The Punisher's Battle Van will appear in the upcoming series. He tempered expectations for the vehicle's capabilities, but teased it as something imperative to include:
"They travel around in the Battle Van in the comics, so it was important for us to do our version of that. It’s not the Batmobile, but it’s definitely an iconic character that people know."
The Punisher's Battle Van first appeared in the Giant-Size Spider-Man No. 4 comic in 1975, and has appeared in many Punisher, Spider-Man, Deadpool, and Daredevil comics since its inception. Many different versions of the vehicle have been built by both Microchip and the Punisher's other ally, Mechanic. The van typically boasts advanced driving capabilities and ultra-tough armor to go with a ridiculous amount of high-tech weaponry. There's a chance that Netflix's take on the Battle Van will feature a mounted minigun and grenade launcher, as well as an extensive military-grade arsenal stored inside.
Considering that Hot Toys' recently released figure of Bernthal as The Punisher includes a minigun, it's highly likely that the weapon will appear on the new series regardless of whether it's attached to the Battle Van. It's an encouraging sign for fans of the comics that the spinoff will be faithful enough to include the van as a key weapon for Frank Castle as he uncovers a massive conspiracy. The Punisher has done some positively insane things in the comics, and it appears that Bernthal will carry on that explosive legacy with the Battle Van's firepower central to his missions in a Netflix series that will be very different from its Marvel predecessors.
It remains to be seen how big of a presence the Battle Van will have in the narrative of The Punisher's first season, including how long it will take for Frank Castle to obtain it and Micro's role in its creation. But for a show that is embracing a central character armed with some seriously dangerous weaponry and stripping down any supernatural elements, the use of the battle van and its mighty arsenal will be a welcome addition.
The Punisher is expected out by the end of 2017, but still has no official release date.
Source: Netflix Media Center (via MoviePilot)
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