The Punisher Season 2 renewal is an important milestone for Marvel, for Netflix, and for Frank’s story.
In this modern-day age, superhero movies abound, TV and Netflix spinoffs endless in their pursuit of a bigger meaning beyond just another superhero story. For the most part, the writers of shows and movies get it right. They understand that the deepening connection to a superhero story is making the hero – or villain, in this case – realistic, fleshing them out to the point of believability. They have to have real motives, rooted in the modern-day world, their concerns mirroring a certain aspect of life.
The Punisher’s Origins
The Punisher‘s development came out of the bold and crass likability of the murderer with a motive that was Frank Castle in season 2 of Daredevil. The creation of his own independent story seemed inevitable, though it could have very easily been a story about Frank Castle’s loss of family and nothing more. Instead, The Punisher was created with the premise of it being about a soldier suffering, but within an episode, the importance as a franchise is revealed. It is not just about Frank Castle, but about soldiers at large; it is about suffering as a whole, as a well-defined and well-explored concept, not etched out of obscurity. The reality of the pain of the characters seems to take hold, and it dictates the shape of the show, making it a standout representation within the storylines of superheroes.
The importance of renewing such a show is clear in its path towards distinctive and unique storytelling, both in its concepts and in its writing itself. His story expands past the usual ideologies of a superhero story, manifesting pain in a very real and palpable way. The zeroing in on soldiers and their treatment, within their own units, the government, and the people of the country itself, is an evident and clear portrayal of a certain kind of suffering. Its importance resides in its expanse of the suffering; it is not a one-dimensional or unbelievable portrayal of soldiers who have lost, generalizing their sorrows and fears. Rather, the show offers different representations of the pain any one person could endure, from multiple facets and in multiple ways. By ushering into a new season, the show has the momentum and time to strategically plan how to best propel and create more awareness around these kind of stories, around this kind of pain.
Revealing that it is more than just a story about a discarded man who became a villain, the undertow of the show is strength and resilience, dependency on family, those literal and made up by the people one surrounds themselves with. By being given a second season, there is allowed room for growth, a furthering of plot lines that are not just derived from who the next victim might be, but rather focusing on important storylines and furthering fleshing out of characters that can be done in more space with more time.
No Loss of Reality
While the loss of Frank’s family is harrowing, it is expanded upon but so is the suffering of others, painting Frank into a bigger picture and allowing the audience a greater understanding of this suffering, in a context that is relatable and real. Due to this level of believability, Frank’s story can be further etched out, as well as the surrounding environment that exists in, purposefully written to disband the belief that it is far from the viewers’ own. If the barrier between reality and the screen is a less distinct line, the show moves out of the sometimes inescapable trap of a superhero show and moves into a different genre itself, one that critiques the world it’s in as a response to the real one.
Despite not having a Punisher in real New York City, the show’s first season and potential second has opened a door to the different kind of rationales and moralities people accept in order to do what they have to do. The show has created an undeniable new way to think about the government, the army, and the world at large, but perhaps most importantly, it has created an entirely new way to examine the lives of people who have lost. A second season can aim for loftier goals but, if it remains rooted in realism the way the first season is, Frank Castle will always have an important place on modern-day screens.
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