Netflix Pulls the Trigger on ‘The Punisher’ Season 2

The tragedy of the 21st Century superhero movie is that if it isn’t made by Marvel, it probably isn’t worth watching.  The one holdout to this in recent memory has been Fox’s X-Men series, which by rights shouldn’t count for two distinct reasons.  The first is that, although not made by Marvel Studios and not part of the MCU, they are still based on a Marvel Comics property.  The second is that it appears that they will soon be absorbed into the House of Mouse (and, by proxy, be folded into the MCU).

Although not quite as severe as on the big screen, Marvel still casts a looming shadow over small scree superheroics.  Marvel’s Netflix series, which have been widely celebrated for their complex characters and compelling storylines, are undoubtedly the among the very best that the genre has to offer, either on TV or in the movie theater.  They tie into the same continuity as the films do, but offer a darker, gritter and more grounded feel than the bubblegum blockbusters hitting theaters every couple of month do.

Of these series, none has felt like more of a departure from the films than The Punisher.  Originally appearing in Daredevil season 2 as a dark foil of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Frank Castle (aka the Punisher) is an ex-military vigilante to takes his definitive brand of justice to the streets in order to make sure that criminals stay down permanently.  While the MCU is no stranger to guns across its various installments, the sheer quantity and emphasis on traditional firearms in the series have made it feel far more realistic than Iron Man’s repulser blasts or Hawkeye’s trick arrows.

Although the series was originally scheduled for release a month earlier than it eventually was, the Las Vegas mass shooting caused Netflix to delay the series until a respectable amount of time had passed from the tragedy.  But despite its proximity to that horrendous day, as well as competing with Justice League over their shared opening weekend, it has proven to be a popular and critical success.

Marvel and Netflix announced this week that, owing to that positive reception, they will be making a follow-up to the series’ first season.  Although they offered no timeline as to when fans could expect to see their skull-clad vigilante again, the companies’ already full release schedule suggest that it might be a fully two years before it comes.  But for TV this good, it is absolutely worth the wait.

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