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The First Punisher Trailer Is Here, and It’s Intense as Hell

Netflix and Marvel released a full trailer for the upcoming Punisher series, and it is A Lot.

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We’ve noted that from Netflix’s promotional material, the first season of Punisher will see Jon Bernthal’s antihero Frank Castle take on a conspiracy at the highest level of government. It looks like we’ll also be seeing Frank’s origin story—the graphic murder of his family—either in real-time or in flashbacks.

The trailer starts like the tease of another show entirely: a loving family drama, with Frank enjoying time with his laughing kids and lovely wife. Then the wife is shot point-blank in front of him, and the ominous music kicks into gear. We hear the shaking of a spray paint can and the drawing of the Punisher’s iconic skull symbol. Then, Frank suiting up for battle—it looks more like war in this case, given his soldier’s background—and a whole lot of people start dying.

“They killed my family to get to me,” Frank says in voiceover, while he stares, bloodied, into a mirror. We hear that he suspects his family’s assassination was all part of a “covert CIA operation … the man in charge wants me dead. Homeland, the FBI, everybody’s part of this.” And Frank announces that he has plans to kill everyone who was involved. So, like, a good chunk of America’s intelligence community.

As the fitting strains of Metallica’s “One” play in the background (“Darkness imprisoning me / All that I see / Absolute horror”), a lot of folks start dying while we meet some of the new cast of characters amidst the whirlwind of carnage.

I’ve been excited for the Punisher series based on the strength of Bernthal’s breakout performance in Daredevil, and many of you have expressed a similar sentiment: while we might not have been big fans of the Punisher in comics, we’re willing to give the series a shot for its star’s sake. I still feel the same way, but I’m also curious now whether the kind of hyper-violence we see here can be sustained every episode without audience burnout.

This will be one of the first Netflix/Marvel collab where the lead relies on massive guns and military weapons rather than a superpower to dispatch their enemies, which makes it feel a lot more real (but also relevant). Of course, if you’re a longtime Punisher fan, this likely hits all the right notes. And as Teresa pointed out with the first teaser, maybe this is the kind of cathartic, righteous fury we all need right now. Along with the rest of us, Frank Castle has entirely run out of fucks to give.

What do you think?

(image: screengrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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