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Netflix’s Punisher Series Takes Aim at Government Conspiracies

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Netflix is getting us super psyched for its Punisher series, with a new teaser and poster that suggests the show will focus on bureaucratic cover ups and Frank Castle’s military history.

Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle was by far the best thing about Daredevil season 2—I started skipping ahead to scenes where he was featured—and the performance was so well-received that Bernthal and Frank got a show all their own. In case you missed the teaser trailer put out in August that introduces Punisher‘s cast, here it is:

As Comicbookmovie points out, there’s the familiar face of Deborah Ann Woll, and the rest of the cast also hints at the shape the show will take: “Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) making the jump to the new show from Marvel’s Daredevil, Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), known in the comics as the villain Jigsaw, Micro (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Castle’s ally from the Marines, and Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah), a Homeland Security officer tasked with dealing with the Punisher.” Those characters show that Punisher is doubling down on Castle’s troubled history with the military and the government. The theme of corrupted government also seems particularly apropos for our times.

The authorities are not Frank Castle’s friend, and the promotions around the Punisher seems to suggest its plot will go deep into conspiracy-land at the highest levels, considering the amount of redacted “Confidential” documents and the new tagline “The Truth Must Be Taken.” However, the choice of Punisher’s archenemy Jigsaw, who in the Marvel comics was not in the military or government but a regular ol’ criminal, means that the Punisher could also be doing some side work cleaning up the mean streets of Manhattan.

In an ingenious bit of social media marketing, the Punisher Twitter account recently tweeted out a series of messages in Morse code, which fans have deciphered and decided must be the show’s episode titles. If these don’t whet your Punisher appetite, I don’t know what will:

“3 AM”

“Two Dead Men”




“The Judas Goat”


“Cold Steel”

“Front Toward Enemy”

“Virtue of the Vicious”

“Danger Close”


“Memento Mori”

What an incredibly cryptic and awesome way to get our attention, Netflix. Next can you encode the series’ release date? Right now that’s the biggest secret of all.

(via Comicbookmovie, image: Netflix)

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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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