Marvel’s “The Punisher” Season 2 Really Packs A Punch


Jay Greer, Contributing Writer

Comic fans rejoice as the Netflix original series “The Punisher” returns for season 2, and Frank Castle is as brutal as ever. This season brings back the characters we know and love, such as FBI special agent Dinah Madani and veteran nurse Curtis Hoyle. We even get to see the return of Billy Russo. However, this season bears the scars Frank gave him and he truly becomes the villain we know in the comics: Jigsaw.

The Punisher (Frank Castle) has been around Marvel Comics since 1974, and since that time he has crossed paths with pretty much everyone in the Marvel universe one time or another. The big difference when it comes to Frank Castle is that he doesn’t just beat up villains; he puts them down for good so they never hurt anyone again. He also uses no hesitation to do this in incredibly violent and brutal ways.

In season 2, Frank Castle not only battles Russo, but an original and unique villain as well. His name is John Pilgrim. While this villain has never appeared in the comics, he was incredibly well written and performed. The actor who plays him (Josh Stewart) has had some experience being in comic book movies, as he played a small role as one of Bane’s high-ranking foot soldiers in The Dark Knight Rises. Pilgrim is a man with a dark and violent past who turns into an incredible religious and God-fearing man, almost like a born-again Christian.

While Micro did not appear this season, we are introduced to Amy Bendix (Giorgia Whigham), a young girl who is on the run from some bad guys. Luckily for her, the bar she chose to hide in is the one that The Punisher is having a drink in. Frank takes it upon himself to save her from a hit crew, who was sent by John Pilgrim. The season is all about Frank protecting Amy from these bad people and attempting to finish off Russo for what he did to his family.

Jon Bernthal really shines as he plays both a great Punisher AND Frank Castle. Ben Barnes (Billy Russo) does an incredible job this season as well. Russo has recovered physically, aside from some bad scars. Mentally, however, he remains damaged. He loses not only most of his sanity but some of his memory too. He forgets who did this to him and all the bad things he’s done. He even forgets everything terrible he’s ever done, such as killing Frank’s family or shooting Agent Madani. By the end of the season, the audience is so captivated by his story, they feel somewhat bad for Russo.

This was and still is an amazing show, with amazing characters, acting, and writing. It establishes and maintains an amazing pace of action, while still throwing in a twist or two one didn’t see coming. For new and returning viewers, know that this show is most definitely the pinnacle of comic book television.