Like numerous first-person shooter games that punch above their weight class, The Punisher tries to transcend its glorified violence by glazing the story with a thin sheen of social consciousness.
No matter how many sad faces Frank Castle makes about his trauma, The Punisher can never escape the terrible gravity that its most basic purpose is inviting viewers to enjoy watching an angry man murder as many people as he can.
The shadowy conspiracy spirals out to envelop former NSA analyst David Lieberman (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Homeland Security agent Dina Madani (Amber Rose Revah) and everyone’s favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe journalist, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).
Although lauded as a badass by fans who appreciate the moral simplicity and confidence of rampant, uncaring destruction, Frank Castle is better described as a tragic character, a deeply traumatized man unable to stop killing not just because of his own fictional compulsions, but because the popular mythology of the Punisher requires it.
Marvel Comics editor Steven Wacker estimated earlier in 2017 that Punisher has killed 48,502 people since his first appearance, a death toll that would likely make him the worst mass murderer in history.
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