Netflix’s hit Marvel series “Daredevil” introduces a new character on its second season, which launched on Friday. And with the addition, the show’s struggle to define the difference between a vigilante and a hero gets very real.
Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) — known as Punisher to Marvel Comics fans — enters the show’s Hell’s Kitchen with a barrage of bullets. Strikingly accurate and effective, he’s considered a major force by everyone in the show. But is that force for good or evil?
“Unlike the first season where there was a clear villain, this season is not that black and white,” Charlie Cox, who plays the show’s title character, recently told Business Insider of the show’s new addition.
“It’s not about a villain or an antihero or even a hero,” he continued. “I think this season asks the question: What is a hero? What does it take to be a hero? What are people’s views on heroes? How do they change and morph and where is the line? What’s the line of vigilante justice? Is that something we should applaud or is it something we should condemn? It’s a very blurry line.”
Frank Castle stands in stark contrast to season one’s villain, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who was taken down by Daredevil, aka Matt Murdock, by the end of the season. Frank is an expert sharpshooter, who brings an executioner-like quality to his work. He’s the physical manifestation of the questions Matt was left with at the end of season one, in which he battled with his own rules of crime-fighting and vigilantism.
“This season, I think it’s sophisticated and interesting and the show hopefully does what it did last year, which was they have taken a superhero show and made it so much more than that,” Cox said of Frank.
Frank/The Punisher matches Daredevil’s skills and then some. He’s
a master of martial arts
, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare
, and a wide variety of weapons. And his take on crime-fighting doesn’t include the cops and courts. He is judge, jury, and executioner.
“I really feel it’s the perfect world to reintroduce this character,” actor Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”) said of Punisher during the recent winter Television Critics Association press tour.
“So much of season one was about Matt sort of dealing with this decision to be a hero. I think here comes this guy who’s really not concerned with being a hero,” Bernthal continued. “If I got one thing from the comics as far as superpowers, his superpower is his rage. His superpower is that he is not going to quit, and he is going forward no matter what. And that’s as human and grounded a quality as I think as this sort of genre could have.”
Cox told BI that Bernthal really delivers as Punisher.
“I think he’s going to get a lot of attention from this show for his portrayal of Frank Castle, and rightfully so. He’s hugely deserving.”
Watch a trailer for the second season of “Daredevil” below:
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