MARVEL'S THE PUNISHER: 5 Villains 'Frank Castle' Could Face In His Solo Netflix Series
Marvel and Netflix's solo Punisher series is officially happening, so let's tale a look at 5 of Frank Castle's (Jon Bernthal) most prominent foes from the comics that the violent vigilante could face on TV...
Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle made quite an impression during season 2 of Daredevil, so fans were overjoyed when it was officially announced that The Punisher spinoff was on the way. Castle served as the antagonist for most of his time on Daredevil, only teaming up with the Man Without Fear briefly towards the end - so it'll be very interesting to see him lead his own show as a hero (well, antihero).
Of course every hero needs a good villain, and we've gathered together 5 of the most likely candidates here. Some are classic baddies, others more recent, and some don't really qualify as a legit Punisher foe at all - though, crucially, he has definitely tangled with 'em at various points in the comics.
5. The Russian
The monstrous Russian was first introduced in Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's run on the comic back in 2000, and could serve as a great physical threat to Castle on the show. A version of this character actually appeared in 2004's The Punisher as played by former WWE champion Kevin Nash, and his extended fight scene with Tom Jane was easily one of the highlights of the movie.
There is a lot more to The Russian than that mute, lumbering depiction would have suggested though. In the comics he's actually a massive fan of American pop culture, and is a superhero fanboy - he's even the president of "The Daredevil, Man Without Fear, Fan Club". Something like that could give the towering, near-invulnerable baddie a nice little quirk to set him apart from the usual henchman type, and would no doubt amusingly grind Castle's gears in the process.
4. Ma Gnucci
Another Ennis/Dillon creation, Ma Gnucci was the head of the notorious Gnucci crime family and became one of Castle's most ruthless , dauntless enemies for quite a long time. In the comics, The Punisher incurs her wrath by killing 3 of her sons, and Ma goes on a one-woman crusade to bring him down. As you can imagine, that doesn't work out too well for her, and Gnucci winds up losing her scalp and limbs to a polar bear (this is a Garth Ennis story remember) before being punted to a fiery death.
In season 2 of Daredevil, Castle focuses most of his energy on taking down bikers and the Irish Mob, but the addition of Gnucci would be a great way to introduce the Mafia threat, and line up many a wiseguy for Frank to dole out bloody justice to.
Billy "The Beaut" Russo, AKA Jigsaw, is easily one of The Punisher's most well known foes, and is the man most directly responsible for killing Frank Castle's family in the comics. The hideously disfigured character was played by Dominic West in Punisher: Warzone, but that version bordered on parody, when Jigsaw should really be introduced as a seriously sadistic, extremely unpredictable villain.
A very capable fighter (though not quite on Castle's level), but his real talents lie in strategy, and The Punisher was rarely able to predict his next move. Bringing the man who ruined Castle's life and ultimately created The Punisher in as the main antagonist of the series is really a no-brainer, and it also paves the way for team-ups with several other villains, including The Kingpin.
Many will know this character from the Daredevil movie, but there's a lot more to the lethal assassin than Colin Farrell's OTT performance would have you believe. Primarily a foe of the Man Without Fear, we all expected Bullseye to be introduced in season 2 of Daredevil. Obviously that never happened, but he and Frank Castle have crossed paths several times in the comics, so why not take the opportunity to bring him in for The Punisher series?
He'd make a more than capable physical match for Castle, and their battles could pave the way for future encounters with Daredevil, allowing Bullseye to play out some of his more important, and bleak, comic book functions - including the murder of Karen Page.
Like Bullseye, Wilson Fisk is better known as a Daredevil baddie - but how can Marvel and Netflix not capitalize on that brutal and intense prison face-off between Castle and The Kingpin from season 2 of Daredevil? During that encounter, The Punisher warned Fisk that if they were ever in a room together again, only one of them would be walking out - something Vincent D'Onofrio's character seemed to take great pleasure in acknowledging.
Because The Kingpin served as the main villain in season 1 of Daredevil, it might not be the best idea to repeat that with the The Punisher, but it'd be great to have him pulling a few strings from the shadows.
Let us know what you think in the usual place, and if there's any bad guys you think should have made the cut
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