Frank Castle is coming to Netflix. The first season of Marvel’s series about the vigilante antihero The Punisher finally has a release date: November 17th. The announcement came along with a new trailer that shows off some of Castle’s origins.
The 13-episode season will begin streaming the same day that another big superhero franchise hits theaters: DC’s Justice League. That doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Netflix greenlit The Punisher after the character (played by Jon Bernthal) was introduced in the second season of Daredevil, and in the first two trailers we’ve seen, the show is promising a bloody, gun-filled affair. The show appears to have a government conspiracy and thriller feel, which should set it apart from the rest of Marvel’s Netflixverse: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. The early looks show off Frank Castle as he goes up against federal agents and tackles a government conspiracy, all in an attempt to deal with his family’s death.
This new trailer shows off more of his history: it depicts Castle as a soldier, in a scenario where he and his fellow soldiers seem to have done something terrible in the field. When he returns home, he has some significant regrets. Castle is contacted by a mysterious hacker who reveals that he was used as a hitman. This apparently prompts Castle to go after his former superiors, and earns him the ire of the US government, which wants to keep its activities quiet.
The release date announcement comes a couple weeks after Marvel and Netflix canceled a New York Comic Con panel in the wake of the October 1st mass shooting in Las Vegas. The killings raised questions about the tone of the show, given the character’s homicidal tendencies. Taking into account the frequency of mass shootings in the United States, it’s worth wondering whether Netflix will keep the show on track, or delay its premiere if something terrible happens again.