Review of Marvel’s The Punisher and Runaways

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Here We Go Again!

Hey There Again Friends…

Thanks so much for joining me again to take in the blithering of me. I have a few things that I am on tap to discuss that I am happy to share with you which includes one of my favorite comic characters of all time, a new loved show, and information on a series that I am beyond anxious to get my hands on so that I can go wild for the same as I go wild for what I’m about to talk about. With that said, let’s get started shall we?

Marvel’s The Punisher

When it was announced that Frank Castle would be making his way to the MCU via Season Two of Marvel’s Daredevil, I nearly crapped myself with excitement. Frank Castle. The Punisher himself! He was coming back to the MCU, and to the show that brought Matt Murdoch back to boot? Oh hell yes! With the dark, gritty scenery and the dynamite storytelling that made Daredevil so amazing, here comes Frank!

Then, of course, Jon Bernthal is announced as the new Punisher. I was/am a huge fan of his depiction of Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead. You liked him when you were supposed to, and you outright loathed him when you were supposed to hate him. I would miss Thomas Jane, but I was anxious to see what ‘Shane’ brought to the table.

If you have watched Season 2 of Daredevil, and by now you should have, then you know just how amazing Bernthal is as Frank! He takes what was great about Jane’s version of Castle, makes it better and then takes it to the stratosphere. If you haven’t watched DD season 2, or you just want a reminder, check this out.

He had the best amount of just ferocity in that scene, didn’t he? Needless to say that everyone knew that Bernthal would get his own show. When it was announced, I hadn’t felt that much excitement for a Netflix MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) show since Luke Cage was announced. I thought that he show was coming out on October 13th and I was disappointed when I found out that I had to wait until this past Friday. Until it got here. So here is my review;

Finally Mr. Ramble-On! Give The Review!

Episode 1 shows us Frank after he assisted Daredevil at the end of Season 2 of the aforementioned Daredevil. He is hunting down those that are responsible for the deaths of his wife and two children; Maria, Lisa, and Frank Jr. When he’s successfully completed his mission, he returns to New York and assumes the identify of work-o-holic soft spoken construction worker Pete Castiglione. He appears to be doing an amazing John Henry impression as pounds on concrete with a sledgehammer. As badly as he tries to stay to himself, he is pulled back into the vigilante game with the screw up of would be friend, and coworker Donny (played by Lucca De Oliveira).

From there we are pulled into Frank’s fractured mind as he continues to suffer nightmares of not only his time in the USMC, but also the deaths of his family. In these scenes, you are further reminded just why Frank does what he does; his driving force. Unfortunately for Frank, fortunately for us because it gives us thirteen episodes, we find out that the conspiracy against him and his family goes much deeper than he realized. This realization is made by the introduction of David Lieberman aka Micro (portrayed brilliantly by Ebon-Moss Bachrach).

If you are familiar with the comics mythos, than you know that Micro is the only friend/intel/weapons designer for Frank. If you are a big fan of character development, as I am, you will enjoy their dynamic and how it evolves from Micro’s introduction to the season finale.

There is so much that I want to tell you, but I do not want to spoil it for you. So I will say this;

The Meat and Potatoes Yo! What Did You Think?

Well, I’m getting to that!

Bernthal carries over the momentum from DD Season 2 and just builds on it. I never feel like he is phoning in his performance. He is taking the character, and everything about him, as seriously as Thomas Jane did thirteen years prior. I am very proud of this because Frank deserves it, and I thank Bernthal for doing Frank justice. You cheer Frank on, even when he’s taking it “too far” because you understand. You cry for him when he can’t, and when he does crack a smile you feel glad that for just a second he’s able to feel human.

As I said in the previous section, Ebon-Moss Bachrach is outstanding as Frank’s sidekick Micro. He is the perfect compliment to Frank’s cold, calculating military precision. He forces Frank to feel, to think, and to not be just a random killing machine.

The amazing Amber Rose Revah plays Dinah Madani who serves as the Agent-In-Charge of Homeland Security, which would naturally make her an enemy of Castle as he goes by the book. Madani was alright as a bit of the “good guy foil” of The Punisher. She is pulled into the story due to Frank’s backstory, and then free falls in full thanks to her trying to trick her boss into allowing her to investigate what she isn’t supposed to be. Intrigue!

Deborah Ann Woll returns as Karen Page, the secretary-turned paralegal-turned assistant-turned reporter who befriends Frank during Daredevil Season 2 when he was on trial for in DD season 2. The Page/Castle friendship evolves as Karen does, and it definitely does a lot to help move the story forward in its own way. This is Frank’s chance to show chivalry.

I Would, However, Lose My 80’s Baby Credentials If I Didn’t Point Out… (Mild Spoiler Alert)

C. Thomas Howell is still THE MAN! That’s right! The man that brought us Ponyboy Curtis, Robert Morris, Monroe Clark, Frank Kohanek, and Mark Watson, just to name a few, is outstanding! It was so great for me to see C. Thomas Howell again! Howell’s portrayal as Carson Wolf was so good that if I didn’t know him as the guy from Soul Man, Kindred: The Embraced, Side-Out, Red Dawn (the original not the GOD AWFUL remake), and The Outsiders, I would have hated him so deeply!

Carson Wolf appear as your stereotypical throw-away villain, but Howell really takes it the extra mile with this character. Just his body language, his tone, everything about every line he delivers, he’s a freaking asshole! But he’s just Ponyboy all grown up! He’s turned into an asshole because he keeps flashing back to when Johnny died before the big rumble man!

That is really the only weakness that I could find in this show; my love for C. Thomas Howell as an actor made it so hard for me to hate the villain because he’s C. Thomas Howell! I’m waiting on him to spike a volleyball and celebrate! Oh. No. He’s fighting Jon Bernthal because he’s the bad guy. Sorry!

In all seriousness, Howell is amazing but I just can’t hate his villainous character because of my love for the characters he’s played since I was a little kid. So great character, amazing actor, but the great performance is hindered by my own memories.

Before I Move On (Mild Spoiler)

Paul Schulze’s performance as William Rawlins? Yeah I had no problem hating this guy. If you’re a fan of The A-Team, both the movie and the old show, its like Lynch is even more of a POS than before. I hate him. He smells like pee. Cat pee.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, oh Gina Montana! So awesome to see you again.

And much appreciation to Marvel for linking the MCU with the inclusion of characters Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan), Brett Mahoney (Royce Johnson).

Catch Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix exclusively.

Now Onto Marvel’s Runaways

I got through the first episode so far. My interest has been piqued. I will write a full scale review of the first four episodes (the first three episodes were released 11/21/2017 and episode four should be coming 11/28/2017) next week. I will point out the following though;

Everything I see James Marsters in is gold, minus that abomination known as Dragonball Evolution. Nothing could save that piece of crap, except a 500 kiloton nuclear warhead right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Maybe that. Yeah, that’s pretty dramatic. That’s just how bad that movie was. If Hollywood ever took one of my books and made a movie along those lines, I would probably drink drain cleaner with lime. Yes, it was that bad.

Sorry, got caught on a tangent. I was saying that I just hope that his character, Victor Stein, doesn’t suffer the same fate as Carson Wolf in that I love the actor so much that I like the character that I should hate. Although, his first minute on screen I thought ‘Wow what an asshole!’ so maybe he won’t be in the same boat. It looks like I like C. Thomas Howell more than I like James Marsters. I did not realize that. Or am I wrong? Who knows?

You can feel the pain that the Runaways feel with the very first moment you meet Alex Wilder, played by the talented Rhenzy Feliz. All of the Runaways are dealing with the same tragedy in their own ways. I won’t get too deep into it, as I said I want to watch the first few episodes first. Maybe I’ll finish the first three episodes and then write a review on Saturday. Have Hulu? Watch it. You’ll enjoy it.

Before I Move On, Again…

Shout out to Brigid Brannagh as she, and James Marsters are a bit of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion on this show; Marsters as Spike and Brannagh as Virginia Bryce, the girlfriend to Alexis Dennisof’s Wesley Wyndham-Price in the Buffy spinoff Angel.

Marvel, also, has another reunion of sorts with Brannagh. Ms. Brigid Brannagh was also in the short lived series Kindred: The Embraced (as Brigid Walsh) back in 1996 on Fox. She played Sasha, the “niece” (actually great grand daughter) of the lead character, and Prince of the city, Julian Luna (played amazingly by Mark Frankel RIP). Kindred: The Embraced was also mentioned earlier in this blog! Yes! Brannagh was in the show with C. Thomas Howell who played Frank Kohanek! Yeah, I’m a nerd.

My Interview With DaiQuan Cain

The interview is complete and I will be posting it on Friday, complete with an update on how his Kickstarter campaign is going. I cannot wait until I am able to read this man’s series! It is going to be great! If you have not already made a pledge to contribute, you can follow this link. I will repost it when I put up the interview.

And Finally, It’s the Holiday Season Again…

Hey there everyone! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As a man of Native American descent, and someone that isn’t a fan of the holiday season, I meet this day with mixed feelings in many ways. First let me get to the positives;

Thank you so much for everyone that has read my blog post, or my books. I truly appreciate you. I am thankful for my chosen family who love me no matter what I am going through. I’m not always at my best, but you love me anyway. I’m grateful for the positives in my life. I may forget them sometimes, but I would be nowhere without them.

As far as the negatives, this Black Friday shit bleeding into Thanksgiving has got to go. If you do insist on going shopping on Thursday, don’t be an asshole to the people working there. You made the choice to leave your family to go shopping. The people in the retail stores that are dicks for being open on Thanksgiving? They’re forcing those employees to be there, and are being forced to treat you with dignity and respect because you’re there to spend money. Here’s an idea; don’t be a shit head to them.

Please don’t feed me with the line “well that’s their job!” or “if they don’t like it they can find a new job!” that’s something a shit head would say. You are not so important that you can treat someone like crap. Remember that. Jobs are not coming out of the woodwork, so someone working retail is working there out of necessity. They probably aren’t happy about it because they would like to be spending time with their family, not dealing with a bunch of self-important people talking down on them. Remember that everyone’s feelings are important, and your want for possessions are not more important than their feelings.

Rant Over

Thank you everyone for reading! I will be posting the DaiQuan Cain interview on Friday, and there will be a Marvel’s Runaways review written next week. Oh, before I forget, twenty chapters have so far been recorded for the audiobook of Invincible Heart!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

 

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