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What Happened To Jon Bernthal’s Punisher In His Marvel Netflix Show


As seen in Netflix’s The Punisher, Frank Castle has had quite a bloody history as one of the most dangerous vigilantes in the MCU. First appearing in Daredevil season 2 before getting his own show, it’s recently been confirmed that Frank Castle will soon return to the MCU in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series coming to Disney+, reuniting with Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock. As such, the new appearance can finally pay off where the Netflix show left the Punisher at the end of his second season.


Although the news that Jon Bernthal will be reprising his role as The Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again is very exciting, it’s not yet known how Marvel Studios will be handling the preexisting history of Murdock, Castle, and any other character who first debuted on Netflix such as Vincent D’onofrio’s Kingpin. However, the confirmation that at least three Netflix characters will be featured in the upcoming series does suggest that their past rivalries and relationships will remain intact. Regardless, here are the biggest things that happen to Frank Castle’s Punisher in his Netflix show and his preceding debut in Daredevil season 2.

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Jon Bernthal’s Punisher Debuts In Daredevil Season 2

jon bernthal as the punisher and charlie cox as daredevil in mcu art

Frank Castle first made his appearance as the Punisher in Daredevil season 2. Presented as a former Marine turned brutal New York vigilante, Frank Castle’s traumatic past where his family was murdered in the park is lifted from the original comics. However, it’s revealed that the killers responsible were part of a grander conspiracy orchestrated by Castle’s former commanding officers who were both corrupt (codenamed Blacksmith and Agent Orange).

Making himself a one-man army to punish those responsible, the Punisher clashed with Daredevil over his lethal tactics. However, he was also represented by Murdock in court following his arrest, though Castle would eventually escape custody. After finding and killing Blacksmith, the Punisher then came to Daredevil’s aid in his battle against the ninja clan known as the Hand. It’s also important to note that Castle was helped in his escape by Kingpin who wanted Castle set loose on New York to weaken his rivals.

Punisher Joins Micro To Take Down Agent Orange

The Punisher season 1 begins with Frank Castle killing all the gangs and killers who took part in the park massacre that killed his family. With Blacksmith having been killed in Daredevil season 2, Frank believes he can move on and live a life of peace with his loved ones having been avenged. However, a former NSA analyst and hacker codenamed Micro contacts Punisher, revealing his knowledge of Agent Orange and the illegal Operation Cerberus in which Castle took part as a Marine. Having stood up against the illicit activities that were happening, Castle’s family ultimately paid the price.

With Agent Orange having endangered Micro’s family as well, The Punisher and Micro work together to bring down Agent Orange and his fellow conspirators such as Castle’s best friend Billy Russo who was also part of Operation Cerberus. Following several deaths, Castle was ultimately successful in the termination of Agent Orange, and he was helped not only by Micro but also Homeland Security’s Agent Madani who had been investigating Operation Cerberus for months (and was in a relationship with Russo).

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Punisher Creates New Villain Jigsaw (Billy Russo)

Billy Russo's Jigsaw in Punisher Season 2

With only Russo remaining, Castle and his former friend battled each other in Central Park near the carousel, the same place where Castle’s family died. Beating Russo to a pulp and viciously maiming his face with shards of glass, The Punisher refused to kill Russo. Instead, he wanted Russo to suffer for far longer with his mangled face as punishment for his role in what happened to Castle’s family. As such, Russo eventually becomes the villain known as Jigsaw in The Punisher season 2, serving as Frank’s primary rival.

Protecting Amy Bendix From John Pilgrim and Schultz Conspiracy

The Punisher John Pilgrim

Despite trying to leave a life of peace one more at the beginning of The Punisher season 2, Frank Castle can’t help but get involved when a young woman named Amy Bendix finds herself on the run from the assassin John Pilgrim. Having taken compromising pictures of Senator David Schultz for the Russian Mafia, Bendix finds herself with a massive target on her back. Case in point, Pilgrim is brought out of retirement after his sons are taken by Schultz’s powerful parents, forcing Pilgrim to take the job to protect the senator’s reputation in the media.

As such, the Punisher gets involved through his decision to protect Amy, resulting in a series of confrontations with John Pilgrim. Eventually, Castle learns about the Schultz Family which leads him to kill the parents and save Pilgrim’s sons. Finding common ground, Castle spares Pilgrim’s life and the two killers end up going their separate ways.

Punisher Helps Homeland Security Find And Assassinate Jigsaw

In the midst of The Punisher protecting Bendix and dealing with the Schultz Conspiracy, he’s also approached by Agent Madani to help track down Jigsaw who’d escaped custody during his recovery in the hospital. Become incredibly unhinged due to his injuries and damaged psyche, Russo forms his own criminal gang by recruiting former disenfranchised soldiers. That being said, there’s ultimately a final reckoning between Jigsaw and The Punisher at the end of The Punisher season 2, resulting in Castle’s executing his former friend-turned-foe.

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Frank Castle Finally Embraces His Punisher Identity and Crusade

Jon Bernthal in The Punisher Season 2 Finale

Rather than attempting to live a life of peace once more, the end of The Punisher season 2 saw Frank Castle embracing his identity as The Punisher in the MCU and his ongoing crusade against criminals. With his origins and personal vendettas having finally concluded, the version of The Punisher seen at the end of his Netflix series is very much in line with the Castle seen in the original Marvel Comics. As such, this is the version that will hopefully be seen in Daredevil: Born Again.

The Punisher also received a call from Agent Madani who had joined the CIA, as she had wanted to recruit Castle as an asset to take down a high-profile target. However, Castle turnes that particular job down. This suggests that perhaps Castle might have had an ongoing working relationship with the CIA going forward if The Punisher had received a third season.

More: Daredevil & The Defenders Complete Timeline: What Order To Watch

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