Marvel at the loss, The Punisher gets cancelled


John Vassiliou, Editor

Well, good things never last forever,

The hit Netflix series The Punisher, along with Jessica Jones, are the latest casualties on the long list of Marvel licensed shows that have been getting the axe. This move finalized the end of Marvel and Netflix’s cooperation on the Marvel universe, and will most likely mean that any seasons currently in development at the streaming service will most likely be their last.

This is all being done not necessarily out of lack of viewership or unsatisfactory profit margins, but instead for the Disney corporation (which owns Marvel) to give incentives for people to switch over to a planned streaming service, Disney +, which will be releasing in direct competition with Netflix.

In short, Netflix lost the licenses for the shows and is now going to have to compete with Disney, who just reclaimed all of their material. It would be awkward for both of the streaming services, who are in direct competition with one another, to be splitting a universe which only one of them owns, hence the ending of these series.

All of which is a shame for the fans of the streaming giants interpretations of Marvel characters, especially leaving fans of The Punisher which was one of Netflix’s biggest superhero hits, at a loss. Fans loved the show for its unapologetic violence and gritty storyline not typically seen in the Marvel universe.

Frank Castle, who is played by Jon Bernthal, comes home from a tour of duty on a special forces mission in the Middle East only to have his family murdered before him. The first season picks up right after he has finished hunting down those directly responsible to find him living a life of a fugitive, living under an alias, and avoiding the law. However, everything changes when he discovers that he hasn’t finished off what remains of the conspirators, and the first season kicks into gear as Frank begins to go on another blood filled vendetta against those responsible.

The Punisher is a great show, not because it condones violence or promotes it, but that it is so blatantly unapologetic about the use of it. Frank Castle is hunting down bad guys that have everything they get coming to them, and by appealing to that instinctual love of “seeing the bad guy get his;” The Punisher brings home the bacon in the form of high ratings, and leaves fans wanting more.

There is a slight chance that Disney may pick up some of these series when they begin their streaming service, but it is unlikely that Netflix will give up the rights to the shows they have produced now, and even then if the casts would still be available for the commitment.

All we can do is keep our fingers crossed that something marvelous may happen.