Finally, after a ton of buzz and a few rumored release dates, The Punisher is finally set to debut on Netflix this Friday.
With only a few days left until the buzzed-about release, the review embargo on the new series has now lifted, and fans can see how come of the critics feel about Jon Bernthal's solo outing as The Punisher.
Covering the first six episodes of the Netflix series, ComicBook.com's official review says that the show is one of the best Marvel series to-date.
"The Punisher may seem like the latest in the assembly line of Marvel Netflix series, but it definitely breaks the usual mold to offer fans a surprisingly deep and nuanced tale of violence and the trauma it leaves in its wake. It's unlike anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ranks up there with the best of the Marvel Netflix brand (Daredevil season 1, Jessica Jones)," writes reviewer Kofi Outlaw. You can read the full review here.
Fortunately, many of the other critics across the web felt the same way about the new Netflix original.
Variety's Sonia Saraiya agrees with our sentiment, saying that Bernthal is perfectly cast as Frank Castle, and that his standalone series is one-of-a-kind.
"But 'The Punisher' transcends what it appears to be. Not completely, and not always; this is still a very violent show, saturated in tortured masculinity. (In just the opening credits, an array of semiautomatic weapons float in the air to arrange themselves in the skull-shaped logo of the Punisher.) But thanks to Jon Berthal’s seamless performance as the non-superpowered vigilante Frank Castle and showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s sharp, conscious storytelling, 'The Punisher' approaches the high points of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” by introducing a damaged, deadly character and telling his story as one piece of an unjust whole. Despite first impressions, Frank Castle is in fact a marginalized figure — because he is a veteran."
You can read Variety's full review here.
Forbes reviewer Merrill Barr took things one step further, as the title of the piece calls Punisher "The Best MCU Series Ever Made. Really."
This is a bold statement, but it's one that has been echoed throughout many of the reviews that have been released so far. This is how Barr backed it up:
"When Guardians of Galaxy hit theaters in 2014, many praised it as the best MCU film to date, not for the least of which being because it chose to not tie itself to existing mythology. It is within this prism we can praise the television side’s latest Netflix series: The Punisher.
"The Punisher is the best Marvel series to date set within the fictional MCU. Why? Because it does its own thing."
You can read the full Forbes review here.
Unlike many of the other site out there, IGN only reviewed the first episode of the season, "3AM." Still, the review spoke very highly of it.
"Marvel’s The Punisher begins its journey in brutal fashion. Frank Castle's (Jon Bernthal) introduction is a bloody reminder of how vicious a character The Punisher can be, but that’s just the opening few minutes. The rest of the premiere focuses on Castle and his quest for a peaceful existence, which was an unexpected surprise."
You can read IGN's full review here.