Whether you enjoy The Punisher Netflix series or felt disappointed by it, the one point of general consensus is that actor Jon Bernthal has done a pretty great job creating one of the best versions of Frank Castle/The Punisher fans have seen. However, there has always been one big problem with making The Punisher part of the the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the lone angry man with a gun looks increasingly insignificant on a playing field quickly filling with super powered heroes and villains.
Obviously The Punisher has always managed to fit into a Marvel Comics universe that has been populated by superheroes, and though it's always a different story when set in live-action, there's actually a lot from the comics that can inform the path of Jon Bernthal's Punisher.
Here's How The Punisher Can Fit Into the Larger MCU:
Don't Alter the Character, Embrace Him - This is the first thing that needs to be understood. Bernthal has (literally) put a lot of blood, sweat and Tears into creating his version of Frank Castle, and by the end of The Punisher its a pretty well-rounded and complex character.
The MCU Punisher is just fine as he is (read our breakdown on that, HERE), so there's no need to change his behavior or intensity because he's suddenly sharing a scene with Agent Coulson, or Captain America. The Punisher is going to be The Punisher no matter what superpowered, pajama-wearing, geeks are in that room too. And that's exactly what would make him a great balance to the MCU...
The Anti-Goof - Things can easily go from epic and dramatic to totally goofy in a Marvel project - and not always intentionally goofy. However, Bernthal has perfected a version of "humor" for his Punisher (a sardonic, biting, wit) that would be a perfect antithesis for much of the goofier elements of the MCU.
Bernthal's wit and timing could make The Punisher a great straight man humor element, with meta-minded appeal. Opposite other heroes, he could call out the silliness and flamboyance of the MCU in one second, and turn fiery intense the next moment, as he skips all the hero B.S. and prepares for...
The Shock and Awe - Some of the best moments in Marvel Comics come when The Punisher makes a his presence known with a bullet first, and talk later. Most MCU heroes (save Ghost Rider) generally try to solve their fights in less... permanent ways than The Punisher does, but there have been moments that Castle has settled a lot of debate or pontificating over what to do with a bad guy, by simply mowing him/her down.
The MCU could use the Punisher as its Dues Ex(ecution) Machina piece, having Castle show up where needed and take out a threat, much to the dismay of his fellow MCU heroes.
Man With The Plan - The Punisher is no mere mad dog; as Daredevil and Punisher have both shown, the MCU Frank Castle is every bit the masterful Special Forces fighter that made him a legend before his Punisher years. He doesn't just execute the bad guys: he executes a military strategy... that usually results in a lot of actual executions.
As The Punisher gets better at his job, and clearer about his mission in the world, he's going to eventually step up to the level of taking down the sort of advancing criminal threat we saw in Spider-Man: Homecoming; that will force Frank to step up his game to take them out. With allies like Micro now at his side, and some connections on high, the Punisher is as formidable an ally to someone like Cap or Coulson as anyone. The job will certainly get done - so long as they don't question his methods.
Marvel's The Punisher season 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Daredevil season 3, Jessica Jones season 2 and Luke Cage season 2 are all now in production.