One of the more interesting challenges for Punisher, coming to Netflix later this year, will be how to handle the themes of military service and re-entry into the world back home.  The comic character has been guilty over the years of playing into a stereotype of the PTSD riddled Vietnam vet turned serial killer that is problematic for many reasons.  While Frank’s service and response to that experience was better handled in Daredevil Season 2, there are still opportunities to mishandle the theme.  Clearly it is something that Jeph Loeb and the producers are thinking about.

The Punisher… allowed us to do is comment on a lot of things that are going on, not the least of which is the plight of America’s servicemen. We have great respect for them and we see how challenging it is for some of them when they come home and what their lives are like. We show different ways that their lives are affected, but always have an eye towards being able to say, ‘thank you for your service’.

That balance sounds about right and should provide a great theme for the show if executed well.  These issues are a way in which Punisher might stand out amongst the Netflix shows.  While those programs have done social commentary with varying success (Jessica Joneswork on sexual assault is almost universally praised, while Iron Fist‘s treatment of corporate greed fell flat with many viewers), the discussion of military action and experience and how it effects returning soldiers is an interesting piece to the narrative puzzle.  One way they are attacking that theme is with a brand new character. According to Movie Pilot:

Amber Rose Revah is playing Homeland Security Agent Dinah Madani, a war vet who’s just returned from serving in Afghanistan, and who finds herself drawn into Frank Castle’s world….Revah is thrilled to be playing what promises to be another complex, three-dimensional character in The Punisher. Madani is viewed as the biggest patriot in the show, an Iranian immigrant who’s become a real American hero. She’s proud to have served her country, but is struggling to acclimatize to civilian life.

This description suggests the show will also delve somewhat into cultural issues surrounding terrorism, immigration, and possibly religion.  Madani will work with the Department of Homeland Security.  The show likely will play with issues of “us/them” dynamics and how they are confused when someone breaks through the stereotypes and typical patterns.  Madani could be a powerful testament to the tensions the United States still is coping with more than 16 years from September 11th.  A lot of this sounds somewhat reminiscent to things done a decade or more ago on 24, to varying reception.

The report offers a few other interesting tidbits about Punisher, including the fact that a car chase is coming!  Also, the set design team talks about the tone of the show and lighting.  (Don’t expect to see the sun much in these episodes.)  For more of the story, head over to Movie Pilot for their full article.

Source: Movie Pilot

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