10 Villains We’d Like To See on Netflix’s ‘The Punisher’
While Marvel’s movies have often struggled to provide us with anything resembling a compelling villain, their Netflix TV shows have thrived. Big bads like Kingpin and Kilgrave have made for some of the most well-rounded, and sinister adversaries of any Marvel property. As a result, the streaming service has gained something of a reputation as the studio’s exclusive home for the best bad guys they have to offer. It’s something that pervades every series they have planned, and their upcoming Punisher series starring Jon Bernthal is no exception. The violent antihero has a long history of interesting villains in the comics, leading us to wonder: Who’s going to make an appearance once his standalone series kicks off?
Every hero has their main bad guy counterpart. Thor has Loki, Captain America has Red Skull, and in the case of the Punisher, he has Jigsaw. The disfigured former gun-for-hire is known for his lifelong revenge-quest against Frank Castle, after having his face torn apart when the Punisher threw him through a plate glass window.
As the primary adversary in the comics, it would make sense to establish him early on in the life of the Netflix series, much in the same way Daredevil did with Kingpin in its first season. Ben Barnes will be filling the role in the first season of The Punisher, known most recently as Logan in Westworld‘s own debut run of episodes.
Despite mostly being associated with Spider-Man and Daredevil in Marvel’s comics, Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) has had a number of encounters with the Punisher throughout his character’s history. Most recently, we saw the two go head-to-head in Season 2 of Daredevil, with Kingpin manipulating Frank Castle into eliminating his competition in prison. The two clearly have some bad blood to work out, and given that Vincent D’Onofrio has been a revelation as Fisk, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to incorporate him across multiple shows.
Tombstone may not be a criminal mastermind, but he’s an interesting foil for Punisher nonetheless. An albino African-American (something that might have to be tweaked for TV), the fearsome mob enforcer stands at almost seven feet tall. He’s often seen appearing in Marvel’s Spider-Man comics, but there’s one particular arc that shows him being defeated by a Daredevil/Frank Castle team-up. All in all, his criminal background and imposing physical presence make him a good fit for the Punisher series.
- The Blacksmith
We were given a peek inside the Punisher’s backstory in Season 2 of Daredevil, showing us how his family was gunned down in a heroin deal gone bad, initiated by a mysterious drug lord known only as the Blacksmith. It was implied later on that Colonel Ray Schoonover (Clancy Brown), the commanding officer for Frank Castle during his time in the military, was actually the Blacksmith himself. That said, it was never explicitly stated at any point, meaning that the real Blacksmith could be alive and well somewhere, and out for blood after Castle put a bullet in Schoonover’s head and dismantled the drug smuggling operation.
Barracuda is known in Marvel’s comic series as one of the most brutal, hardcore villains they have to offer. Throughout his run, he’s done everything from snorting cocaine off of a severed head, to participating in straight up cannibalism. He was pulled from prison as a young man and conscripted for the Green Berets, committing all manner of atrocities for the CIA. He even facilitated drug running in Costa Rica to assist the Contras. In his first encounter with the Punisher, he loses an eye and the fingers on his right hand, and yet still manages to defeat him, throwing him into shark-infested waters in hopes of granting Frank Castle a slow and painful death. Castle of course, escapes, with Barracuda having been firmly established as a worthy adversary.