New Punisher trailer
Marvel’s The Punisher

Marvel’s The Punisher makes it to Netflix from Friday, though it seems that the world’s press has already had their hands on it and reactions are pretty mixed. Here are some of the initial responses to the new stand-alone.

Collider had the following to say:

“When these two elements are in alignment, The Punisher is riveting, politically adventurous entertainment, willing to get mired in the complexity of a nation that has come to define itself through the incalculable damage and untold amounts of killings done in the name of peace. When the need to set-up, reiterate or preempt the plot becomes its more prominent concern, however, it’s emblematic of everything wrong with comic-book adaptations, on TV or elsewhere.”

Forbes said it is the best MCU series yet.

“By ignoring the craziness that’s gone down in the Netflix corner of the MCU in recent months, Punisher builds a world all its own full of CIA cover-ups, NSA investigations, and frenemies who are so ready to go to war with one other. The Punisher is the show Marvel Television needed. It’s the show that proves there might just be hope yet for the studio’s small screen ambitions. And yes, if we’re judging purely on the act of transforming into a character, Bernthal absolutely deserves an Emmy nomination for this one. His performance has been far elevated from the days of Daredevil.”

Variety reports:

“In all, “The Punisher” is not just satisfying but surprising – an interpretation of Netflix and Marvel’s tried-and-true partnership that offers more depth and challenges to the audience than even the gritty world of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” Free from superpowers and superheroes, the Marvel universe is more forgiving – and more interesting. Of course, the slightly cartoony Marvel Cinematic Universe is still a world where people named Carson Wolf show up and act as if they are not obviously villains. But “The Punisher’s” place in it is a welcome morass of thorny questions and unresolvable answers. At least in this part of the television landscape, there is room for another antihero.”

Den Of Geek were also positive:

“I’m not sure that The Punisher always succeeds with those loftier aims, and it certainly offers up a few cartoonish oversimplifications on the left and right, but it’s refreshing to see it try to do a little more than expected. It’s on that ambition and on the strength of Bernthal’s truly remarkable and intense performance that The Punisher distinguishes itself as one of Marvel’s better recent Netflix efforts.

Welcome back, Frank.”

Here’s more reaction from around the net.