The Punisher was one of my favorite superheroes as a kid. He is the vigilante element of the superhero distilled down to its core essence. Like Batman, The Punisher didn’t have any superpowers, just a whole lot of anger. Unlike Batman, he didn’t feel the need to get all theatrical about it. Forget dressing up like a bat and pretending like that would do anything but make criminals kind of scratch their heads a little, all The Punisher needed as his costume was a goddamn skull on his shirt.
There have now been four different live-action takes on The Punisher, three on the big screen and the most recent one in Netflix’s Daredevil series. They have had varying degrees of success, both creatively and financially, and they have also been quite distinct from each other. I’ve seen them all, and I’m here to give you my hot take on which are the best and which are the worst.