Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, has long been one of my favorite comic book characters. When written right, his stories embody the best parts of revenge fantasy. You can get lost in the escapism of a black and white world where those evil creeps get their just rewards, even if they manage to either scheme, slip through, or buy their way through the cracks in the legal system. The Punisher is there to make sure the murderer of innocents is put in the grave themselves. The rapist gets the horror he inflicted on his victims returned ten-fold to him, and the criminal is made to feel the pain they caused first-hand.
If the Punisher was real, I don’t think I could support him in good conscience. I personally believe that people are deserving of second, third, fourth and fifth chances. If I wish to receive grace and forgiveness, I must also give it to others. This includes not murdering people that have wronged me.
The character of The Punisher is fictional. While the world he lives in may be based off our world, it is NOT our world, it is fantasy. We can enjoy the stories and the exploits safely in the comfort of our homes without it really effecting the real-world that we live in. We can live in the moment as Frank “makes right” the wrongs of the world. Whether this is through the comics he was born in, a few (mediocre) films, or his amazing guest appearance in Season 2 of Daredevil on Netflix, we can cheer for what would in reality be a villain. It’s his motives, not his methods, that make him a hero.
The most recent actor to portray Mr. Castle was Jon Bernthal in the aforementioned Daredevil Season 2. The popularity of the character and the power in which Mr. Bernthal played him quickly fast-tracked a series of his own, due on Netflix later this year.
Hasbro has taken the opportunity to create a set of figures in their tremendously popular Marvel Legends action figure line that are based off of the Netflix shows. These are referred to as the “Man-Thing Wave”, as the build-a-figure is the sentient plant-being Man-Thing this time around. Others have called this wave the “Marvel Knights Wave”, as I believe that is how Walmart has classified them. Still others are just calling them what they really are: the “Netflix Wave” as the series consists of sculpts based off the Netflix TV versions of Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, and Elektra, as well as comic versions of Blade, Bullseye and Man-Thing (if you choose to collect and build him).
This article is just going to be about the Punisher figure, in case you forgot the title already. I do know I’m long-winded and you might have nodded off by this point.
Standard Marvel Legends packaging. It looks nice. It is collector friendly (you can even take him out and put him back in the box!) and if you are scouring the pegs for the figures, the Punisher logo on the top is like a little homing beacon that the figure you want is directly below. There is a killer (Ha! Pun not intended but gladly taken) illustration of Jon Bernthal’s Punisher on the sides. The inner box even has a neat cityscape printed on it.
Can we just say up front that this is a $20 Hasbro figure and not a $200 Hot Toys figure? Good, cuz I just said it. No, the sculpt may not be 100% dead-on (the puns just keep fining their way into this review) to Jon Bernthal, but it is good. Damn good. Especially in certain lighting and angles. On top of that, his clothes are all sculpted really well, with nice fabric detail and wrinkles. Punisher’s Kevlar vest has nice straps and buckles sculpted on to it, even though most of the detail is hidden under his trench-coat. His boots are also well-detailed.
There aren’t a ton of paint apps here, as most of the figure is cast in black plastic. He has his trademark skull logo on his chest, and that is appropriately intentionally messy and painted-looking. His face has great detail, with small scrapes and cuts, along with fine beard stubble. I feel Hasbro has moved onto some new process that more or less “prints” onto the figures. I like it.
This is a Marvel Legends figure, and so there is quite a bit of articulation to be had.
Head is on a pin and disk onto his neck, which allows for good movement but can sometimes look weird.
Lets do bullets (more UNINTENTIONAL PUNS!) of all the joints.
- Ball shoulders
- Bicep swivels
- Pin and disk elbows (with ratchets)
- Pin and disk wrists
- Mid-torso ball joint
- Waist swivel (with ratchets)
- Ball joint hips (with ratchets)
- Thigh swivels
- Double-hinge knees (with ratchets)
- Pin and disk ankles
Even with the ratchets on some of the joints, I still find the articulation really loose. He’s kind of floppy, which is a negative strike in my book.
Frank comes with a couple guns from his arsenal, a handgun and a rifle. The trench-coat is also removable, at least the main part.
Surprisingly enough, his handgun is actually a completely different sculpt than the ones that came with Deadpool!
He also comes with the Man-Thing arm, but that’s not really an accessory. I guess he could carry around a giant plant-man arm and bludgeon bad guys with it…
Loose joints aside, this is still a great figure. Great sculpt, decent accessories, good paint, lots of fun to pose and play around with. I would say both kids and collectors alike will have a fun time playing with this figure. Buy one if you find it!
More pics! The bazooka is from the recent ML Deadpool figure.