“The Punisher” is a bloody, thoughtful addition to the Marvel canon


REVENGE is one of the oldest plot devices in history. Nemesis, an ancient Greek goddess, dealt in retributive justice; it is at the heart of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “Titus Andronicus”, as well as westerns and films as diverse as “Gladiator” and “Death Wish”. And revenge is the primary motivation of Frank Castle—aka The Punisher—a Marvel character who has inspired three Hollywood movies and is the subject of a recent Netflix series.

One of the clever tropes of the Marvel film franchise has been the ability to interlink the plots; the recent reboot of “Spider-Man” benefited from a cameo appearance by Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, for example. The studio is trying the same thing with its television series: the heroes of “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones”, “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” teamed up as “The Defenders” earlier this year. The Punisher already appeared as the best element of the second series of “Daredevil”, where his back story (his family was killed by gangsters) is first explained….Continue reading

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Visualising the careers of musicians-turned-actors

THE news of Harry Styles’s casting in “Dunkirk” (2017) was met with bemusement. It was hard to imagine the boyband heartthrob, with his Mick Jagger-esque locks and floral suits, under siege on the beaches of northern France (rather than under siege from hordes of teenage girls). Did a short comic …

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