“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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The mysterious reggaeton bangers of Mexico’s election

FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns …

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The maddest March: at last, a 16-seed upsets a number one

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