WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Marvel’s The Punisher, now streaming on Netflix.
Marvel’s The Punisher tells the story of Frank Castle, an ex-Marine who targets any and every criminal he can get his hands on. The first season saw Frank go up against a whole host of characters, but the primary antagonists ended up being William Rawlins and Billy Russo. Of course, his aggressive nature means he can make an enemy out of a good percentage of Marvel’s Netflix universe, so the opportunities presented for the primary antagonist in Season 2 of the show are endless.
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In Marvel Comics, The Punisher is less of a hero and more of an anti-hero, though he was introduced as a villain in The Amazing Spider-Man #129. As a result of his ‘tweeter’ nature and tendency to kill his opponents, the character doesn’t have a rogues gallery, unlike other comic book characters such as Batman and Spidey. However, that doesn’t mean he’s going to spend a season learning macrame; follow along as we look at the likely candidates to be a villain in The Punisher‘s second season.
When Ben Barnes was cast as Billy Russo, it was an easy prediction that he would assume a villainous role at some point during the showsnd we weren’t disappointed. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Billy and Frank served together in the US Marines and grew quite close, considering each other as brothers. Their friendship soon turns sour when Frank finds out Billy had a hand in the military conspiracy he finds himself entangled in, and they have a big climatic battle in the thirteenth and final episode. Putting a spin on Billy’s disfigured face in the comics, Frank gets the upper hand during the fight and pushes the criminal’s face across a broken mirror – horrifically lacerating his visage.
It was shown that Billy did survive this brutal attack, and it’s likely that he will want to get his revenge on his old friend once he’s back on his feet. This is perhaps the most obvious choice for Season 2’s main bad guy, though Jigsaw isn’t the only candidate.
Introduced in Marvel’s MAX imprint in 2006, Barracuda is a former Marine — just like Frank Castle — who later turned to a gangster lifestyle. Barracuda is somewhat of a cracked-mirror version of The Punisher, having also adopted brutal and lethal methods to take on anybody who opposes him. In the comics, Barracuda is hired to assassinate The Punisher, which fans will know is easier said than done. Managing to win a fight against Frank, Barracuda loses an eye and the fingers on his right hand.
The character is extreme in everything he does; notably, he once sniffed cocaine off of a severed head in the comics. Even if he was toned down for Netflix (but really, why do that?), it would be interesting to see Barracuda crash into Frank’s world, and all the chaos that would surely ensue.
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