Franchise Evolution: The Punisher (part 1 of 2)
When is a franchise not a franchise? When there have been multiple attempts to create one, all of which have bombed in their own unique way. Such is the case with the Marvel Comics vigilante Frank Castle, better known as the Punisher.
The character first appeared in a 1974 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man (a new character debuting by way of a guest shot in Spider-Man? I’m shocked!), and later gained a cult following as the ultimate comic book anti-hero.
There have been a few titles featuring the character, with the one thing they have in common besides the title character is a gradually increasing sense of desolation and brutal violence.
The character was unique (for the comics at least) at the time of his creation, and the modest following he had has inspired three attempts at making a good movie about him. All three have varied in their faithfulness to the source material, all three have tried to kick-start a big money-making franchise, and all three have failed miserably.