So Netflix’s Punisher is still coming up, but I think that it’s fair to say that based off the popularity of the character and the great star power behind it we can expect a season 2 sometime in the future. Now season 1 is already doing Jigsaw (or his earlier version) as a villain, so that got me thinking, who else could Frank face off? Now from afar it may seem that Frank’s rogue gallery is pretty bare-bones, considering that the vigilante isn’t known for showing any mercy to his foes, but the enemies he does have, though often short lived, do have stand outs, characters that many fans would be delighted to see hit the small screen, especially in the form of Netflix. So I present: The Vigilante Squad. The Vigilante Squad is made up of some very original and interesting characters, all misguidedly seeing themselves as the hero of their story.
There’s The Holy, a priest who kills criminals that come to confess their crimes.
There’s Mr. Payback, a bitter man who kills corrupt businessmen.
and finally, there’s my favourite of the three, we have Elite, a person so obsessed with the quality of his neighborhood that he’ll kill to keep it clean and to shape.
They’re all in Welcome Back Frank, which I highly recommend, and I will be spoiling it so if you’re intrigued by these characters, I suggest reading the book first, consider this a spoiler warning.
So, after operating on their own for a while, the three join up, planning to approach the Punisher to join their team and lead them, which Frank shoots down, first verbally:
and then literally:
The characters are fairly short lived in the comics, only being shown doing their work 2 or 3 times each, but if they were chosen as the villains for the show, you could definitely expand their actions, show them slowly grow from trying to recruit Frank to hating him, or trying to prove themselves further, their actions growing even more chaotic.
It’s even possible to analyze each character to represent a part of Frank; The Holy is the part of Frank that can’t control his urge to kill people, he just does (the others do it to achieve some end), Elite is the part of Frank that’s doing it for his kids, since Elite has children and seems to want a ‘cleaner’ neighborhood for them, and finally Mr. Payback is literally that, the part of Frank that’s getting Payback for what happened that day in the park. Netflix loves making parallels with their villains, so it’d be pretty great to see Frank get his own as well.
As well you could get some good conflict out of the villains, Elite is a racist, and hates anyone poorer than him, seeing him subhuman, while Mr. Payback doesn’t trust upper class people;
As we’ve seen with last year’s Luke Cage, Netflix isn’t afraid to show conflict among villains, actually, they’re quite good at it. So having the Vigilante Squad fight among themselves while also trying to ‘fight crime’ (when in actuality they’re no better than the people they kill), could be very cool.
Now let’s talk practicality. I’ve already made my points that they would make great story and characters for Netflix, but could they even work? Netflix is known for building a very grounded universe, so there’s obviously a limit to what you can do. Probably the most out there thing that happens is Mr. Payback using a rocket launcher to take out a helicopter:
but, of course, we’ve seen Netflix use rocket launchers too:If we’re bringing up the question of practicality when it comes to design, I’d say that the costumes are all pretty doable, with one exception I’ll get to.
The Holy has the simplest design, just a priest’s robe and a red ax:
Mr. Payback’s suit is also pretty simple, he wears a tank top and a red bandanna, similar to Daredevil’s first costume.
Finally we come to the costume that would be most difficult to adapt, due to the mask: Elite. The suit is pretty simple, but the mask is the part I could see Marvel having trouble adapting perfectly, considering that it has no straps and would probably fall off in action. There are obvious solutions, like adding a band that goes around his head. Other than that the suit would clearly be perfect for the screen.
Casting for the characters would be pretty easy, as each character has very distinct traits. Elite is often described as calm, collected and well spoken, The Holy would need someone who can play an insane role well, and finally, Mr. Payback, being the closest to Frank, would probably need to be someone who could play the Punisher just as well as they can play Mr. Payback.
So that brings the end to my thoughts, thanks for reading, I think that the Vigilante Squad would it in perfectly on Netflix, and bring some serious threat to Jon Bernthal’s Punisher. Either way, I’m really looking forward to the first season of the Punisher, and to see some great characters brought to Netflix.