Netflix’s Punisher would be timely if it had anything coherent to say about gun violence

It’s hard to imagine a worse time for a Punisher TV show. A little over a month after one of the worst mass murders in American history, in a country where mass shootings come at the rate of roughly one per day, the arrival of Marvel Comics’ favorite gun-wielding, spree-killing angry white man on Netflix is awkward, to say the least.

The Punisher has always been an antihero, a not-quite-good guy with a gun whose motivation for murder is initially sympathetic: bad guys killed his family,...

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