Determined to dilute at least one violent, vengeful superhero story next year, Fox has followed up its recent plans to adapt D.C.’s The Spectre by also buying The Punisher, a drama series based on the Marvel comic and the fact that network television is pretty sure a comic-book show should have worked by now. Of course, much as The Spectre will likely soften its gruesome stories of ironic revenge to make them ready for primetime, The Punisher will get its own slightly more heroic take from former Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero. He sees The Punisher as more of a standard police procedural, with Frank Castle working as a “rising star detective” in New York who moonlights as a vigilante “seeking justice for those the system has failed.”
Admittedly, it's a vague description, but it suggests that the new Frank Castle will now be a Dexter-type who works from within the system, rather than a bloodthirsty loner who wages a suicidal one-man war against every criminal who crosses his path. It also suggests that the show will once again hew more closely to the lawman-on-the-edge Punisher as portrayed by Dolph Lundgren and Thomas Jane in the film adaptations that also weren’t so great, only with the diminished violence and appropriate moral hand-wringing to make it suitable for network television. On the other hand, he might still wear one of those skull T-shirts. Those are pretty cool.