Second part of the day’s double feature; the Easter Eggs from Netflix-Marvel’s Punisher. I spotted 23 Easter Eggs in total, however, some of them were very small indeed so on this list I’m going to list 15, and those 15 are the biggest from the ones I saw. The Punisher was excellent, for me it narrowly edges out Daredevil Season 1 to take the top place in the Netflix-Marvel shows.
This post will have HEAVY SPOILER content. You’ve been warned.
We will start at number 15.
15. Stan Ori.
Stan Ori only appears for a small time in the show, the character in the comics also doesn’t appear much but he was originally a villain and enemy of Punisher. Frank Castle killed his son for being a corrupt cop and then Ori sent a hitman after Frank which doesn’t end well for Ori or the assassin. Stan Ori in the show is also a big supporter of the gun-control movement, which is very relevant to the real-life America so this was a nice way to tie in real debates to fiction.
14. A Man with a Plan. (and a van).
A simple but effective Easter Egg was giving Frank his ‘Battle Van’. The Battle Van, appearing in 1975, was an important part of Frank’s war on crime, it allowed him to travel around the city as he looked for or hunted criminals and also allowed him to set up temporal bases from the back of it. It was modified in the comics to be faster than usual and was armour plated. While we did not see those modifications in the show, maybe we will next season.
13. The Dogs of Hell.
The Dogs of Hell are a big part of Daredevil season 2, their involvement in the events that led to the murder of Frank’s family are what ultimately leads Punisher and Daredevil to that famous roof-top scene where the two vigilantes debate the use of violence and killing. The Punisher series starts with Frank clearing up loose ends to do with the murder of his family (or he thinks it’s tying up loose ends).
12. Agent Orange.
In Marvel comics there is a character who goes by the name of Agent Orange who had telepathic abilities but it is also the name of a herbicide chemical that was used in Vietnam. In Punisher’s original origin story, Frank served in the Vietnam war, not Afghanistan.
11. Welcome back, Frank.
In the year 2000, Marvel published a 12 issue run of The Punisher by writer Garth Ennis which was also known as The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank which features the Gnucci crime family predominately as Frank hunts them down.
At the end of the first episode of the Netflix series, Microchip says “Welcome back, Frank” after Frank walks out of the basement where he killed what-do-you-know – Gnucci associates so what Micro says is a clear reference to the classic comic series.
10. The Castiglione Connection.
In the comics, ‘Francis Castiglione’ was Frank Castle’s name at birth, and he changed it to illegally enlist in a third military tour during the Vietnam War. While there is no “Pete” Castiglione in Marvel comics, the surname is a clear nod to this part of The Punisher’s origin story.
9. Diamond Select Toys.
In episode 4, Frank engages some criminals in a garage and one of the ones he kills lands straight onto an old pin-ball machine and then lays, in the exact pose of that from the Punisher Diamond Select Toys.
8. Sympathy for the Devil.
At one point, Billy is described as “A man of wealth and taste” and this is an exact word to word quote from The Rolling Stones’ track “Sympathy for the Devil”. There’s some pretty clear connections between Billy and the song’s un-holy character.
7. Turk Barrett.
Turk Barrett makes a one-scene appearance as Frank goes after him looking for a weapon stash, this was a nice nod to the rest of the Netflix-Marvel universe – specifically Daredevil where Turk was first introduced.
6. Brett Mahoney.
Another character from the Daredevil series, Brett Mahoney who started off as a policeman and is now a detective. His appearance lasts a little longer than Turk’s and has a little more depth too because Brett Mahoney worked on the ‘Punisher Case’ in Daredevil season 2 where Punisher debuted in the Netflix-Marvel universe.
5. Chaos Under The Streets.
The New York Bulletin has served us a few Easter Eggs over the course of the different shows, in season 1 of Daredevil we see a few headlines about the battle of New York between the Avengers and Chitauri/Loki. This time around though we see a headline ‘Chaos Under The Streets’ which is Karen’s article on the battle between The Hand and Defenders in The Defenders season 1. This also is a nice touch because it supplies a timeline as to when Punisher takes place.
4. Foreshadowing the Jigsaw.
At one point of the show Agent Madani and Billy Russo are seeing each other and one time, while together, she sees him in his morning skin-care routine and then later on says that not everyone can be as pretty as he is. While this one could be just an off hand remark, considering Billy Russo becomes the villain ‘Jigsaw’ who is known for his horrendous looks, I’d say it’s more than just a comment. It’s foreshadowing Billy’s fate.
3. Mobey Dick.
This was personally one of my favourite Easter Eggs from the show. In the early episodes we see that Frank is reading more and more as it helps him get to sleep, one of the books is Mobey Dick – the story of a legendary Captain, Ahab, as he hunts for the White Whale. It’s a clever parallel between Ahab and Frank Castle.
2. Rumble in the Jungle.
In the fourth episode, Lewis, an ex-soldier who’s struggling with PTSD and the American Justice system sits down with his father to re-watch a Muhammad Ali fight with George Foreman which was titled ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and while that title could be an Easter egg towards the Vietnam War which Frank served in, it was also the same year that Punisher debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #129, 1974.
Nothing Saw related here. This was one of the best Easter Eggs across the board of the Marvel-Netflix shows because it is a multi-layered one.
This entire show was sold as a Punisher story but it wasn’t… Think about it. It’s actually a two in one origin story. Firstly it is setting us up for the Punisher that we know and love from the comics – after the murder of his family has been resolved he takes on the permanent mantle of the Skull which he only actually used 2 or 3 times in this series, but actually in a way, more importantly – The season is actually primarily a villain origin story – Jigsaw aka Billy Russo. The final fight in the series takes place at the exact location where Frank’s family were murdered in the Netflix-Marvel universe which serves as a chilling irony for Billy’s disfigurement.
So that’s it, these are my top 15 Easter Eggs of the show. Unfortunately there was no Moon Knight Easter Egg, and I still very much hold out hope for the future that we will see him. Either in his own show or featuring in another character’s show. Like I said at the start, there are more Easter Eggs than this, however, I found these 15 the most significant.
How did you find Punisher? Where does it rank compared to the other Netflix-Marvel universe shows?