The Punisher's iconic Battle Van will have a role to play in Netflix series

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Sep 18, 2017

The Marvel Netflix shows, of which there are five (and counting), have a reputation for being the gritty side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The phrase "street level" gets thrown around a lot when you talk about the world of The Defenders. They're still Marvel Comics adaptations, though, and that means they're bound to get a little weird and a little more adventurous eventually (see the end of The Defenders for a good example of that). 

The Punisher, starring Jon Bernthal in the title role of Frank Castle, will be the sixth Marvel series to head to the streaming giant, and there is perhaps no grittier character to take New York's streets. Frank Castle is, at his heart, a very damaged guy who devotes his life to killing people. That's heavy stuff, even in the pages of a comic book, so you might expect his Netflix series to be the most down-to-earth of them all. Remember, though: This is still Marvel Comics.

Which is why The Punisher will feature the Battle Van.

The Battle Van, first introduced in 1975, is exactly what it sounds like. It's the van Frank loads up with guns and takes out on missions. In the comics it can get a little weird, packed with gadgets and sophisticated armor and driving mechanisms. It's also called the "Battle Van," which is an inherently silly comic book name for a vehicle owned by such a gritty character. Still, the Marvel Television team has plans to introduce a version of the iconic vehicle into Frank's live-action world.

"They travel around in the Battle Van in the comics, so it was important for us to do our version of that," Marvel TV executive Jeph Loeb told Netflix's Media Center (reported via Movie Pilot). "It’s not the Batmobile, but it’s definitely an iconic character that people know."

The key phrase there is "our version." Marvel's Netflix world probably doesn't allow for a van with a intruder-detecting computer and a robot arm coming out of the back, but it does present a chance for Frank to get himself a van, armor that thing up, and stock it full of guns. Plus, this version of the Punisher is just getting started. He's got plenty of time to find a robot arm.

The Punisher arrives later this year on Netflix.