The Punisher season 1 was a pretty bloody odyssey for Frank Castle to get to the truth of what had happened to his family, and fans were very happy to see the vigilante’s Marvel Comics nemesis, Jigsaw, getting his MCU origin story. But there was another iconic Marvel Comics storyline that was teased early in the season, one that The Punisher season 2 can adapt.
The Marvel Comics Easter egg got dropped at the end of The Punisher premiere episode. Frank Castle was working as a construction worker, when some guys on the site step into a mess, after robbing a local loan shark. After saving one of the members of the robbery crew from being killed, Frank finds the loan shark and takes out his crew. The loan shark is not a loan operator and is a member of the Gnucci, crime family. As Frank emerges from the shadows, Micro watches him through a camera feed, and exclaims, “Welcome back Frank…” in honor of The Punisher resuming his violent campaign.
This scene was a reference to a Punisher comic book storyline called “Welcome Back Frank”. This was a 12-issue limited series written Garth Ennis and drawn by late Steve Dillon between 2000-2001. Frank Castle resumes his punishing after a long absence and falls into a war with the Gnucci, crime family.
While Jigsaw is set for his MCU debut, fans will be psyched to see Punisher season 2 follow an adaptation of the “Welcome Back Frank” storyline, complete with a better version of savage hitman “The Russian.” It is a straightforward storyline of Frank climbing the hierarchical ladder of NYC mob, body by body, with Ma Gnucci providing a villain character, whose mind is as vicious as The Punisher’s.
This being the MCU, there is a lot of room for “Welcome Back Frank” to occupy the 1st half of Punisher season 2, before we transition into something like Jigsaw’s debut in the back half, as he may be revealed to the mastermind helping the Gnuccis get back at Punisher for the events of season 1. Ths combination will give Punisher season all the ammo it needs to be action-packed for all 13 episodes.