3. Will he have allies?
While the Punisher is generally seen as a one-man operation, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had allies in the past. He’s been helped by various police officers during the years, has had allies like Microchip and Stuart Clarke supplying him with gear, and has even managed to make a few friends over the years. For the series, Microchip (or some other character filling the same role) is the most likely ally that we’ll see in Frank’s corner.
The big problem with being an ally of the Punisher is that it doesn’t always end well for the allies. Secondary characters aren’t always safe in the Netflix corner of the MCU, so if the Punisher starts making friends then you might not want to get too attached.
2. Will we see cameos?
As part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are always a bunch of other heroes and villains running around out there somewhere in the world. That doesn’t mean that we’ll see them in a Punisher spinoff series, though. There may be cameos from supporting characters from other shows (like Claire Temple appearing in Jessica Jones), but don’t expect Daredevil to drop in and see how Frank is doing. This is especially true if the Punisher goes on the road or moves to Los Angeles (even though yes, both Daredevil and Iron Man were based out of Los Angeles in their pre-Secret Wars story arcs.)
We might see cameos in the form of established Marvel Comics characters debuting in the MCU, though. Whether these would be substantial parts of the plot or one-off Easter eggs remains to be seen, though; as we saw with Ben Ulrich and Patsy Walker, even characters who aren’t as well known to the world at large can have a big impact on the story in the MCU.
1. Is there long-term potential?
This is the big question… would a Netflix Punisher spinoff have long-term series potential? It depends on how it’s handled. The Punisher’s schtick seems pretty one-dimensional, but the character himself can be surprisingly deep in the right hands. If Netflix wants to have the Punisher series to be more than just a season-long game of cat-and-mouse that culminates in a big shoot ’em up then they’ll have to focus on the human side of Frank Castle.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean love triangles and conflicting emotions. There have been a number of story arcs that showed Frank’s determination, his all-too-human weaknesses (yes, even a gun-wielding maniac can be injured or pushed to the point of almost giving up) and even his realization that he’s irreparably broken and unable to stop even if he was willing. If Netflix wants the character to have more than a one-off season, they’ll need to make his story compelling on top of the big shoot ’em ups that we all know are coming.