The geek sidekick in The Punisher who – shocker – actually has a real life!
UK Broadcast Netflix US Broadcast Netflix
Hold up! Have we just entered a parallel reality? How else can you explain the existence of a male computer geek sidekick in a sci-fi show who has a family? Who has a love life? Who doesn’t quote Star Wars’ every other line, or wear Battlestar Galactica t-shirts? Good grief, how can that be any fun?
Micro, aka David Lieberman, remains one of the best things about Marvel’s The Punisher despite – or to be honest, partly because – he doesn’t conform to those clichés. He has his moments of quirky humour, sure, but he’s no quipmeister; he’s more likely to be intense, driven and a little scary. The fact that this apparently cosy middle-class Nerd Herd-er seeks out killing machine Frank Castle as an ally says so much about him. Micro may not have Castle’s military training, but he’s more than ready to use his own skills to similar ends:
cold-blooded revenge. He’s not just Castle’s ally, he’s his mirror; or at least a mirror of a potential Castle. Because unlike Castle, he still has a family, and one that he’s willing to die for – twice! So at the heart of all the ultra-violence, Micro’s story provides the heart – a genuinely sweet love story.
Crucial to Micro’s impact is Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s restrained performance. There’s no Jeff Goldblum eccentricity or reefer chill vibe here; Moss-Bachrach’s Micro is all simmering rage wrapped in bath-robed resignation. His pale blue eyes look constantly on the verge of frustrated tears. He has the body language of a whupped whippet that looks like it’s going to bite back at any second. And he also manages to call Castle, “You beautiful man” with not a whiff of slash fiction potential. Micro may love his wife, but his bromance with Castle is epic. Dave Golder