Not much is known of Joan's past before she ended up living in New York City, Manhattan where she met Frank Castle.
Joan was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon for the Punisher comic book mini series Welcome Back, Frank #1 in 2000 under the Marvel Knights imprint.
Major Story Arcs
Joan is an ultra shy neighbor of The Punisher's who believes him to be a man a named John Smith, the alias which Frank Castle is using living in the apartment complex. Joan is terrified living in New York City with its high crime rate and is extremely insecure and lonely. She bakes cookies and pies just to go over to Frank's apartment so she can talk to him for the sake of having someone to talk to. One day while opening the door to her apartment she sees a massive blood trail in the hallway leading to Mr. Smith's room and Joan decides to enter to see if he is okay. Joan enters and doesn't find Mr. Smith instead she finds many weapons in one of the rooms of his apartment which surprises her. Behind her Frank passes out from blood loss and Joan doesn't know what to do. She gets Spacker Dave to help her and they move Frank unto a bed. Right after that's done some of Ma Gnucci's men show up looking for the Punisher and torture Spacker to find out where he is.
Frank wakes up from the blood loss and Joan tells him what happened. Joan than helps Frank over to the room where Dave is being tortured and Frank kills the gangsters. Eventually they call a doctor for Frank and Spacker who patches them both up. Frank then packs up his things knowing that he can't stay in the apartment complex.
Joan asks him to stay because she feels safe with the Punisher around. Joan admits to the Punisher that she is constantly terrified about living in the city and that all she wants to do is leave in live in the country, have a dog, a house with a pond, and some ducks. Castle asks her why she doesn't just go and she tells him she barely has any money and she's scared of changing her life at all; just living scares her. After their conversation just as Frank is about to leave forever the Russian attacks Frank in the apartment complex. Frank kills the Russian and then destroys the rest of Gnucci family. A month goes by and Joan thinks she heard someone in Mr. Smith's old room so she investigates and finds a stack of money left for her with a note saying "Joan. Just Go. Frank."
Some time later in upstate New York in the country, Frank, who had been badly wounded, runs into Joan who is now living in a cottage she bought with the money given to her by Frank. When Frank tells her that Russian soldiers will be looking for him and that she should call the police and turn him in, Joan refuses. Instead she decide to aid him in arming her house for a small war. After the battle, the two part ways once again with Joan telling Frank what he told her, "Frank. Just Go."
Joan was Frank Castle's neighbor in the 2004 movie The Punisher. She helped patch up the Punisher after his encounter with the Russian and was concerned about Castle's well being. The movie hints that she likes him romantically but she is troubled about his vigilantism and his outlook on the world. She was played by Rebecca Romijn.
Joan appears in the 2005 video game where she gets kidnapped by Bushwacker. She appears again with Frank and Spacker Dave at Stark Tower. She was voiced by Julie Nathanson.