Ma Gnucci was the head of the Gnucci Family. Her organization came to power during the Punisher's absence from New York City, which lasted for several years. She had the mayor and police commissioner in her pocket and was untouchable by local law enforcement agencies. When the Punisher returned to New York City, he set his sights on dismantling her criminal empire and in return, Ma Gnucci tried to have him killed.
The Ma Gnucci character was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon during their Welcome Back Frank Punisher story arc.
Ma Gnucci is first seen as a powerful elderly woman. During an encounter with the Punisher at the Central Park Zoo, she was viciously attacked by polar bears resulting in the loss of her arms and legs and deep scars across the top of her head. She is constantly shown to be trying to overcome her disability, while consistently being angered by both it and the incompetence of her lackeys.
Major Story Arcs
Welcome Back Frank
When Ma Gnucci first learned that the Punisher was targeting her Family, she immediately tried to get the police take him down for her. Unfortunately for Ma Gnucci, the police put Detective Martin Soap on the case, knowing he would fail to capture the Punisher. This effectively meant she would be receiving no help from the police in stopping the Punisher's assault on her Family. Ma Gnucci first encountered the Punisher after one of her men spotted him following her and managed to shoot him. Ma Gnucci and her bodyguards followed the wounded Frank Castle into the Central Park Zoo, which he had fled into. Frank killed the guards as they pursued him through various exhibits, until only Ma Gnucci and a single guard remained. Ma Gnucci saw the Punisher jump into the polar bear exhibit and ordered her minion to follow the Punisher. While this was going on the Punisher punched a seemingly docile polar bear in order to enrage the animal. Just as Ma Gnucci finished climbing down into the enclosed area, stepping on the back of her minion, the Punisher ran by her and leapfrogged the guard, climbing out of the exhibit. Before Ma Gnucci and her follower had time to react, the polar bears brutally attacked them. Ma Gnucci survived the attack, but lost all of her limbs and received disfiguring scars to the top of her head as a result of being mauled. She was incredibly sensitive about the incident, even going so far as ordering the death of her own cousin, Stevie Gnucci, for having the audacity to ask her how she was doing.
Ma Gnucci, after returning home maimed, focused her attentions on seeking revenge against the Punisher, placing a ten million dollar bounty on his head. A few days later, Al Grummet approachesd Ma Gnucci, telling her the location of the Punisher's hideout. Ma Gnucci had her men confirm the information was legit. Once her men confirmed the information, Ma Gnucci sent her soldiers after the Punisher. The Punisher killed well over a dozen of Ma Gnucci's goons, but was severely wounded in the fight. The men who verified the Punisher was staying at an apartment complex came back and asked Ma Gnucci for more men to go after him. Ma Gnucci, enraged, told them he killed almost all of her men and that there was no one left she could send. Ma Gnucci then ordered them to find out where in the apartment complex the Punisher was staying. They called her shortly afterword, telling her they captured someone, Spacker Dave, who knew where the Punisher was and that they would find him shortly. However, the men were killed by the badly wounded Punisher, who saved Spacker Dave in the process. Ma Gnucci, realizing she needed help, called the Russian in to eliminate the Punisher.
When the Russian arrived, Ma Gnucci gave him a photo of the Punisher and had one of her soldiers take the him to the apartment complex where the Punisher was staying. Ma Gnucci then called the mayor to try and get the police to go after the Punisher in force, but in the end her threats proved useless. The Russian and the Punisher then got into a protracted fight in which the Punisher had to get creative to kill the Russian. Right after the Punisher killed the Russian, he got into a car and drove straight to the Gnucci estate, taunting Ma Gnucci and the Gnucci family with the Russian's head in his hand. The Gnucci Family soldiers then proceeded to drop their weapons, deciding they didn't want to die at the hands of the Punisher and abandoned Ma Gnucci. Ma cursed them all, calling them cowardly scum. The Punisher then webt into Ma Gnucci's house with cans of gasoline and poured them out all over her room with Ma Gnucci cursing at him the whole time, saying that he was damned. The Punisher then exited the house and tossed a grenade in, which lit the gasoline and caused the whole house to be engulfed in flames. Ma Gnucci managed, without any limbs, to toss herself out of her window and landed right at the Punisher's feet, biting him and refusing to give up. The Punisher looked down at her coldly and said "Go back to hell Ma" as he kicked her back into the house, where she apparently burned to death.