A decorated US Marine excelling as a soldier in every way, Frank Castle was a force to be reckoned with during the Vietnam War but also a dedicated family man. After a particularly close call in the final years of the war, he resigned to a Special Forces instructor post in upstate New York so he could be closer to his wife Maria and two children, Lisa and Francis. Disaster struck one day, years later, when Frank and his family went for a picnic in Central Park only to witness a mob execution on a high profile member of the mafia. The mob fired on his family, killing them all before his eyes and thus destroying everything he had lived for.
Unable to move on and failed by a corrupt criminal justice system, Frank Castle sought revenge, prompting him to "disappear" just as he was to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As he resurfaced, he was the vigilante now known as the Punisher, wearing Kevlar body armor with a large skull imprinted on his chest and armed with a variety of weapons. Frank not only vowed to have revenge for his family, but also dedicated the rest of his life to fighting crime.
Frank Castle debuted in 1974's The Amazing Spider-Man #129 as the vigilante assassin hired by Jackal to kill Spider-Man for the apparent murder of Norman Osborn. As differences between Punisher and Jackal came to a head, Punisher realized that he was being tricked into killing Spider-Man and that our friendly neighborhood web-slinger was not in fact a criminal or murderer. From then on, audiences came to understand Punisher's origin and that he was not a villain and he then returned to aid Spider-Man when old war buddy turned insane war criminal Hitman was hired to kill the web head. Created by writer Gerry Conway, artists John Romita Sr and Ross Andru and Stan Lee having suggested the Punisher name, Conway originally designed Frank Castle to operate as a villain, but as the story developed he became an antihero. Conway has said his biggest influences in creating the character were Don Pendleton's Executioner: Mack Bolan.
The Punisher has most often been defined best over the years as a loner and someone who other characters don't often align themselves with. He is the true definition of an antihero, operating outside the moral codes of most superheroes, but with a strict code of his own that is to protect the innocent and to deal with notorious criminals permanently. With no superpowers, he relies on strict discipline and a punishing regime of learning the hard way from his mistakes, and as a result, he is a masterful combatant and strategist. The Punisher waited for his own original series debut until 1986 after Mike Zeck and Steven Grant suggested that he was worthy of a title and thus began the legendary journey of one of the most popular and enduring Marvel characters in creation.
When the Punisher made the leap from supporting character to solo adventurer in 1986, he was unlike anything Marvel audiences had seen in a hero before. The black and white costume with a skull, as opposed to the glamorous and brightly colored standard as sported by the likes of the X-Men and Avengers, showed that this character meant business right from the beginning.
Frank Castle was portrayed as a man that had survived hell, but was originally quite naive in terms of the people he trusted and how he waged his war on crime. Originally, he had a live and let live attitude with certain criminals, counting on the influence he had on them to make them change their ways. He also often came across as cheerful at times and still often lived a life of sorts. The unique twist in that, however, was that The Punisher was his main identity and Frank Castle was but a shadow of his former self, existing off the grid.
As time went by, the Punisher began to tussle not only with more dangerous criminals other than Jigsaw but with heroes (Daredevil, Spider-Man and Nick Fury) and super-villains (Dr. Doom, Kingpin and Bullseye). He became more rough around the edges, more aggressive, and his stories gained more depth by inviting the readers into his fractured psychology. It seemed that he may not be the hero people expected but possibly a ticking time-bomb of a tragic man attempting to change the unchangeable.
Two years after Grant and Zeck's popular debut Punisher solo, the War Journal strip was introduced and the character exploded in terms of popularity and could be found literally everywhere. Aside from War Journal there was also Punisher War Zone, POV, Armory, Eurohit and others. Punisher was so popular that aside from making many appearances beside Wolverine, Spider-Man, Daredevil and Ghost Rider, he also appeared in The 'Nam and a few crossovers with two different publishers: one with Batman and one with Archie Andrews. Dolph Lundgren portrayed the first movie version of Frank Castle in 1989's The Punisher and from then on, Punisher appeared regularly in other forms of media including arcade and video games and notably the Amazing Spider-man cartoon series (both detailed at the bottom of the page).
The character had a lot of trouble in the 90s with so many controversial or absurd stories destroying much of his fan base. And around the mid 90s when Marvel went bust, he was one of so many characters who seemed to have finally creatively expired. That was until Garth Ennis picked up the character for the new and exciting imprint that was to be the darker and grittier Marvel Knights.
Punisher's enemies over the years have been plentiful but most often short-lived as a testament to just how deadly he is. From Jigsaw to the quickly dispatched of and gladly forgotten Colonel De Sade, his nemeses most often meet a grisly fate, all except those the Marvel Universe simply cannot do without. Ma Gnucci, The Russian and Barracuda are perfect examples of some of his most enjoyable enemies and then amongst his greatest common enemies have been Kingpin, Bullseye, Dr Doom, Bushwacker, Norman Osborn and The Hood.
Virtually from the beginning, the Punisher has had the odd helping hand that has come in the form of an armorer/tech assistant/computer hacker; someone to aid him in his missions from a safe distance. This tradition began with the ill-fated wheelchair bound armorer Reiss (of Reiss Armory), who was murdered by the Jackal in his attempt to frame Spider-Man, so that the Punisher would assassinate him without question.
Next to enter was his longest serving hacker and armorer Microchip, who used to help keep him from burning out and going off the rails. Eventually Microchip turned on Castle, believing him to have lost sight of his goals, and betrayed him. The Punisher much later "volunteered" technology genius and ex-villain Stuart Clarke and then Henry Russo, who turned out to be an illegitimate son of Jigsaw.
Major Story Arcs
This story, an essential origin tale, recounts what Frank Castle was like in the days directly after the murders of his family. He is a suicidal former Marine seeking justice through the law, but after he discovers a trend of corruption that makes it impossible for him to do right by the memories of his wife and children, Castle goes off the rails and decides to take matters into his own hands. While Detective John Laviano stays on the case, though helpless in bringing down the Costa mob, Castle prepares to go against Bruno Costa and his syndicate and the comic takes us deep into the territory of Castle's almost deranged state of mind. The story also features Billy "The Beaut" Russo. The Costa mob hired him to kill Castle but failed. As Castle learned of his identity and as he becomes The Punisher, several of the Costa mob enforcers were murdered and Castle let Russo live to tell the rest of the Costa mob that he was coming for them. Castle, then, pushed Russo through a window, disfiguring his face. Russo would eventually resurface as the Jigsaw.
First Strike: Spider-Man
Established simply as a man with a reputation for getting the job done, this is the Spider-man story arc that introduced the Punisher as a villain to the web slinger.
Employed by the Jackal to take down Spider-man, Punisher explodes onto the scene in a display of raw power and aggression, believing Spidey to be a dangerous criminal. Gradually, Spider-man manages to convince the Punisher that he is not a criminal and that Punisher has in fact been used by the Jackal while their common enemy goes about committing crimes of his own unchallenged.
Seeking the Jackal, Punisher happens upon his assistant Reiss, who has been murdered and upon learning that The Jackal did this to frame Spider-Man, they seek to take him down together.
While imprisoned the Punisher does not stop killing criminals. Through some connections, the Punisher gets busted out of Rykers prison to stop a narcotics shipment. After shooting one of the people involved in the narcotics transfer he realizes it was just a kid, which means that they are using kids. So now he goes after the rest of them.
When going after a group of them the Punisher encounters Daredevil, who had been trying to take down the group legally. While trying to kill one of the major drug dealers, Frank misses his chance as someone else kills him first. Later while interrogating someone Daredevil shows up again and they get into a fight over Frank's lethal methods. After shooting Daredevil with a tranquilizer dart, Frank finishes off the person he was interrogating.
Later after the Drug lord is taken down for killing his partner, Frank hears that he is going to be defended by Nelson and Murdock. Knowing that the lawyers will probably get him set free Frank decides to kill him. After Murdock gets him free, he admits that he did kill his partner. The Punisher goes after them, and teams with Daredevil to take them down. Afterwards Daredevil shoots Frank, taking him down so he can be sent back to prison.
Circle of Blood
While back in Prison we learn that Frank was drugged before, which was the cause of some of his more questionable actions. He learns that a criminal named Jigsaw, who he had earlier thrown out of a window scaring his face, was behind it. When confronting Jigsaw, Frank fights off his henchman and then breaks his hand before the fight is broken up by Jigsaw's boss, Don Cervello. Afterwards Frank makes a deal with the Don to break out of prison. A few day later, on the day of escape, the Don gives the order to kill the Punisher but fails. Punisher chases Don Cervello and Jigsaw to the wardens office where he defeats both men. Afterwards the warden tells Frank that he is part of a secret group called the trust and offers to break Frank out so he can continue his war on crime. The Punisher accepts his offer.
Free again, Frank continues his war on crime. He decides to take down Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin. Frank uses a grenade to break into the building, but once inside he notices somthing is wrong. It is a trap with explosives set to go off. Frank jumps out of the window and partially breaks his fall with a grappling hook. Losing consciousness, The Punisher is rescued by a woman named Angela, who tells Frank that she has lost her family just like him. Frank begins to develop a relationship with her. When calling his supplier, Alaric, at the Trust, The Punisher learns that people think Fisk is dead. Without the Kingpin the gangs start fighting each other with everyone trying to take his place. While eavesdropping on Charlie Siciliano, Frank learns that there is going to be a meeting where all the mobsters will be together. Before Frank can break up the meeting a Hitman named Nolo Contendre does it first. Punisher chases Nolo down to a train and kills him there. Afterwards his van, full of supplies given to him by the trust, explodes.
Next, the Punisher rescues a crime boss named Santiago from a mob hit. Santiago didn't deal in anything to dirty, mostly gambling and loan sharking, so Frank didn't mind dealing with him. Frank tells Santiago to get Siciliano to call another meeting. Back at Angela's, she tries to convince him to join the Trust. Frank says he will think about it. On the day of the meeting one of the crime-lord's, Marcus Coriander uses the chance to attack and kill all of his competition. Punisher goes after Coriander, the last crime boss. When confronted he claims that he and Frank are on the same side, that he wanted to take out the gangs and the Kingpin. Frank don't buy it, and he runs. During the chase, Coriander accidentally shoot a child. When Frank finally catches up to him, he is crying, ashamed of what happened. Frank tries to get the name of his boss from him, and he screens Alaric before getting shot by Angela, who then shoots Frank next, it puts him down but does not kill him.
Frank's next targets are The Trust, due them trying to kill him and using sloppy methods that killed innocents. The Punisher goes after the warden from the prison, the member of the Trust that freed him. In order to get to him he goes after his aid, but when he gets to the apartment he is dead with a member of the Trust standing over his body. The attacker gets away, but withing the aids file cabinet Frank finds the address to the Warden. At the wardens place he is being attacked by another member of the trust. Frank kills the attacker and gets Alaric's address, but the warden kills himself, refusing to be locked up in his own prison. While still in the apartment the police show up and arrest frank. The Trust attacks the squad car that The Punisher was in and the Punisher gets away after fighting them of. While infiltrating Alaric's mansion, Frank realizes that the henchmen there are brainwashed. One of them was Jigsaw. While trying to find Alaric, Frank gets hit with the gas that he was using to brainwash the henchman.
The Punisher uses part of his attire as a filter to keep himself from inhaling the gas. When he gets through the area he is confronted with Jigsaw again. Frank defeats Jigsaw and continues to make his way towards Alaric. Frank forces Alaric to call reporter Ben Urich and tell him everything he knew about the Trust. Frank then leaves and, while outside on the bridge to exit the mansion, he is confronted by Angela. Thinking that he had killed Alaric, Angela tries to run him down with her vehicle. Frank shoots the vehicle in the radiator causing her to lose control of the automobile and crash it into the side of the bridge. The vehicle is tilting back like it might fall off the bridge, as the Punisher walks away.
A Partner in Crime
The Punisher continues his war on organized crime. When tracing a drug operation he discovers his old General from Vietnam was the head of it and follows him to Bolivia to defeat him. After this he plans to take a break from hunting criminals, but when he sees a bank being robbed he doesn't hesitate to stop it. While chasing the thieves he has to ditch his van so he blows it up. He finds and kills the head of the bank robbing operation. After this Castle visits his old friend Microchip. Micro is the man that had built Frank's equipment for the ten years prior. He meets Microchip's son, Microchip Jr who is a computer hacker like his dad. Frank begins to work closely with Junior and takes him on missions with him but when going after a serial killer known as the Slasher Junior is killed by a ninja. After this Micro starts to take a more prominent role in the Punisher's work.
Microchip himself was on a crusade against the mob as well, he for the murders of his nephew and niece, which he held the Kingpin accountable for. Microchip joined the Punisher in his fight against crime. Together the team fought against a number of villains and took there war against crime to the next level. Punisher had a number of missions, even to Europe and versus such enemies as the X-Men foes known as The Reavers.
Microchip used his skills not only for hacking, but also for cyber-investigation, laundering money and finding hard to get ammunition and weaponry. The amount of money the two took from criminals resulted in them having more financial means. This resulted in the buying of a number of safe-houses through which Castle and Microchip planned their operation. Frank Castle was also trained when he was in need of more specialized combat moves for specific missions. Although their war on crime was extremely successful, the war took it's toll on Frank's mind.
Helping or Betraying the Punisher?
Eventually, it was evident that the war on crime had taken its toll on the Punisher's mind as he was losing his grip on his sanity. In order to help his friend, Microchip locked Frank Castle up in one of their safe-houses. while he found a Navy-Seal named Carlos Cruz to take the Punisher's place as a way to stop criminals, but not killing them anymore. In the meantime, Microchip tried to bring the Punisher back to sanity with psychological experiments. Punisher eventually broke free of Micro's holding-cell. He was extremely angry with him and pointed his gun at him, thinking about killing him. It was at that precise moment, an enemy of the Punisher named Stone Cold bombed the wall where they were standing at and seemingly killed Micro. After the Punisher killed Stone Cold, he started to wonder if he would really have killed Micro himself. Seeing him dead, the Punisher just walked away.
The betrayal of his former partner had put Frank over the edge. It was then that Nick Fury apprehended the Punisher and had him locked up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The Punisher however, more deranged than usual because of these events, managed not only to escape, but apparently shot and killed Nick Fury when he tried to stop him. It was however later revealed that it was not Nick Fury, but a robot known as a Life Model Decoy that had been shot. Frank however was a target for the law even more so then ever before. Frank eventually regained his sanity and returned to his crusade against crime, this time more in a shift towards the superhero community. But before that, Frank takes a slight detour when he's approached with an offer to be the new Don of the Geraci Family. He accepts and protects them from enemies and rival families, while at the same time avoiding capture from operatives sent by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Predictably, the gig doesn't end well and the Punisher returns to familiar surroundings and continues his war against crime. Frank came into contact with a number of villains from the superhero community, such as the X-Cutioner and an anti-mutant organization which Frank helped destabilize. Feeling an oncoming rush of danger however, Frank went undercover and was not seen for a number of months.
Welcome Back, Frank
In Welcome Back, Frank The Punisher seeks to re-establish himself to the criminals of the city after some time away... by targeting the city's most prominent crime family, the Gnuccis, headed by Ma Gnucci. Before planning to kill Ma, Castle works his way up intentionally by systematically targeting her three sons Carlo, Bobby and Eddie, the lieutenants of the syndicate. Intentionally, this becomes a full scale gang war but what Frank doesn't count on is just how driven and ruthless the family's matriarch is until he finds himself fighting a desperate war of attrition against The Gnucci's. In response to the death of her sons, Ma pressures the NYPD to capture The Punisher and puts a price on Castle's head but he's one step ahead of every attempt to kill him. The police department, refusing to take down The Punisher, establishes a "Punisher Task Force" assigning laughing stock of the dept. Detective Martin Soap to manage the task force, teaming him up with a suicidal criminal psychologist, purposely hoping the task force will fail.
Meanwhile several hitmen are employed to hunt him down including hilariously twisted Russian. All the while, Daredevil is given a taste of his own medicine, pitting him in a hopeless situation against the limits of his own sense of righteousness and Frank, out of ammo infuriates Central Zoo's residents into taking out Ma Gnucci and her goons. Under the name of Mr. Smith, Frank relocates to a new apartment in New York where he meets and unwittingly becomes the favorite new neighbor of social reject Spacker Dave, the morbidly obese Mr. Bumpo and anxious recluse Joan the Mouse.
Army Of One
After detective Soap is forced to step down as the police commissioner and put back in charge of the Punisher Task Force, Frank meets him and proposes an alliance. After giving it a night of thought, Soap agrees to work with the Punisher, providing him all the information about criminals that is available to him as a police officer. After a night of clearing out criminals, the Punisher encounters the Russian, who has been put back together. With the help of Spider-Man, Frank is able to defeat the Russian, and finds out that he was revived on Grand Nixon Island under the orders of General Kreigkopf . Frank manages to find a pilot willing to fly him to the island. Once on the island, Punisher finds himself battling Kreigkopf's forces, as well as the Russian. After defeating Kreigkopf and the Russian, the Punisher steals a plane and drops a hydrogen bomb on the island, destroying it entirely.
Business As Usual
A Good Clean Fight
Detective Soap calls the Punisher to meet him at a local bar, which is their usual meeting place. Soap pulls out a photograph of a man by the name of Tommy Casino, the last of the old school godfathers of the east coast. He had been missing for years. Soap informs us that Casino is actually in Columbia being held hostage in a guerrilla camp, and is about to be killed since the hostage negotiations with the mob have not been going well. Soap says that the mobs are falling into chaos and if Frank was able to rescue Casino it would save a lot of lives.
The Punisher saves Don Tommy Casino from Columbia and returns him to his home. Once home Casino calls all the major players of the mob together for a meeting. The story ends with Punisher showing up at their meeting holding an M60 Machine Gun.
Later the Punisher is tracking down what is left of the East coast mob when he discovers a building full of severed human legs. Frank calls detective Soap to see if he knows anything about the situation, and manages to get a little information. Leading Frank to discover a bar filled with unconscious customers due to tranquilizer gas. He sees blood trails and follows them to the basement, which leads to some old bootleg tunnels. After searching for a couple hours Frank is spotted by Wolverine. Thinking the Punisher is responsible for the severed legs, Wolverine attacks him. After a scuffle, Frank appeared to get the upper hand and was about to set Logan on fire when he heard a voice yell "Stop." Lights come on in the tunnels and soon both Punisher and Wolverine are surrounded by little people.
It was revealed that it was the little people who were responsible for the severed legs which lead to Punisher and Wolverine teaming up to fight them off. After a quick fight Logan and Frank retreat to a safe area. Here Punisher shoots Wolverine in the groin leaving him laying on the ground, so his opponents would go after Logan and let him escape. The little people capture Logan but Punisher shows up later with two sub machine guns and clears out the building. Knowing that Wolverine will keep on hunting him for what he did, Frank traps him under a steam roller before leaving.
The Punisher has his sites set on a drug house, but before he can attack the cops show up and arrest the criminals. Frank watches from the attic as he notices one of the police officers pocket a kilo of coke. Frank talks to Detective Soap about the seemingly dirty cops and learns their names are Mike Pearse and Andy Seifert. Soap, acting more assertive then his usual self, tells Punisher not to mess with them. Frank later follows Seifert, the cop who took the drugs, to a house where he met a few other dirty cops who were also with a man who bought the drugs. When the buyer leaves Frank holds him at gunpoint drives off with him thinking that he will drown him in the East river.
Before throwing the buyer off of the Brooklyn Bridge, Frank gets him to tell him that Seifert is doing a deal with another dirty cop named Leary. He also tells him about a Coke house which Frank takes out. After killing everyone in the house Frank pours gasoline all over it and then throws a grenade at it. Because of this Seifert can not get the drugs to complete his deal. Frank starts following Seifert after this, but starts to get the feeling that he is watching the wrong man.
While eavesdropping on the officers Frank learns that Seifert has a gambling problem and is about to lose his house, but Pearse promises to help him. Because he doesn't have the drugs that he was supposed to get a battle in sued when the two officers showed up to meet Leary. Leary had a couple other dirty cops with him. During the fight Punisher saves Seifert's life, but all the cops end up killing each other.
Streets of Laredo
One night the Punisher is about to kill a drug lord from a distance. He has his target lined up in his sights when suddenly Elektra shows up and kills Frank's target before he has a chance to pull the trigger. Frank does not think anything of it at first. He was a drug lord, he had enemies, maybe one willing to hire Elektra. After this every time the Punisher goes in to kill a enemy, Elektra shows up. It starts to Drive Frank mad that he can't do what he does best anymore because Elektra always beats him to the punch. Eventually Frank confronts Elektra, and learns she was simply messing with him for fun. They clear out a room of criminals together and then the story ends with Frank asking Elektra to have dinner with him, although that actually meant sex.
Streets of Laredo
Business starts to run slow, so Frank hits up one of his snitches. After some persuasion he eventually tells Frank about a Coke deal. When Punisher shows up at the location he was given he notices that the sellers seem very professional. It turns out that it is not a Coke deal, but a arms deal, selling M16s and Rocket launchers. Frank is spotted by a sniper on a roof, but one of the dealers trips while trying to shoot a bazooka and ends up killing himself as well as his own people. Frank goes back to his snitch and learns the arms dealers are from Branding Texas. He heads off to Texas in pursuit, once there he learns that the sheriff and the entire town knows about the arms dealing gang but they do nothing about it.
The Gang is set up on the outskirts of town and lead by a woman named Rachel. After taking out a thug in a bar fight who had happened to of purchased weapons from the gang Frank learns that they are military grade. The Gang was buying the weapons from a corrupt army officer. Turns out that the reason that they do not take over the town is because Rachel's son is dating the sheriff, but that changes after her son is murdered for having a homosexual relationship with the sheriff.
After seeing the corpse of her son Rachel decides to attack the town. The gang is held off by the sheriff, but he is no match for them and ends up dying. During this time Frank heads to their base and kills the few remaining members that stayed behind. After wards Frank pours gasoline all over the place and then throws a grenade at the building blowing it up. When Rachel and her gang see the explosions they head back, but the Punisher is gone before they get there.
The Gang is starting to fall apart, but Rachel convinces them to attack the town. They are no match for the Punisher, and the members that do not die retreat. Rachel runs into a abandoned warehouse. When Frank follows she jumps out and attacks him with a hatchet. After a quick scuffle the fight ends when Frank stabs her in the neck with a meat hook. Meanwhile the new sheriff finds the killer of his former boss' boyfriend. The story ends with the sheriff wishing Frank luck then he drives off with the killer tied to the back of his truck.
Confederacy of Dunces
Daredevil, Wolverine, and Spider-Man meet to talk about what they should do about the punisher. They talk about how he is technically a criminal himself for killing so many people, and they also talk about how he has humiliated each of them over the last year. They end up deciding that they're going to take down the punisher. Meanwhile Frank is taking out the Irish mob. After clearing a house full of the mobsters one that was left bleeding out on the floor tells Frank about a auction that will be going down. He says everyone big will be there, but bleeds out before he can say a location. Frank gets the location from a snitch, and then later runs into Spacker Dave who is now a Super Spotter, someone who spots super powered individuals. Frank walks away from Dave and then gets surrounded by Spider-Man, Daredevil and Wolverine who says that they are there to take him in for his crimes.
Frank is able to taunt the three heroes into fighting each other as he gets away. Frank proceeds to the location of the auction he learned about. He discovers a van with two armed guards, but the only thing inside the van is a unconscious nude man. Frank enters the building through the fire escape. Inside the men are holding a video tape and claiming to possess unlimited power and is willing to start the auction at five million dollers. Frank clears out the building with two sub machine guns and takes the tape for himself. He then takes the van, with the man in it, back to his safe house and watches the tape. He is shocked at what he sees.
The man from the van later wakes up. He has amnesia and does not know who he is. Frank gives him stew and tells him to eat it, saying it is good for his memory. Frank later waits for the three heroes to come for him at a abandoned building. When they finally show up Frank shoots Wolverine with a rocket launcher, taking him out. He the lures Spider-Man into a trap, where if he moves explosives will go off killing him. Punisher then fights Daredevil. Daredevil seems to have the upper hand until Frank tackles him through a window out to the balcony.
Daredevil tells Frank that he went to far, that he tried to kill Logan, but Frank says that he knew Logan wouldn't die. Frank tells him to drop his crusade against him before leaving. We also find out that the explosives keeping Spider-Man at bay turn out to be fake. Back at his safe-houses Punisher continues to feed the man with amnesia stew. Frank then calls Matt Murdock and tells him to get Logan and Spider-Man and meet him at his safe house so they can finish what they started. When it comes close to the time for the three heroes to arrive Frank starts slapping around the man he had been feeding and insulting him. We then see the man get angry and start to turn green. It is the Hulk. Frank escapes before Hulk fully tranforms. Hulk then destroys The building and attacks the three heroes.
After the Hulk defeats the three heroes Frank convinces Daredevil to leave him alone. He reveals that he had been putting plastic explosives in Bruce Banner's stew and detonates them, which reverts the Hulk back to Banner. This issue is the last of Garth Ennis' Marvel Knights Punisher run. This was Garth Ennis' last story on his Marvel Knights Punisher run. It ends the same way as his first Marvel Knights Punisher issue, with the Frank throwing a criminal off of the top of the Empire State Building.
Ten years ago while Frank Castle was at some bank, robbers show up and rob the place, killing a woman in the process. After they leave, Frank tails them back to their hideout where he hears them talking about their boss, Napoleon. It turns out Napoleon, real name Oswald Zinn, is the brains behind one of the biggest bank robbing operations in the country. The Punisher kills all of his employees across the country, scaring Zinn and forcing him to go into hiding in the South American jungle. Now ten years later, Zinn uses a fugitive by the name of Harvey Long to lure the Punisher, as well as the X-Man Wolverine to the South American jungle. His plan is to make Wolverine and the Punisher kill each other. However, Frank and Logan manage to work together, fighting off Zinn's forces. When they are finally confronted by Zinn in person, the Punisher kills him by throwing a knife at him and stabbing him between the eyes.
Means and Ends
After Daredevil takes down the Kingpin a bunch of other crime figures try to take his place. The biggest one being Hammerhead. Frank decides to terminate him, and while attempting to snipe him from a distance notices that he is working with the Jackal. Daredevil shows up before Frank can take the shot and they end up fighting. The Punisher manages to escape from Daredevil and tries to lay low for a while, but changes his mind after he sees Hammerhead's underlings harassing a family that owns a restaurant.
Hammerhead sends Bushwacker to take care of the Punisher, but Frank manages to fight him off. Punisher later sets a trap for Bushwacker and then uses explosives to defeat him. Hammerhead and Jackal are completely focusing on the Punisher, dropping their guard to Daredevil who sends them to prison. Afterwards Daredevil decides that he needs to put a end to the Punisher. He has been developing a hatred towards Frank, especially for making him defend the people whom he hates. After a brutal battle between the two the police show up and arrest the Punisher while he is to weak to escape. Afterwards Matt Murdock is reading the paper about crime going up in the city and appears to be wondering if the Punisher being imprisoned was the right thing. The story ends with the Punisher in prison making a plan to kill Jackal.
Punisher vs Bullseye
After the Punisher attacks the Patrillo family, they decide that they need to get rid of him. The patriarch of the family tells the current leader a story about how the Punisher defeated him long ago. It turns out that the current leader of the family does not actually lead, but instead takes orders from his uncle who has been in hiding since being defeated by the Punisher. He informs his nephew that the Punisher is a very dangerous man and in order to defeat him they will need to hire the best of the best. With money being no concern, they spend millions of dollars to hire Bullseye to make sure that the job done. After Bullseye and the Punisher get into a fight, Bullseye survives and later raises the price to take out the Punisher. Later Bullseye comes up on Frank and throws a paper airplane at him, with a note written on it. Later Bullseye shows up at the Patrillo residence saying the job is done and shows them the Punisher's shirt.
Disappointed, they ask why did he not bring the Punisher's head instead. Bullseye then reveals that he brought Punisher's entire body, and moves so we see Frank standing outside their window. Frank opens fire killing them. At the end we see that Bullseye was actually working for one of the Patrillo's rivals all along and was getting paid to take them out. The story ends with them implying that they would like to hire him to take care of The Punisher next.
After killing Stilt-Man with a bazooka round to the groin, Punisher is hunted by SHIELD agent G.W Bridge, where he disappears into the underground. Heading into the sewers, he comes across pro-registration villains Jack O'Lantern and Jester attempting to kill Spider-man, who had been attacked by Iron Man. Frank kills them both and urgently extracts Spider-man to Captain America's hideout where he offers his services in the fight against SHIELD's anti-registration superhero crackdown.
Cap is doubtful at first due to Frank's violent history and reputation as a killer, but seeing as they could benefit from his military skills and experience, he accepts; it's all the help he could use. Punisher helps Cap by breaking into the Baxter Building and extracting intelligence but is then kicked off the team for shooting two other super-villains who want to hide behind Cap's cause.
The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci
After the Punisher took out the Gnuccis, a new family from Philadelphia, the Alcenos, come in and try to take their place. While staking them out one night the Punisher sees that Charlie Schitti is about to be murdered. Frank saves him and Charlie agrees to be his informant in return. After getting the location of the Alceno headquarters the Punisher goes to attack them. While he was about to shoot their house with a grenade launcher he spots Ma Gnucci. After Frank kills them all he contacts Charlie again and tells him to find out if that was really Ma. Afterwards Charlie informs Punisher that word on the street was that Ma was back, and she was uniting the mobs to fight him. Frank then makes Charlie dig up Ma's grave, and inside they find her remains are still there.
At the cemetery the Punisher is attacked by the mobs. After killing them all a man in a tree from a distance tries to shoot Frank with a tranquilizer dart, but Charlie steps in the way and gets hit instead. Frank shoot back, severing three of the man's fingers. Later while on the road, heading to Charlie's place, they are attacked by the man again. This time Frank recognizes that he is wearing the same mask as Elite. The man is the new Elite, and the original Elite's son. He reveals that it was him who had bpricing plastic surgery to people making them look exactly like Ma Gnucci.
Elite eventually retreats from the battle, and Frank continues to Charlie's house. Once there they run into Lt. Molly Von Richthofen, who was their to investigate the mass murder of the Alcenos. During this time the mobs unite and head for their location. After stitching up Frank's wounds that he received in his earlier fight they arm themselves to fight. After the gunfight is over Frank bids farewell and heads to Elite's house where he shoots him in the head.
After the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn is seen as a public hero and becomes the leader of a New Dark Avengers team in addition to his overtaking of SHIELD. Frank decides to take matters into his own hands, knowing that Osborn is the most dangerous villain in existence at present. During a public speech by Osborn, Punisher attempts to assassinate Osborn but the bullet is stopped by the Sentry. Severely injured in his getaway after attempting to stop the Sentry, Frank finds himself at the mercy of a young hacker who wants to aid him in his mission against Osborn.
After Punisher's failed assassination attempt on Osborn, the former Green Goblin puts him in the public eye while also putting him on his own personal list. After his own elite forces are wiped out by the Punisher in his most successful and daring mission yet, he hires the Hood and his gang to kill Castle. The Hood resurrects many deceased villains who now call themselves the Deadly Dozen and set them loose, even resurrecting Microchip to help them track him down with the promise that if successful, he would resurrect his son.
The Deadly Dozen use Mirage's powers to help them pose as the Avengers in the attempt to intimidate Castle into giving up. It doesn't work and one of them winds up dead again. Seeing the plan failing, The Hood captures G.W Bridge, drawing Castle into his resurrection chamber to offer him a once in a lifetime deal - that if he stopped his war on Osborn, Parker Robbins aka The Hood would resurrect his family too. But before Castle has the chance to negotiate Bridge's safety, it is Microchip that makes the sacrifice. The Punisher faced with his resurrecting family, he loses his mind and sets the catacomb on fire, not wanting false illusions of his own family to be used against him by the Hood.
Punisher: The List (The Death of Frank Castle)
As Osborn has replaced SHIELD with his own new fascist world police force HAMMER, Frank Castle has been left broken in body and spirit. He has pushed his body over the edge and it will not heal. He has pushed his only surviving friendship away with Henry in the knowledge that he is the son of Jigsaw and he has entered a war that he cannot win. After having just killed his own resurrected family and having to bargain with The Hood for his own life, he is not only defeated, he has broken beyond rock bottom. Calling in a massive urban airstrike and then sending an army after the Punisher, Osborn is enraged to find that the Punisher has escaped him yet again, using the last of his acquired Pym Particles, and sends Daken after him. But Punisher now weak, cut up and frantically trying to beat his tormentors to an escape route, cannot make a stand nor has the option to surrender.
Regardless of being outmatched and Daken gravely injuring him, Frank fights back with every resource, litterally frying Daken and then blowing him up with a remote mine. But it is still not enough to give him the upper hand. After the only clear route leads him to an apartment rooftop, the Punisher is surrounded until Daken catches up and goads the injured and broken vigilante into a duel. Despite holding weight on a broken leg and suffering multiple stab wounds, the Punisher still holds up with a knife in one hand as the two engage in a fatal deathmatch, rapidly cutting into each other. Frank stabs Daken repeatedly and even through the side of his head, but the Dark Wolverine gains the upper hand as he grows weary and slices him up, dismembering the Punisher and throwing his remains from the rooftop.
The remains of Frank's body found by Man-Thing in the sewers, Morbius and the Legion of Monsters reconstruct Frank into a Frankenstein's Monster of sorts and then brought back to life. They need him to help fight against an army of monster hunters led by Robert Hellsgaard, who is seeking an object of power known as the Bloodgem. At first Frank is horrified at what he's become and refuses to take part in this war, let alone believe that he belongs with the monsters. However, after witnessing the death of a young deaf-mute Moloid that he took a shine to, he goes berserk and wipes out the invading forces as they declare war on the Legion's hideout. However, Frank required some pills to stabilize his rage, which, as Morbius puts it, threatens their very safety as his brain is damaged and not functioning properly due to his recent death.
Morbius and Manphibian who were captured by Hellsgaard and the monster hunters, are taken away to Hellsgaard's castle in the Alps. Leaving Werewolf By Night back in their hideout, Franken-Castle storms the Castle in true fashion, taking out an entire army of Nazi Zombies and the remaining soldiers of Dr. Helsgaard before attempting to rescue Manphibian and Morbius. This leads to his confrontation with Helsgaard, which spills over into Hell, where Punisher is damaged beyond repair and Helsgaard is left defeated and trapped in limbo for all eternity. Morbius uses the Bloostone to help Punisher to regenerate as thanks for his heroics and after some time recuperating, the Franken-Castle monster sees fit to go after the conspirators that had him murdered.
His first target is Lady Gorgon. He tracks her to Tokyo and fights her, but she is killed by a master of the Hand. His next target is Daken, who he found searching for a legendary swordsmith, Muramasa. Frank then goes on to attack Daken, to settle the score once and for all, but will Wolverine step in to protect his wayward son from the death he so deserves? Again, torn up and coming back from the brink of absolute death, Punisher is sent out of Japan to Monster Island by his friend and assistant Henry where he can heal and rehabilitate without human intervention.
Here he regenerates back to the age and vitality of a 30 year old with the Bloodstone implanted in his chest. But left unchecked for so long, the demonic power of the artifact causes him to become dangerous and distrustful of the Legion of Monsters. Elsa Bloodstone goes after Punisher to get the stone back and a war breaks out as Punisher fends off the monsters, believing them to be in on it. But upon being talked down, Punisher removes the stone from his chest, throws it to Bloodstone and returns to New York, his reign of terror to commence once again.
In the Blood
Healed, regenerated and ready to return to work, the Punisher comes home to New York to take down the Hood and his deceitful old partner Microchip but only manages to learn of Micro's whereabouts. At their hideout, Henry Russo confines in Frank that he's admired the Punisher due to him hurting his father as much as his father would hurt him and his mother. Castle heads to where he suspects Micro has been hiding out, only to meet a scarred woman in black leather; Frank can't shake the feeling that he has met her, she attacks him before quickly escaping. After an argument leads to Frank kicking Henry out of his hideout, he quickly falls into the arms of his estranged father, Jigsaw, who is now working with Frank's ex-ally, the scarred and now insane Stuart Clarke. The now named Jigsaw Brothers convince Henry that Frank is trying to kill him. Frank, still determined to find and extract his revenge, continues his hunt for Microchip, taking down multiple gangs on his way before interrogating Mirage, who is shot in the head by the mysterious leather woman, Frank now suspects that she is his resurrected wife, which horrifies Frank.
He begins pursuing Jigsaw, taking down many more gangsters before being incapacitated by Henry. Castle awakens imprisoned with Micro, and is given a knife to kill him. After brutally killing Micro, Henry realizes he was manipulated by the Jigsaw Brothers and helps Frank escape also informing him that the scarred woman is just an assassin posing as Maria Castle and she is quickly killed. Stuart discovers Henry's treachery and attempts to kill him, only to be brutally stabbed to death by Jigsaw, who then turns his attention on Henry and begins brutalizing him, only to apologize once he sees Henry in pain.
The Punisher confronts Jigsaw and they engage in combat and in a desperate last measure, Jigsaw pulls a grenade out to try and kill the both of them, which they both survive, with Jigsaw holding on to the ledge of the burning warehouse, Henry attempts to save him to which Jigsaw smiles and accepts his fate. Frank drops Henry entirely and tells him to not look for his father, to which he agrees.
Shadowland: Battle for the Soul of New York
Punisher returns to give supporting fire to New York's greatest street level heroes as Daredevil Matt Murdock becomes the unlikely villain of the new age, post-Dark Reign/The List, Siege and Fear Itself. Much of the world is still shaken from the events of the past few story arcs, especially the Man Without Fear, who was devastated by the actions of Bullseye, who was sent to assassinate him by none other than Norman Osborn. Although Bullseye failed to see Daredevil dead, the way in which he saw fit to do it saw to the deaths of over a hundred civilians living inside a tenement rigged with explosives.
Tortured over his inability to save them, he is summoned to become The Hand's new champion and leader. Seeking out Daredevil, Bullseye escapes captivity and hunts him down where a showdown unwittingly leads to Daredevil breaking Bullseye's arms before murdering the same way he once murdered Elektra. Witnessing this are Avengers Luke Cage and Iron Fist, sent by Captain America, who chooses not to involve himself for fear of it seeming too heavy handed a gesture towards his allies.
It becomes increasingly clear at that time that whereas Matt Murdock has seen Shadowland erected in the middle of Hell's Kitchen so that he can prevent any crime ever happening there again, that he will employ lethal force to make sure it stays that way, but with the activities of other characters - Moon Knight, Kingpin, Lady Bullseye and Ghost Rider - it becomes even more apparent that darker dealings have been made.
When Power Man and Iron Fist lead a delegation to talk Matt down from his newly acquired throne of power, they discover that he has also acquired some new powers that seem a lot more demonic than mystical and just as the call is made to have them all killed, Punisher makes his explosive entrance, allowing for the battered heroes to escape, while utilizing an M60 heavy machine gun to mow down countless Hand ninja and hold Daredevil at bay.
Drawing more attention, the rattled heroes regroup, noticing that their battle with Daredevil at Shadowland caused a flux of violence all over the city. Realizing that even their greatest strengths combined were not enough to stop Daredevil collectively, we learn that he has been possessed by a demon. With the additional help of Wolverine and Elektra, Punisher backs up the heroes once more as they set out to find a way to either reverse the influence turning Matt into the Beast of the Hand or to put a permanent end to him, either way, battling for the soul of New York before it's torn apart by his madness.
The Punisher/Omega Effect
Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto's volume of the Punisher sees Frank focuses his attention on a criminal faction known as The Exchange after hunting down the suspects of a bloody wedding shoot-out, which has left one survivor; the bride and now widowed Marine, Rachel Alves; her entire family massacred in the event. One detective Walter Bolt has also been feeding him Intel on the investigation since he saved his life in an undercover operation gone bad. His partner Ozzy Clemons, is hot on the case as is Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters. After killing hired assassin the new Vulture, whom the Exchange sent after Castle, he was gravely wounded and goes into hiding to heal for the next 3 months, only to emerge more brutal and with a vengeful ally in Alves who wants to help Frank take down the criminal organization.
Following his recuperation, Frank and Alves begrudgingly team up with Spider-Man and Daredevil in order to get their hands on the device that contains the Intel of all existing global crime cartels (A.I.M., Hydra, The Exchange, The Hand etc.), the Omega Drive, that which Spider-Man and Daredevil hope to destroy in order to prevent a criminal war for all-out control. Stubborn to believe that this device is safer destroyed than used to hunt down Megacrime on his own terms, Daredevil's fears are confirmed when an army of ninjas literally clog up the night streets in an attempt to kill Daredevil and retrieve the Omega Drive. Unshaken by this, Punisher and Alves are first to dive out of Matt's apartment window and start dishing out the pain. From there, they are all in agreement, and it's Frank's military planning that will allow them to destroy Megacrime's plans for dominance in one night. Surprisingly, Frank sticks to his word to help the Manhattan and Hell's Kitchen superheroes but it is Alves that betrays the group in the hopes of using the Intel to destroy the Exchange.
After these events, Castle and Alves have a run in and battle it out with each other, forcing Alves to try to let go of her past finally and focus properly on truly punishing those responsible.
Eventually all of their collective efforts to get at the heart of the criminal empire lead to an attack on their headquarters which leads to Cole's revenge for her husband and family's murders. Unfortunately, consequences lead to an all out bloodbath when one surviving member of the Exchange goes on a killing rampage in his escape from the Punisher and Cole, also leading to the death of Walter Bolt.
Following on from this, Alves is greatly affected by the events at the Exchange. After having her revenge on one of the leaders responsible for the death of her husband, friends and family, the surviving member goes insane and begins a siege on Wall Street for which Frank and Rachel are blamed after they stop him. Rachel believes she has accidentally shot and killed officer Walter Bolt, Frank's most recent informant, and cannot cope with it. Her desire to kill in the name of justice leaving her increasingly desperate and aimless, she is surprisingly confronted by Clemons upon her escape from New York; Norah Winters also present to try to stop her from doing something crazy. Alves, provoked, feels forced to shoot Ozzy Clemons, only to find that Punisher pulled the firing pin on her sidearm, knowing that she was psychologically breaking down.
Although she felt betrayed by him, he had given her the impression they had parted ways, only to systematically disarm and knock out the SWAT snipers closing in on her position so that they wouldn't kill her, knowing that in her weakened state, that she would very likely feel inclined to humor Bolt's assumption that she would sooner drop the gun rather than aim for him. She is arrested and jailed, waiting to be sentenced to Death Row and Frank is left on the run with a nationwide manhunt on his tail.
Enter the War Zone
A nationwide hunt is on for Frank Castle for his part in the Exchange assault which has quickly become the most devastating news report across America, despite the deaths of many innocents and police officers being the work of criminal mastermind Phil Poulson. But after being confronted by Spider-man, Punisher is paid a visit by Wolverine out of mutual respect, to warn him that Spider-man has convinced the Avengers to apprehend him for his assault on the Exchange's Wall Street HQ.
Black Widow learns of Wolverine's minor betrayal of the Avengers, yet doesn't hold it against him. She follows the Punisher's trail of vigilante justice worldwide, discovering that he's been cracking a human slavery ring across Russia, Europe and the Middle East. Finally tracking him down to the Congo, he uses her to eliminate his latest targets before using her conscience against her so he can escape.
From then on he encounters Thor and is given his ultimatums before being left to think them over. He knows he must save Cole from the death sentence, even knowing that it's most likely a ruse to snare him. Regardless, as the Avengers' best laid plans are set, Punisher utilizes his tactics and battlefield strategies to divide and disable them each. Using Iron Man's new prototype suit to rescue Cole, a sidelined Wolverine takes her away to begin a new life while Punisher sacrifices himself as a decoy to throw the Avengers plans into disarray. But not before showing them that, despite being vastly out-gunned and out-powered, the Avengers are not all-powerful or even as quick-witted as they'd like to think they are. And Frank Castle is not the narrow-minded murderer they all think he is.
Lying shattered and defeated, he refuses to give up until Captain America arrives and tells him; "Mission Accomplished!" Some time later, as Punisher resides in his own customized prison, healing and training himself, Spider-man comes to the realization that he hasn't won anything from his personal vendetta against the Punisher. Captain America points out that when you take the Punisher to war, nobody wins. In Los Angeles, Rachel Cole appears dressed as the Punisher, rescuing a terrorized woman from the hands of two violent criminals.
Originally the Thunderbolts were a team of convicted criminals seeking redemption as heroes. General Ross/Red Hulk then created a new band of Thunderbolts and turned them into a fighting force to do the dirty work that other heroes saw as meaningless or unglamorous. Forced to hear an offer he can't refuse by Red Hulk, General Thaddeus Ross, Punisher is recruited into the new black ops team consisting of some of the most elite combatants around. Teamed up with Red Hulk, Deadpool, Agent Venom, Elektra, former Hulk nemeses Leader, their goal is simple: prevent terrorist organisations around the world from acquiring state of the art gamma weaponry and use criminal masterminds against their own will to make the world a better place.
When the team decides to remove General Awa from power in Kata Jaya, it is Frank who teaches the locals how to defend themselves. Later after seeing that Ross plans on using Leader, Frank shoots him between the eyes. This causes a conflict between Red Hulk and The Punisher, but it appears that the only physicality was Ross pushing Frank down before grabbing Leader and leaving.
Afterwards Frank battles Mad Man, whom he defeats using a land mine. Elektra shows up and helps him fight off Awa's remaining forces. Afterwards Deadpool sees Frank and Elektra kissing when he returns to them. While not revealing what he saw, Deadpool seems to be jealous of Frank, acting aggressively towards him from this point on. They meet back up with Ross, Venom, and the revived Leader. Frank agrees to not shoot Leader again.
After a mission in Dagestan, taking out enemies with weapons of mass destruction, the team finds out Elektra's brother Orestez is alive. After Orestez sets the team up to be attacked in the London Library, Elektra goes after him. When she returns Frank asks what happened, to which she responds saying he is gone. When getting out of bed one morning Frank asks Elektra what did she do with her brothers body. She hesitated before answering, meaning she was not telling the truth. He new Orestez had to still be alive. The Punisher tracks him down to Nevada, defeats him in hand to hand combat, and snaps his neck. Returning to Thunderbolt headquarters, he temporarily ends his sexual activity with Elektra.
During the events of infinity Mercy killed many innocent people in New York city. The team decides the best course of action for her would be to banish her to Mephisto's realm. In order to do this they contact Johnny Blaze. However Frank refuses to travel to Mephisto's realm, so he and Elektra stay behind. After sitting around their new base, located in southern Michigan, Elektra decides that she is not going to just sit around when there is work to do. Frank stays and cleans his guns. Elektra returns shortly and says that one of her contacts has a job for her not far from their location and asks Frank to join her, which he does. After they get to their destination The Punisher asks Elektra how she is sure that these guys are actually criminals, she says she trusts her contact, but before they can finish their conversation Mercy shows up and attacks them.
Mercy seems frantic. She knows something is wrong, yelling at Elektra and Frank, telling them to tell her where the rest of the group is. They try to fight her off, but they are no match for her. She crushes Frank's hand, and grabs both him and Elektra by their throats and flies high up into the air. At this moment the rest of the group complete their mission, summoning Mercy to Mephisto's realm. When she disappears Frank and Elektra fall a great distance, but Frank shields Elektra from taking any damage when they hit the ground, with him taking the full impact himself.
When the rest of the group returns Elektra begs them to help Frank. He appears to be dying, with almost every bone in his body broken. Deadpool walks up to get a closer look at Frank, and when he does the angels feather that he was carrying, which he had gotten from the other realm, heals Frank back to normal.
After this Venom tells the group that he is going to be leaving. Saying that since Ghost Rider joined earlier that he would make up for him not being there. Before he goes he asks for a favor, he wants to give the symbiote full control and test it against the group. Frank and the rest of the group are able to fight it off.
Thunderbolts vs Punisher
When going after Doctor Faustus the team discovers a high school full of dead children which he had attacked. After apprehending Faustus, Ross is willing to let him work with the team. Frank does not like this at all, he wants to kill the Doctor for what he did, but Ross insists that they keep him. Frank quits in protest. After arriving at his safe house Frank works out to blow off some steam. Afterwards he goes to the refrigerator and sees a bomb inside. Elektra later discovers Frank's destroyed safe house. She goes after Ross, attacking him, accusing him of murdering Frank. All he has to say is "prove it." During their fight Frank steels a Hulk-killing gun that they had found earlier.
It is revealed that the Punisher survived the explosion due to his refrigerator being bullet proof. Frank decides to take out the Thunderbolts, with his first target being Deadpool. Frank decapitates him and locks his head in a jar. Next the Punisher decides to go after Ghost Rider. We discover that the penance stare does not work on The Punisher due to him regretting nothing. After a long fight Frank finally chokes out Ghost Rider with his own chain, which causes the spirit of vengeance to separate from Johnny Blaze.
Elektra shows up next. She tells Frank that there is more to life then vengeance. He calls their relationship a compromise and tells her that it's over. She thinks that he saying things that he does not mean. She reveals that she was there the day his family dies, and hugs him, but he still insists that they are through. Elektra walks away with her head down saying that she would of rather had him try and shoot her.
Next Frank goes after Thaddeus Ross. He uses a suit of mechanical armor to combat the red Hulk. After a long fight Elektra shows up with the Leader and reveals that it was him who tried to kill Frank. Still the damage is done, and the Thunderbolts all go their separate ways.
Punisher discovers the gang Dos Sols and chases them to Las Angeles. Here we meet officer Sammy Stone as well as Frank's new connection for buying weapons, Tuggs. After arming himself, the Punisher hits Dos Sols, taking out many of their members and blowing up one of their bases. While gathering intel on Dos Sols, using equipment that allowed him to eavesdrop on them from a distance, he notices that the gang seems to be in possession of some kind of strange weapon. He is nearly spotted by two member who were passing by but a coyote distracts them, getting injured in the process. Frank kills the men and takes the coyote and decides to keep him. He names it Loot and gives him to Tuggs for safe keeping. The Punisher decides to go after Dos Sols again. When he shows up officer Stone and her fellow policemen are already combating them. The truck carrying the strange weapon takes off and Frank gives chase using a street bike. When he gets close to the truck he gets electrocuted causing him to crash.
Later while traveling down the highway Frank is attacked by Electro, realizing that he is Dos Sols secret weapon. Frank is not able to do any damage to Electro, meaning his only choice was to retreat. He regroups and attacks the gangs base again, going through the members with ease until running into Electro again. After going through some trouble Frank eventually realizes he can defeat Electro with rubber bullets. However before he can finish him off Domino sneaks up on Frank, knocking him down and letting Electro escape. At this point Frank is attacked by the Howling Commandos causing him to jump on a bus which was headed to Mexico.
While in Mexico the Punisher is captured by another gang who plans on selling him back to Dos Sols. Frank, along with a Marine who he was locked up with escape. They fight Crossbones but he manages to get away.
While chasing after Crossbones Frank encounters Black Widow and together they are able to take down their opponent. Next Frank let's himself get sent to a Costa Rica prison in order to help Black Widow complete her mission. Once out Frank gets a ride from Rachel Alves. He speaks of giving up, but Rachel convinces him to go back to Las Angeles and finish what he started.
Frank then goes back to Las Angeles where he learns that the Howling Commandos have kidnapped one of his distant relatives. He decides to take out Dos Sols first. Afterwards he goes back and defeats the Howling Commandos, saving his distant relatives.
During HYDRA's takeover of the United States, the Supreme Hydra approaches Frank and convinces him to join his new regime. Tempted by the support of his longtime hero and the possibility of his family being resurrected with the Cosmic Cube, Frank agrees to become part of HYDRA. This choice brings him into conflict with Black Widow, and the two end up fighting. After the fall of HYDRA and the return of the original Captain America, Frank is shown deeply regretting his decision, realizing that he'd been manipulated. He even goes so far as to admit to himself that it was the worst mistake of his life.
In order to atone for his actions, the Punisher begins hunting down and killing every HYDRA agent he can find.
After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., Frank is recruited by Nick Fury Jr. for a covert mission to the Eastern European nation of Chernaya. Under Fury's direction, Frank first steals the deceased James Rhodes' War Machine armor from a military base. With this new technology, Frank is able to take his vigilante game to an international level. During his time in Chernaya, he takes out numerous members of the country's brutal and fascistic military, as well as a group of rogue former S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives. However, he eventually breaks from Fury's plan by going after Armand Petrov, the country's dictator, which incites an international incident and almost leads to a nuclear weapon going off.
After killing Petrov, the Punisher returns to New York, where he begins using the War Machine armor to escalate his war on crime. This quickly draws the attention of Captain Marvel, who is unhappy to learn that Castle is dishonoring James' legacy by using his armor to commit acts of murder. This leads to a battle between the Punisher and the Avengers, with Frank barely managing to escape intact. He eventually decides to go after Baron Zemo and the imprisoned Supreme Hydra, which brings him face to face with Iron Man. Castle's rampage is ultimately ended by the intervention of the resurrected James Rhodes, who is able to talk Frank down. Out of respect for Rhodes, Frank willingly surrenders the War Machine armor, and is taken into custody.
He is soon freed by Black Widow and the Winter Soldier, and heads out to continue his war on HYDRA.
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Blue
- Born: Queens, New York, 1950 (chronological age; regenerated back to the age of around 30-35).
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 210 lbs.
- Relatives: Maria Elizabeth Castle (wife, deceased), Lisa Barbara Castle (daughter, deceased), Francis Castle (son, deceased), Mario Castiglione (father, deceased), Louisa Castiglione (mother, deceased)
- Identity: Public identity
- Citizenship: American
- Marital Status: Widowed
- Occupation: Vigilante; former Special Forces, U.S. Marine officer & instructor
- Education: Extensive military training
- Base of Operations: Mobile; usually New York
Skills and Abilities
Castle has an extensive background with weapons and hand-to-hand combat and is in peak physical condition. His missions are always well planned, and carried out with the utmost preparation and attention to detail. He is able to access and adapt to just about any situation and turn it to his advantage using only his skills and killer instinct. He has a very high threshold for pain, able to undergo surgery without any kind of anesthesia, take multiple gunshots and stab wounds and continue fighting, survive multiple explosions that would kill most humans, as well as take hits from superheroes and villains with superhuman strength and continue fighting. The Punisher’s reflexes are second to none he has been shown to be able to shoot Spider-man, dodge Captain America's shield, stun Daredevil with a tranquilizer dart and once shot a super speedster.
Castle sticks to a balanced diet based on his military philosophies. He exercises his body and perfects his marksmanship rigorously every two days and is constantly at work as an engineer - fixing, creating and customizing his own vehicles, weapons and gadgets.
He knows and is skilled with just about every type of firearm known to man, even able to grasp the most advanced weaponry from SHIELD and other hi-tech organizations. The Punisher is also able to operate superhero and villain custom gear and weaponry being able to fly a goblin glider perfectly as well use Whiplash’s whip without flaw. The Punisher though does prefer his more traditional armory made up of conventional firearms. He is a skilled point shooter (the ability to fire a gun accurately with both eyes open), as well as hit moving targets in vehicles and heroes and villains with amazing speed and precision as a result of his extensive training and experience. Deadly accurate with sniper rifles, assault rifles and pistols, he has no qualms shooting a criminal dead that has a hostage held close at gunpoint.
He is also an accomplished knife fighter, and his hand to hand combat techniques are extremely deadly. He was also able to show impressive skill in hand-to-hand combat against Daredevil, US Agent and Black Widow. He improvises his fighting skills with a series of lethal maneuvers. He is more than capable of killing up to a dozen enemies unarmed. He is very rarely unarmed, so these skills aren't used often but it is a well-known point that the less options he has at hand, the more dangerous the Punisher truly becomes.
Castle is also an excellent military tactician/strategist, able to create effective plans on the spot and has repeatedly outwitted SHIELD, HAMMER and even the Avengers - a true master of both conventional and guerrilla warfare strategies. Frank using different tactics has been shown to be able to defeat characters that are quite capable of killing him in a heads up fight. The Punisher through strategy has been able to defeat Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Wolverine when they teamed up against him on three separate occasions.
Frank Castle has constantly evaded law enforcement officers and national intelligence agencies, only ever giving himself up when he feels the need to infiltrate prison dwelling criminals and gangs. He has also broken in and out of prisons on many occasions.
Punisher has defeated the Hood’s Gang single-handed and even put down the Hulk. His methods include combat assaults, bombings, ambushes, going undercover using different identities, using the enemies’ finances, weapons and supplies against them, creating rivalries between different gangs, and using the city of New York to his advantage, fading in and out of sight with considerable ease. All these skills, apart from those he learned in the military, he taught himself through decades of waging war against criminals. He has a natural mind for any and all kinds of warfare.
Frank is a skilled programmer and hacker, being capable of programming things strong enough that the U.S Government and Microchip have had problems breaking into; as well as hacking into several key files from the police to assist in his crusade.
Castle is an exceptional pilot, having begun training for this particular skill during his time in airborne. The Punisher has been shown to be able to fly fighter jets, civilian planes, as well as both military and commercial helicopters. He is knowledgeable in many physical torture techniques, which enable him to obtain crucial information to continue his war on crime. Frank Castle is extremely skilled at torture and intimidation to gather vital information.
The Punisher is the recipient of multi-disciplinary military training from the United States Marine Corps, Force Reconnaissance. While a Marine, he also received training from the Airborne School, Navy SEALs, as well as cross-training with the Australian Special Air Service Regiment during the Vietnam War. He has assisted SHIELD, the NYPD, and many superhero factions - such as the Thunderbolts, who do the jobs the likes of the Avengers don't see as an immediate world threat, yet would be in short time.
He is a reconnaissance and survival expert, armorer and gunsmith. He modifies his own weapons and is also a demolitions expert.
Frank is a master martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant. He is a student of Nash-Ryu Jiu Jitsu, as taught by Adam Nash in the Marines among three other forms of martial arts including Hwa rang do. He has also mastered Chin Na, Ninjutsu and Shorin-Ryu.
Equipment and Gear
Frank Castle has used various weapons and equipment throughout the decades of him being the vigilante known as the Punisher. During his early years working with Microchip, the Punisher had many battle vans, other armored vehicles, helicopters, planes, submarines, robots (such as the Dalek), and even his own Exo-Armor, all he would use in his war on crime.
When Frank Castle had no techie allies in the past, he usually didn't carry any custom gear; relying solely on military and law enforcement weaponry. When Stuart Clarke became the Punisher’s hacker, Frank had access to various Shield tech and confiscated weaponry such as the Satan Claw as well as customized weapons Stuart Clarke made for him.
Later with Henry Russo as his sidekick, the Punisher obtained villain and superhero custom gear and weaponry such as pumpkin bombs, pym particles, Ant-Man's Helmet, etc. that he used in his never ending war. The Punisher will use custom hi-tech gear he’s stolen from others or off of dead enemies though he usually doesn’t have access to this type of gear.
More recently, it was portrayed that Frank had learned to customize and repair his own acquired superhero and villain weaponry/artifices, which he did so effectively and with the same amount of difficulty as he would find in simple mechanical work on vehicles. He also later stole a prototype Iron Man suit and booby-trapped it to snare Iron Man after blasting Spider-Man and flying Rachel Alves to safety.
The Punisher mostly uses conventional firearms, explosives, and knives. Most of these weapons are confiscated from dead criminals. He keeps these weapons in his bases/garages/warehouses/safe-houses, wherever they may be. He cleans and repairs his guns every other morning after extensive physical training. One of his most favored is the M60 machine gun, a weapon he has used since Vietnam. Otherwise he was regularly seen over the decades sporting an Uzi 9mm.
His former military weapon of choice was a standard issue M16A1. Castle has kept a basement in the East Side of New York among many others in and around city and state. There has been entire comics devoted to chronicling his weaponry, from the late eighties series written by Mike Baron to the Max series by Garth Ennis. Because of his extensive use of the rifle since Vietnam, Castle uses an M16A3 fitted with an M203, despite his dislike of 5.56 Ammunition. His backup of choice is a Derringer D32. His knife of choice is a Gerber Mk2.
Costumes and Belongings
The most common and basic costume is simply a black top with the deaths head symbol spray painted onto it, a pair of black leather trousers, boots and a black leather belt if not utility belts. The second costume is exactly the same, just with a leather or khaki overcoat worn to hide his weapons and of course the skull head symbol. The costume used in the regular 616 continuity is a more generic superhero costume, with a simple black and white color scheme and utilities resembling Nick Fury's classic SHIELD uniform.
On many occasions, Punisher is known to mix up his wardrobe, utilizing his chest armor with military clothing and accessories and otherwise will go out to buy clothes if he feels the need to go undercover.
Frank Castle is known to own safe-houses and secluded acres of land across New York City and New York State. He keeps his seemingly unlimited arsenal of weapons and his vehicles locked up in these locations when he doesn't use them to simply sleep in, study the files on his targets, for target practice or as workshops for modifications and repairs. He pays the rent from the proceedings of crime syndicates he has shut down and uses a vast array of false identifications.
He collects files on criminals and often writes his experiences into his famed War Journal. He disposes of anything he cannot use and lives as a minimalist. He used to keep pictures of his family, but not anymore since he finds they distract him from his missions at hand. He flung them off the Brooklyn Bridge at the beginning of his new war.
During Castle’s second tour of duty he was serving as a sniper. He was asked to hunt down a Vietcong sniper known as "The Monkey". A VC sniper wore a monkey’s skull around his neck for good luck. Castle ended up being captured, but during his escape he tied a dead VC soldier to a tree and painted a white skull on his chest as a message to “The Monkey”. He painted one on his own chest. He ended up killing “The Monkey” in a sniper duel in the jungle.
Castle saw a vision of a white skull in his head whilst stationed at Valley Forge. The image stuck with him. He spray painted it onto a black t-shirt and always wore it throughout his vigilante activities. The skull symbolizes his never-ending war and is used as a luring target to hopefully prevent a head shot.
Earth-200111 - Punisher Max
This is the reality in which the ongoing MAX imprint Punisher series takes place, as well two Punisher mini-series Born and Barracuda, three Punisher one-shots, The Tyger, The Cell and The End, the Fury mini-series, and finally the ongoing Foolkiller series, all of which are published under the Marvel MAX mature audience imprint. The Punisher MAX series (once thought to take place on the mainstream Earth-616) made many differences to original Punisher continuity. A lot of the characters who had previously appeared in mainstream Marvel publications were given alternate characterizations to their 616 counterparts. A very well-known Marvel character, Nick Fury made an appearance in the Punisher MAX Mother Russia story-arc as well as the Fury mini-series.
In both appearances, he was shown to be just as violent as Frank Castle and often had swear-word-laden dialogue. Frank Castle himself on the other hand despite having a near-identical personality to his mainstream counterpart, used much more violent methods in order to gain information from his enemies or sometimes just to simply kill them. Two other differences stem from the lack of any superhero activity whatsoever and that of a floating timeline that is used commonly in 616 titles. Unlike the mainstream characters, characters in this reality age in real-time.
It should also be noted that many mainstream Punisher comics share continuity with this reality. For example, it was confirmed by Tony Stark in the Civil War Fact Files comic, that Frank was the sole survivor of the Firebase Valley Forge massacre. This is a reference to the events of the Born mini-series and also confirms that the series is taking place in both realities. It is also presumed that certain stories from the older Punisher series may take place in this reality as well.
This is suggested by the appearance and role of David Lieberman (Microchip), who made consistent appearances throughout earlier Punisher stories. However, it would appear that he did not suffer the same fate as that of his earth-616 counterpart, who was ultimately killed by rogue SHIELD agent, Stone Cold. Presumably, this version of Microchip quit his job of assisting Frank after becoming tired of all the violence.
Frank Castle enlisted in the US marine corps in 1968 and served his first tour in Khe Sanh Combat Base in Vietnam. He was drafted following the birth of his daughter. Castle was part of Kilo Company and he was given the rank of the second lieutenant despite having no experience. Castle won the respect of his comrades by showing them that he was a committed soldier and was willing to listen to anyone regardless of rank. Castle's platoon fought in the battle of Khe Sanh and everyone survived, but their base was compromised. This lead to a siege that lasted for three months. During the siege Castle tried to trade enemy weapons for the M-14s they had on base because the M-16s were unreliable. However, Castle ended up trading heroin for those weapons instead. Eventually, the siege ended and Castle's platoon was re-assigned elsewhere. In the spring, Castle's platoon was sent to the Quan Tri Province. They were attacked by a liberation fighter named Ly Quang who wanted revenge on Castle for ordering an airstrike that killed her men. She attacks Castle as he tries to rescue his men and stabs him in the back. However, Castle was able to break Quang's back with a rock and slit her throat with her own knife. After that Castle was able to save his own platoon and everyone survived albeit they were injured. They all returned home after serving their first tour many didn't serve a second tour.
Fury: My War Gone By
In 1970, Frank Castle enlisted to serve his second tour in Vietnam. This is where Frank would meet Nick Fury. Fury and Castle were stationed in Laos and were ordered by the CIA to assassinate Letrong Giap. Castle had worked as Fury's marksman in their mission. However, they were captured because they were operating in a nation two Americans shouldn't have been operating in. Giap interrogated them to figure out what they knew and revealed to them that they were sent by corrupt officials in the CIA to kill Giap because he knew that the CIA was running a heroin operation in Laos. What Giap planned to do was use Fury and Castle as leverage against the CIA to shorten the war by using them as evidence of an attempt on his life. However, the two managed to escape and fend of Giap's forces. In fact, Castle was able to fend Giap's forces by himself while Fury was destroying Giap's files. During his time in Laos, Frank was able to impress Nick with his skills and tactics. So much so that Fury recommended that Castle should become a captain.
Frank Castle remained in combat even through the birth of his son Frank Jr. even though he could return home. Castle's third tour began in 1971 and he was promoted to the rank of captain having the reputation of never losing men in combat. Here Castle was stationed in Firebase Valley Forge. By this point, the Vietnam War had damaged Castle's psyche and he started to become the Punisher. This damage in Castle's psyche was shown when he leads General Padden to a shooting range where he was killed by a sniper. Castle had Padden killed to prevent the closure of Firebase Valley Forge. As captain, Castle would kill men that he caught committing heinous acts. He killed a soldier that was raping an enemy sniper by drowning him, and he shot the sniper during the rape. This made Castle an intimidating captain. By the end of Castle's third tour, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong attack Firebase Valley Forge. Castle and his men fight off the onslaught with everything they've got, they're even aided by the airforce which did more harm than good. Eventually, Captain Castle was the only US soldier living and he would kill every last enemy combatant making him the sole survivor of Firebase Valley Forge. Throughout Castle's third tour he heard a voice in his head promising eternal war, it was when he gave into this voice that he was able to gain the strength to survive and kill every last enemy. After the onslaught Castle was found and rushed to a hospital. In the hospital, Castle meets a soldier who has gone mad and promises to break him out of the hospital. This soldier wakes up Frank after killing all of the doctors, but he is shot by military police. Then Castle returns home.
Becoming the Punisher
Following his tenure in Vietnam, Frank Castle tried to settle down and live with his family. However, Castle recognizes that he wasn't the same person he was before he left to go to war and has trouble adjusting to a normal life. He first gets a job in a meatpacking plant his father used to work and live a normal life. Of course, this meatpacking plant ended up being the front for a drug operation, and the manager Todd ended up being a drug lord. When Todd tries to rape one of Frank's female coworkers he decides to turn the meat grinder on as the woman shoves Todd away from her causing Todd to lose his hand. This causes Todd to retaliate and kill the female coworker and prompts Frank to quit. At home, Frank's family notices that he's been rather cold since he came back and it starts to upset his wife Maria. Frank doesn't know how to accept this and just decides to keep living his life the way it is.
Eventually, Frank gets a job at a restaurant as a dishwasher and makes a decent earning. However, this restaurant is owned by the crime lord Don Margello who Frank saves two rival gangsters who try to kill the crime boss. Margello gives Frank a gigantic tip for saving his life. This incident allowed Nick Fury to catch up with Frank Castle and offers him a job to work as a black ops agent a job Frank refuses to accept. After briefly reuniting with Nick Fury, Frank is greeted by Don Margello and his men who want Frank to become a hitman and kill their gang rival, Francesco Drago. Frank refuses their offer but later "accepts" it when he notices that Margello's men are watching his family. However, Frank lied and really just planned to kill Margello, but Nick Fury stops him and has his agents take care of the crime family. Fury offers to protect Frank and his family and still insists on recruiting Frank as an agent. Frank takes his family to Central Park to enjoy one last time together. Here Frank tells Maria that he's leaving and that he can no longer live with her and the kids. Then Frank and his family are caught in the middle of a crossfire between rival gangs, one of those gangs being Francesco Drago's gang. This is how Frank Castle became the Punisher. He goes on to kill the gangs responsible for his family's death. He has himself arrest to kill Francesco Drago because he was responsible for the death of Frank's family. He later kills Todd, the manager at the meatpacking plant, by shoving his face into a meat grinder. Thus begun the Punisher's war on crime.
Note: These events, along with others, were ignored by Garth Ennis in later stories (Punisher: The Platoon and Punisher: Soviet), as they conflicted with what he had already written.
Major Story Arcs
In the Beginning
Frank Castle is visiting the Graves of his family that was slain long ago, remember their deaths. Frank then proceeds to business as usual where he takes out Don Massimo at his hundredth birthday party. Afterwords The Punisher kills dozens of the mobsters present. Later Frank is planning on going out hunting for more mobsters. When he leaves his safe house he hears a voice he recognizes and turns around to see Microchip. Frank realizes so the thing is wrong but he hesitates because he knows Micro, which allows Micro to shoot him.
Micro reveals that he is working for the Government. He offers Frank a job, asking him if he would like to go after Bin Laden, but Frank refuses. Before Micro and Frank can finish their talk the building is infiltrated by the remaining mobs, who have heard that Frank was captured and kidnapped and Tortured by one of the agents to get information on the whereabouts of the Punisher. When one of the mobsters walks up to Frank, who is handcuffed, and puts a gun to his head, Frank bites his fingers to prevent him from shooting. Frank is then freed by Micro and they fight their way out. On his way out The Punisher sees Kathryn O'Brien for the first time. The Punisher and Micro escape to a warehouse, where they fight off the mob. After the fight is over Frank shoots Micro in the head, killing him.
While at a diner in Hell's Kitchen a bomb goes off. Frank survives the explosion, but some innocent people die. Frank stays to help the son of the civilians. He later learns that the Irish Mob was behind the attack. Frank meets an old acquaintance named Yorkie Mitchell that informs him of the current situation with the Irish mob. We learn that two people, Maginty and Fin Cooley are fighting over control of the mob. Frank then tracks Fin Cooley down to an Irish Pub where he takes out many gangsters but Fin Cooley manages to escape.
Frank later gets a call from Yorkie who says that he captured Fin Cooley's nephew, Peter. Frank arrives to integrate him. They learn that the mobs are forming a meeting on the ocean. Frank and Yorkie use this chance to attack all the mobsters at one. Using a Huey helicopter, they attack the boats with the gangs on them. Maginty and Fin Cooley form a truce to try and take out the Punisher, but even together they are still unable to stop Frank.
One night Frank goes after an old criminal that once escaped from him two years ago and went to prison instead. He was a murder and dealt in child prostitution and got out of prison after only two years. After killing him at his house Frank encounters an old acquaintance, Nick Fury. Fury reveals that it was him who set up the release of the man that Frank killed in order to contact him. Fury reveals that he is working for the army and airforce and offers Frank a job. He gives him an envelope and tells him to call him if he decides to do it.
Frank calls Fury and agrees and learns about his mission. In the Byrranga Mountains of Russia, there was a scientist named Evgeny Stenkov that created a flesh-eating virus called Barbarossa. It was capable of eating all the flesh from a human's body within minutes. The scientist was captured and integrated but he died. His daughter Galina Stenkov carries the virus, but she is immune to it due to being pumped full of antidotes. Frank is sent to Russia to retrieve the girl. Frank rescues her and returns her to Nick Fury.
Up is Down, Black is White
After eradicating a gang that was heavily involved in the drug trade of New York, Frank goes to a pup for a meal. There he sees on the television that a man named Nicky Cavella had dug up the bodies of his family and urinated on their remains. This causes Frank to lose control of himself. He starts killing criminals non-stop, working his way to Nicky. First, he takes out some mobsters at a strip club which leads him to one of their safehouses. There he finally gets the information of Nickiy's whereabouts. At this point, he has gone days without sleep and is having hallucinations of his family. Frank walks straight up to Nicky's base of operations blindly and would have been killed if not for Kathryn O'Brien.
Kathryn, along with William Roth saves the Punisher and takes him back to Roth's apartment. They also take Kathryn's ex-husband and integrate him for information about Nicky. There Kathryn stitches up the Punisher's wounds and he manages to get some rest and actually start thinking normally again. Frank recognizes Kathryn from when he first spotted her after back when Microchip captured him. She reveals that she was in prison for a while and she no longer works for the government. While stitching up Frank's wounds she asks him if he wants to have sex afterward which he agrees to. While sleeping in bed, Punisher and Kathryn are attacked by Nicky's bodyguard. After a long fight, Frank holds her down and Kathryn shoots her in the face, killing her. Later Kathryn's ex-husband escapes and kills Roth. He manages to get away. The Punisher then kidnaps Nicky and takes him out to the woods and shoots him in the gut. He leaves him there to slowly bleed out as he walks away.
Frank sees a woman running from some men. He sees the men have violent intentions so he rescues her, killing her attackers. She begs Frank for help saying that men killed her baby. Frank takes her back to his safe house where she reveals her name to be Viorica. She tells Frank about she was from Moldova. She was kidnapped from her village at the age of fifteen, raped, forced into prostitution, impregnated, and sold to Americans. She says that she escaped with her baby and found a social worker named Jen Cooke willing to help her, but the men found her and killed her baby.
Through the information he gets from Viorica, the Punisher finds the house of where the prostitution wring is. There was a driver that dropped of the clients and took them home. Frank kills the driver and waits for the client to return. He had devised a plan that the clients would return claiming to of forgot something and then he would use that opportunity to get in. Frank drives away, parks the car, and tells the men what to do, but unfortunately, the police show up before he can go through with it. When the gang finds out that The Punisher was after them they would move, so Frank lost his only lead.
Frank begins interrogating pimps on the starts for information by putting no one knows anything. Next, he visits a social worker that helped Viorica and gets the information that she had gathered about the group. The Punisher begins taking down the gang, one house at a time, rescuing the women and sending them to Jen Cooke. Punisher then makes his way to Vera Konstantin, one of the people in charge of the operation. He kills her and throws her out of a window. Frank then gets to the leaders of the operation and records a confession from him before burning him alive.
After killing a gang of coke dealers the Punisher finds a man who is tied up naked in the bathroom. He claimed to of been getting raped by the mobsters and tells Frank that he needs protection and can't go to the police. Frank ignores him and leaves. Later while at a diner Frank sees that an old dirty cop, Billy LaCarda on the news. He remembers the man saying he needed protection and decides to find him. Using a fake ID to get past the gurdwara up front, Frank arrives just in time to save the man from getting killed by LaCarda. LaCarda later gets arrested.
Frank learns the man's name is Si Stephens. He tells the Punisher about a man named Harry Ebbing who is planning on causing blackouts to increase the prices of stock for his company. He claims that when he spoke out about it is when he was thrown to the drug dealers, which is where Frank found him. Frank decides to look into it further. He leaves Stephens at the diner because he refused to go into protective service. Unbeknownst to Frank, Ebbing has known about him since he took out the coke house and has hired Barracuda to kill him.
While getting off of a plane Frank is spotted by Barracuda. Barracuda running down the taxi Frank gets and attacks him. Punisher is knocked out from the car collision and Barracuda throws him in the trunk of his car. Frank regains consciousness and a fight ensues when he reopens the trunk. After a long fight where The Punisher stabs Barracuda in the eye and cuts off his fingers with a hatchet, he chokes him with barb wire. Barracuda does not go down, and he eventually knocks out frank, ties him up, and throws him into the shark-infested ocean. Frank escapes the sharks and makes it to shore. He then regroups and plants explosives on the boats. He detonates the bombs when Ebbing and Barracuda are both on the boat. Barracuda somehow manages to survive the explosion and swims to Frank's boat where he shoots him in the head seemingly killing him.
Man of Stone
When taking out a gang of drug dealers Frank learns that the Russians have a bounty on him. He then learns that Kathryn O'Brien had been captured while in Afghanistan but Frank manages to persuade Yorkie to save her. Frank then goes to Afghanistan and meets O'Brien. Punisher and Kathryn are then captured by Nikolai Zakharov who interrogates them on a helicopter. There they learn that Zakharov was able to find them through the information he received from Kathryn's ex-husband Rawlins. The Punisher and Kathryn break free and fight back.
During the fight, the helicopter starts to crash but Frank and Kathryn manage to use a parachute to survive it. On the ground, Kathryn steps on a landmine and dies. Frank later finds Zakharov still alive but paralyzed from the helicopter crash and crushes his skull with a rock. Punisher then tracks down Rawlins and kills him while he was trying to escape Afghanistan.
Frank gets a confession out of a criminal about a couple making child pornography. He goes to the house of the couple and a woman answers the door. He tells them that he knows what they were doing and takes them to the basement and kills them. He calls social services to pick up the children.
Next Frank takes out some mobsters. After killing them all he finds a woman in a trunk that claims that she was forced into prostitution. She takes Frank to the house where she claims she was kept. Frank didn't like it. It didn't feel right, he didn't trust the woman. He was about to leave when he gets shot. When he went down the woman next to him started kicking him, but Frank was saved by a mysterious woman. She shoots back at Frank's attacker and retreats with him. When Frank asks who she is, she replies "I'm your number one fan." The woman stitches up Frank's wounds. When he asks why she is helping him, she kisses him and replies, "you're the man who killed my husband."
The woman is Jenny Cesare, she tells Frank that when she married her husband he started beating her and raping her. It was a shock to her since he was always nice during the six months they were dating. Eventually, he started bringing men to their house and forcing her to have sex with them. He would watch and beat her afterward and call her a whore. Then one day the Punisher killed him, giving him what he deserved. She also tells Frank that the women trying to kill him were the five wives of the husbands he had killed over the years, such as the men at Don Massimo Cesare's party (In The Beginning), and one of them was her sister Annabella. They were the women that talked her into marrying her husband. After being diagnosed with breast cancer she was going to go to the feds and tell them everything, but the women tried to kill her. She survived, healed, and came back only to discover that the women were all now widowed thanks to the Punisher.
Jenny tells Frank that she is going to finish it, that she is going to kill the other women. She takes the Punisher's shirt and coat and leaves. Jenny kills all of the women except her sister, who she takes with her. The Punisher wakes up handcuffed with Jenny in the room nude and Annabella tied up in a chair. She tells Frank that he is handcuffed because she couldn't risk having him stop her. Jenny then beats her sister to death with a bat. She then gets on top of Frank and has sex with him. She says that all of the sadness in the world is too much for anyone to handle. "Anyone but you," she says to Frank while pulling out a gun and shooting herself in the head. Now Frank knew what she meant when she said she couldn't risk him stopping her. Frank finds the gun and shoots the handcuffs off of him. He covers Jenny's body and leaves. Thinking about the poor sad creature that felt like she had no choice but to kill herself.
Long Cold Dark
When the Punisher hears that there is going to be a meeting with the Italian Mafia he infuriates the building planning to kill them. He soon discovers that the meeting was actually called by Barracuda, who wanted to lure Frank out. In a battle, Barracuda manages to defeat Frank, takes him to a new location, and ties him up. He then reveals that while looking for him he discovers that Kathryn O'Brien had his child. He brings the child out, a little girl, and threatens her in front of Frank. Frank breaks free and fights. He wakes up in a hospital bed, not remembering the fight. He had fractures and a collapsed lung.
Frank tells the police officers at the hospital that Barracuda was coming for him and what he was capable of. The cops didn't believe it. The doctor does believe him and helps him escape because he does not want a fight to ensure in his hospital. When he gets out, Frank informs news outlets of his escape so Barracuda will know. Back at one of his safe houses, Frank learns that his daughter's name is Sarah. The Punisher knows that his only way to make contact with Barracuda would be O'Brien's sister. Frank follows her in a mall and drops a phone with a note in it to call him. She calls him and they devise a plan for her to need to get out of town for a while. She does it.
After the cops watching the area leave, Frank goes in, and shortly after Barracuda does as well. They fight and Frank defeats him. Frank uses jumper cables to connect a car battery to Barracuda's testicles and tortures him for an hour before finally getting the location of his daughter from him. He then surveys the car his daughter was in and takes her but Barracuda wakes up and attacks again. The Punisher manages to get away and escapes to the nearby woods, but Barracuda follows. Frank attacks him with an ax cutting off one of his arms. He then knocks him down and shoots Barracuda in the head with a shotgun, decapitating him.
After spending the day with his daughter, Frank returns to O'Brien's sister. He tells her to never tell her who her real father is.
Valley Forge, Valley Forge
The Punisher meets Nick Furry and received an envelope from him that contained information on multiple corrupt Generals in the armed forces. He learns that they phase been after him for a while and they were connected to Rawlins and Barracuda.
Later Castle notices that there is a group scouring the city with military-like precision. He holds one at gunpoint and asks who they are and learns that they are a military group that has been sent to detain him. Frank kicks one down and runs up to the roof of a building. When one of the soldiers followed he falls through the roof. The military group later locates the Punisher's safe-house and tries gassing the building, but Castle is wearing a gas mask waiting for them. Frank beats them with a bat and escapes.
The Punisher plants dynamite on a statue and threaten to blow it up if he doesn't get to talk with the Colonel in charge of the military squad. Frank assumes that they are connected to the military Generals that Nick Fury told him about. When Castle questions them he can tell by their reactions that he is right about them working with the Generals. A fight ensues and the Punisher gets captured. In captivity, the Punisher breaks free and kills all the corrupt Generals.
The Girls In White Dresses
The Punisher meets an old retired sheriff from a Mexican town that has been taken over by a drug trafficking ring run by a criminal known as the Heavy. This retired sheriff tries to recruit and bribe the Punisher into bringing the Heavy and his drug trafficking ring down. However, the Punisher refuses to do so because he doesn't see himself as a bounty hunter, but he has a change of heart when he learns that the drug cartel was kidnapping innocent women and girls. This prompts the Punisher into going to this town and investigating and stopping the Heavy's reign of terror. When the Punisher starts investigating the cartel he learns that the women and girls were forced to manufacture drugs using dangerous chemicals that would wear down their bodies until they died or they were killed. Then their bodies would be dumbed with their organs removed so that the manner of death was hidden from the general public. Upon learning of this information, the Punisher declares war on the cartel.
However, the Punisher goes to one of the Heavy's hideouts he shoots at what he thinks are criminals only to find a little girl's corpse in a glass box. The Punisher is struck by grief that his actions lead to the death of an innocent girl on the 30 year anniversary of his family's murder that he almost decides to quit. During a suicide attempt, the Punisher sees a hallucination of the girl that he thought he killed holding a bullet. This prompts the Punisher into performing an autopsy on the girl and learning that he didn't kill her. He was carrying a 24 caliber gun when he shot the glass box, but the girl was shot with a 22 caliber bullet. That meant he didn't kill the girl someone else did, and it also meant that the Heavy was someone who knew the Punisher's moral code. The Punisher goes to an abandoned police precinct and obtains a file on the Heavy and attempt to learn about him. The Punisher learns that the Heavy is his old nemesis, Jigsaw. The Punisher sets out to bring down the drug trafficking ring and kill his old nemesis. After a brutal fight with Jigsaw, the Punisher throws Jigsaw out of a building to which he falls to his death.
The final run of the Punisher MAX line, called PunisherMAX, sees Frank launch his final effort in his seemingly neverending war on crime. Here the Punisher goes up against the Kingpin as he takes over all criminal operations in New York pushing Frank to his breaking point. Here Punisher faces off against classic Daredevil & Punisher villain Bullseye and he fights Elektra as well before ultimately going toe to toe with Kingpin.
The Punisher is hunting the five Italian crime families and wiping them out of the New York crime scene. This prompts the five families to get together and hatch a plan to throw the Punisher off of their tails. Don Rigoletto hatches the plan called Operation Kingpin, which was a ploy to convince the Punisher that there was a Kingpin of Crime secretly running New York's crime scene the whole time and that would send the Punisher on a wild goose chase. Rigoletto's bodyguard Wilson Fisk, who actually came up with the original plan, would pose as the Kingpin and fool the Punisher into believing that the Kingpin exists. However, none of the other mafia Dons want to go through with the plan because they know that the Punisher is not stupid enough to fall for it. When the Punisher attacks the five families in their home territory they quickly have a change of heart and go through with Operation Kingpin. They pour all of their money and resources into creating the Kingpin and hoped that the Punisher would buy it.
However, Fisk had ulterior motives in the plan and was slowly taking over their criminal operations and plotting to kill the Dons. When the Punisher first learns of the Kingpin he doesn't believe that such a figure exists and thinks that the criminal underworld was trying to send him on a wild goose chase. However, he does become suspicious of Wilson Fisk's behavior and suspects that he is either the actual Kingpin or a messenger for the Kingpin. He follows Fisk to the home of Mama Casere, where he kills Casere and gets into a fight with Fisk.
When the Punisher kills Mama Casere, the five families think that the plan isn't working, and that prompts Rigoletto to hire the Mennonite to kill the Punisher. The Punisher attempts to kill Fisk outside of his apartment, but the Punisher is attacked by the Mennonite and Fisk gets away. That is also when the five families learn that Fisk was taking over their operations and hiring hitmen to kill the other Mafia Dons. Rigoletto decides to hold Fisk's family hostage until Fisk arrives at his home. Fisk kills Rigoletto, but not before Rigoletto kills his son Richard. Meanwhile, the Punisher leads the Mennonite to one of his hideouts where he places a claymore mine in the entrance in order to kill the Mennonite. Only for the Mennonite to survive and the two to fight. The Mennonite attempts to take one of the Punisher's guns and use it, but the gun rack was booby-trapped with electricity and the Punisher drops a safe on the Mennonite's head killing him.
Following the events of Kingpin, Wilson Fisk had become the official Kingpin of crime and Frank Castle, the Punisher, is now on the hunt to end Wilson Fisk's reign as the Kingpin. The Kingpin learns that prior to Rigoletto's death he had hired an assassin named Bullseye to kill the Punisher, but he was unavailable at the time so Rigoletto settled for the Mennonite. When Bullseye arrives in New York, he discovers that Rigoletto was dead and that Wilson Fisk had taken over the New York City crime scene. The Kingpin decides to hire Bullseye in hopes that he can finally kill the Punisher. Punisher first encounters Bullseye when he attempts to kill Kingpin with a sniper rifle only to learn that Fisk Tower's windows were lined with bulletproof glass. Bullseye shoots the Punisher in the neck causing him to bleed out a trail of blood for him to follow. This prompts the Punisher to want to know who this mysterious assassin was that the Kingpin sent after him. Also suspicious of Bullseye is the Kingpin, he wants to know more about Rigoletto's "miracle worker," and he learns the Bullseye was a military lawyer named Sheldon Pentegrass who left the armed forces to become a hitman. Meanwhile, the Punisher is interrogating Kingpin's men to figure out what they know. On the flip side, Bullseye is studying the Punisher and trying to become more like him. Bullseye obtains files on all of the Punisher's previous victims including Finn Cooley, Nikolai Zakharov, Barracuda, Jigsaw, and Microchip. Bullseye also reads Valley Forge, Valley Forge, and interrogates and kills Frank's friends from Vietnam. On top of that, Bullseye tries to recreate the tragedy that turned Frank Castle into the Punisher by killing random families across New York. Meanwhile, the Punisher interrogates and tortures a cop on the Kingpin's payroll to find out who Bullseye is. When the Punisher learns that Bullseye was killing families across New York to perfectly mirror the death of his family the Punisher kills the dirty cop. That turns the entire NYPD against the Punisher.
With the NYPD hunting him, the Punisher makes one last-ditch effort to take down the Kingpin. He assembles all the weapons he could obtain and heads straight for Fisk Tower. He won't let even the cops get his way. Punisher eventually arrives at Fisk Tower dousing the building in tear gas to weaken Kingpin's defenses and isolate him. Punisher encounters Bullseye and the two engage in a brutal fight. Kingpin tries to escape in the confusion, but the Punisher catches up to him and attempts to kill him. Only for Bullseye to attack Punisher and taunt him with the fact that his family's death was just an excuse for what he does. Kingpin shoots the glass the pair are stand on and they both get arrested and hospitalized.
While in prison at Ryker's Island, Frank Castle reflects on why he became the Punisher and the events that lead him down his path of vigilantism. The Punisher is placed in solitary confinement because the guards deemed him too dangerous to be around the other inmates. He hallucinates and thinks he sees Nick Fury in prison. However, a group of inmates led by a criminal named Big Jesus plot to break the Punisher out of prison. Also, the Kingpin plans to have the Punisher killed in prison. Eventually, Big Jesus and his partners stage a prison riot and a guard on Kingpin's payroll drops a grenade in Punisher's cell. Punisher kills the guard and three inmates before Big Jesus reveals to him that he was trying to help free the Punisher. Big Jesus wanted to free the Punisher so they could take down the Kingpin and avenge the brother of Big Jesus who was raped and killed by the Kingpin's men. The two escape and Punisher kills Big Jesus after they escape.
After escaping Ryker's Island, the Punisher sets out to bring down the Kingpin by any means necessary. The Punisher first works to reestablish himself as every criminal's worst nightmare and rebuild his arsenal of weapons. The Kingpin aware of the Punisher's escape from prison hires Elektra to be his bodyguard. Elektra was secretly hired by Vanessa Fisk to kill Kingpin when he least expects it. Vanessa wants revenge on Wilson for letting their son die. The two hope that the Punisher will keep the Kingpin in fear that he'll keep Elektra close to him so she can kill him when the time is right. Meanwhile, Punisher comes to visit Bullseye in the Ryker's Island infirmary where he kills Bullseye. Then he proceeds to tear down Kingpin's operations which causes Kingpin to go into a state of paranoia and stay in Fisk Tower. However, the Punisher digs up Richard Fisk's body and brings it to Vanessa Fisk. The Punisher hoped that would bring the Kingpin out in the open. Elektra finds out about this and comes to save Vanessa from the Punisher. The two fight and are left with fatal wounds, but the Punisher emerges triumphant.
The Punisher's plan to bring the Kingpin out in the open ends up working because Kingpin visits Richard's grave sight and sees the Punisher's message. Then the Kingpin gets a call from Elektra letting him know that the Punisher paid his wife a visit and that he was badly wounded. The Kingpin takes advantage of this opportunity to taunt the Punisher and let him know that his criminal empire would never fall because he will remain in his tower. However, the Kingpin was really waiting to ambush the Punisher outside of his home. When the Punisher arrives home he is greeted by the Kingpin and his men who proceed to shoot at them. The Punisher successfully eliminates all of the Kingpin's goons and proceeds to take on the Kingpin. The two engage in a fight until the Kingpin flees to Fisk Tower with a hammer stuck in his head. The Kingpin learns that his wife Vanessa had taken over his criminal operations and locked him out of the tower. The Punisher then kills the Kingpin ending his reign of terror. However, the Punisher would succumb to his wounds and die himself. Nick Fury decided to honor the Punisher's legacy by killing Vanessa Fisk and putting an end to the Fisk criminal empire, and Elektra is executed by the Hand. The citizens throughout New York decide to take up the Punihser's mantle after Frank Castle died.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse continuity, Frank Castle was separated from his family during one of the first American sweeps, where Apocalypse searched out humans to kill them. He fled from certain death until he came across a hidden monastery. Castle became a monk, searching for inner peace, until the monastery was finally discovered by Apocalypse's agents. All the monks were killed, as were many of the humans and mutants that they had offered refuge. Frank Castle was once again able to escape, and his location is unknown.
In the Marvel Zombies universe Frank is still a vigilante with all the hallmarks of the regular continuities. In Marvel Zombies Vs. Army Of Darkness #2 he meets Ash. Ash and the Punisher partner up to beat down some Zombies, but first The Punisher guns down The Kingpin, The Owl, and Hammerhead after they offer to ally with him. He fights alongside Ash against zombies, before Ash leaves him to die fighting them.
The Ultimate version of the Punisher has many differences from the mainstream version. He stands taller, at 6'6 and was a devout Catholic. He was an alter boy as a child and, even as the Punisher, he continues to wear a Catholic cross. He was also never in the military. He is an ex-NYPD SWAT sniper whose family was killed by a corrupt cop who was going to be exposed by Frank. He was the one that killed the corrupt cop and informant to the Kingpin, Jean DeWolff. He continues his vigilante crusade from there, with him being incarcerated in Rikers island (and even continuing to kill on the inside), fighting Daredevil and partnering up with Spider-Man on occasion. He kills police officer Jean DeWolff in front of Spider-Man, who gets angry and attacks Frank. He stops Spider-Man by telling him that she was a dirty cop whom was also sleeping with Wilson Fisk, a statement that is backed up by Daredevil.
This makes Spider-Man leave him alone. The Punisher somehow survives Ultimatum and manages to kill 200 members of the criminal underworld in its aftermath. He is captured by Captain America and Nick Fury, who makes an offer to Frank asking him to join the Ultimate Avengers as his own version of Cap. An offer which Castle accepts. His first assignment with the team is to track down and take out the Ultimate Ghost Rider.
In the Ultimate Universe, Frank Castle is a cop turned vigilante, wanted by the authorities for the murders of hundreds of organized criminals. Lured into a trap while hunting a prolific criminal, Punisher is beaten and arrested by Captain America. But Nick Fury, disappointed that Cap won't lead his black-ops Avengers team, volunteers the Punisher to be their Captain America mascot, seeing as it's the only way he couldn't be identified. Teamed with Hawkeye in a group also consisting of Black Widow, Tyrone Cash and War Machine, Punisher is surprised to find he gets along quite well with Hawkeye and thus comes to the fore their dislike and distrust for authority when being tasked with protecting the Vice President from a mysterious serial killer.
When it turns out that the VP sold his soul to Mephisto and that the killer is actually Ghost Rider, come to collect his soul, Punisher is the one to discover that Ghost Rider is not an enemy but a kindred spirit; notably whose master has passed on the word to "keep up the good work!"
Punisher goes on the run but is caught again later, and is forced to re-team with the Secret Avengers. He is accidentally responsible for The Death of Spider-Man, having fired the shot that triggers his downfall later in the series. As a result of seeing what he has done, he also shoots Nick Fury but doesn't kill him.
Two people become the Punisher in the year 2099, one a man and the other a woman. Jake Gallows is the Punisher first. He was a cop in the Public Eye, the police force of the future. After the murder of his mother, brother and sister-in-law, Jake came across the war journal of Frank Castle, The Punisher, in the archives of the Public Eye. From then on, he took the mantle of the Punisher. The second Punisher is a laboratory-bred humanoid named Polly. when she released herself from her mental limiters, she gained free will, intelligence and superhuman strength, but she also became psychotic. She called herself Vendetta, and thought of replacing Jake Gallows because she deemed him as ineffective. Although in the end, they became partners.
Earth-90210 - Old Man Logan
In a apocalyptic future where the villians have grouped together and took over the world, The Punisher appears to be one of the few surviving good guys. When the daughter of Hawkeye and granddaughter of Spider-Man is captured by this world's Kingpin after trying to overthrow him, the Punisher and Daredevil try to rescue her. Unfortunately they fail, which ultimately results in their deaths.
In the Marvel Mangaverse, The Punisher is a woman named Sosumi Brown, who fights the Korean crime family of Skang Kee Ho in Tokyo. The Skang Kee Ho uses an Oni named Oni Yew to try and stop her, but her sister, Hashi Brown, finds out about her secret. In the process, Hashi obtains a cursed weapon which she uses to slay the oni and save her sister. In the story, it is explained the sisters are orphans due to the death of their parents in "a tragic pogo stick accident."
As the Punisher, Sosumi wears black and white face paint (to resemble a skull) and a black kimono with the belt tied in a knot that resembles the skull logo. She uses martial art skills and a whip, which she uses to punish evildoers into submission.
She also has a predisposition for bizarre forms of "punishment", including tickling a crime lords feet or spanking someone on the bottom. Because of this, she is called "Tokyo's kinkiest superhero." Sosumi's base of operations is located within the private school that she is the principal of; the entrance opens by moving a small skull inside her office.
Castle spent years "punishing" criminals until the Kingpin was finally sent to jail. The Punisher then turned himself to the Maggia, taking them out one by one until he was left to face Don Silvio Barraca. After finishing off his men, Castle put a bullet in Silvio's back and left him paralyzed from the waist down. With the Maggia finished and organized crime disrupted, Frank decided to retire and went to South America. Until Silvio's return and Gang War against the Black Tarantula.
The Punisher came out of retirement and returned to New York and decided to enlist Spider-Girl's aid to finally stop the Gang War for good. Eventually, Frank and Silverback met in a final battle that resulted in both of their deaths. The Punisher was buried in Arlington due to his previous military service as a hero.
House of M
In the House of M, Frank's family survived the mafia attack and is still the Punisher. But now he is apprehended and recruited by Thunderbird to be with a human strikeforce called the Brotherhood. Disgusted about mutants' disregard for humans, he later joined Luke Cage's version of the Avengers as an adventurer to fight Magneto's mutant supremacy over humans.
The Punisher was a member of the Avengers. He along with Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange were killed by Charnel in a mission to recover the time disc.
In this alternate reality, the Punisher becomes Captain America after Steve Rogers is seriously injured during a battle with the Red Skull.
In this alternate reality, the Punisher is thrust into the role of Sorcerer Supreme after Dr. Strange was killed during the Vampire takeover of Earth.
The Punisher kills the Marvel Universe
In this continuity, Frank Castle's family was killed during a battle between the heroes (the Avengers and the X-Men) and a group of Aliens in Central Park. When Frank returns to see Daredevil yelling at Cyclops and Captain America, he opens fire on the heroes and manages to kill Cyclops, Hawkeye, and Shadowcat. He is eventually brought down by Wolverine who almost kills him, but is saved when Colossus intervenes. Castle is sent to court and is defended by his attorney (and apparently a childhood friend) Matt Murdock, but is sent to jail for life. He is eventually broken out by a rich and disfigured man named Kesselring. Kesselring is a leader of a group of people who have all been disfigured or hurt by battles involving superheroes. The group wants Frank to hunt down every single superhero and supervillain; and are prepared to give him all the resources needed in order to do so. Frank agrees and becomes The Punisher.
With the help of Microchip (a man whose legs were ripped off by Doctor Octopus), the Punisher goes on a murderous rampage killing every single superhero possible. He is captured every so often and sent to prison but is always released by Kesselring. During these periods, he is visited by Matt Murdock who begs him to stop the senseless violence. It eventually gets to the point where he has killed every single superhero on the planet.
Castle eventually reports to his benefactors to tell them that he expects to never hear from them again once he has killed the last superhero. Kesselring tells him that eventually new superheroes will rise and they too will have to be stopped, but Punisher refuses. Kesselring pulls out a gun, but Frank easily kills him. Frank then turns to Kesselring's associates and tells them that their need for vengeance has made them bitter and pathetic, and threatens to kill each and every one of them if they try to contact him. The Punisher leaves in order to kill the last superhero in existence, Daredevil.
The Punisher and Daredevil get into a brutal fight and Frank is defeated. When Daredevil begs Frank to let go of the past and stop the slaughter, Frank stabs him through the chest and fatally wounds him. Before he dies, Daredevil removes his mask to reveal Frank's childhood friend Matt Murdock. Castle comes to the realization that there is no redemption for him and makes one final kill, himself.
In the Noir universe, The Punisher is a World War I veteran and tattooed his skull symbol to his chest as a way of mocking his wife Ruth’s fear of him getting killed in combat. He did it to show he doesn’t need to fear the angel of death because he is the angle of death. After the war is over Frank comes home and his wife ends up dying of cancer leaving him alone to raise their son Frank Jr. who everyone calls Frankie. Frank is worried about his son who is hanging out with hooligans stealing and getting into all sorts of trouble confronting his son about it and then taking him home to the business he owns. Frank owns a store that does very little business and has an employee Bumpo who works for him.
The amount of business Frank does is no concern to mob leader Dutch Schultz who sends his goons over to get protection money from Frank. Frank refuses and he and his son beat the goons senseless running them out of his store. His son asks him why he refuses to pay and he explains to his son that he didn’t survive the war just to come home and get shakedown by hoods. Frank than tells his boy about his encounter with the Russian in which he dropped a grenade down his pants and killed him barely surviving the encounter further explaining that he isn’t going to just do what the mob wants him to do. Frank then teaches his boy how to shoot a gun telling him how important it is.
After the repeated failures of his men to collect money from Frank gangster Dutch Shultz decides to hire professionals to take him down before anyone else decides to stand against him. He hires Jigsaw, Barracuda, and the Russian who is still alive to kill Frank. The three succeed in killing in Castle and Frankie comes home to find the police investigating what happened. Years later Frankie would take up his father’s mantle and becomes the Punisher and would go after them and Dutch Shultz.
The mysterious space mafia killed his family and after 8 years he's seen hunting the Six-Fingered Hand. On this mission he's helped by Chip the Robot and is attacked by Brood. The assassins Sabretooth, Leader and Deadpool are sent after him and he also faces the Hulk. This version of the Punisher isn't super powered but is portrayed as being much more agile, powerful and much more competent against superpowered opponents in comparison to his 616 counterpart.
Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher
The first in a trilogy of story arcs written by Bram Stoker Award winning writer Jonathan Maberry, the Punisher tells the tale of how he accidentally started the chain reaction that ended the world and how he has been trying to avenge it ever since. Upon crashing a deal between the Mafia and the Russians, believing their trade to be weapons grade plutonium, Punisher accidentally causes a spillage. The chemical though turns out to be a biological substance made in preparation of nuclear war, a chemical that when applied to the human body, can prepare it to survive off anything and in any environment. Years later, it has turned the world into raving cannibals, all the heroes are gone and the Punisher is the only immune survivor. Hunted endlessly by Deadpool, his main target is Patient Zero, once known as Spider-Man. Met by the mutated cannibal spider, he is given a deal: save the pregnant Mary Jane from the Kingpin and, in return, he will acquire all the human survivors that are left in New York.
Going back a step to when the virus began to wreak havoc in New York, the same tale is told from the perspective of Wolverine as he goes out to find answers in the wake of Psylocke's murder at the hands of Archangel. Psyclocke was eaten to the bone within minutes and this shocking event leads Wolverine to Punisher when Reed Richards, Beast and Black Panther need a vaccine to see if they can cure the captured Patient Zero, Spider-man.
As things get out of control, a band of soldiers is formed, consisting of Captain America, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Punisher and Deadpool amongst an army of others. The enemy is growing and they have a Hulk. Reed Richards needs to evacuate New York and find a cure elsewhere when his findings lead to chaos.
In the end, as the war goes in favour of the cannibals, Wolverine, Punisher, Cap, Hawkeye and Deadpool are all that's left to hold off the massive cannibal offensive and more than one of them are desperately hiding signs of infection.
In the final installment, we see from day one the Avengers drawing together to combat the effects of the virus and from Hawkeye's perspective.
All the Avengers ever had to do was save the world from clear and present danger and now they're up against an unseen virus that can't be stopped, one that is claiming the lives of their loved ones and forcing them to take the lives of the friends and lovers infected by the pathogen.
Dr Doom arrives and claims to know the cure to the pathogen but his conditions are clear. Help me save the world and in return, allow me to become Emperor of the planet. Against all good sense, the Avengers agree out of desperation but how badly can this end after we've already seen the end twice? The Punisher resumes his role as the man that goes on to avenge the world he ended.
Others who became The Punisher
One of many to have taken on the mantle of the Punisher after he was originally feared dead during the original War Zone series. Lynn Michaels was a police officer saved by Frank Castle when she was trying to catch a rapist one night in Central Park. She thanks the Punisher for saving her by planting a kiss on him but the two don't become romantically entangled. It becomes common knowledge that she works alongside the Punisher and when the NYPD fails to allow her to arrest a suspected child killer she quits the force. At a time when Castle is feared dead, Lynn takes up the mantle of Lady Punisher and takes on the city's criminals for a time, but when things get too dangerous and mob boss Rosie Carbone begins sending hitmen after her, she decides that Frank Castle's life is not for her and retires to a secret location.
Carlos was recruited by Microchip when he attempted to replace Castle with someone he could better trust when they fell out, but Carlos was killed by a villain named Stone Cold along with Microchip when Castle confronted the two.
From Punisher 2099, Jake Gallows was a former cop that saw the inadequacy of the law and so chose to punish criminals in his own unique way. Utilising futuristic technology, Gallows went too far in his search for justice and started to kill people for crimes they hadn't yet committed, using computers to scan peoples thoughts.
From Earth-2992, Cossandra Castle was the future result of Frank Castle and Elektra Natchios, their daughter. Although initially reviled by her father's legacy, Cossandra kept all his things locked away until the day she knew she was destined to carry on his work where so many others had failed.
From The MAX series Jenny Cesare was talked into marrying a member of the mob by her sister Annabella Gorrini and the other Five Wives. After they got married he started beating her brutally which he didn't do before they got married. Even making her have sex with his friends against her will because she was nothing more to him then a tool that made him more acceptable in the mob. Jenny went to her sister and the other wives but they never helped her at all. Her husband eventually tried to have her killed but the plan failed and Jenny learned that her sister and the other wives knew that her husband was abusive. She found out that other members of the mob looked down on him for not being married and her sister set her up with him choosing the mafia over Jenny. Jenny than begins getting combat training preparing to take revenge on her sister and the other five wives when she learns her husband was killed by the Punisher which she was grateful for.
Upon returning to to New York City to get her revenge on the Five Wives she stops them from killing the Punisher. She saves the Punisher's life and takes his skull T shirt and goes and executes the five wives except for her sister who she captures. She eventually kills her sister and Jenny realizes she can't take the pain of everything that she's been through anymore and kills herself.
US Marine Sergeant Rachel Alves was shot and wounded by the Exchange at her wedding with her husband and all of her family and friends being killed. Rachel Alves after recovering from her injuries begins to hunt down the exchange eliminating them. She runs into Frank Caslte who is doing the same and they both end up working together. Rachel Alves accidentally shoots an NYPD officer Walter Bolt killing him by mistake when going after the exchange, The pain is to much to bare for Rachel and she turns herself into the police.
Rachel Alves is sent to Jail and is found guilty of murder and is given the death penalty but it turns out to be just a ruse to get Punisher to try to break her free so that the Avengers can capture him in the act, so not to break international law. The Punisher still manages to free Rachel Alves and help her to escape New York with a new identity, but sacrifices himself in the process to prove a point, and is eventually taken down by the Avengers. Rachel Alves is then seen carrying on the tradition of the Punisher in Los Angeles.
The Punisher appears in the episode "Neogenic Nightmare, Chapter VII: Enter the Punisher" (207) and " Neogenic Nightmare, Chapter VII: Duel of the Hunters" (208) where he starts out hunting criminals. It is said that this version of the Punisher also uses lethal force and is willing to kill. He hears about Spider-Man being accused of kidnapping Morbius and starts hunting for Spider-Man in his four arms. His partner, Chip, convinces him to use non-lethal force while hunting Spider-Man. After a battle throughout Manhattan, the Punisher corners him in a warehouse and before he could finish him off Spidey transforms into the Man-Spider monster.
After Spider-Man transforms Frank manages to escape. He later reluctantly works with Kraven the Hunter to track down Spider-man. When Frank is about to kill Spidey, Kraven the Hunter, who owes Spider-Man for saving him in the first season intervenes and stops Frank from killing Spidey, and together they were able to cure him. After Spider-Man is cured, the Punisher leaves him be.
In Season 4 the Punisher has a role on the episode " Partners in Danger, Chapter VIII: The Return of the Green Goblin" (408) when he goes to visit his wife's grave he sees a woman crying who turns out to be Mary Jane's aunt crying at a grave labeled 'Watson' who is mourning the disappearance of Mary Jane. He agrees to find Mary Jane which leads to a hunt for Peter Parker, Spider-Man, and Green Goblin. In this series the Punisher is aided by Micro. He uses an advanced van to chase Spider-Man and fight crime.
In episode 24: Mojo Vision Mojo forces the X-Men to perform in a series of dangerous shows. In one of the challenges the X-Men must face a man identical to The Punisher.
In episode 9: Night in the Sanctorum The Super Hero Squad gets picked up by the Punisher in his Van looking for a place to crash for the night. During a conversation the Punisher goes off into a rant using brusel sprouts as a reference to crime startling the squad.
The Punisher during the rant hits a button that activates his battle van's laser weapons which start shooting terrifying The Super Hero Squad with Punisher then proceeding to do donuts before stopping his Battle Van with the Super Hero Squad all getting out before driving off. Ray Stevenson reprises his role from the third Punisher movie.
The Punisher appears as a major recurring antagonist in the show's second season. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the series features Jon Bernthal as the Punisher. This version of the Punisher served in the war in Iraq. When he takes his family for a picnic they are gunned down by three gangs and Frank is shot in the head. When he recovers he does not go home, instead choosing to start killing the gangs the gunned down his family. He crosses paths with Daredevil, who attempts to take him down. Frank manages to fight him off. He is eventually attacked by the gang known as Kitchen Irish and tortured because he stole 1.2 million dollars from them. Frank breaks free and kills the gangs leader, but he was in bad shape. He is saved by Daredevil and left to be arrested.
Once in custody, he is defended by the law firm of Nelson & Murdock. He refuses to go along with PTSD or any defense that claims he is crazy. A guard convinces him to change his plea to guilty, claiming that in prison Wilson Fisk has information about who killed his family. He learns that their was supposed to be a drug deal going down with a undercover cop, but the dealer no showed. Fisk makes a deal for Frank's release, claiming that while outside he can prevent anyone from trying to take over his territory.
After his escape someone starts killing people linked to the Punisher and making it look like he was doing it. The only pay person it could be would be the Drug dealer that got his family killed, trying to tie up lose ends. Frank learns that his old Colonel was the dealer that set up the deal that got his family killed. He kills Jim. Later Frank paints the iconic skull image on a bulletproof vest and helps Daredevil fight the hand, shooting them with a sniper rifle from afar. He then finally returns to his home and burns it down.
Jon Bernthal reprises his role as the Punisher in his own Netflix series. Frank Castle uncovers a larger conspiracy beyond what was done to him and his family. A man calling himself "Micro" monitors cameras around New York City, and begins tracking Castle. He contacts Castle and tells him to check a disk that he had left for him at his old family home; the disk contains footage of Castle and his unit in Kandahar, torturing and murdering Dinah Madani's partner, Ahmad Zubair. After tracking him to his base of operations, Frank tortures "Micro", whose real name is David Lieberman, and learns that as an NSA analyst, Lieberman had been sent the video of Zubair's murder for assessment, and chose to act with his conscience and send it to Madani.
The first Punisher movie stars Dolph Lundgren as Frank Castle. In this version, Punisher does not wear the skull on his chest. The story goes that he was a cop whose family was killed in a car bomb. Driven underground (into the sewers), Punisher's only ally is an alcoholic informant that trades information for whiskey.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Yakuza are planning a hostile takeover of the city's biggest Italian crime family and begrudgingly, that means the Punisher might have to save their children from the foreign assassins that are going around murdering their nannies and kidnapping them for a ransom.
A reboot and origin story starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta, this movie is loosely based on the Welcome Back Frank arc and The Punisher: Year One volumes.
Frank Castle was an ex counter-terrorism operative turned FBI agent who is left enraged and tormented by the death of his entire family bloodline at the hands of Howard Saint's criminal empire. Saint has Frank's family killed and attempts to kill him because Saint's son was killed during an FBI sting with Frank as an undercover officer. Choosing revenge as a way of dealing with why he survived, Castle sets about turning the criminal empire in upon itself from the inside and leading the Saint family into a war of wits and attrition.
Along the way, Castle fights with The Russian and Harry Heck and begins the designs for his future career, becoming The Punisher.
Another re-boot, the 3rd Punisher movie starring Ray Stevenson as the Punisher is based on certain elements of the MAX series but featuring Jigsaw.
It was rated R and is the first Marvel Knights production. The Punisher has been working for six years and the criminal underworld fears him. But after accidentally killing an undercover FBI agent in the process of taking out mafia capo Billy Russotti, Frank decides to take a leave of absence as the Punisher only to take the mantle back when Russotti returns as Jigsaw, threatening the family of the FBI agent he killed.
The Punisher: Dirty Laundry (2012)
Dirty Laundry was first screened at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, featuring actor Thomas Jane, reprising his role as the Punisher. In this short film, the Punisher parks his van in a run-down neighborhood that is terrorized by a local gang. He sees them terrorizing a woman when he walks into a liquor stor. He gets a Yohoo and talks with the cashier. After their chat, Frank changes his mind and gets a bottle of Jack Daniels. When Frank goes back toward the gangsters they are now hassling a kid. The Punisher beats them with the liquor bottle and leaves the gang leader to be burned to death.
In this Japanese anime the Punisher is going after AIM for selling biological weapons to terrorists. Punisher runs into Iron Man who is tracking AIM for information he needs to defeat Technovore. The two decide to work together and head to the Punisher's hideout.
At the Punisher's hideout S.H.I.E.L.D. learns of Iron Man's location and sends Black Widow and Hawkeye after them. Iron Man and Punisher both end up saving each other from being captured and were able to evade Black Widow and Hawkeye. He was voiced by Norman Reedus.
In this 2014 Japanese direct-to-video film, the Punisher is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. after interfering in a secret mission. In exchange for his release, the Punisher teams up with Black Widow to take down the terrorist organization, known as Leviathan, who plan to auction stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology. The Punisher was voiced by Japanese actor Tessho Genda, as well as English actor Brian Bloom.
The Punisher (1990 DOS/Windows)
Punish the wicked to earn money and pay an informant to learn how to take out the high and mighty Kingpin with a wide range of weapons. Settle scores and get paid to do it.
The Punisher (1990 NES)
In this arcade style shooter Frank Castle lets loose full punishment through six challenging levels to get to non other than Kingpin the big boss himself with the aid of a wide arsenal such as auto pistols, grenades, fully automatic heavy duty military assault riffles, and shoulder mounted rocket launchers.
The Punisher: The Ultimate Payback (1991 Gameboy)
Five levels packed full of enemies deserving punishment from Frank's assortment of machine guns, grenades, rocket launcher along with other surprises.
Pack Kevlar to dish out the pain longer and get assistance from The Amazing Spider-Man through this arcade-style single-player first-person side-scrolling shooter.
The Punisher (1993 Arcade/1994 Sega Genesis)
Capcom really went all out on this beat em up classic 16 bit style side scroller. The Punisher and Nick Fury team up to take down New York crime lord boss Kingpin using firearms such as M-16s, flamethrowers, and Ingram, and melee weapons knifes, hammers, and baseball bats, along with random drop and find weapons such as pipes and extinguishers. But before you get to Kingpin numerous villains and common enemies and to help get through all these enemies there are several abilities that can be utilized.
There are a few noted differences in the two versions of the game including graphics and audio improvements along with some censorship.
Spider-Man (2000 PSX/PC)
The Punisher makes a cameo appearance in this game. He attempts to snipe Spider-Man but the wall-crawler webs up his sniper rifle's scope. He then tells him where to find the symbiotes. He is later seen playing cards with Spider-Man, Captain America and Daredevil at the end of the game in one of the characters more carefree moments.
The Punisher appears in his own video game in a story based on the Marvel Knights comics. The Punisher was voiced by Tom Jane, and he was once again written by Garth Ennis.
Frank Castle, the Punisher, is being interrogated in Ryker's Island Prison by Molly and Detective Soap for a series of killings. The player plays as the Punisher and has access to his wide arsenal and weaponry and combat skills.
The story of the game is based on the Marvel Knights series. Castle fights The Gnucci crime family, Russian Mercenaries,Yakuza gangs, and visits Grand Nixon Island in the game.
Several known Marvel characters make appearances in the game including Nick Fury, Black Widow, Kingpin, the Russian, Iron Man, Martin Soap and Matt Murdock.
The Punisher: No Mercy
The Punisher: No Mercy is a mod of Unreal Tournament and is available to download from the Playstation Network for PS3. With a short main story line this game is intended to be enjoyed as a multi-player games. Playable characters include Castle's ally Jenny Cesare as well as Barracuda and Microchip.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
The Punisher appears as an unlockable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance video game on Facebook. He first appeared as the grand prize at the end of PVP Tournament: Season 4, and is now available for general recruitment. He is a Generalist Class character but has the ability to change his class using his 'Walking Armory' ability. This allows him to become a Blaster, Bruiser, Infiltrator, Scrapper or Tactician Class character. Each of these classes have a different set of abilities associated with them.
Super Hero Squad Online
Punisher appeared as a playable character in Marvel's Super Hero Squad Online MMO, voiced by Crispin Freeman.
The Punisher appears as a playable character. Rachel Cole-Alves and Franken-Castle also appears as an enhanced costume for him.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
The Punisher is a playable character in this game and is voiced by Robin Atkins Downes.
Contest of Champions
The Punisher appears in the game as one of the playable fighters.
Marvel Future Fight
The Punisher is a playable character.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
The Punisher appears as a playable character in the third Marvel Ultimate Alliance game as part of the Marvel Knights: Curse of the Vampire DLC pack. He is voiced by Brian Bloom.
- In the 90s ToyBiz released several Punisher figures for the comics and the Spider-Man animated series.
- ToyBiz released a Punisher figure for series 4 of Marvel Legends line.
- Another Punisher figure was released by ToyBiz for series 6 of Marvel Legends line, this time based on his first movie incarnation and sporting the likeness of Tom Jane.
- Punisher was also featured in the Urban Legends Marvel Legends box set from ToyBiz.
- A Punisher figure modeled after Tom Jane's likeness was released for ToyBiz's Marvel Studios line.
- A first appearance-style Punisher was featured in the Marvel Legends Face Off line as part of a two-pack with Jigsaw.
- Diamond released a Punisher figure for the Marvel Select line.
- Diamond Collectibles also featured Punisher in the Minimates line.
- After taking over the license from ToyBiz, Hasbro released a Punisher figure for the Marvel Legends line, specifically as part of the Nemesis Build-a-Figure wave.
- Hasbro produced another Marvel Legends Punisher figure, this time of him in his Thunderbolts outfit, for the Epic Heroes wave.
- A 90's-style Marvel Legends Punisher figure from Hasbro was released as a Walgreens exclusive.
- The MCU version of Punisher, sporting Jon Bernthal's likeness, was featured in the Marvel Legends Man-Thing Build-a-Figure wave from Hasbro.
- Punisher was featured in Hasbro's Super Hero Squad line.
- Hasbro released a Punisher figure for the Marvel Universe line.
- Sideshow Collectibles released an ultra-detailed Punisher figure.
- Funko has also produced Punisher merchandise.
- A stealth version of the Punisher was produced for Hasbro's Marvel Legends line.
- Hot Toys produced a figure of Punisher based on Jon Bernthal's likeness.
- Hot Toys produced a figure of Punisher in the War Machine armor.
- Punisher was featured in Mezco's One:12 Collective line.
- Hasbro produced a Marvel Legends figure of Punisher in his War Machine armor.
- Bowen released several Punisher statues.
- Bowen also released a Punisher bust.
- Kotobukiya released a Punisher bust modeled after Ray Stevenson's likeness for the Marvel Studios line.
- A Punisher statue was featured in Diamond Select's Marvel Milestones line.
- A Punisher bust was featured in Diamond Select Marvel Icons line.
- A Punisher statue was released by Diamond Select for the Marvel Origins line, which depicted Frank Castle grieving at his family's grave.
- Diamond Select also released a bust of Punisher using his sniper rifle.
- Sideshow Collectibles released a polystone Punisher statue.
- Sideshow Collectibles released a statue of the Punisher battling Daredevil.
- Gentle Giant released an animated-style Punisher statue, based on the art of Skottie Young.
- Diamond Collectibles released a PVC statue of Punisher, using Jon Bernthal's likeness from the Netflix TV shows.
MAKE THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME.
FBI agent Frank Castle’s final case ends with a literal bang, when a wannabe weapons smuggler is gunned down during a sting operation. But the dead man isn’t just any punk. He’s the son of Howard Saint, the powerful Florida tycoon whose hot-spot nightclub has made him famous, and whose multimillion-dollar money-laundering business has made him as rich—and as ruthless—as any of his gangster clients.
Saint wants payback—with interest—for his boy’s death. And he gets it, by orchestrating a massacre that claims the lives of Frank Castle’s beloved wife and son—and almost kills Castle. But almost doesn’t count. Now Frank Castle—ex–FBI agent, ex–Special Forces commando, ex-husband and father—is canceling his retirement and starting a new career. One that begins with teaching Howard Saint the ultimate lesson: No evil deed goes unpunished.
- Written By: D.A. Stern
- Publisher: Del Rey (March, 2004)
- ISBN-10: 0345475569
- ISBN-13: 978-0345475565