Quote1 The world went crazy on a summer's day in Central Park, In the time before uzis and berettas, before nine millimeter popguns ruled the streets. It was a Thompson, like the ones our fathers carried, and I recognized its rattle even as its big, man-stopping forty-fives punched blood and breath from my lungs. I hit the ground besides my daughter. She's been gutshot, badly, and when she saw the things that boiled and wriggled from her belly the expression on her face was not a little girl's. My wife bled out later on the operating table, her heart a gaping hole her life drained through. Whenever i get careless, that yearning in her eyes creeps up and brings me to my knees. Right then the old man's soldiers started shooting back. My son dropped wordlessly, without a mark on him. I took a breath that cut like glass, spat blood, rose to my knees, picked up the boy and searched in vain for entry wounds. The bullet had entered through his open mouth. That was our picnic in the park. And now every night I go out and make the world sane. Quote2
-- Punisher src

Early Life

Frank grew up on the streets of Brooklyn. At the age of ten he witnessed one of the events that would form his future as the Punisher. The youngest son of a local crime boss named Albert Rosa, Vincent Rosa made a habit of raping the local school girls knowing that his father's power over the people around him would ensure his safety. It wasn't until a school friend of Frank's, Lauren Buvoli was given the same treatment and committed suicide, that Frank took his father's gun and set out to deal with Vincent. However, after tracking Vincent down he witnessed his brutal murder at the hands of Lauren's older brother, U.S. Marine Sal Buvoli.[1]

Vietnam War

Frank Castle (Earth-200111) from Born Vol 1 1 0001

Captain Frank Castle on patrol in Vietnam

Frank later spent four years of his life in the Vietnam War. His first tour began with the Tet offensive in 1968. Military brass saw some promise in the young platoon commander and he was soon recruited into the Special Forces. Not much is known about his second tour, but there are rumors of "wetwork" in Cambodia, black ops missions, an N.V.A. General sniped just outside of Hanoi and other horror stories that seem too outlandish to be true. But it was on his third and final tour in 1971 that he witnessed the most pivotal event in his life.

As the Captain of a small unit of Marines at Firebase Valley Forge, he was renowned for never losing any men in combat.[5] He murdered fellow Marines around the base that he witnessed committing acts of evil. This occurred in two cases, the first of which was General Paddon who he had killed in order to prevent the closure of the Firebase.[5] The second occurred when one of his men, McDonald, raped an injured female North Vietnamese soldier. Frank killed him by drowning him in a nearby lake. Frank himself killed the sniper as she was being raped, which some men regarded as better than taking her captive since she would've died a slow death as a prisoner.[6]

Frank Castle (Earth-200111) from Born Vol 1 4 0001

The sole survivor of Firebase Valley Forge

A voice continuously spoke to Frank, offering the chance to fight an eternal war, and also told him that there would be a price. In the midst of a major thunderstorm, Firebase Valley Forge was assaulted by a large combined force of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers.[7] American jets bombarded the area with napalm in an attempt to support the Marines on the ground, doing more harm than good, however, as some Marines were killed as well. The voice grew louder to the point where Frank could hear it perfectly clear over the roar of the fighting and the screaming of the thunderstorm. As his men all fell around him, Frank finally said yes to the voice's offer. A while after the bombardment, American troops landed on the ruins of Valley Forge and were astonished to find Frank as the sole survivor, severely wounded but otherwise unfazed. When Frank arrived home, he met his family at the airport only to be confronted by the voice one last time as he began to talk about the price. Just as this was said, Frank saw a skull-shaped reticule around his family.[8]

The Punisher

In 1976, Frank and his family had a picnic in Central Park. While there a shootout began between two rival criminal groups. In the crossfire Frank's wife, daughter and son were all killed and he was badly wounded. While Frank attempted to testify against his family's killers, he was unable to as they had deep ties to the New York Police Department and were able to bribe the judges. Some time later Frank began his war on crime under the alias of the Punisher.

Frank voluntarily gave himself up to the Police and was sent to Ryker's Island Prison. However, this was a ploy in seeking to finally kill his family's murderers that were imprisoned there during a prison riot he incited.[9]


The Punisher possess no superhuman powers.


Frank is an extremely skilled combatant and strategist as a result of his time in Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served as a Force Recon Marine, an elite unit of the Marines that were highly active in special operations. He is also a highly talented sniper, having served one of his tours in Vietnam as a Scout Sniper.

Strength level

The Punisher possesses the normal human strength of a 6'1" 210-pound man, who engages in intense physical exercise. Frank engages in a brutal regimen of calisthenics, katas and firing range practice daily, maintaining his combat skills and he does not drink alcohol or do drugs, even over the counter painkillers, believing that they would be a detriment to his abilities.


Military equipment as appropriate


Many vehicles


The Punisher employs a vast array of conventional firearms including machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, handguns, knives, explosives and other weapons culled from common and organized criminals and military sources during his operations. A vast majority of his weapons have roots in military forces around the world, and typically employs weapons and accessories limited to military operations.

The Punisher often customizes his weapons for greater effectiveness with both standard and custom items including magnified optics, reflex sights, night vision scopes, flashlights, grenade launchers, sound and flash suppressors, bipods, high-capacity magazines and drums and various ammunition including hollow point or armor piercing bullets.

  • The MAX Imprint of the Punisher ages in real time, propelling him into his late 50s. The cover of issue #44 reveals that he was born on February 1950, but was later removed during the book's publication. Despite this, Garth Ennis dropped hints to 1950 being Castle's birth year (in Punisher: The Tyger Castle mentions that he was 10 years old in 1960). However, Jason Aaron gives Punisher's birth year as 1947 in his Punisher MAX series. Regardless, he has a well-maintained physical condition and health despite of his age. The imprint also depicts the Punisher as having been an active vigilante for almost 30 years.
  • Before the Civil War took place, Iron Man talked about events in the Punisher's past from the Marvel Knights and MAX comic, stating that several storylines of the MAX imprint also took place in the main Marvel Universe.[10]
Quote1 Captain Frank Castle, sole survivor of the Firebase Valley Forge massacre. Quote2
--Iron Man
Quote1 Although recently Castle has escalated his war on crime even further, with record-breaking body counts, he is paradoxically now rarely encountered in the field by any super hero save Daredevil. Quote2
--Iron Man
Quote1 It's almost like he inhabits two worlds, one where heroes can capture him and one where they can’t, and he can slip from one to the other with ease. Quote2
--Iron Man
  • Issue #19 specified he had killed approximately 2,000 people, not including military personnel or the deaths in a story in which the Punisher causes a hydrogen bomb to be dropped onto the Pacific island Grand Nixon, where a General Kriegkopf has gathered 2,000 mercenaries, including the assassin known as The Russian.

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