Quote1 They laugh at the law. The rich ones who buy it and twist it to their whims. The other ones, who have nothing to lose, who don't care about themselves, or other people. All the ones who think they're above the law, or outside it, or beyond it. They know all the law is good for is to keep good people in line. And they all laugh. They laugh at the law. But they don't laugh at me. Quote2
-- Punisher src

Early life

Born in Queens, New York,[24] to Sicilian immigrants,[25] the young Francis Castiglione studied in the seminary for a time[26] before he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. Prior to his enlistment, he married his wife, Maria, who was already pregnant with their first child.[27][23]

Marine Corps

During his time in the USMC, Castiglione graduated from boot camp and then went on to United States Marine Corps School of Infantry. While still in training,[28] Castiglione met Phan Bighawk, an American Indian scout. He was assigned to be Castiglione's guide, and through Phan, he learned how to survive in the wilderness.[28]


Following his training, Castiglione fought and served in the Vietnam War for four years in a Special Operations Unit as a point man.[7][23] Despite being one of, if not the best sniper in the corps[28], it is generally implied that many of his superiors didn't like him and put him in situations where they hoped he would be killed.[7][29]

At one point, his friend from training, Roger Wong, was found to be running a black market supplying the locals with weapons. To keep him away from the trial Frank was sent stateside for a month, running a recruitment office. It was here that he met Linus Lieberman, who would soon become Microchip, for the first time, when he disqualified him from the draft for having flat feet and being overweight.[30] He did not remember this meeting later, but Microchip did.

He fought in numerous engagements and was the only survivor (from both sides) of a Viet Cong assault on Valley Forge Firebase in 1971.[31] For heroism in the line of duty, he was decorated with the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, 3 times the Silver Star and Bronze Stars, 4 times the Purple Heart, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[23] After finishing his second tour of duty in Vietnam, he came back to the United States and had a second child with his wife. He then signed up for a third tour, for which he illegally re-entered the U.S. Marine Corps under the name of Frank Castle in order to return to battle. Castle served a total of four years in the Vietnam War (1968 to 1971). Five years later (1976) after the American involvement in Vietnam ended, Castle ran Special Black op training missions for Marine Recon Commandos in the upper New York State area.[32]

Death of His Family

While on leave, Frank took his wife and two small children to Central Park in New York City. Coincidentally, the family happened upon the scene of a mob killing on the Sheep's Meadow green in the park. Fearing witnesses, the mobsters murdered Castle's family in cold blood and escaped.[33] Castle managed to survive the attack but was deeply traumatized by the incident. He was going to testify in court to identify the shooters, but Castle was denied this since the New York City Police department were deeply connected with the Mafia.[34] He decided not to return to Marine duty.[35]

When mobsters slayed his family, Frank Castle vowed to spend the rest of his life avenging them. Now equipped with state-of-the-art weapons, he wages a one-man war against crime as the Punisher. Castle uses his combat experience, guerrilla and urban warfare techniques, as well as detective-like skills to achieve is mission. This includes using the Mafia's own tactics against them to track down and kill those responsible for the death of his family.[36]

Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 129 0001

Encountering Spider-Man

In the modern era he clashed with Spider-Man, believing him to be a common crook, but the two became uneasy allies. [37] He mistook him again as a criminal when Tarantula was hijacking ships.[38] When Moses Magnum's Deterrence Research Corporation (DRC) was hired to develop a toxic biochemical gas, he tested it on kidnapped innocents. Punisher and Spider-Man shut down this operation, though Magnum narrowly escaped death.[39] He took down the International Industrial Alliance[33] and the Syndicate.[40] He teamed up with the X-Man Nightcrawler to bring down Jigsaw who was trying to frame Castle for several killings.[41] He teamed up again with Spider-Man to stop the Hitman from kidnapping John Jonah Jameson.[42] Spider-Man even tried to stop Punisher from killing Lorenzo Jacobi.[43]

Captain America

While encountering organized crime in Brooklyn, Captain American ran into Castle. They clash, as their methods of combating crime are very dissimilar, Castle having no qualms about killing mob members. The mobsters were eventually defeated and taken into custody, but Castle escaped.[44]

Facing Daredevil

Spider-Man tried to stop Castle again when he murdered a swami, but it was revealed he was an assassin in disguise. This eventually led back to Doctor Octopus intending to poison the city; Castle received a dose of the poison and attacked Spider-Man in his disorientation, but Spider-Man formulated a cure for him and left him tied up on the pier while he went after Doc Oc. Castle was found by a police officer and arrested for his crimes, stating that he would not fight police and they were on the same side.[45] While in prison on Ryker's Island, Frank continued his war on crime by killing his fellow inmates whenever they attacked him, as happened regularly, as he was understandably not very popular with the criminals there.[46] However, Castle was busted out of prison by a cop who wanted to use him to stop a narcotics shipment that he was instructed to leave alone. When he killed the drug dealers he learned that they were using children in their operations. He declined to go back to jail and instead went to track down the drug dealers.[47]

Castle was confronted by Daredevil, who was trying to take them down legally. While trying to take out one of the dealers someone killed his target first. Later during an interrogation of the thugs Daredevil showed up enraged by Castle's lethal methods. Because Daredevil is "an innocent", Castle decided not to kill him and shot him with a tranquilizer dart and continued with the interrogation.[48] Unfortunately, the drug lord was arrested before Castle could get to him and was being defended by the law firm Nelson and Murdock. Worried they would get the drug lord free he decides to kill him before they have the chance. After Matthew Murdock got him acquitted, he admitted that he did kill his partner, and it was his pacemaker that disguised the signs of his lie from Murdock's enhanced hearing. Castle went after them and teamed up with Daredevil. But after they took down the drug lord Daredevil shot Castle and took him back to prison.[49]

Taking on the Kingpin

Now locked up in Dannemora State Prison he threatened a new inmate Boomerang that if he didn't behave he would not survive.[50] He then offered Boomerang one more chance: help him escape from prison or die. [51] The duo planned an elaborate escape but as they were leaving Castle betrayed Boomerang, knocking him down into the guards, and escaped by himself, vowing to kill the Kingpin.[52] Castle became unhinged, attacking anyone committing almost any crime, including firing on people for littering and speeding. (It was later revealed that this madness was the result of being drugged while in prison.[24])

He assaulted the Kingpin's headquarters simultaneously with Cloak and Dagger, while Spider-Man attempted to protect the Kingpin from him. During a one-on-one fight, Castle threatened Vanessa Fisk, which sent the Kingpin into a rage and he nearly beat the Punisher to death, but left him alive and escaped.[53] Castle was taken back into custody. Later at his arrangement, District Attorney Blake Tower told the court that he believed that Castle should be tried for all of his crimes as he willingly committed them. However, the defense argued that since the murder of his family Frank Castle had gone completely mad and needed to be institutionalized. Upon hearing this, Frank refused to believe that he was mad and lashed out, telling the judge that the entire system is crazy for letting criminals walk the street, before collapsing in a nervous breakdown.[36] He was judged incompetent to stand trial and sent to a psychiatric facility.

Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Vol 1 1 0003

The Trust

When the effects of the drug eventually wore off, Castle was deemed sane and sent back to Ryker's Island but he remained unfazed until he encountered Jigsaw, a mobster who got away. The two tried their best to kill each other.[24] He however was able to escape again thanks to the Trust. However on the outside he learned of the Punishers a team of mercenary working under his alias, whom he was intended to lead in a mass cleansing of criminals.[54] He infiltrated the Trust to learn the truth and found it's leader, Alex Alaric, torturing and brainwashing former criminals into believing they were The Punisher.[55] He was confronted by a brainwashed Jigsaw, also believing himself to be the Punisher, but Jigsaw's hatred of him was able to overcome the brainwashing.[56] Castle was able to take down the Trust and it's operations.[57] The most lasting effect of the Trust's work was erasing Frank Castle's records as part of freeing him from jail, giving him an anonymity with the police that would help him for years.


He began working with David Lieberman aka Microchip who helped him on his one-man war against crime.[58] His war against organized crime goes global when he focuses his sights on the international drug trade.[59] Castle's personal war against the cocaine czars forces him to secretly leave the States and strike at the source Bolivia.[60] Castle tried to build a new, peaceful, life for himself in the Midwest but this ultimately failed.[61] Castle confronted the malevolent leader of a dedicated and well-armed cult but ultimately he took down their leader "The Rev".[62] [63] Castle was caught in the midst of nuclear waste, atomic terrorism, and international intrigue.[64] This landed him in a life-and-death shootout high above the city.[65] He later tried to take down a group of white collar criminals.[66] This lead him to hunting down the Skid Row Slasher.[67] Daredevil tracked down Alfred Coppersmith a killer putting cyanide in aspirin[68] but ends up having to save him from Punisher's brand of justice.[69] He stopped a gang of criminals who was smuggling illegal aliens into the country.[70]

War Journal

Castle broke into prison to take out a cult leader.[71] But also meant he had to escape teaming up with a group of inmates.[72] Castle makes a tribute every year to his family by going in the park where they were slaughtered and flying a kite as they were doing when it happened. We will see how Frank Castle's commitment makes him help a pretty family. We also learn how Montoya, an ex-mob will soon be released of jail for good behavior.[73] He took on the Assassins Guild [14] He became a substitute teacher while investigating drugs been ran in a school.[74] Castle tried to keep a kid from going down the same path he did, and not only did he have to go after a man he sympathized with.[75] Castle was drugged and beaten, and an old ally, Hector Montoya, was out of prison, determined to kill him.[76]

War on the Kingpin

Castle's war against the Kingpin stepped up into high gear as he drafted a small army to help him battle the crime lord. But even an army may have not been enough when the Kingpin sent his newest assassin after Castle.[77] Castle was secretly training a small army to attack the Kingpin. But the Kingpin's latest assassin started picking off the Punisher's men one by one.[78] He killed the Kingpin's top assassin and tried to destroy the Kingpin's casino as well.[79] This lead to a one-on-one confrontation but they both escape alive.[80]


Castle's past came back to haunt him as an old friend turned deadly foe when one of the Punisher's buddies from the Vietnam War became the sinister Sniper.[81]

Other Missions

He teamed up with Power Pack.[82] He then traveled on a mission to Australia[83] and then Las Vegas.[84] On mission to Madripoor he took on Wolverine[85] He dealt with a crooked boxing promoter's scheme to bank a million bucks for himself by wrecking the career and the life of the boxer who trusts him.[86] He vowed to bring justice to Iris Green. The trail lead him into a secret ninja training camp.[87] Castle tried to eradicate an extremist pseudo-military organization whose goals were the same as his, but their methods were devastatingly different.[26] Castle was transformed into a drug-maddened berzerker and Moon Knight was his first victim.[88] Castle battled Damage and his New York City drug cartel.[89] He teamed up with Black Widow and the Shadowmasters to battle the Sunrise Society.[90] Along with the Shadowmasters they square off against ninjas and Iris.[91] He was forced to protect a "whistleblower" from high-level Pentagon officials who want him silenced. Things get out of control fast when the Punisher finds himself forced to hijack an experimental submarine and is chased by a full-scale nuclear sub with orders to terminate him.[92] The Sniper returned to face Castle again.[93] Castle had to expose U.S. government procurement corruption, leading a corrupt general to declare total war on the Punisher.[94]

Damage Control

He helped Damage Control.[95]

Moon Knight

Moon Knight and the Punisher teamed up against U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. and Flag-Smasher.[96]

Acts of Vengeance

The Punisher had to infiltrate Doctor Doom's Castle in Latveria and face off with an army of Doombots.[97] This lead to a confrontation with the ruler of Latveria himself Doctor Doom [98] This then lead to a confrontation with the mercenary Bushwhacker who was sent by the Kingpin.[99]

Continued Missions

He went after the Bayside Butcher.[100] Castle then went undercover to infiltrate a biker gang out to dominate the drug trade in the American Southwest.[101]

Back with Spider-Man

Teaming up with a cosmically powered Spider-Man, he took down Hartmann, a neo-Nazi fanatic.[102] Punisher and Spider-Man inquired on drug smuggling in New York, and tracked drugs to a military academy.[103] They learned from Colonel Buchinsky that the government believed cocaine (which never loses value) could become the new currency if the gold standard fell and was hoarding it. While Spidey fend off the robot mechanoids guarding the cocaine, Punisher set his charges and blew up the stockpile.[104] They then tackled a group of white supremacists who kidnapped MJ.[105] He went on various mission outside the US.[106][107]


When Microchip tapped into the Reavers computer system, the Australia-based mercenary group, he stole plans to build a combat robot dubbed the "Dalek". The group found the hack and decided to seek revenge the trashed the Punisher's safe house and then went after Microchip and Castle. Microchip created the Punisher's Exo-Armor to level the playing the field for Castle against the Reavers.[108]

Further Mission

Jigsaw returned looking for revenge alongside Rev. Sammy Smith.[109] He was contacted by the Impossible Man during his vacation on Earth.[110] He teamed up with US Agent and Paladin to take down a group of Drug Lords.[111] He took on a group of terrorists.[112]


Eventually, it was evident that the war on crime had took it's 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. He found a former Navy Seal named Carlos Cruz and hoped he would be less violent in his actions.[113] In the meantime, Microchip tried to bring the Punisher back into sanity with psychological experiments. Punisher eventually broke free of Micro's holding cell and and threatened to kill him. It was at that precise moment that Stone Cold bombed the wall they were standing at, seemingly killing Micro. After the Punisher killed Stone Cold, he started to wonder if he would really have killed Micro himself. Seeing him dead, the Punisher walked away.[114]

Brief Insanity

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 because of these events, managed not only to escape, but apparently kill Fury when he tried to stop him. It was however later revealed that it was not Nick Fury, but a Life-Model Decoy that had been shot. Frank however was a target for the law even bigger than ever before. Frank eventually regained his sanity and returned to his crusade against crime, this time more in a shift to the superhero community. Feeling the heed however, Frank went undercover and was not seen for a number of months.

Gnucci Crime Family

Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Vol 5 4 0001

Taking the alias Mr. Smith, took an apartment in New York where he reluctantly befriended the neighbors Spacker Dave, Mr. Bumpo and Joan the Mouse.Castle decided to strike fear to the criminals of the city by by targeting the Gnucci Crime Family. He planned to kill Ma Gnucci the matriarch of the family, but not before making her suffer first by killing her criminal sons Carlo Gnucci, Bobbie Gnucci and Eddie Gnucci.[13]

This however turned into a full scale war and he was shocked by how ruthless Ma Gnucci was. She used her connections with the N.Y.P.D. to make them bring Castle to justice as well as putting a price on his head. They established the Punisher Task Force assigning Martin Soap as it's head.[85] The Daredevil tried to stop him but ultimately failed.[93] A number of hit-men came to collect on the job including the "Russian". [93] Ma was shocked to see Castle when he appeared on her front lawn holding the Russian's head. The remainder of her soldiers threw down their guns and left, saying that she "can't pay us enough to fight that." Castle then burned the Gnucci house to the ground (after raiding a safe and stealing some of Ma's money and secret documents) with Ma inside.[115]

Russian Resurrected

Soap stepped down as the police commissioner took personal control of the Punisher Task Force. Castle met with Soap to form an alliance and he decided to provide him the information he could. However on a mission he encountered a newly resurrected Russian.[116] Working with Spider-Man he was able to take down the mercenary but he escaped, learning he was brought back on Grand Nixon Island by General Kriegkopf.[95] He traveled to the island were he battled Kreigkopf forces along with the Russian. After defeating Kreigkopf he stole one of his planes and dropped a hydrogen bomb incinerating everyone.[117]

Tommy Casino

Soap went to Castle regarding Tommy Casino an old school gangster being held prisoner in Colombia. He was imprisoned during a botched mob deal and was as about to be executed. He sent Castle to rescue him as he is the only person able to bring piece between the mob families and by doing so saving a lot of lives.[118] He reluctantly agreed and saved Casino from Columbia and brought him back to the States. He kept his word and brought all the major players of New York together for a peace summit, but this was just what Castle wanted and arrived to the meeting himself with his M60. Using this as an opportunity to wipe out the mob.[119]

Aim Low

While still taking down the East Coast Mob, he encountered Wolverine who was also tracking down a murderer who cut a man in half. Logan believed Castle was responsible and attacked him. The fight was rough with Castle about to set Logan on fire when they were interrupted by a group of little people. They battle these tiny people who were revealed to be the killers, forcing the pair to team.[120] Castle shot Logan in the groin so the little people would attack him. But Castle returned with his machine gun and cleared the building. Knowing Wolverine would survive and come after him he traps him under a steam roller as he escaped.[121] ...[122]


While taking down a drug den he noticed a number of cops pocketing some of the drugs. He was informed by Soap they were Andy Seifert and Mike Pearse. He tracked the duo and took out their contact along the way and torching the drug dens.[123] However he learned that Seifert was a gambler and was about to lose his house, but Pearse promises to help him. The dirty cops were using Seifert and Castle decided to step in killing the cops and saved Seifert.[124]


One night the Punisher was about to kill a drug lord from a distance. He had his target lined up in his sights when suddenly Elektra showed up and killed Frank's target before he had a chance to pull the trigger. Frank did 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 went in to kill an enemy, Elektra showed up. It started to drive Frank mad that he couldn't do what he does best anymore because Elektra always beat him to the punch. Eventually Frank confronted Elektra, and learned she was simply messing with him for fun. They cleared out a room of criminals together and then Frank asked Elektra to have dinner with him.[citation needed]

Confederacy of Dunces

Wolverine, Daredevil and Spider-Man team up to finally deal with Castle. He was on a mission destroying the Irish mob when he was confronted by the trio of heroes. But he was able to taunt them enough to set them off against each other allowing him to escape.[108] He continued his mission, but allowed the heroes to catch up and took Wolverine out using a rocket launcher, he trapped Spidey in a room full of explosives. Daredevil however got the upper hand and tackled him out a window. But he survived and warned Daredevil to leave him be. Spidey was freed when it was revealed the explosives were fake. Castle contacted Matt to arrange a meeting, but when they arrive they find the Hulk. [125] He destroyed the building. He then then convinced Daredevil and the other to leave him alone. He revealed that he had been feeding stew filled with plastic explosives that when detonated reverted him back to Banner.[126]

Civil War

Initially Castle was not concerned about the civil war between the heroes until the government started using superpowered criminals to enforce the law. This act made Castle enter the war on the side of Captain America and the Secret Avengers. After rescuing Spider-Man from Pro-Registration forces he brought the beaten and unconscious hero to the Anti-Registration hideout.[127]

Some heroes were apprehensive about having the vigilante in their midst while some were outraged not wanting him there at all, but after he assured them that he could get them into the Baxter Building Captain America allowed him to join. Unfortunately on the eve of the final battle two supervillains attempted to join the Anti-Registration forces and the Punisher killed them outright. Enraged Captain America attacked Castle for his lack of self-control and for not finding the better man within himself.[128]

When the war was over Frank found himself on the run from G.W. Bridge and S.H.I.E.L.D. once again.[129]

Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Vol 9 4 0001

Dark Reign

After the Skrull Invasion, Norman Osborn became the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and renamed it H.A.M.M.E.R. Frank attempted to shoot Norman, but the Sentry stopped the bullet. Sentry began to fight Frank. Frank was able to hide in his van until a man named Henry led him to a hideout. Henry then gave Frank information on a drug ring he wanted the Punisher to eradicate. Hank took photos of the fight, which made the news papers. Norman Osborn read it and ordered the Hood to have Frank killed.[81]

The Hood needed help to take Frank down, so he brought Microchip back from the dead. The Hood said he would bring back David's son if he took out the Punisher. After Microchip failed to do so, the Hood summoned back some supervillains from the dead to help take out the Punisher. The Hood then took G.W. Bridge's wife away and killed her, while his son was kidnapped. The Hood also took Frank's family out of their grave. Frank saw the Hood and Microchip, with G.W. Bridge tied up. The Hood told Frank to kill Bridge so he could have his family, and Microchip's son, back from the dead . Frank refused to do so. Microchip took the Hood's gun and killed G.W.Bridge. Microchip's son and Frank's family were brought back to life. Frank was shocked to see his family alive. Frank used Firebrand's flames to burn his family and Microchip's son alive. The Hood and Frank battled it out. While Frank was on the losing side, he bribed the Hood with one of his family members. The Hood let him go and told him that Henry was Jigsaw's son. The Punisher went back to his van, kicking Henry out. Henry then said "Don't you want to undo what happened in the past?" Frank gave a straight "No" and drove off.[130]

Soon after, Osborn dispatched Daken and dozens of H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to kill Frank. When Frank and Daken fought one on one, Daken emerged victorious, slicing Frank to pieces. Those pieces were then recovered by the Moloids and the Man-Thing.[131]


Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Vol 8 11 0002

The Punisher as Franken-Castle

After his death at the hands of Daken, Castle was resurrected by Morbius and the Legion of Monsters as a patchwork Frankenstein-like creature to help them against a group of Samurai-like men lead by the mysterious Hellsgaard, who killed monsters for "not being of God". At first Frank refused to help them out and disappeared into the sewers. The Living Mummy later tried to reason with him and showed him Wolfman's armory.[1]

Again he refused. When the group attacked the monsters hideout Frank was angered by the death of a child Moloid and fought back. After intense violent battles alongside the Legion of Monsters against Hellsgaard he would eventually take his revenge against Daken in Tokyo, but was interrupted by Wolverine. At the conclusion of the series, the character was transformed back into a normal human through use of the namesake of Ulysses Bloodstone.[citation needed]

After Healing

After healing completely he started hunting the Hood but without results so he went after Micro. On his way a woman in a black leather suit attacked him. She pretended she was his burnt wife but it was later revealed that it was Lady Gorgon who he had also burned working with Jigsaw. This all ended with a final confrontation between Jigsaw, Henry, and Frank. Lady Gorgon was killed by Master Yoshiokya, a leader of the Hand and Jigsaw fell in a fire. Frank told Henry that if he ever saw him again, he would kill him.[citation needed]


Punisher returned to give supporting fire to New York's greatest street level heroes as Daredevil became the unlikely villain of the new age.[citation needed]

The Exchange

A violent gang war resulted in the murders of nearly 30 people at a wedding reception, including the groom, leaving the bride, Marine Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alves, a widow just hours after getting married. Frank had connections with one of the detectives on the case and used the information he gave him to kill members of the Exchange, the group responsible, before the police had a chance to question them. He left one alive and followed him as he searched for a safe haven. But his bosses knew he was marked by the Punisher and killed him, then sent the new Vulture to kill Frank. Though he won his battle with the Vulture, he was left seriously wounded, and spent the next three months recovering.[132]

Back in action, Frank journeyed to upstate New York on a mission to kill multiple Exchange managers. There, he encountered Rachel Cole-Alves, who was using her Marine background to get revenge on the Exchange. Since they both wanted the same thing, the two began to work together.[133]

Eventually, Frank learned that Daredevil was in possession of the Omega Drive, a data drive made of Unstable Molecules containing information on multiple crime organizations, which Frank wanted for himself. Daredevil refused to hand it over to him, but Frank agreed to help him destroy it since it meant he could spend the night fighting crime. However, Rachel wanted the drive to help her get revenge on the Exchange and stole it off of Daredevil before he could destroy it. It took some convincing from Daredevil to get her to return it. Rachel then fled the scene.[134]

Angry that she has let her emotions dictate her actions, Frank confronts her and has her prove her loyalty to the mission by making her burn her wedding photo. With a renewed sense of focus, the duo made their move against the Exchange. Rachel confronted Stephanie Gerard, the leader of the Exchange, in her heavily protected office while Frank shot his way in through the window using bullets tipped with Adamantium to destroy the bulletproof glass. The confusion gave Rachel the chance to kill Gerard with a garrote, but Gerard's partner Christian Poulsen, who harbored an unrequited love for her, reacted violently, slaying everyone in the building, innocent or not.[135]

Though they stopped him, his actions resulted in dozens of deaths, including three cops, whose deaths were blamed on the Punisher. The duo split up, but Rachel, having killed one of the cops on accident, wanted to end her life out of guilt. Frank stopped her but she was brought in by the police shortly after.[136] When the news reached Spider-Man, he asked for the Avengers' help in bringing him in.[137]

The War Zone

Frank continued his mission outside the country even as Black Widow pursued him around the globe under the orders of the Avengers, only for him to slip away. Thor soon found him and convinced him to return to New York and help save Rachel from the death penalty. But instead of turning himself in, he freed her just as the Avengers planned. However, they did not anticipate his actions and he was able to buy her enough time to escape. As a result, he was captured by the Avengers and placed in a special cell designed by Iron Man that separated him from other prisoners he might try to kill.[138]


At one point, the Punisher was recruited by General Thaddeus Ross to be a part of his new Thunderbolts team alongside Elektra, Deadpool, and Venom.[139] But, unfortunately, he went rogue and started killing his fellow members, starting with the Leader, thus Frank returned to his life of an outlawed vigilant.[citation needed]

Original Sin

The Punisher became involved in the investigation of the murder of Uatu when he was recruited by an unknown agent – later revealed to be Nick Fury – to track various deceased eldritch creatures with Doctor Strange; their combined occult and firearm knowledge allowing them to determine what killed various creatures that Fury had killed in his career as 'the Man on the Wall'.[140]

Secret Wars

The Punisher crashed the Kingpin's viewing party of the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. He informed the villains present that since he could not take them with him, he was going to have to do something with all of his bullets.[141]

After massacring the supervillain gathering, the Punisher was approached by the Howling Commandos, who request his aid in completing one final mission before the world ends. The Punisher agreed to help, and was airlifted to Tikrit, where he worked on "punishing" the Black Dawn, a terrorist group that had been filming themselves executing American hostages, including a former associate of the Punisher's. The Punisher decimated the Black Dawn, and died from gunshot wounds as the Earth was destroyed.[142]

Secret Empire

When the universe was restored, Frank returned from the dead. Returning to New York City, he targeted the remaining criminals in the city. He became wanted by the DEA for a recent drug-bust.[143] When the United States was taken over by Hydra, the terrorist organization's newest Hydra Supreme, a fascist Captain America from another timeline who had secretly supplanted the real one, took advantage of Frank's idolization for the real Steve Rogers to persuade him into joining their cause, offering him all the resources he could need to wage his war against crime. Furthermore, Captain America disclosed to the Punisher about Hydra's plan to use a Cosmic Cube to change reality, which entailed the possibility of Frank seeing his family again.[144] Following the fall of the Hydra regime,[145] Frank realized that he had been manipulated, and set out to wage war against Hydra's remaining forces in order to atone for his mistake.[146]

Punisher: War Machine

Not long afterwards, Nick Fury Jr. sought Frank's help to contain the political turmoil in the turbulent nation of Chernaya since the situation involved S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from an secret outpost set up by Fury himself that went rogue after the organization went under. To this end, Fury facilitated Frank access to a War Machine Armor.[147] Castle used the armor to pursue the Chernayan despot General Petrov,[148] and eventually killed him. After fulfilling his mission, the Punisher opted to keep the War Machine Armor against Fury's orders, and used it to continue his war on crime back home.[149]


As the Punisher, he has no superhuman powers. Although, Nick Fury's intel classified him as being power level 6 or greater due to his fighting skills, his weaponry, and his use of lethal force.[20]


Frank Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher War Zone Vol 1 23 001

Punisher's training room.

Maximum Human Conditioning: The Punisher is in peak physical condition,[23] through his rigorous training & exercise regimes, he developed that strength, speed, endurance, stamina, longevity, reflexes and agility near the limits of a super-soldier’s inhuman capabilities. His functions is at the peak human level of a man of his height, weight, age and build exercise without being enhanced.[7][151]

  • Peak Human Endurance: Castle has high pain tolerance enabling him to threshold enough to surgery on himself without pain medication.[23]

Master Martial Artist: Castle is a very thoroughly seasoned veteran in multiple forms of armed and unarmed combat.[23] Becoming highly adept in Nash Ryu Jujutsu, Ninjutsu, Shorin-ryu Karate, Hwa Rang Do, and Chin Na. His styles of choice being Nash Ryu Jujutsu.[88]

Weapons Specialist: As an authority on modern warfare the Punisher is recipient of multi-disciplinary military knowledge from the United States Armed Forces. Thanks to this and continued training the Punisher is a master of many weapons, favoring daggers and long-range shooting weapons.[23] The Punisher's ever-changing arsenal of weaponry includes various automatic and semiautomatic rifles, and an array of handguns, fragmentation and tear gas grenades, other explosives, and combat knives.[23] A personal favorite is his ballistic knife, which can launch its blade with lethal force. He commonly uses M16 .223 caliber automatic rifles, Sterling Mark 6 9 mm, semiautomatic rifles, 9 mm Browning Llama automatic pistols, .45 caliber automatic frame rechambered for 9 mm ammunition, .223 caliber Derringers, and Gerber Mark 2 combat knives.[23]

  • Edged Weapons Training: Castle has extensive knowledge of edged weapons from his years of training in various martial arts disciplines as well as his military training.[23] He tends to carries up to 3 or 4 different types of edged weapons, preferring the knife he learned to fight with in the USMC: the Ka-bar.[citation needed]
  • Master Marksman: He is a sharpshooter and exceptional marksman of many types of firearm,[23] often depicted as being ambidextrous and rarely missing his target.[152] He is an elite sniper with skills enough to hit a target dead on from 4 km away[153]. He is skilled in knife throwing as well.[12]

Expert Pilot: Castle received helicopter training with the U.S. Army and U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. He has been shown fly both helicopters[60] and airplanes.[154]

Interrogation Expert: Castle uses his interrogating skills to get information from people who has links to criminals through very creative use of torture as well such as water boarding, electrocution, suffocation, sleep deprivation, starvation etc.[155]

Extensive Special Operations Training: As part of his Marine Force Recon training, Castle completed U.S. Navy SEAL (SEa Air Land), UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) and LRPA (Long Range Patrol) training, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) training, graduated the Army's Ranger School, completed the U.S. Army Airborne School (AKA "jump school"), graduated the U.S. Army Special Forces Qualification Course, and LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) training. He also took part in cross-training with the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. He's also a qualified HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jumper.[23]

Expert Tactician and Strategist: Armed solely with conventional weapons and motivated by a fanatical hatred for criminals like those who murdered his family, the Punisher has single-handedly incapacitated up to a dozen well-armed and experienced opponents in a single encounter and escaped uninjured. It is his military training and his attention to detail that allows him to achieve this.[23]

Strength level

The Punisher is in peak physical condition granting him peak human strength of a 6'1" 200-pound man.[23] Frank is capable of press lifting up to twice his body-weight and can lift over 500 lbs, but no more than 700 lbs. 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.[7]


Non-Superhuman Physical Conditioning: Castle is as susceptible to physical injury and disease as any other normal human, often having to rely more on strategy than strength when up against a superhuman opponent. However, different characters like Nick Fury have commented on how extraordinarily high his pain tolerance is. Frank does not take even over-the-counter painkillers, believing that their benefit of dulling pain isn't worth the side effects of drowsiness or slowed reflexes.[156]


Punisher's Equipment: Castle utilized military equipment as appropriate.[23]

Punisher's Body Armor: Castle chose not to utilize any costume outside of a black shirt with a white skull splashed across the front. His other clothing, which sometimes included combat boots, blazers, leather jackets, trench coats, bulletproof vests, body armor, black battle dress uniforms, and camouflage outfits was worn for the sake of protection or camouflage in urban and wilderness areas.[23] Each tooth of the skull was actually spare ammunition for firearms.[157] His Kevlar uniform protects him from most gunfire, though he can still suffer concussive injury or penetration from sufficient or repeated impacts.[23] The armory locations house everything from common guns and ammunition to modernized blowguns capable of piercing a 15 layer Kevlar vest, light anti-tank weapons like the AT-4, grenades and other explosives of various sizes, and crossbows, which offer a combination of silence and precision.[23]

War Machine Armor: Castle utilized a War Machine Armor stolen from a U.S. Marine Corps storage warehouse on a mission to kill the new leader of Chernaya, General Petrov, on Nick Fury's behalf.[158]


Punisher's Battle Van: Castle has utilized a number of vehicles from standard to customized.[23]


Punisher's Arsenal: Castle employs a vast array of conventional firearms including machine guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns, knives, explosives and other weapons culled from common and organized criminals and military sources during his operations.[23] 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.[23]

  • Frank used to have a guard dog named Max, whom he saved from animal poachers.[159] Max was shot by the Kingpin's lieutenant George, and Frank put Max down himself with a knife.[22] He later had a Rottweiler also named Max.[160] Frank also used to have a pet coyote named "Loot", whom he saved from gang members.[161]
  • According to Don Daley, then editor of Punisher Vol 2 #98, in his response to a fan mail, he stated that the Punisher's version of justice is classically based as "an eye for an eye."
  • On the letters page of Punisher War Journal #45, which showcased letters speculating on the Punisher's age, editor Don Daley made a point of emphasizing that Frank was not drafted for the Vietnam war, he enlisted.
  • The Punisher was based on the fictional vigilante Mack Bolan, the protagonist of Don Pendleton's The Executioner novel series that began in 1969.[162]
  • In early mentions, his daughter's name was given as Barb or Barbara.
  • His eye color was originally given as grey[163] and sometimes shown as brown.
  • Decades before the Punisher commandeered the War Machine Armor in Punisher #218, and even a few years before the creation of the War Machine Armor itself, Dwayne McDuffie and John Rozum wrote the pitch for a prestige format miniseries called Killing Machine, in which Castle steals a Guardsman Armor and customizes it, painting it black with his skull insignia on the chest-plate, mounting a gattling gun on one shoulder and a retractable missile launcher on the other.[164]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Punisher Vol 8 #11
  2. Punisher Vol 2 #60
  3. Punisher War Journal #6
  4. Punisher War Journal #44
  5. Punisher War Journal #45
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Marvel Knights #10
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Punisher: Return to Big Nothing HC #1
  8. Punisher Vol 2 #22
  9. Punisher Vol 2 #42
  10. 10.0 10.1 Punisher Vol 2 #76
  11. Punisher: War Zone #20
  12. 12.0 12.1 Punisher Summer Special #2
  13. 13.0 13.1 Punisher Vol 5 #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Marvel Graphic Novel #40
  15. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #7
  16. Incredible Hulk #396
  17. Civil War II: Kingpin #3
  18. Girl Comics Vol 2 #1
  19. Punisher Vol 11 #9
  20. 20.0 20.1 Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Punisher Vol 10 #11
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Punisher Vol 2 #57
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 23.15 23.16 23.17 23.18 23.19 23.20 23.21 23.22 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Punisher #1
  25. Punisher War Journal #25
  26. 26.0 26.1 Marvel Graphic Novel #51
  27. Punisher Vol 2 #59
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Punisher Vol 2 #77
  29. Punisher War Journal #4
  30. Punisher Origin of Microchip Vol 1
  31. Civil War Files #1
  32. Punisher Annual #4
  33. 33.0 33.1 Marvel Preview #2
  34. Punisher Year One #2
  35. Punisher Year One #4
  36. 36.0 36.1 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #83
  37. Amazing Spider-Man #129
  38. Amazing Spider-Man #134-135
  39. Giant-Size Spider-Man #4
  40. Marvel Super Action #1
  41. Amazing Spider-Man #161-162
  42. Amazing Spider-Man #174-175
  43. Amazing Spider-Man #201-202
  44. Captain America #241
  45. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15
  46. Daredevil #181
  47. Daredevil #182
  48. Daredevil #183
  49. Daredevil #184
  50. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #78
  51. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #79
  52. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #81
  53. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #82
  54. Punisher #2
  55. Punisher #3
  56. Punisher #4
  57. Punisher #5
  58. Punisher Annual #1
  59. Punisher Vol 2 #1
  60. 60.0 60.1 Punisher Vol 2 #2
  61. Punisher Vol 2 #3
  62. Punisher Vol 2 #4
  63. Punisher Vol 2 #5
  64. Punisher Vol 2 #6
  65. Punisher Vol 2 #7
  66. Punisher Vol 2 #8
  67. Punisher Vol 2 #9
  68. Daredevil #257
  69. Punisher Vol 2 #10
  70. Punisher Vol 2 #11
  71. Punisher Vol 2 #12
  72. Punisher Vol 2 #13
  73. Punisher War Journal #1
  74. Punisher Vol 2 #14
  75. Punisher War Journal #2
  76. Punisher War Journal #3
  77. Punisher Vol 2 #15
  78. Punisher Vol 2 #16
  79. Punisher Vol 2 #17
  80. Punisher Vol 2 #18
  81. 81.0 81.1 Punisher War Journal #4-5
  82. Power Pack #46
  83. Punisher Vol 2 #19
  84. Punisher Vol 2 #20
  85. 85.0 85.1 Punisher War Journal #6-7
  86. Punisher Vol 2 #21
  87. Punisher Vol 2 #22-24
  88. 88.0 88.1 Punisher Annual #2
  89. Punisher War Journal #8
  90. Punisher War Journal #9
  91. Punisher Vol 2 #25
  92. Punisher Vol 2 #26
  93. 93.0 93.1 93.2 Punisher War Journal #10-11
  94. Punisher Vol 2 #27
  95. 95.0 95.1 Damage Control Vol 2 #2-4
  96. Marc Spector: Moon Knight #8-9
  97. Punisher Vol 2 #28
  98. Punisher Vol 2 #29
  99. Punisher War Journal #12-13
  100. Punisher Vol 2 #30
  101. Punisher Vol 2 #31-32
  102. Punisher War Journal #14-15
  103. Amazing Spider-Man #330
  104. Amazing Spider-Man #331
  105. Punisher War Journal #16
  106. Punisher War Journal #17-22
  107. Punisher Annual #3
  108. 108.0 108.1 Punisher Vol 2 #33-34
  109. Punisher Vol 2 #35-39
  110. Impossible Man Summer Vacation #1
  111. Punisher No Escape #1
  112. Web of Spider-Man Annual #6
  113. Punisher Vol 2 #97
  114. Punisher War Journal #79
  115. Punisher Vol 5 #12
  116. Punisher Vol 6 #1
  117. Punisher Vol 6 #5
  118. Punisher Vol 6 #13-14
  119. Punisher Vol 6 #15
  120. Punisher Vol 6 #16
  121. Punisher Vol 6 #17
  122. Punisher Vol 6 #18-19
  123. Punisher Vol 6 #20-21
  124. Punisher Vol 6 #22
  125. Punisher Vol 6 #35-36
  126. Punisher Vol 6 #37
  127. Civil War #5
  128. Civil War #6
  129. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #4
  130. Punisher Vol 8 #6-10
  131. Dark Reign: The List - Punisher #1
  132. Punisher Vol 9 #1-3
  133. Punisher Vol 9 #6
  134. Punisher Vol 9 #10
  135. Punisher Vol 9 #14
  136. Punisher Vol 9 #16
  137. Punisher: War Zone Vol 3 #1
  138. Punisher: War Zone Vol 3 #5
  139. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #6
  140. Original Sin #1-8
  141. Secret Wars #1
  142. Punisher Vol 10 #19-20
  143. Punisher Vol 11 #1
  144. Secret Empire #7
  145. Secret Empire #10
  146. Secret Empire Omega #1
  147. Punisher #218
  148. Punisher #219-222
  149. Punisher #223
  150. Punisher Vol 4 #1
  151. Punisher: War Zone #23
  152. Punisher Summer Special #3
  153. Punisher Vol 8 #1
  154. Punisher Vol 2 #43
  155. Punisher: War Zone #1
  156. Spider-Man vs Punisher #1
  157. Castle used this costume on occasion in mid-2000s stories outside of the Marvel MAX imprint.
  158. Punisher #218-219
  159. Punisher Vol 2 #54
  160. Punisher War Journal #59
  161. Punisher Vol 10 #2
  162. Cronin, Brian (18 March 2016). Comic Book Legends Revealed #567. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on 26 March 2016.
  163. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #8
  164. Cronin, Brian (17 November 2017). Comic Legends: Was War Machine Inspired by a Rejected Punisher Story?. Retrieved on 17 November 2017.
  165. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9
  166. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 9

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