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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 was born in 1947 and grew up in Brooklyn a serious boy who enjoyed poetry. 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 young 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 Private Sal Buvoli whose dead body Castle would later see in the first week of his military service.[9]

At some point in his young life Castle's father Mario taught him how to shoot him a gun which he showed an innate skill with from his very first shot.[10] Castle met his wife in high school and married her soon after.[11]

The Platoon

Frank later spent four years of his life in the Vietnam War. His first tour began in 1968 when he enlisted in the marine corps after the birth of his first child so that his wife and daughter could afford to live in a home and not the apartment they had been living in in a dangerous part of Brooklyn, shortly before he enlisted his father died.[12]. Castles first tour was with fourth platoon, kilo company, third battalion of the twenty-sixth marine regiment were he served as a second lieutenant in his first position of command in January of 1968 at Khe Sanh Combat Base on Hill 861 while he still had no combat experience himself.[6]

Castle quickly won over the men by showing he wanted to learn how to do his job and that he would listen to them regardless of rank and that he wasn't afraid to act when others wouldn't, to bed the rules, that he didn't hesitate and had good instincts. Castle and his platoon were involved in the battle of Khe Sanh which was commanded by Colonel Letrong Giap on the Vietnamese end of things. Castle and the whole platoon survived but their main base was taken and then found themselves in the midst of the Tet Offensive, under siege in the rainy season. With their M-16 weapons unreliable Castle went to Khe Sanh Combat Base to trade captured enemy weapons for the more reliable M-14's that he and his men had trained on but which had all been replaced as well as telling Staff Sergeant Donald he traded with to keep heroin away from Hill 861.[13]

After three months the siege ended and the platoon was pulled from Khe Sanh and spent some time amidst prostitutes until they were re-assigned although Castle himself did not indulge. A group of green berets took their frustrations with other marines who had failed them and civilians out on Castle's men, he ordered their Sergeant to control his men and calmed him down just by looking him in the eyes and making it clear he would if the sergeant didn't.[11]

In the spring Castle's platoon began operating near Quang Tri Province and were tasked with retrieving American bodies from a swamp. When their radio batteries were found to be duds Castle ordered the men to move out unaware they had been spotted by Ly Quang, a liberation fighter who had it out for Castle for ordering an airstrike that killed her men, and who recognised him when the fighting began and eventually managed to drop down from a tree onto Castle's back and stab him when he was going after his wounded men.[14]

Castle managed to break her back on a rock and then slit her throat with her own knife. When the other men began to panic Castle calmly handled the wounded, gave out orders and got them to safety, including shielding a badly injured Sergeant Dryden, saving his life during an airstrike. Castle's platoon then went home injured, spent the rest of the war in a hospital or didn't rejoin for a second tour but they all survived that day and owed him their lives.[15]

Second and Third Tours

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

Captain Frank Castle on patrol in Vietnam

Military brass saw some promise in the young soldier after his actions commanding his platoon 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 seemed too outlandish to be true.

During this time he was working for and with Nick Fury[16][17] beginning in 1970 Castle began working as Fury's marksman as part of an operation to find and assassinate Letrong Giap when he was in Laos, where two Americans shouldn't have been, which resulted in the two of them being captured and interrogated by Giap and found out that the operation was an illegal one and that those who had given the orders were corrupt members of the CIA, who were involved in heroin trafficking and that Giap had been targeted because he uncovered their corruption. Before Castle and Fury could be used as part of Giap's attempt to end or shorten the war, parading his evidence in front of the press and having them confess to an attempt on his life, the two escaped and Castle held off their forces while Fury found and destroyed Giap's file. During these events Fury was greatly impressed with Castle's skills and recommended he be made a Captain and suspected Castle of being the one to slit the throats of the CIA men behind the heroin trafficking.[18]

Throughout his military service Castle stayed on the front lines through the death of his mother Louisa and the birth of his son Frank Jr. despite the fact that he could have returned home.[12]

It was on his third and final tour in 1971 that he witnessed what some considered the most pivotal event in his life. As the Captain of a small unit of Marines at Firebase Valley Forge in late October of 1971, he was renowned for never losing any men in combat.[1] 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 Padden who he had killed in order to prevent the closure of the Firebase.[1] The second occurred when one of his men, Private 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

Returning Home

After the events of Valley Forge Castle was placed in a military hospital before returning home where a deranged man in love with war told Castle that they were the same, that the only thing Castle had was war and that he was scared to return home because deep down he knew he wasn't a family man and that he'd spend his days hoping his wife would leave him to give him an excuse to go back. The man later made an escape attempt after getting loose from his bonds and killing a doctor and nurse, he offered to allow Castle to come with him but before Castle could make his decision a military police officer shot the man dead.[22]

After returning home Castle was plagued by an unending sense of boredom and apathy, a friend of his fathers got him work at a meatpacking plant while Castle sleep walked through his life. During this time his wife cried herself to sleep from loneliness due to his distance and his daughter believed that he would ultimately still return to Vietnam. The first time Castle felt joy since his arrival back home was when he saw the bully son of the plant owner get his arm trapped in a meat grinder when he was sexually harassing a woman, Castle was stood next to emergency shut off but chose not to trigger it, instead walking away to leave the man to be 'punished' for his actions.[23]

Castle remained distant from his wife who continued to believe that he was going to go back to war despite telling her that he was home for good. The man who lost a hand in the meat grinder had to have it replaced with a hook and returned to work the very next day to kill the woman who shoved him into it by impaling her on a meat hook and leaving her body there to hang. Castle blamed himself for not stopping the man sooner or more permanently and planned on killing the man with a meat cleaver but stopped himself at the last moment, wanting to believe he wasn't that man anymore.[24]

Castle quit his job and began washing dishes at a bar instead where he would hear mobsters talking about their business which he tried to ignore. When three hitmen were going to hit the bar Castle decided to take care of them not wanting any innocent patrons to die and took the men down without killing them. The mobster offered Castle a job working for him but he turned it down, telling him he wasn't looking for trouble. At this point Castle was approached by Nick Fury who tried to recruit him and told him he was kidding himself if he thought he could live the family life.[24]

The mobster approached Castle again this time at gunpoint and informed him that he wanted a job done, telling Castle to kill Francesco Drago for him which Castle refused to do. Castle headbutted one of the men who threatened his wife but the mobster allowed him to leave. Maria saw the blood and worried that Castle was harming himself. When Castle saw that the mobster had left men outside his home he called him and agreed to do the job but requested weaponry first. They procured a sniper rifle for Castle who planned on using it to kill the mobster and all of his men while they were gathered waiting to hear back from Castle who had told them he would be killing Drago that night. Castle hesitated, unsure of his actions, which was when Fury again approached him, telling him he wasn't going to stop trying to recruit him and that he would keep his family safe which he demonstrated by having his men take out the mobster and all his men. Castle returned home and began considering going to work for Fury again. The next morning Frank asked his wife is she wanted to go to the park.[25]

Becoming The Punisher

In 1976, Frank and his family had a picnic in Central Park. Castle told his wife that he was leaving and that if she wanted a divorce then he would give it to her[26], before she could respond they were caught in the crossfire of 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 City Police Department and were able to bribe the judges. Some time later Frank began his war on crime and became known as 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 who Nick Fury had identified for him shortly after the death of his family[26] including Francesco Drago, who were imprisoned there during a prison riot he incited.[27] After killing these men Castle went back to the meatpacking plant he had once worked in and killed the owners son who had continued to be a bully and who he wished he had killed sometime before.[26] In August of 1978 Castle shot and killed a woman for the first time after she drowned her children.[10]

In the Beginning

Frank Castle (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 1 001

Castle laying siege to Massimo Cesare's birthday party

Castle went to visit his family's grave before moving onto his target by hitting the hundredth birthday party of Don Massimo Cesare, killing the man a well as all the mobsters present. When leaving one of his safe houses Castle was approached by Micro which surprised him enough that in his hesitation Micro was able to tranquilise him. Micro told Castle that he begun working for the government who wanted to recruit Castle to fight their wars overseas for them, offering Castle the chance to hunt the likes of Osama bin Laden.[28]

While they were talking mobsters infiltrate the building, having learned the location from CIA agent William Roth. The mobsters were led by Nicky Cavella who try to take Castle with them. Castle fought back and many were injured in the mobsters infiltration and ensuing fight including Kathryn O'Brien who would meet Castle again some years later. Castle arranged for Cavella to find him and slaughtered the men he sent after him with ease although Cavella himself managed to escape, he also killed Micro for betraying him.[29]

Kitchen Irish

Castle was inside a Hell's Kitchen diner when a bomb went off across the street, Castle himself survived the explosion and shower of broken glass but many civilians were harmed and killed. Castle learned that the Irish-American mob were behind the explosion around the same time that he learnt an old acquaintance, Yorkie Mitchell was in town. Yorkie informed Castle of the mobs connections to the IRA and in particular Finn Cooley and how many Irish crime organisations were fighting over access to money that had been left to them. After kidnapping Cooley's nephew Peter Castle and Yorkie learned where they could find the others and hit them on an abandoned boat where the criminals believed the money had been hidden. The few remaining criminals were then killed when the boat blew, having been rigged to explode rather than containing money.[30]

Mother Russia

Castle killed a criminal who had escaped him in the past by getting arrested and who he then learned had been let out early by Nick Fury to lure him out. Nick wanted to recruit Castle for an operation in Russia being run by a group of Generals which Castle agreed to get involved in. A dangerous bio-weapon had been created in the form of a flesh eating virus codenamed Barbarossa by a scientist named Evgeny Stenkov.[31]

The scientist had been killed but not before injecting the virus into his six year old daughter Galina with an agent that would keep it inert until it could be retrieved from her bloodstream. Castle infiltrated a nuclear bomb facility in the Byrranga Mountains of Russia alongside the Generals man Captain Martin Vanheim who had been ordered to get the virus even if it meant killing Galina. While this operation was ongoing the Generals had their man William Rawlins engineer an arab terrorist attack on Russia so the Russians would not learn of any American involvement which didn't work as they had hoped. Castle made it back with Galina but allowed the virus to die in her bloodstream without any samples being taken, making enemies of the Generals but acting how Fury believed he would.[32]

Up is Down, Black is White

Nicky Cavella, hoping to take control of New York's crime families, dug up the graves of Castle's family and had himself videotaped while he urinated on their skeletons. Castle began hunting for Cavella and slaughtering large groupings of criminals every night to convince the authorities to lay his family back to rest. Eventually Castle located Cavella who was expecting him, Castle was ambushed and wound up shot before being saved by Kathryn O'Brien and William Roth. They question William Rawlins who had involved himself with Cavella and who was also O'Brien's ex-husband. The day before Castle gets ahold of Cavella he and O'Brien slept together but once they have Rawlins confession to his part in the plans of the Generals, before he escaped, and Castle has Cavella they go their separate ways. Castle then left Cavella to die of a gunshot wound to the stomach in a remote part of the Pocono Mountains where no one would find him in time.[33]

The Slavers

Frank Castle and Tiberiu Bulat (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 30 001

Castle preparing to send a message

After saving a young maned named Viorica Castle learns of an Eastern-European ring of human traffickers involved in sex slavery operating out of New York. Castle ensured she was safe and gained additional information from social worker Jennifer Cooke whom he had met before. Castle found the location of one of the leaders of the group and tortured him for information and then killing him and the rest of his men before having to flee the location when backup arrived. Castle elimited the two other leaders of the operation, throwing one from a window and filming himself burning the other alive, before sending a corrupt detective they controlled to Moldova to deliver a warning to them not to continue their operations in New York, through the video of him burning a man to death, or he would find them.[34]

Barracuda

Castle killed a gang of cocaine dealers and discovered a man, Si Stephens among them who they had been raping, he left the man to deal with the police after he claimed to want to avoid them, leading Castle to believe he was a criminal. Castle later saw Billy LaCarda a dirty cop heading to the police station where Stephens' was being held and rescued him to find out why he was being targeted. Stephens told Castle about how he worked for the energy company Dynaco and how he ended up where he was because he went against their plan to blackout Florida so as to increase their price stocks. Castle left Stephens' and went to Miami to deal with the company but unbeknownst to him the mercenary Barracuda had been hired to take him down and intercepted him after spotting him at the airport, causing a car accident to get ahold of him.[35]

Castle came to and fought Barracuda viciously, taking out one of his eyes and the fingers on one of his hands but Barracuda prevailed and knocked Castle out before throwing him into shark infested waters with a bleeding man. Castle prevailed and grabbed ahold of Barracuda's boat to get to safety. Castle struggled to recover from the severe beating he got from Barracuda but was able to make his way to the boat where the Dynaco shareholders were meeting and planted explosives on it. Castle detonated the boat and left the survivors to the sharks except for Barracuda he came after him once again, Castle shot him off the boat he was using and believed him to have died.[36]

Man of Stone

Frank Castle and Kathryn O'Brien (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 41 001

O'Brien dying in Castle's arms

Castle learned when taking on a Russian gang that the Russians had a hit on him, after placing a call to Yorkie Mitchell he learned that Kathryn O'Brien had been captured by Yorkie while in Afghanistan and that General Nikolai Zakharov, who was aware of Castle's involvement in Russia when he had been sent there to destroy a virus[32] was also in Afghanistan. Kathryn had been killing the men who raped her after William Rawlins had abandoned her shortly after their marriage years prior. Eventually Zakharov captures Castle having received information on him from Rawlins, Kathryn had snuck onto the helicopter being used to transport him and together they escaped but Kathryn stepped on a mine shortly after and died in Castle's arms. Castle then killed the rest of the men that O'Brien had targeted as well as Rawlins as he had promised her he would.[37]

Widowmaker

After killing a couple who were using their children to make child pornography Castle became involved in a plot to kill him, orchestrated by Annabella Gorrini a granddaughter of Don Massimo Cesare whom Castle had killed some years earlier along with most of Annabella's male family members. Annabella had gathered a group, the Five Wives all of whom were mob widows thanks to the actions of Castle and who planned to lure Castle in and kill him.[38]

Frank Castle and Jennifer Cesare (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 47 001

Jenny Cesare sharing her story with Castle

One of their members posed as a victim of forced prostitution and spun a story about human trafficking to lure Castle to a house where the others were waiting, Castle was shot by the Wives but then saved by Jenny Cesare. Castle learned that Jenny had been a victim of the Wives who pimped her out to a deranged member of the mob leading to her suffering abuse at his hands, after he was killed by Castle and Jenny discovered she had cancer she tried to go to the authorities believing that her husband's evil was responsible for her cancer, her sister Annabella tried to have her killed and believed that she had been successful. While Castle was recuperating from his gunshot wound and handcuffed to a bed, Jenny put on his shirt and went to kill the Wives and bring her sister back to Castle, she was successful and beat her sister Annabella to death in front of Castle with a baseball bat before sleeping with Castle in an attempt to feel something and then committed suicide.[39]

Long Cold Dark

Barracuda and Sarah O'Brien (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 50 001

Barracuda used Castle's daughter against him

Castle was unknowingly led to target a gathering of the Italian mafia that had been set up specifically to lure him in. Before the criminals could turn on one another Barracuda arrived and killed them before targeting Castle who ended up in the hospital badly injured. Castle then learned that Barracuda had killed Yorkie Mitchell who told him that Kathryn O'Brien had a daughter before her death and that the child was Castle's. Barracuda had kidnapped this child to use against Castle who escaped the hospital and began looking for him. Castle had O'Brien's sister leave her home and waited for Barracuda to arrive, the two fought until Castle subdued him and tortured the location of his daughter Sarah O'Brien out of him, who Barracuda had left in a car seat wired with explosives. Castle retrieved her and tried to put some distance between him and Barracuda who attacked once more before in their final battle in the woods Castle removed one of Barracuda's arms with an axe before decapitating him with a shotgun. Castle then left his daughter to be raised by her aunt and instructed her never to tell her who her father was to keep her safe.[40]

Valley Forge, Valley Forge

Frank Castle and Generals (Earth-200111) from Punisher Vol 7 60 001

Castle having punished the Generals

After a meeting with Nick Fury Castle learned that the Generals were still after him and had used their connections to learn more of him from Rawlins and have Barracuda find Yorkie Mitchell which wound up endangering Castle's daughter's life. The Generals then sent a highly trained team after Castle who managed to eventually capture him as he would not use lethal force against U.S. soldiers. The man the Generals used to run this operation had, unbeknownst to them, been saved by Castle in the early days of his military career and who felt he owed Castle, leading him to let Castle go and walk away just as the Generals were coming to kill him personally. As none of the Generals had any combat experience Castle killed them all with ease.[41]

Girls in White Dresses

An old man from a Mexican town contacted Castle after his town came under siege, believing that Castle could be hired as a mercenary to help them, Castle initially refused until learning that all the young girls and women in the town were being kidnapped and that nothing was being done about it. Castle went to Mexico and discovered that the women were being used to manufacture drugs until the dangerous chemicals wore down their bodies at which point they would die or be killed and then dumped with their damaged organs removed to hide the manner of their deaths. Castle took on the drug operation and found that it was run by Billy Russo who was calling himself The Heavy, Castle killed him as well as the rest of his men. The freed women then returned to their home and beat to death the last of their captors.[42]

White Angels

Castle made his way to Los Angeles where he attacked the vigilante killer Mike Trace (Foolkiller). Castle believed the Foolkiller to be a member of the neo-nazi white nationalist/supremacist group White Angels who had been lynching anyone, pregnant women and children included, who weren't white and who he had come to kill.[13]

When the White Angels attacked them both Castle realised he was dealing with a fellow vigilante and the two teamed up to fight, though not without insulting each others weaponry, looks and skills. Castle had initially gone after the White Angels for gun running in and out of Newark and came to Los Angeles to shut it down. Foolkiller worked alone as did Castle but they agreed to work alongside one another just this once so as not to get in one another's way and to go their separate ways afterwards.[43]

Castle didn't see the point in posing the bodies and leaving messages as was Foolkiller's m.o, leading Foolkiller to state that not leaving a message to teach society a lesson just makes you a killer and that there was no art in what Castle did. That night Castle and Foolkiller hit one of the Angels storehouses and found a large stash of weaponry that they then stole.[43]

The White Angels hired the assassin Sickle Moon to take care of Castle for them. In the meantime Castle and Foolkiller had identified several addresses belonging or connected to the White Angels and began to hit them, with Foolkiller telling Castle he could kill the ringleader Brother Sound as long as Foolkiller got to pose the body and kill the others. Castle was unsure whether Foolkiller could take out the rest of the White Angel crew but he assured him he could and would. Castle killed Brother Sound with ease, knocking his door and then breaking his neck when answered, and then left the body to Foolkiller. Castle left him to it and was attacked by Sickle Moon before being saved by Foolkiller who removed one of Sickle Moon's arms with a sword and allowed him to tumble off a bridge. Castle then left town and left the rest of the White Angels to Foolkiller as he had agreed to.[44]

Six Hours to Kill

After being injected with a poison that would kill him in six hours Castle set out to take down as many criminals as he could in the short time he had left while also attempting to discover the truth behind why the man he had been ordered to kill had to die. Castle killed the perpetrators, one of whom gave him the antidote believing he would come work for them, before tricking the man he had been told to kill into confessing his crimes.[45]

Welcome to the Bayou

While travelling through the swamps of Louisiana Castle then came across a family of serial killing cannibals who managed to capture him after he tried to free their most recent victims. A criminal Castle had been transporting in exchange for information then freed him when Castle threatened to awaken the cannibals if he attempted to harm him and the two tried to escape but drew the families attention. After a lengthy battle through the swamps Castle and his former prisoner had killed all of the cannibals but one who Castle killed himself while rescuing the last survivor.[46]

Untold Tales

Castle took down a bookie who was also involved in dealing heroin as well as a gambler who he had convinced to kill for him to settle his debts.[47] Sometime later Castle found himself captured by a group of low level criminals who turned on one another before he could free himself or mount an offensive against them, leaving one survivor who Castle killed once he recovered.[48] A young woman then helped Castle lure her older sister's killer to the location where he murdered her 20 years prior after finding out she had gotten pregnant, Castle killed the man in the same waters he had murdered the young woman's sister in.[49]

Castle would then be approached by a man who had travelled from China to seek his help in getting revenge against the people who kidnapped his daughter, sold her into sex slavery and then killed her. Castle killed his way across the U.S before the man who approached him was revealed to be a criminal himself using Castle to wipe out his competition so he could take over their territories. Castle found out who he was working for, killed him and went after his employers afterwards.[50]

Kingpin

The Italian mafias five families had grown sick of Castle's now thirty year war against them and put pieces in play to get rid of him by hiring an assassin but first enacted a plan to send Castle on a wild goose chase against the myth of the Kingpin, Don Rigoletto suggested having his bodyguard play the part but did not tell the others that it was Fisk's idea in the first place. While still discussing the operation their meeting was hit by Castle and many of the men except Rigoletto and Fisk were killed which convinced them to enact the plan.[51]

Fisk began setting up locations and people to spread the word that there was a new and powerful boss in town and quickly got Castle's attention with the amount of people all saying the same things about the Kingpin coming to town. Castle came to believe it was all a smokescreen when the only person he could connect to the rumours was Fisk but continued to kill his way up the food chain, including seeking out the widow of Massimo Cesare who knew all the gossip on east coast organised crime and found Fisk there who had planned on killing the widow for her suspicions of him. Castle killed the widow and fought Fisk who managed to escape.[13]

Rigoletto hired the Mennonite to kill Castle who happened across him in Hell's Kitchen just as Castle was calling Fisk out to kill him. Castle and the Mennonite savagely beat one another in the street until Castle managed to run from him, all the while Fisk was putting his plan into action and becoming the Kingpin for real by having the dons taken out. The Mennonite followed Castle's blood trail but a badly injured Castle eventually managed to kill him by pushing a safe onto his head after which he realised it had been his sons birthday two weeks earlier and he'd forgotten.[28]

Bullseye

Rigoletto's assassin Bullseye had arrived and with Rigoletto dead went to work for the Kingpin instead with Castle still being his target. Castle meanwhile was still healing from the injuries he suffered at the hands of the Mennonite and was disappointed to find that due to being over sixty years old and the various damages he had done to himself over the years it was taking him much longer than he would have liked. Castle saw Fisk on the news and tried to kill him with a sniper rifle but his buildings bulletproof glass took the hit and Castle found himself under fire from Bullseye before managing to escape.[52]

Castle got himself patched up after escaping Bullseye by Dr. William Bayer who had also saved Castle's life in the Vietnam War. Bullseye tracked the Doctor down and tortured him before killing him, leading Castle to resume his hunt. Castle tortured a dirty cop on Fisk's payroll for information on Fisk and Bullseye before killing him when he learned Fisk had bought out so much of the police force that Bayer's murder was ruled a suicide. Castle attacked Bullseye, who had been staying in the safe house where Castle killed the Mennonite. Bullseye locked himself in the shower which he had renovated with bulletproof glass and which Castle blew open with plastic explosives. Bullseye escaped through a preplanned hole in the ceiling and when Castle left the building he was forced to shoot two cops to make his get away as the police were now seriously after him for having killed one of their own.[18]

Castle found himself on the streets after Bullseye discovered all of his safe houses in the city and the police then recovered his firearms, explosives and cash. Castle's resolve hadn't dwindled though and they kept on the move still hunting Fisk and Bullseye. Castle planted an unarmed bomb in a van in Times Square and made it look like a terrorist had planted it to distract the police while he began infiltrating Fisk Towers using chemical munitions. Castle came across Bullseye and the two thought viciously throughout the building with Bullseye managing to take one of his fingers before Castle made it to the roof and was going to kill Fisk before Bullseye caught up with him. Bullseye surprised Castle enough that he managed to break the skylight they were fighting on, sending them plummeting to the floor below where the NYPD were waiting for them.[53]

Frank

After the climactic fight with Bullseye Castle was arrested and placed in the infirmary of Ryker's Island Prison where the inmates wanted him dead in his weakened and injured state. While in the infirmary Castle fought about what Bullseye had said to him and reminisced on his life during the Vietnam War and another man who confronted Castle about his love of war and inability to live without it after Valley Forge. Two seperate gangs planned on killing Castle who was practically immobile but their fear that he might be luring them into a trap by exaggerating his injuries had them backing off.[22]

Once Castle was able to stand he was moved out of the infirmary despite barely being able to walk with the guards guiding him around until he showed weakness in front of the other prisoners. Castle was put in an isolation cell which his mind drew parallels with the home his wife brought him to the airport from and the boredom of his cell with the boredom of the normal family life he began to live and how the only time he felt joy was in seeing a man 'punished' for his actions. Big Jesus, a man seeking revenge for his brother, got himself placed in solitary to get to him.[23]

While in solitary confinement Castle began to hallucinate that Nick Fury was coming to see him and accuse his thirty year war on crime of have being for nothing which reminded Castle of when Fury had tried to recruit him when he came home from Vietnam. All the while Big Jesus was preparing to target Castle and his men were arming themselves with every weapon they had. A group of guards came to get revenge against Big Jesus for injuring one of their men, which he knew they would and which allowed him to fight his way to Castle's cell. The noise of the fight was what his men had been waiting for and they joined in his attempt to kill Castle, starting a riot in their attempts to get to him. While this was happening the Kingpin had hired one of the guards to kill Castle who dropped a grenade in his cell.[25]

Castle believed he lived to suffer and be punished for when he decided to leave his family on the very day they were killed and threw the grenade into the toilet, covering himself with his cells mattress to shield himself from the blast so he could continue to live and suffer as he believed he deserved. Castle killed the man that the Kingpin had sent after him before taking down Big Jesus' gang. Castle then learned that it had never been Big Jesus' desire to kill him, his brother had in fact been killed by the Kingpin and Big Jesus wanted to help Castle escape because he believed that now he was the only capable of getting at the Kingpin. After escaping together, Castle killed Big Jesus and with no weapons, safe houses or cash left he found himself returning to his home for the time in 36 years to find it boarded up and foreclosed upon.[26]

Home Less

Castle was still determined to take down the Kingpin and killed a group of drug dealers who were selling a drug called 'punisher' and debating whether Castle was real and if he was whether he was alive. After taking the single gun they had on them he also stole a punisher t-shirt from a souvenir store. Fisk had hired the Hand who claimed to admire Castle's skill at murder and would not kill him but provided him with a bodyguard, Elektra, to keep him safe when Castle inevitably came for him. Fisk remained unaware that the Hand had also been hired by Vanessa Marianna to enact her own plan of revenge against the Kingpin for allowing their son to die instead of saving his life. While staking out Fisk Towers Castle killed one of the Kingpin's security people and took his gun.[54]

Castle visited the hospital wing of the Attica Correctional Facility to kill a paralysed and comatose Bullseye. Afterwards Castle spends his nights going after everything that the Kingpin has become involved in across New York City, gangbangers, mobsters, dirty cops and more and each time he did he left a photo of Fisk at the scene to make it clear why he was doing it and who the cause was to draw him out while also building up his arsenal. Castle dug up and stole the body of Richard Fisk, painting his skull emblem on the boys gravestone, all of which sickened him. Castle continued taking on anyone associated with the Kingpin and found that they had lost their fear of him, now more likely to stand and fight against him than run at the sight of him.[55]

Castle took Richard Fisks coffin to Vanessa and had her call Fisk who didn't respond as he had gone to his sons grave where he believed Castle would be waiting for him. Elektra instead arrived at Vanessa's and remarked that she was disappointed with the shape Castle was in until he bit a chunk of her arm out and got back in the fight. The two fought one another viciously until Castle shot through his own body to land a hit on Elektra who had been approaching him from behind. Castle then had her call Fisk and tell him that she had him and to come to her which Fisk didn't buy, telling him he couldn't get to him. Castle shot Elektra in the head while remaining unaware that Fisk and his men were waiting for him at his old family home.[56]

When Castle returned home he was ambushed by Fisk and his men, killing many of them he also took multiple shots himself and was still bleeding from his fight with Elektra. After all the men Fisk had brought with him had been taken down by Castle he charged the man and the two of them began to brutally beat each other, making use of whatever was around them as makeshift weaponry. Fisk had Castle on the ground but made the mistake of telling him that his family died for nothing, giving Castle the strength to raise up and bite off the end of Fisk's tongue to get back in the fight. Castle buried the end of a claw hammer in Fisks skull and followed him to Fisk Towers where he shot him dead while Fisk tried to get in, having been denied by the new Madam Kingpin Vanessa. Castle then stumbled back to his family home where he believed he could heal up and get back to work but instead passed out on the doorstep of and bled to death.[12]

His body was then identified by Nick Fury who felt guilty for not having stepped in and put a stop to things sooner and burned down the Castle family home to put it all to rest. Fury paid for Castle's funeral, burying him alongside his family, and was the only one in attendance. On the day he was laid to rest Castle's memory would go on to inspire whole groups of people to rise up against organised crime, and other criminals who did not suffer for their actions, and take justice into their own hands as vigilantes while wearing the Punisher skull emblem.[17]

Powers

The Punisher possess no superhuman powers.

Abilities

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.



Equipment

Military equipment as appropriate

Transportation

Many vehicles

Weapons

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 version 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, meaning that several storylines of the MAX imprint also took place in the main Marvel Universe.[57]
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
  • Punisher killing Micro in the MAX series[58] is also considered canonical to Earth-616.[59]
  • 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 had gathered 2,000 mercenaries, including the assassin known as The Russian.
  • Bullseye theorised that Castle subconsciously allowed his family to die that day in the park by not remaining aware of his surroundings because he wanted to be free to return to war. Bullseye also figured out that Castle's last words to his wife were him telling her he was leaving her which would give some credibility to Bullseye's theory.[53][26]
  • Frank Castle died at the age of 65 having been the Punisher for 36 years.[17]
  • At some point in the 90s Frank hunted Logan at around the time Logan had his Adamantium claws implanted and was working for a Las Vegas gangster.[60]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Born #1
  2. Punisher Vol 7 #31
  3. Punisher Vol 7 #32
  4. Punisher Vol 7 #38
  5. Punisher MAX: Naked Kill #1
  6. 6.0 6.1 Punisher MAX: The Platoon #1
  7. Punisher Vol 7 #42
  8. Punisher MAX #11
  9. Punisher: The Tyger #1
  10. 10.0 10.1 Punisher MAX #20
  11. 11.0 11.1 Punisher MAX: The Platoon #4
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Punisher MAX #21
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Punisher MAX: The Platoon #1-3
  14. Punisher MAX: The Platoon #5
  15. Punisher MAX: The Platoon #6
  16. Punisher MAX #15
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Punisher MAX #22
  18. 18.0 18.1 Fury: MAX #7-9
  19. Born #2
  20. Born #3
  21. Born #4
  22. 22.0 22.1 Punisher MAX #12
  23. 23.0 23.1 Punisher MAX #13
  24. 24.0 24.1 Punisher MAX #14
  25. 25.0 25.1 Punisher MAX #14-15
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Punisher MAX #16
  27. Punisher: The Cell #1
  28. 28.0 28.1 Punisher #1-5
  29. Punisher Vol 7 #5-6
  30. Punisher Vol 7 #7-12
  31. Punisher Vol 7 #13-14
  32. 32.0 32.1 Punisher Vol 7 #14-18
  33. Punisher Vol 7 #19-24
  34. Punisher Vol 7 #25-30
  35. Punisher Vol 7 #31-33
  36. Punisher Vol 7 #33-36
  37. Punisher Vol 7 #37-42
  38. Punisher Vol 7 #43
  39. Punisher Vol 7 #44-49
  40. Punisher Vol 7 #50-54
  41. Punisher Vol 7 #55-60
  42. Punisher Vol 7 #61-65
  43. 43.0 43.1 Foolkiller: White Angels #3
  44. Foolkiller: White Angels #3-4
  45. Punisher: Frank Castle Max #66-70
  46. Punisher: Frank Castle Max #71-74
  47. Untold Tales of Punisher MAX #1
  48. Untold Tales of Punisher MAX #2
  49. Untold Tales of Punisher MAX #3
  50. Untold Tales of Punisher MAX #4
  51. Punisher MAX #1
  52. Punisher MAX #6
  53. 53.0 53.1 Punisher MAX #9-11
  54. Punisher MAX #17
  55. Punisher MAX #18-19
  56. Punisher MAX #19-20
  57. Civil War Files #1
  58. Punisher Vol 7 #6
  59. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #7
  60. Wolverine: MAX #15



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