In recent times, the Punisher became more and more brutal and fanatical in his methods of killing criminals. Eventually he would become addicted to killing and regard everyone as potentially being guilty of crime. That the idea that someone would be in a place where crime can be committed automatically eliminated their innocence. This extreme thinking ultimately would end with Castle gunning down a family that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As New York's heroes began a manhunt seeking out the Punisher, Frank would come to realize that he himself had become exactly what he began hunting years ago and would commit suicide.
Frank's soul would end up in the Realm of the Dead, where he would be reunited with the souls of his murdered wife and children. Due to the nature of the Realm of the Dead, they would exist perpetually as a happy family, with no memory of their deaths, and Frank would not recall his many years as the Punisher. This would in turn be a paradise for Frank and he would spend his afterlife like this for many years.
During the period where his soul lived in this perpetuation of familial bliss, Mar-Vell and a legion of dead super-heroes would work together to destroy the entity known as Death and create their own Paradise for the dead to reside. For those to enter this realm and live out their ideal fantasies would require those to admit that they were indeed dead. Mar-Vell's followers the Avenging Host would be tasked (among other things) to travel into the Realm of the Dead and convince souls of their death and bring them into Paradise. Captain America would be charged with trying to convince Frank Castle to bring his family to Paradise. His attempts to do so would prove to be ineffectual, as Frank would consider his life with his family to be the ideal that he strives for.
Frank's bliss would soon come to an end as his old foes Jigsaw and the Jackal, having rejected Paradise decide to make Frank's life a living hell. They would attack him on the street, forcing him to kill them, making him vaguely remember his living days as the Punisher after snapping their necks.
Their next attack on Frank would be in front of his family, where his wife and children would watch in horror as Frank kills them with his bare hands. Thinking her husband a monster, she would flee with the children. Frank would track them back home where they would once again be attacked by Jigsaw and the Jackal. This time, Captain America would intervene and carry the two criminals away in punishment for leaving Paradise. Frank, finally realizing the truth of Captain America's words would attempt to convince his family that they are dead as well. His wife would refuse to believe him and flee. Frank would burn down his family home, and when Captain America would visit him to take him back to Paradise he would refuse to go without his family. Cap would tell them that the best way to convince his family would be to kill them, to show them that they cannot die. Frank cannot bring himself to do this, and before Cap can say anything more he's summoned away by the Avenging Host.
In another attempt to convince his family that they are really dead, he confronts them and shoots himself in the head multiple times. Although they witness him getting back up on his feet, they are horrified and flee him once again. Marking his shirt with a black skull, Frank decides that he has to try and convince his wife by other means and loads up with automatic weapons and begins a killing spree in the section of the Realm of the Dead that resembles New York. This earns the ire of the Kingpin who also rejected Paradise so that he could continue his criminal empire for all eternity. With Castle convincing massive amounts of people that they're dead, he is in turn eliminating all the potential people the Kingpin can exploit. He sends Elektra and Bullseye after him. With the help of Matt Murdock (having come from Paradise to overthrow the Kingpin once more) Frank would slay Elektra and Bullseye convincing them that they are dead in the process.
Castle would join Murdock, Elektra and Bullseye in confronting the Kingpin, with Daredevil tossing Kingpin out a window and then taking his wife Vanessa Fisk to Paradise. Eventually, Murdock would help Frank convince his family that they are dead and bring them to Paradise shortly after the defeat of the invading Kree Army and Mar-Vell transferring the power of Eternity over to Reed Richards. Finally, happily reunited with his family the black skull on his shirt would suddenly vanish, signifying to Frank that his days of being the Punisher are long behind him.
- 11 Appearances of Frank Castle (Earth-9997)
- Minor Appearances of Frank Castle (Earth-9997)
- Media Frank Castle (Earth-9997) was Mentioned in
- 1 Images featuring Frank Castle (Earth-9997)
- Quotations by or about Frank Castle (Earth-9997)
- Character Gallery: Frank Castle (Earth-9997)
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