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This Frank Castle's earlier life seemingly mirrors that of the Frank Castle of the Prime Marvel Universe.[2][6]

Thanos Wins

During the heroes of Earth's last stand against Thanos, the Punisher was hit in the head by the debris of a building the Hulk was thrown into and died, his soul being subsequently sent to Hell. Willing to give anything in order to punish Thanos for slaughtering his planet, the Punisher signed a demonic deal with Mephisto and became the latest Ghost Rider. When he returned to Earth, however, Thanos was already gone and everything on the planet was dead. The Ghost Rider spent the next countless years alone, roaming endlessly and undying with no one to kill or love. After even Mephisto fell silent to his calls, he began to lose his mind.[2]

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When a badly injured Galactus arrived on Earth seeking help against Thanos, unaware that the population of Earth had already been killed by him, the Ghost Rider offered the dead planet to him in exchange for the chance of punishing the Mad Titan as his herald; an offer that the Great Devourer accepted. Together they roamed the cosmos on a quest to halt Thanos' systematic annihilation of every living being in existence, which led them to become legends. Their story lasted centuries, but came to an end once they finally confronted Thanos, who beheaded Galactus as he approached to battle. The undying Rider was offered by Thanos the chance to see more evil than he could punish in a thousand lifetimes, and thus became his servant.[2]

At the behest of King Thanos, the Rider used the Time Stone to drag a younger Thanos to the future[5] so he could help his older self in winning the love of Death by killing the Fallen One, the one being who managed to elude him.[1] Unbeknownst to the Rider, King Thanos didn't need his younger self to kill the Fallen One; he needed him to kill himself in order to finally be by Death's side.[7] After the Fallen One used Mjolnir to smash the Rider to bits,[8] the time-displaced Thanos realized his older self's true motivations and went on to prevent this future from ever happening.[7]

Frank was retrieved from his dead timeline by a Odin of an alternate reality[6] and rewarded with Valhalla,[9] but he didn't fit in with the rest of its inhabitants. Seeing that Frank didn't want to be there, Odin returned his powers to him and offered to send him to any time and place he wanted. Frank chose to be sent back in the time to the day Thanos was born so he could kill him before he grew up to become a monster. Upon using his Penance Stare on baby Thanos, Frank realized he wasn't evil yet and decided to take him under his wing instead as to change his future.[6]

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Knowing Galactus was to devour Markus-Centauri at that point in time, Frank traveled to the planet to try and convince the Devourer of Worlds into helping him, but he refused to do so after accessing Frank's memories. With the Watcher bearing witness, an angry Frank vowed to raise Thanos on his own, consequently creating a timeline where Thanos grew up to become something worse. The Guardians of the Galaxy of said timeline tried to change their future to the best by killing Thanos, but Frank (and, later on, baby Thanos) killed them all. They were subsequently greeted by Thanos' future self, who sported the same clothes Frank used as the Punisher.[10]

The future Thanos showed Frank the authoritarian world he had built on his example, including a past version of himself living with his wife Maria. Realizing the consequences of his intervention in his life, Frank killed the future Thanos and returned his baby self to the past, erasing the alternate timeline. Death appeared before Frank to confirm that his actions had nonetheless instilled the baby Thanos with the bloodlust that would make him her agent.[11]

The Final Gauntlet

In the future, Frank sensed Thanos's death at the hands of his daughter Gamora. Soon after discovering his beheaded corpse, he was approached by Eros, who had come to collect it and his brother's will.[12] He was present at the gathering held by Eros to show Thanos's will, which revealed that he had placed his consciousness into another living being before dying. As those gathered discussed what to do with this new information, they were attacked by the Black Order and sucked into a black hole. Frank was rescued thanks to Beta Ray Bill and recruited into the Guardians of the Galaxy by Peter Quill.[13]

After clashing with Groot and Bill, he left the group and joined the Dark Guardians in their quest to hunt down Gamora as the most likely host for Thanos's resurrection.[14] They tracked her down using her former lover Nova and clashed with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take her.[15] When they were ready to execute her, however, they were attacked by the Asgardian goddess Hela and the Black Order. Hela easily took down Frank because of her power over dead beings and revealed that Starfox had been Thanos's chosen vessel all along. Thanos's consciousness asserted itself in Starfox, and he left with Hela and the Order.[16]


Powers

Spirit of Vengeance: As the Ghost Rider, Castle has the following powers:

  • Hellfire Manipulation: Like all Ghost Riders, Castle is able to manipulate and project hellfire as well as to infuse objects and vehicles with it.[5] He has demonstrated the ability to unleash omnidirectional hellfire blasts that incinerate almost everything around him.[2]
  • Superhuman Strength[17]
  • Superhuman Durability[5]
  • Penance Stare[1]
  • Immortality: Being a Spirit of Vengeance makes the Rider immortal. He has lived for millions of years and has not aged in the slightest.[5] The only way for him to die is for a sufficiently powerful to fatally injure him.[8]

Power Cosmic: Like all the other Heralds of Galactus before him, the Rider wields the Power Cosmic. Presumably, all of his physical capabilities have been enhanced; to what extent, though, hasn't been revealed. So far, the additional powers he has demonstrated thus far are:

  • Interstellar Travel: The Rider has ability to travel interstellar distances via his Hell Cycle.[5][2]
  • Energy Projection: The Rider can fire devastating blasts of cosmic energy from his hands.[17]
  • Cosmic Penance Stare: By infusing his Penance Stare with the Power Cosmic, the Rider can incinerate any sinner he uses it against, regardless of whether or not said sinner feels any remorse.[17]

Abilities

Seemingly those of the Punisher of the Prime Marvel Universe.[2]

Weaknesses

Mental Issues: The countless years the Rider had spent on Earth alone had caused him serious mental issues.[2]

As the Rider is technically dead, any entity with command over the dead, such as a deity of death, can control him as well.


Equipment

Punisher's Suit[6]

Transportation

Hell Cycle

Weapons

A pair of firearms,[5] and chains forged from the bones of Cyttorak that are practically indestructible as not even someone as strong as Thanos could break them.[5]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes



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