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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.
~ The Punisher's speech during Return To Big Nothing.

The Punisher is a violent vigilante from Marvel comics and varies from being a dark anti-hero to being an outright protagonist villain depending on the writer and/or story.

Driven by the death of his family, the Punisher hunts down criminals and kills them in brutal ways, and he is also known to settle for intimidation or torture. The Punisher is one of Marvel's more sociopathic and brutal anti-heroes and for this reason and overall the Punisher is a truly neutral character and belongs to the grey zone.


Early Life

Francis was born to Sicilian immigrants Mario and Louisa Castiglione in Queens, New York with an unnamed sister, and an stillborn brother named Michael. In his youth, Francis studied in the seminary, and met and married Maria (who was pregnant with their first child at the time).

Military Service

Frank decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps, and graduated from boot camp to the marines' infantry training. While still in training, Frank met Phan Bighaw, an American scout he was assigned to be his guide, where he learned how to survive in the wilderness. Frank served four tours of duty during his time in the military, and was put through many dangerous situations while being regarded as the best sniper.

After learning that his friend Roger Wong was running black markets, he was sent to the frontside to run a recruiting office. There, met Linus Lieberman, who would remember meeting Frank, and become better known as Microchip. In 1971, Frank was the only survivor on both sides of the Viet Cong assault on the Valley Forge Firebase, and eventually was awarded with the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Bronze Star, three Silver Stars, four Purple Hearts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After finishing his second tour, Frank returned home to have a second child with his wife, before signing up for this third tour, illegally re-entering the Marines under the name Frank Castle. Castle ran a special Black Ops op training missions for Mission Recon Commandos in New York.

Death of his Family

While on leave, Frank took his family to Central Park to have a day as a family before he went back. The family walked upon the scene of a mob killing, who murdered the family in cold blood to erase any witnesses. Castle survived the massacre, but was deeply traumatized by the event, having his lost his wife and two children. He was going to testify in court, but was denied due to the police department having close ties to the mafia. Angered by the event, Frank didn't return to the military, and decided to spend the rest of his life avenging his families death.

Becoming the Punisher

After surviving an assassination attempt by the mafia, Frank armed himself with weapons and declared war against criminals of New York. He used his military training, combat experience, guerilla tactics, and investigation to accomplish his goals. Eventually, Castle ran into Billy Russo, a hitman who was assigned with killing him, and caused his face to become mangled after kicked through glass. Russo would survive the injuries, but his face was stitched and made into a jigsaw puzzle, gaining the title Jigsaw.

During his early vigilante years, he encountered Spider-Man, believing him to be another crook, but realized he wasn't. However, Frank did attempt to kill Spider-Man again when Tarantula hijacked a ship, but worked together to stop Moses Magnum from releasing a biochemical gas. In addition, the two worked together to stop the Hitman from kidnapping J. Jonah Jameson, and Spider-Man tried to stop Frank from killing Lorenzo Jacobi. He later teamed up with X-Man Nightcrawler to bring down Jigsaw, who was trying to frame him for several killings.

The Punisher would also run into Captain America, clashing with him due to their different ideologies, and with Castle having no qualms with murdering criminals. Castle would fight Spider-Man once again due to him being poisoned by Doctor Octopus, but he was cured and left for the police by the hero. Castle was taken into custody, and sentenced to Ryker's Island for his actions, and he would kill inmates to continue his crusade. He was busted out by a cop who wanted him to use him to stop a narcotics shipment, and declined going back to prison to continue his hunting's.

He was confronted by Daredevil, who wanted to take down the Punisher legally, but was tranquilized by the former due to seeing him as an "innocent". However, the drug lord he was interrogating was arrested, and defended in court by Matthew Murdock. Not wanting the drug lord to be left free, the Punisher went after him alongside Daredevil (who learned that the criminal was lying due to his pacemaker). The two took down the drug lord, but Daredevil shot Castle, and sent him back to prison.



  • The character is based on Don Pendleton's The Executioner character/vigilante Mack Bolan.
  • According to editor Don Daley, he estated that the Punisher's version of justice was the Code of Hammurabi: "An eye for an Eye".
  • He and Batman share similarities:
    • Both witnessed the death of their families.
    • Both have symbols on their costumes (skull and a bat).
    • Both are dreaded amongst the hero, villain, and criminal community.
  • He also shares similarities to Helena Bertenelli/Huntress
    • Both are of Italian descent.
    • Both are devoted Catholic's.
    • Both witnessed the deaths of their family.
    • Both vowed to destroy organize crime.



Ant-Man | Captain America | Hulk | Iron Man | Thor | Wasp |

Later Main Team Members
Black Knight | Black Panther | Black Widow | Cannonball | Captain Britain | Crystal | Cyclops | Daredevil | Firebird | Firestar | Hawkeye | Hellcat | Hercules | Maria Hill | Mister Fantastic | Mockingbird | Namor | Quicksilver | Scarlet Witch | Scott Lang | She-Hulk | Spider-Man | Storm | Sunspot | War Machine | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Yondu

Splinter Team Members
Blade | Havok | Iron Fist | Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Medusa | Moon Knight | Nova | Reptil | Sunfire

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