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Synopsis
The story of The Punisher in the Marvel universe.

Biography

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.

Clashing with Heroes

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.

Inmate

Castle was sent to Dannemora Sate Prison, and threatened new inmate Boomerang that if he didn't behave, he would not survive. He then offered Boomerang one more chance: help him escape from prison, or die. The escape plan worked, but Castle betrayed Boomerang, knocking him down into the guards, and vowed to kill Kingpin. He became unhinged, attacking anyone committing almost any crime, including firing people for littering and speeding, but it was later revealed madness was caused due to him being drugged in prison.

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, sending Wilson into a rage that nearly caused the Punisher's life. However, Wilson left him alive, and Frank escaped from the headquarters.

After being taken back into custody, district attorney Blake Tower told the court 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, Castle had completely gone mad, and needed to be institutionalized. Hearing this, Frank refused to believe that he was mad and lashed out, telling the judge the entire system is crazy for letting criminals walk the street before collapsing in a nervous breakdown. Castle was judged in competent to stand trial, and was sent to psychiatric facility.

When the effects of the drugs wore off, Castle was deemed sane and sent back to Ryker's Island, and encountered Jigsaw. The two tried their best to kill each other, but Castle was able to escape again thanks to the Trust. However on the outside, he learned of the Punishers: a team of mercenaries working under his alias, whom he was intended to lead in a mass-cleaning of criminals. Castle infiltrated the Trust to learn the truth: It's leader Alex Alaric was torturing and brainwashing former criminals to believe they were the Punisher.

He was confronted by a brainwashed Jigsaw, who was later able to break from the brainwashing due to his hatred of the Punisher. Castle was able to take down the Trust and its entire operation, but the most lasting effect of the Trust's work was erasing Frank's records as part of the freeing from jail.

Microchip

Castle began working with David Lieberman, also known as Microchip, who helped him on his one-man war against crime. His war against organized crimes goes global when he focuses his sights on the international drug trade. His war forces him to secretly leave the States and strike at the source - Bolivia. Castle attempted to build a new peaceful life, but failed in the Midwest. Castle confronted the leader, "The Rev", and was later caught in the midst of nuclear waste, atomic terrorism, and international intrigue.

This landed him in a life-and-death shootout above the city, and he later tried to take down a group of white collar criminals. This lead him to hunting down the Skid Row Slasher, and was later confronted by Daredevil once again, stopping the Punisher's brand of justice.

War Journal

Castle broke into prison to take out a cult leader.[70] But it also meant he had to escape by teaming up with a group of inmates.[71] Castle makes a tribute every year to his family by going to the park where they were slaughtered and flying a kite as they were doing when the tragedy happened. We will see how Frank Castle's commitment makes him help a family in need. We also learn how Montoya, an ex-mob member will soon be released from jail for good behavior.[72] He took on the Assassins Guild [16], and later became a substitute teacher while investigating drugs being run in a school.[73] Castle tried to keep a kid from going down the same path he did, and not only that, but he had to go after a man he sympathized with.[74] Castle was later drugged and beaten and an old ally, Hector Montoya, who was out of prison, was determined to kill him.[75]

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.[76] 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.[77] He killed the Kingpin's top assassin and tried to destroy the Kingpin's casino as well.[78] This led to a one-on-one confrontation, where both men escaped alive.[79]

Afterwards, the Punisher teamed up with Power Pack.[80] He then traveled on a mission to Australia[81], and then Las Vegas.[82] On a mission to Madripoor, he took on Wolverine[83]. He then 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.[84] He vowed to bring justice to Iris Green. The trail leads him into a secret ninja training camp.[85] 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 berserker, and Moon Knight was his first victim.[86] Castle battled Damage and his New York City drug cartel.[87] He teamed up with Black Widow and the Shadowmasters to battle the Sunrise Society.[88] Along with the Shadowmasters, they square off against ninjas and Iris.[89] 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.[90] The Sniper returned to face Castle again.[91] Castle had to expose U.S. government procurement corruption, leading a corrupt general to declare total war on the Punisher.[92]

Back with Spider-Man

Teaming up with a cosmically powered Spider-Man, he took down Hartmann, a neo-Nazi fanatic.[93] Punisher and Spider-Man inquired on drug smuggling in New York, and tracked drugs to a military academy.[94] 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.[95] They then tackled a group of white supremacists who kidnapped MJ.[96] He went on various mission outside the US.[97][98]

Reavers

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.[99]

Further Mission

Jigsaw returned looking for revenge alongside Rev. Sammy Smith.[100] He was contacted by the Impossible Man during his vacation on Earth.[101] He teamed up with US Agent and Paladin to take down a group of Drug Lords.[102] He took on a group of terrorists.[103]

Brief Insanity

Eventually, it was evident that the war on crime had taken its 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 safehouses. He then found a former Navy Seal named Carlos Cruz and hoped he would be less violent in his actions.[104] In the meantime, Microchip tried to bring back the Punisher's sanity with psychological experiments. The Punisher eventually broke free of Micro's holding cell and threatened to kill him. It was at that precise moment that Stone Cold bombed the wall they were standing next to, seemingly killing Microchip. After the Punisher killed Stone Cold, he simply walked away.[105]

The betrayal of his former partner had put Frank over the edge. He was manipulated to belive that Nick Fury was the one that killed his family,and Nick Fury had him locked up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The Punisher however, mad 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 who had been shot, but a Life-Model Decoy. Nevertheless, Frank became a target for the law even bigger than ever before. Frank eventually learned the truth about Nick Fury and returned to his crusade against crime, this time more in a shift towards the superhero community.

Angelic Power

Sometime after this Frank was convinced by demons led by the former Archangel Olivier to commit suicide and was then raised from death by the Angel Gadriel who used some of his own angelic power to restore Frank to life as well as granting him access to all the weapons of Heaven. During this time Frank learned that Frank Costa, whose mob family were responsible for the death of his family, was in fact the demon Olivier who killed Frank's family so that the all the deaths Frank would then be responsible for would ultimately work as sacrifices for Olivier, allowing him to increase his power. Frank fought alongside Gadriel and seemingly killed Olivier.[106] While still possessing these powers Frank also fought alongside Wolverine who was trying to stop a young Morlock woman, Revelation, from spreading death with her uncontrollable powers.[106] Sometime after this he lost all the supernatural powers he had gained and was a normal man once more, having been taken to Heaven by Angels who tried to convince him to work for them which he declined.[14]

Gnucci Crime Family

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 in the hearts of the criminals of New York 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.[14]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 force them to attempt to bring Castle to justice as well as putting a price on his head. The N.Y.P.D established the Punisher Task Force assigning Martin Soap as it's head.[83] Daredevil tried to stop him but ultimately failed.[91] A number of hit-men came to collect on the job including the "Russian". [91] 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.[107]

Russian Resurrected

Soap stepped down as the police commissioner and was placed back in control of the Punisher Task Force. Castle met with Soap to form an alliance who decided to provide him the information he could. Soon after while on a mission he encountered a newly resurrected Russian.[108] 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.[106] Punisher traveled to the island where he battled Kreigkopf's forces along with the Russian. After defeating Kreigkopf he stole one of his planes and dropped a hydrogen bomb on the island incinerating everyone.[109]

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 about to be executed. He sent Castle to rescue him as Tommy was the only person able to bring peace between the mob families and by doing so save a lot of lives.[110] He reluctantly agreed and saved Casino from Columbia and brought him back to the States. Tommy kept his word and brought all the major players of New York together for a peace summit, but this was just what Castle wanted who had arrived to the meeting himself with his M60, having used Tommy as an opportunity to wipe out the mob.[111]

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 led by Tony Casino the brother of the late mafia don Tommy Casino whom the Punisher had recently killed. They fought these little people who were revealed to be the killers, forcing the pair to team up.[112] 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 trapped him under a steam roller as he escaped.[113][114]

Brotherhood

While taking down a drug den he noticed a cop pocketing some of the drugs. He was informed by Soap the officers were Andy Seifert and Mike Pearse. He tracked the duo and took out their informant along the way as well torching drug dens.[115] However he learned that Seifert was a gambler and was about to lose his home, but Pearse had promised to help him.[97]

Streets of Laredo

Castle had started to notice a decline in some of the usual activity he targeted in New York and went to question one of his informants to see what he could learn, the informant told him about a drug deal which Castle went to deal with, however what he found was instead professional gun runners who were selling dangerous weaponry. A sniper on a nearby roof spotted Castle and alerted the others to his presence, while Castle was planning a response he got lucky and one of the gang members fumbled a rocket launcher and took himself and his men out for him. Frank returned to his informant who told him that the arms dealers he'd spotted and taken down originated in a small town called Branding located in Texas. Castle arrived in the town and quickly learned from a local woman, Kim Wells as well as the local Sheriff that they and the rest of the town were aware that there was a gang set up near their town with a lot of weaponry but nothing had been done about it, the Sheriff stated he wanted to keep the peace but he was also in a relationship with the leaders son which kept her men behaving themselves when they would enter the town.[116]

It didn't take Castle to learn the location of the arms dealers, who were set up in a fortified compound outside the town, as well as the fact that their leader was a woman named Rachel. While visiting the towns bar Castle entered into a bar fight with a member of the gang who was carried a stolen military grade firearm without the serial number filed off, informing him that the gang were sourcing their weaponry from corrupt members of the Army.[116]

The leader of the gang, Rachel, lost her son to a homophobic hate crime after he was repeatedly run over in the desert and left for her people to find so in revenge she planned to lead her people against the town. They didn't get far before the Sheriff attempted to reason with them and then engaged in a firefight instead when they wouldn't listen. This allowed Castle to infiltrate their compound and killed those who had not got along into town before soaking the compound in gasoline, piling up the weaponry and detonating the entire place with a grenade. Rachel and her gang returned to the compound when they witnessed the explosion which left her more determined to fight after losing all of her product.[117]

Many of Rachel's gang were unwilling to continue following her, those who remained she convinced to attack the town to draw out their saboteur. Castle was aware they were coming for him and set himself up in town to kill as many of them as quickly as possible, Rachel escaped the initial slaughter and Castle followed after her, she attempted to murder him with a hatchet but he prevailed against her and after a short fight he was able to kill her by impaling her with a meat hook in her neck. The man who killed Rachel's son is identified as local vocally bigoted Reverend and as Frank left town he attached the Reverend to the truck he had used to murder Rachel's son and dragged him to death from the back of it.[118]

Confederacy of Dunces

Wolverine, Daredevil and Spider-Man teamed 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 was able to taunt them enough to set them off against each other allowing him to escape.[99] He continued his mission, but allowed the heroes to catch up and took Wolverine out using a rocket launcher, he also 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 arrived they found the Hulk, [119] whose human self had been suffering from amnesia when he was rescued by Castle and who proceeded to destroy the building after transforming. Punisher then convinced Daredevil and the others to leave him alone and revealed that he had been feeding stew filled with plastic explosives that when detonated reverted Hulk back to Banner.[120]

Means and Ends

Castle would run up against Daredevil again soon after when Daredevil's defeat and subsequent imprisonment of the Kingpin led to a shake of the New York underworld that Hammerhead planned to exploit. Castle planned to take down by sniper rifle and learned that the crime boss was also working with the Jackal who he didn't initially recognise but with whom Castle had a regrettable history. Daredevil intervened when Castle attempted to kill them and the two fought with Castle escaping to plan his next move.[121]

Hammerhead then sent Bushwacker after him who had improved upon his powers and weaponry after learning he was in fact a mutant. The fight the two engaged in attracted the attention of Daredevil who attempted to intervene which temporarily broke up their fight. Castle stole bombs from a nearby army base and attracted the attention of both Bushwacker and Daredevil, using Daredevil to fight Bushwacker for him while he bombed Hammerheads base of operations only to learn that Daredevil had been responsible for their arrest already.[122]

Daredevil had become increasingly sick of Castle especially after he killed an assistant district attorney he knew, but was unaware was dirty. Castle lured Daredevil into a confrontation in which an innocent homeless man was shot by Castle accidentally. Castle went to the hospital to check and see if the man was okay and learned that a family he had gotten to know had been targeted by criminals and that their daughter Mary, who bored a resemblance to Castle's late wife, had been beaten and raped. When her brother Martin was targeted Castle saved his life and worked to take out the men who were after them.[62]

Daredevil had become aware of the situation and when Castle was taking the men out as they came for Martin he arrived and attempted to convince him to surrender. The two of them fought one another once again and after being beaten by Daredevil and shot at by the police Castle was captured and ended up confined in Salamanca prison alongside Hammerhead and the Jackal where he would have a shot at getting to them he never would have had outside of the prison.[123]

Punisher vs. Bullseye

No longer imprisoned Castle planned to hit the Patrillo crime family whose numbers had been decimated some years before, leaving their leader to command them while staying in hiding and crossdressing so as not to give himself away. The family was being led by this man who secretly commanded his nephew to carry out his orders in the greater world. They spent millions to hire Bullseye to kill Castle for them, during their first skirmish they both escaped and Bullseye raised his price.[124]

At a meeting between the Patrillo family and Bullseye, Castle attacked, killing most of the crime family and pursuing Bullseye who hijacked a public transport bus before crashing it into a bar full of criminals who Castle then took out, the police intervened and Bullseye disguised himself as a victim on the bus to get away.[125] Castle escaped and Bullseye continued killing after hijacking an ambulance. Castle hunted for the location of the Patrillo family and Bullseye for a week leading to another confrontation between them.[126]

Bullseye laid a trap for Castle who also laid one for him, after an explosive battle Bullseye reported to the Patrillo family that he had killed Castle, showing them Castle's blood stained shirt as proof. Castle then arrived and killed the two remaining members of the Patrillo crime family and it was revealed that Bullseye had also been hired by the Patrillo's rival family to kill them and had used their hit on the Punisher to get him to do most of the work for him, and that he was the one who had targeted their family years prior, not Castle as they had believed.[127]

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.[128]

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.[129] When the war was over Frank found himself on the run from G.W. Bridge and S.H.I.E.L.D. once again.[130]

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 newspapers. Norman Osborn read it and ordered the Hood to have Frank killed.[62]

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. Firebrand burn his family and Microchip's son alive but is killed by Frank. 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.Soon after, Osborn dispatched Daken and dozens of H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to kill Frank. When Frank and Daken fought, the agents shoot Frank in the leg, and Daken slice Frank to pieces. Those pieces were then recovered by the Moloids and the Man-Thing.[132]

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.[2]

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 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 falls in fire.

The Exchange

[1] 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.[133] 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.[134]

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.[135] 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.[136]

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.[137] When the news reached Spider-Man, he asked for the Avengers' help in bringing him in.[138] 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.[139]


Thunderbolts

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.[140] But he was betrayed and started defearing all his fellow members, starting with the Leader Red Hulk. And thus, Frank returned to a life of an outlawed vigilante.

Seventh Circle

Later on Frank attempted to snipe a criminal by the name of Sergey Antonov but it was foiled by the presence of Mathew Murdoch. When he attempted to pursue the police escort he was opposed by both Daredevil and Blindspot.[141] He was eventually left hanging off a building for the police but managed to evade them and steal one of their vans.[142] He later arrived to assist Daredevil against Antonov's friend with Crimson Dynamo Armor and ultimately killed him with a bazooka. A fight broke out when Frank suggested that he and Daredevil make a good team in which he was knocked out.[143] He made a final attempt on Antonov's life at the airport but was once again stopped by Daredevil.[144]

During the second super hero civil war the Punisher continued to protect the streets from criminals who slipped through cracks of Ulysses Cain's visions. Including killing a gang of thieves who attempted to steal the Zodiac Virus from Horizon Labs.[145] He also attempted to kill Wilson Fisk and managed to critically wound him with a knife to the chest.[19]

Punisher: War Machine

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.[146] Following the fall of the Hydra regime,[147] 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.[148]

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.[149] Castle used the armor to pursue the Chernayan despot General Petrov,[150] 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.[151]

Frank's use of the War Machine Armor didn't go unnoticed, and he was quickly targeted by the superhuman community when he returned to America.[152] While on the run from the superheroes,[153] Frank went after Baron Zemo. He was overpowered by Hydra's forces, but Black Widow and Winter Soldier helped him on Fury's behalf.[154] With their help, Frank intercepted Hydra's attempt to break out the fascist Steve Rogers out of the Shadow Pillar. In the middle of the breakout, Frank was once again confronted by members of the superhuman community, including Iron Man.[155] In the end, Jim Rhodes, the former owner of the War Machine Armor, stepped in and convinced Frank to hand over the suit. Frank was taken into custody, but he was broken out by Black Widow and the Winter Soldier.[156]

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