It is only going to take you one entry into this list to realize that Frank Castle is not like your everyday hero. The dude is a relentless beast, who often shows little remorse but is not afraid to carry a big gun. With enemies falling to his might in countless ways, the only real question isn’t who Frank is going to kill, it’s how many.
The character made his debut in 1974, with the intention of going after and murdering one of the most popular characters out there, but more on that below. While he was not successful in killing that character, he sure as hell was in the comic series “The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe” because, you know, he kills The Marvel Universe. If you think that image above of Wolverine getting electrocuted is bad, just wait until you find out about all the different brutal ways that Frank disposed of some of your favorite heroes. That storyline, as well as some of the most unique crossovers out there, including a rap star and Archie, help add to the unique and captivating nature of The Punisher.
Frank Castle is going to start getting a lot more attention after his appearance on the second season of the Netflix series Daredevil but he deserves it. As you’ll learn by the end of this list, one thing is for sure: he’s one of the most powerful and ruthless heroes out there. That makes him one that is well worth learning about.
10. How Many People He’s Killed
When Marvel started to move towards some more explicit comics, they came out with the brand MAX Imprint. This ended up being a very big thing for The Punisher, who, as you know, is all about pushing the envelope. The series started in 2012 and ran for 22 issues. In the comic, it follows The Punisher who had been doing his thing for over 30 years. As you can imagine, that’s going to lead to quite a body count. How about a body count of, oh, I don’t know, 2,000 people?!
The series ends with Frank Castle managing to kill The Kingpin, but succumbs to his own wounds from the battle.
9. He Hung Out With Eminem
If a superhero is around long enough, it is only going to be a matter of time before they get paired into a fun team-up. For example, how about the time The Punisher hung out with Eminem? The synopsis has Eminem leaving after performing a concert, when The Punisher appears and opens fire on him and his crew.
In the panic, Eminem is pulled into a building by Barracuda. Eminem then is able to sneak up on Frank and knock him out. Eventually, Eminem figures out that Frank was actually trying to save Eminem and was shooting at Barracuda, causing the two to form a temporary alliance.
As a battle with Barracuda starts to turn bad for Frank, Eminem is able to get the attention of Barracuda, and then chops him up with a chainsaw. Literally.
8. The Punisher Met Archie
I may have already talked about how The Punisher meets Eminem, but you know who I love even more than Eminem? Archie, and that’s why there is absolutely no way that I wouldn’t write about the time The Punisher met Archie.
The story opens with The Punisher chasing a trench coat-wearing man (we later find out is named Melvin Jay), who purchases a one-way ticket to Riverdale. In the town, Archie is trying to convince Veronica to go to the dance, but makes a mistake and is promptly dumped. Oh, Archie.
He then goes and asks Betty to the dance, unaware that he was being followed. Veronica, always wanting a date, has now been set up by her father with Melvin Jay, who looks just like Archie, only he has buck teeth and is an a-hole.
Instead of having to kill Jay, like he’d normally do, Frank set a deal with the government to try and bring him back to them alive, though that order becomes less important as the comic develops.
The Punisher ends up tailing a car that contains the two other mysterious men and Archie and Jughead. Having no other option, Frank ends up ramming the car. Archie passes out, and wakes up to seeing The Punisher standing over him. The Punisher quickly realizes his mistake, but a trick from Jughead allows the two to escape.
Things come to a head when The Punisher figures out that Jay will be back at the dance and returns, posing to Miss Grundy as the new Phys Ed Teacher. After he notices Jay in the crowd, panic ensues and Veronica is shoved to the door at gun-point by Jay.
The gang, now absent of Veronica, are able to deduce where Jay has taken her hostage and are able to get there before it is too late. A shootout occurs but after, Jay gets his foot caught on a balloon and is immobilized in the air. The Punisher decides not to kill him. Aw, how sweet?
The comic ends with Wolverine getting the task to hunt down perhaps the most dangerous mutant in the entire world, who just happens to look a lot like Jughead.
7. He Debuted Attempting To Kill Spider-Man
The Punisher made his start in the comics in 1974, appearing in The Amazing Spiderman #129. Frank arrives on the scene with a clear goal: kill Spider-Man, who he believed was responsible for the death of Norman Osborn. Not much is learned about the character, outside of the fact that he is an outstanding fighter who can hold his own with the very best.
One of the qualities that some people love seeing in The Punisher is when he displays a sense of honorable combat. As a result, he was not too pleased when his contract against Spider-Man seemed to end after the Jackal killed Spider-Man (yeah, right) using less than honorable means.
6. He’s Getting His Own Spin-Off Show
If you are reading this piece because you are absolutely in love with Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of the character, you’re in luck!
Netflix is continuing to get close to inking a deal for a stand-alone series. Marvel has clearly learned that Netflix is yet another platform on which it can push its brand. This would be it’s sixth series, joining Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, the mash-up mini The Defenders and of course, Daredevil.
When asked about the possibility of a series, Bernthal stated, “This character is in my bones now. He’s in my blood. If they want to go forward in any way, for me, it’s just really going to be about making sure we do it in a way that’s raw and intense… I want to push the envelope. I wanna alienate more of the audience and try to bring them back.”
Sounds good to us!
5. He Was Hooked On Drugs
Marvel decided to go with a miniseries for the character in January 1986. Unfortunately, the cover showed that it was the first edition out of four… but they were planning on making five issues. Oops! While the plot had to be altered from what the original vision was, hopefully the creator, Steven Grant, was still happy with the end result.
The story was unique for explaining how most of The Punisher’s more extreme acts of violence from the past were because he was punished with mind-altering drugs.
4. The Variety Of Characters He Has Fought
When you have absolutely no qualms about laying down some bullets, there are going to be a lot of enemies you come across. Especially when you consider that, at one point, he was constantly being equipped with high-tech vehicles and equipment.
Over the course of a decade though, the Punisher had gone through: Japanese Yakuza, Russian and Italian Mafia, Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Chinese Triad, Aryan Brotherhood, Jamaican Yardies, Irish Mob, biker gangs, muggers, killers, rapists, violent racists, pedophiles and corrupt city officials.
Is that it? Honestly, no. I am sure I left some out. One thing is for sure: don’t piss him off.
Do you really think that something as silly as death is going to be enough to stop Frank? He’s come back to life on several occasions. The first happened when he committed suicide and was picked by heaven to be an angel. Eventually, he gets tired of doing their bidding, telling them to screw off.
Frank also has a storyline in which he gets dismembered by Daken, the son of Wolverine, but even that is not enough to stop him. Frank is reconstructed and revived into Franken-Castle.
Despite having a super awesome name, the Franken-Castle storyline ends with him being transformed back into a normal human.
2. The Point Of The Skull
When you think of The Punisher, your mind immediately goes to the iconic skull that he paints on his chest. The origin of the skull can be traced to a storyline in which Frank is chasing an enemy sniper in Vietnam named The Monkey.
After being captured and escaping, Punisher paints the skull on a fellow prisoner’s chest as well as on his own. He then kills The Monkey, returns home and keeps using the badass symbol.
It is also a strategic move, hoping that it will draw attention and enemy fire to his chest, which is often bullet proof, and away from the rest of his body.
1. He’s Killed The Marvel Universe
When it comes to fun one-shot comic books, one of the most entertaining ones out there has to be Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe.
The comic came out in 1995 and features Frank’s family being killed not by gangs but, rather they are casualties in a battle between the Avengers, X-Men, a group of Brood and other aliens. Frank arrives to the battle, only to see his family dead and, while he demands answers, none of the superheroes step up to admit guilt.
When Cyclopes goes to apologize, Frank opens fire on everyone. In the first battle, Frank kills Cyclopes, Hawkeye and Shadowcat, but was wounded by Wolverine. The Punisher is sentenced to life in prison, but on the way, his van stops and it is revealed to being driven by a man named Kesselring, who offers Punisher freedom if he can agree to kill every superhuman on earth.
The Punisher agrees and is fitted with a Microchip. To start, Spider-Man and Venom are trapped in a sewer by Frank and while they’re fighting each other, Frank steps in to finish the job.
He manages to take out The Hulk by killing Bruce Banner after The Hulk was recovering from a previous battle. Frank then gets arrested, breaks out of prison and kills Doctor Doom.
Think that’s all? Nope.
He then lures super-teams to the moon and shoots nuclear missiles at them, killing The Fantastic Four and many Avengers. Captain America and Wolverine both approach him in one-on-one battles, but you can guess how that went… not well for Captain America or Wolverine.
Eventually, Frank gets tired of killing and is told by Kesselring that the killing can never stop because there will always be new superheroes. Upset by this, Punisher kills Kesselring. Frank then sets off to complete one final kill: Daredevil.
During their violent confrontation, Frank realizes that Daredevil is Matt Murdock, who had been his attorney during his original trial, and was childhood friends with Frank. This revelation does not come until after he had stabbed Murdock fatally in the chest. Upset at all that he had done, and wounded from the battle, The Punisher takes his own life.
And with that, you’ve reached the end of the list! Hope you enjoyed learning more about one of the most interesting and unique heroes out there.
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