Frank Castle is the Marvel Comics vigilante better known as The Punisher. Originally created as a Spider-man villain he became instantly popular. With his tragic back story and crime fighting methods, The Punisher quickly became a dark and misunderstood antihero, who fought with heroes sometimes as much as he did villains because he is wanted by both sides of the law as one of the most dangerous men in the Marvel Universe!
1. The story of Frank Castle: After three tours of duty, US Marine Captain Frank Castle returns to his wife and two children only to see them gunned down before his eyes, all witnesses to a mob hit in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City. When a corrupt justice system sees the hitmen walk free, he permanently buries his social and personal identity with his family, ultimately becoming the vigilante of legend The Punisher.
2. The Marvel character was first adapted for film in 1989 with actor Dolph Lundgren in the starring role. That movie, also called The Punisher, went straight-to-video without a theatrical release in the United States.
3. The iconic death’s head/skull he wears is most often armoured and worn as an icon of vengeance, but also serves as a decoy target so he has less chance of taking a fatal bullet.
4. In the original comic book, Frank Castle’s family was murdered by the Mob in New York’s Central Park, not by a money-laundering kingpin in Tampa, as seen in the film adaptation.
5. Other comics and movies of the Punisher have portrayed the character differently, making him a former cop, detective or FBI agent.
6. With the iconic armoured skull he wears on his chest, his MO is to terrorise the enemy and engage them in a war of attrition, making them suffer for their crimes before they pay in full. This also serves to deter those who know his identity from leading a life of criminal activity.
7. Once coming up with the idea of “The Punisher,” Frank promised to always fight against crime and injustice. What set him apart from other heroes and even villains was not just his penchant for murder, but how personal he took each encounter. This is because when his family died, Frank could not forgive those who had harmed him so badly. This inability to forgive and motivation to hand out justice on his own terms is what directly led to his crusade to punish.
8. Originally, having led reconnaisance missions and then retiring to the role of Special Forces instructor after the Vietnam War, the highly decorated Marine is an expert combat strategist, sniper, demolitionist, marksman, hand to hand combatant, survivalist and interrogator, often outmatching even superpowered foes.
9. Despite wanting to work alone, the Punisher has a few supporting characters to help fight crime. Microchip assisted Castle by building and supplying weapons and technology and providing friendship.
10. A realist of the highest order, when his temper doesn’t get the better of him, fatalist pessimism gives him the upper hand and he is often most dangerous and unpredictable at his weakest and when the odds are against him. He has singlehandedly outsmarted several of Marvel’s most elite teams including The Avengers.
11. The original Punisher from the Marvel comics chose the skull while in Vietnam. While hunting an enemy sniper named “The Monkey,” who rivaled Frank’s skills, he was taken prisoner. After escaping, he decided to leave a message for The Monkey by painting the infamous skull on a prisoner’s chest as well as his own. After he defeated The Monkey and returned home, this symbol was again used to let Frank’s enemies know not just their own fate, but who would deliver the killing blow.
12. One of the most famous versions of The Punisher pits Frank up against the entire Marvel Universe in the aptly titled, Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe.
13. Jon Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle’s Punisher is possibly the most successful!
14. The Punisher has died and come back at least 2 times in the comic book!
15. The Ppunisher was originally introduced as a villain for Spiderman.