|For other uses, see Punisher (disambiguation)|
- "First time, as long as I can remember, I don't have a war to fight. And I guess, if I'm gonna be honest, I just... I'm scared."
- ―Frank Castle
Francis "Frank" David Castle Sr. is a violent vigilante and former member of the United States Marine Corps, who joined Cerberus Squad while he was still serving in Afghanistan. Fearing that he was slowly losing his honor under the command of Agent Orange, Castle returned to his family, only to lose them all during a brutal shooting. Castle then became the Punisher, aiming to clean up New York City of crime by any means necessary. While seeking to avenge his own family's deaths, Castle came into conflict with Daredevil. Castle was soon arrested and, despite the efforts of Nelson and Murdock, was sentenced to life within prison. However, Castle was freed with the help of Wilson Fisk, and discovered the Blacksmith was in fact the one who was responsible for his family's murder.
Abandoning his identity, Castle attempted to live a quiet life before he was found by Micro who revealed to him that more people had been involved in his family's death, and they were involved in the illegal Operation Cerberus he had performed in Afghanistan. While hunting down all those involved, Castle came back into contact with his former best friend Billy Russo, who he eventually learned was working with William Rawlins to try and assassinate Castle. Having discovered the truth, Castle allowed himself to be captured by Russo and Rawlins, eventually killing Rawlins and, in a brutal showdown, disfigured Russo's face beyond repair. Having at last exposed Rawlins' crimes, Castle was then allowed to gain freedom by the CIA and looked to begin a peaceful life for himself.
- "I was a real prick asshole just like you. Only child. My parents were basically senior citizens. They couldn't control me. No, all I wanted to do was I wanted to hurt people. And I did."
- ―Frank Castle to Zach Lieberman
Frank Castle was born on November 15th in the Hell's Kitchen district of New York. According to him, his parents were too old when they had him and consequently had difficulties to control him. He was also a trouble-maker when he was a young man, with a strong desire to hurt people, which he would later claim that he often did, quickly becoming a highly effective fighter.
Armed Forces Recruitment
When Castle was just eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he had eventually met and was then placed under the command of Major Ray Schoonover. Having never held a gun before, Castle was trained by Schoonover himself on how to effectively use a firearm in a military situation. Lieutenant Castle would later take part in the Battle of Fallujah as well as other combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually earning the title of the Scout Sniper, and was inducted into the ranks of the Marine Corps Force Recon, undertaking classified missions behind enemy lines.
During his time serving still with the armed forces in Iraq he came to become best friends with Billy Russo, a fellow marine from New York City and special forces soldier while the two were close, saving each others lives while in Basra. A fellow marine the two became good friends with was Curtis Hoyle, a corpsman, who lost his leg due to Castle not being able to shoot a pregnant suicide bomber running at Hoyle, something Castle felt guilt over for many years. During his service in Afghanistan, Castle witnessed Gosnell suffer terrible facial wounds and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service.
While on leave from the United States Marine Corps, Castle was out in a park playing his guitar with his friends when he was overheard by a woman named Maria, who teased him over his playing. Castle instantly fell in love with the woman and, after some flirtation, the pair began a relationship. Three months later Maria informed Castle that she had fallen pregnant with his child, so Castle proposed and they got married.
Despite many of Castle's friends recommending against the marriage due to how short their relationship had been, Castle and his new life began a happy life together living in New York City. Castle then went overseas and came back to meet his son, Frank Castle, Jr. for the first time, finding that he was already walking and, upon seeing his father for the first time, the young Frank, Jr. had screamed. The couple later having a second child while Castle was still serving in the armed forces. Castle's good friend Billy Russo was introduced to both Maria and the children as they became close friends.
Meeting Agent Orange
During one of his unit's deployments within Afghanistan, Lieutenant Castle and Billy Russo’s Force Recon platoon was assigned to a new task force under the supervision of Major Ray Schoonover and an anonymous civilian commander known to the men only as Agent Orange. Castle sat with Russo and listened as Orange and Schoonover explained they were now part of Operation Cerberus tasked to capture and assassinate enemy targets, with Castle questioning if Congress had approved this which Orange insisted they had.
Russo and Castle formed the two lieutenants taking command under the orders of Major Schoonover, leading the unit's two squads. While Castle played his guitar and relaxed with Russo, he was introduced to one of his new squad members Gunner Henderson, a dry yet witty soldier from Kentucky who had deeply respected Castle as a fellow soldier, while Castle noted that he had also heard good things about Henderson from Jack Kimber. While they were talking, Henderson teased Castle by briefly pretended to be more deeply Christen than he was while laughing with Castle over his nervous reaction.
Castle and Russo then discussed their units while Russo noted that Agent Orange had not even bothered to give them his actual name, with Russo questioning if Castle trusted Orange or not. Russo then quoted a poem as they joked about if Castle had actually ever read a poem before, with Castle throwing his football at Russo's face as a joke. The task force participated in Operation Cerberus, specializing in nightly raids for the purpose of kidnapping, interrogating, and then executing high value targets of the United States of America, with the Squad quickly becoming known as the American Taliban.
Among the targets that were captured by Cerberus Squad included a man named Ahmad Zubair, who was brutally strung up and beaten down by the Squad before Agent Orange then entered the room and began questioning Zubair in Pashto, so neither Castle nor any of the other members of the Squad could understand what Orange was saying. Castle therefore stood by and watched as Orange began repeatedly striking the clearly terrified Zubair while wearing a pair of thick leather gloves.
During the torture, Gunner Henderson questioned Orange over what Zubair was saying, as Orange insisted that it was nothing important and demanded that Henderson not question his intelligence. Turning to the Squad, Zubair insisted that he was not a terrorist and that he had a family, while Castle and the rest of the Squad watched Orange grabbing Zubair by the face and then say something more to him in Pashto. Eventually Agent Orange noted that clearly Zubair did not know anything useful for them, and therefore turned to Castle, who then shot Zubair point blank in the face, killing him instantly.
Castle and Henderson were then ordered by Ray Schoonover to take Zubair's corpse outside and bury it within the desert, with Henderson questioning if they were being ordered to bury evidence. Following Schoonover's orders however, Castle then removed the bullet from Zubair's skull, without questioning what Schoonover and Orange's true motivations with Operation Cerberus could be. Despite all these killings, the intelligence which was provided by Orange's task force was considered to be highly useful for the military, enabling his own ascension within the CIA while solidifying his reputation.
- "I'm going through that building. Clear a path for an evac."
"You out of your mind?"
"What do you wanna do? You wanna die here? Like a rat in a jar? It's about time I had a fair fight."
- ―Frank Castle and Billy Russo
While he was opening birthday cards from his two children, Castle cheered as he discovered that his wife had bought him tickets to go and see a Bruce Springstein concert when he returned home, which Castle then proudly showed off to Billy Russo. As Castle and Russo then discussed how long until they could return home, Castle teased Russo over knowing that he planned on meeting with several women when he got home, as Castle noted that he should instead choose one woman to settle down with, although Russo claimed he was too handsome not to share himself with multiple women.
However the pair were interrupted as Ray Schoonover entered their tent to order them to come for a mission briefing. Once there they were informed by Schoonover and Agent Orange that they had a new target who was believed to have been tracked down and was now hiding out in a Taliban Fort within Kandahar. Although they were then ordered to go into Kandahar and capture the target, Castle warned against it, believing this was a trap for Cerberus Squad, with Russo agreeing. Orange however ignored Castle's objections and insisted that they continue with the mission objective regardless.
Just as Castle had predicted would happen, the surprise raid quickly turned out to be an ambush as their squad was hit with machine gun fire and mortar rounds, which resulted in Major Schoonover losing his army while many soldiers were killed. Taking cover amid the firefight, Castle and Russo discussed what should be done as Castle decided that the only opition remaining was for him to storm the Fort alone and clear a path for an evacuation, ordering Russo to give him some covering fire. Castle then charged across the battlefield, reassuring Major Schoonover while he then made his way up the hill firing upon any insurgents he encountered in order to keep his men safe.
Making his way through the enemy's stronghold, Castle proceeded to use all of his military training and utter fury and charge through the enemy strong hold, killing all those he encountered. As the enemy ran at him, Castle went through his arsenal of weapons, going from his machine gun to pistol as the battle closed in on him, at one point pinning an enemy to the wall and firing multiple shots into his face before continuing to move forward. Sneaking through the hallways, Castle drew his shotgun and killed three more of the Taliban soldiers in quick succession, ending up covered in their blood.
Finding himself in an open hallway surrounded by all of his enemies, Castle continued firing until he took a bullet to the shoulder which knocked him to the ground as he hid behind a pillar. However Castle remained determined to not only save all his fellow soldiers, but to return home to his wife and two children, so he swallowed his pain and got back onto his feet. Drawing his knife, Castle waited for his opening and furiously battled the remaining four soldiers, beating and stabbing them to death until their blood covered his face. However Castle had successfully killed the enemy and saved his squad.
Fury at Agent Orange
Following the Ambush in Kandahar, Castle and all of the surviving members of Cerberus Squad were evacuated out of the area and taken back to base for emergecy medical treatment. As Major Ray Schoonover was taken away, Castle and all the others were looked at, with Castle himself washed the enemy blood from his face and spat out almost a bucket load of his blood while trying to keep himself calm.
However, despite the loud ringing in ears, Castle overheard someone asking for a mission update and saw Agent Orange looking at all of the wounded and severely damaged soldiers, calmly asking if they had successfully killed the target as he wanted. Mortified that Orange was more concerned for Operation Cerberus' mission than he was over all of the wounded and dead men, Castle charged forward and assaulted Orange for the deaths of his men, meaning to kill him as he raptured Orange's eye-socket with a single punch while the soldier tried to drag the furious Castle off the now horrified Orange.
The enraged Castle was then dragged off Orange by Billy Russo with the help of Gunner Henderson while Orange fell to the floor in agony, with Russo then pulling Castle aside and declaring that he was not protecting Orange from Castle but Castle from himself. As they both argued, with Castle furiously throwing chairs across the room, Russo informed him that was quitting the United States Armed Forces, and that Castle should consider joining him. Despite being devastated that Russo was leaving, Castle still remained in service, and would serve again in Iraq before returning home once again.
Back with his Family
- "She looks up and sees me. I see her. By God, that's real. That's real, Red. Boom. In an instant, she's across that classroom floor, she's in my arms. She's squeezing me so tight I swear I was gonna bust a rib, you know? We just stayed there like that, we're holding each other."
- ―Frank Castle to Daredevil
The day he finally returned home to New York City, Castle was soon tearfully reunited with his children at school as he found Lisa Castle in their yoga class at her school. Upon seeing her father again once again, Lisa charged across her classrooms and into her dad's arms. Castle and his children then went back to the Castle Residence where he was also reunited with Maria Castle and they spent the day together, but Castle soon realized how weary he had become from all of his time being far away from his own beloved family. One night, Lisa pleaded with her father to read her favorite bedtime story 'Penny & Dime', but the emotionally exhausted Castle promised that he would do so the next night.
One day Castle took Lisa and Frank Castle, Jr. onto a trip to go and see the Statue of Liberty and took joy in reciting a nonsense poem to them, smiling while Frank Jr. argued that was stupid. As they looked at the statue, Lisa noted that her teacher told her that it represented everything good about the United States of America which he agreed with. However when Frank Jr. had confidently claimed that Castle fought in the United States Marine Corps in order to kill the jihadists, Castle lost his temper and threatened his son, something he instantly regretted as he apologised to Frank Jr. and held his children close to him.
Reunion with Russo
During his leave from the military, Castle and Billy Russo reunited in New York City, where Castle took his wife, daughter and son for a day out at Central Park. As Castle and Russo considered each other brothers, Castle invited Russo, who had been accepted as a member of their family by Castle's wife and lovingly referred to as "Uncle Billy" by their kids.
- "For her, there was never going to be any tomorrow, see. The last time I'd see her, I'd be holding her lifeless body in my arms. Meat was spilling out of her, Red. The place that her face used to be."
- ―Frank Castle
Castle and his family to enjoy their until time in Central Park, unbeknownst to them that Cerberus Squad decided to have Castle killed for they believed he leaked the torture and death of Ahmad Zubair. Using the Mexican Cartel, Dogs of Hell, and Kitchen Irish as cover up, the squad opened fire on Castle and his family.
Having failed to see what was about to happen in time, Castle was forced to looked on helpless, in utter horror as his own wife, son and daughter were all gunned down during the crossfire. Castle was shot down and managed to survive after getting shot at close range in the head, but at the hospital, a Do Not Resuscitate was placed on him by District Attorney Samantha Reyes. Although he flatlined, he came back to life just a few seconds later without any medical aid. Upon awaking, Castle demanded that the nearby George Bach take him back at his home, away from the hospital, which Bach did.
Becoming the Punisher
- "I think that the people I kill need killing, that's what I think."
"You left men hanging from meathooks!"
"They got off easy in my opinion!"
- ―Punisher and Daredevil
Castle targeted the three gangs that were involved in the firefight that killed his family - the Kitchen Irish, the Dogs of Hell, and a Mexican Cartel. Punisher took his first shots at the Dogs of Hell, ambushing a small team of them and massacring them all, including one called Smitty. He later fired a machine gun into Nesbitt's meeting of the Kitchen Irish in Burren Club, killing them all before finding the Mexican Cartel and hanging them off meathooks.
- ―Punisher to Daredevil
Grotto survived Castle's initial attack on his gang, and was taken to Metro-General Hospital as the wounds he had received got the better of him. Punisher learned of Grotto's survival and decided to ensure his death by tracking him to the hospital. Punisher charged into the hospital, fighting off a security guard on the way before blasting through the hallways with a shotgun. However Grotto, who was recuperating in the hospital from his wounds, was only saved by the timely intervention of Karen Page, who rushed him out of the room away from Punisher.
Although Grotto was able to get out of the hospital with Page taking him downstairs and putting him in her car to be driven away, the Punisher managed to get onto the roof of the hospital and used a sniper rifle to attempt to take out his target. Although Grotto made it to the car, the Punisher took aim and fired off several shots at Grotto, while aiming away from Page whom he did not wish to harm as he viewed her as an innocent in this situation. Before long, the Punisher managed to find his shot and took aim at Grotto.
Just as the Punisher prepared to take the shot and execute Grotto, he was interrupted when Daredevil rushed onto the rooftop and disarmed the Punisher with a kick, knocking the gun from his hands. The pair engaged in a brutal fist fight during which the Punisher attempted a few times to shoot his attacker. However the Punisher knew that his attacker was not a criminal and when he finally got the upper hand and managed to pull out his gun, as the Punisher shot Daredevil in the helmet. The Punisher however ensured that the wound was not fatal by aiming directly for the strongest part of the helmet, leaving Daredevil on the rooftop before escaping.
Seeking to find any surviving members of the Kitchen Irish, Castle went to an illegal pawn shop, where he spoke to Clint the owner, offering him a considerable amount of cash for New York City Police Department radios and the shells in his shotgun. Once he had what he wanted, Castle prepared to leave, but the greedy Clint tried to convince him to stay by offering pornographic films. Castle ignored him until Clint told him that he had a film involving a 12-year-old girl. Furious and disgusted, Castle locked the door and proceeded to kill Clint by brutally beating his skull with a metal baseball bat.
Preparing an Ambush
All of the Punisher's murderous activities quickly made him a high level target of Samantha Reyes and the District Attorney's office, who attempted to attract his attention by offering him another attempt to execute Grotto, who was being protected by his lawyers, Nelson and Murdock. Knowing that this would most likely be an ambush for him, the Punisher made his own plans about how to protect himself and ensure that his target was killed. So the Punisher attacked a base for the Dogs of Hell, massacring almost all the members inside the base with his shotgun and taking control of one of the trucks to be used in his plan.
Punisher strapped the last remaining member of the Dogs of Hell to the driver's seat of the truck, and made him drive to the meeting point. The police officers under Reyes' command mistook the gang member for Castle. They began shooting at the truck, killing the man, while they were still unaware of the Punisher's true location as he continued to watch the entire event unfolding just as he had planned. The Punisher meanwhile took position on a nearby rooftop and once again took aim at Grotto, however once again he was interrupted and attacked by Daredevil who attempted to ensure that Grotto was not harmed by the Punisher as the pair began to fight once again.
As the Punisher and Daredevil continued to fight, Samantha Reyes ordered the New York City Police Department to aim their largest lights at the roof to expose the Punisher and Daredevil while the SWAT teams began shooting at them. The Punisher and Daredevil continued fighting as they dodged the many bullets being fired at them. Eventually, they fell through a glass ceiling and the Punisher saw that Daredevil was suffering great pain. Punisher was able to take the wounded Daredevil hostage onto a rooftop for interrogation and a discussion about their differing methods of justice.
Debating with Daredevil
- "Look around, Red. This city, it stinks. It's a sewer. It stinks and it smells like shit and I can't get the stink out of my nose. I think that this world, it needs men that are willing to make the hard call. That's what I think. I think you and me are the same!"
- ―Frank Castle to Daredevil
As Daredevil slowly began to wake up, having been tied to a nearby chimney with chains that ensured he was unable to move or escape from his situation, Castle watched close by. When Daredevil awoke he immediately attempted to pull himself free, all while Castle poured himself a coffee before mockingly greeting the vigilante as he continued to desperately try to free himself from his chains as Castle drank his coffee.
Castle commented on the theory that it was impossible to hear the bullet that kills you being fired, leading to him asking Daredevil if he heard the bullet being shot into his helmet. Daredevil continued to try to free himself but Castle made it clear that the only way to leave was if he allowed him to. As Castle treated his wounds, Daredevil asked why he was still alive and had not had his mask removed, but Castle ignored his comments, only informing him that he had no interest in his identity and began going through all the boxes of weapons he had stored on the roof for killing the Dogs of Hell.
Daredevil began trying to predict how many missions Castle had done and how long he had been on his crusade of violence against the criminals of the city, but Castle remained silent until Daredevil suggested Castle could walk away from his mission, to which Castle turned the question back on his hostage and questioned if he could ever stop as well, which Daredevil did not answer. During the night Castle commented on the bells of St. Matthew's Cathedral, leading to Daredevil asking if he was Catholic. Daredevil tried to learn more about him, but Castle just told him to stop digging to try and get some kind of better understand of Castle's mindset.
Daredevil continued to discuss how New York City affects people. He continued his analysis of Castle, asking if he was born in New York, but Castle only mocked his efforts. As Daredevil tried to comment about Castle enlisting, he was told not to comment on such things he could not understand, noting how soldiers did not wear masks like vigilantes. When Daredevil commented on how he knew how to fight and had almost beaten him, Castle insisted they were not discussing brawling but war, which he viewed as a completely different matter altogether and one Daredevil did not understand.
Despite Castle's warnings, Daredevil continued to make comments about how war affected people and how it changed them, but Castle dismissed all these views as Daredevil was not a soldier and had never been to war. As they began mocking each other for their different viewpoints and their different codenames which were both given to them by the newspapers, Castle walked closer to Daredevil and accused him of being a half measure, a coward and being one bad day away from being a killer like him. However Daredevil paused and warned Castle that someone was coming.
Castle greeted Jerry who had come to investigate the noise he had heard on the rooftop and Castle claimed to be just up there for a cigarette to avoid his crazy sister, whom Jerry assumed was a woman named Betty. When Daredevil tried to free himself and made more noise, Castle distracted Jerry and quietly and covertly aimed his gun at his head to warn Daredevil to remain silent. The pair realized they had both been a part of the United States Marine Corps which gave themselves great respect for each other as Jerry left Castle alone to enjoy his cigarette and peace and quiet.
As Castle returned once Jerry had gone, Daredevil accused him of taking pleasure from risking the lives of innocent people, noting how he had been ready to shoot Jerry, although Castle claimed that had only been for his benefit. Daredevil continued to accuse Castle of making widows and orphans through his actions. Daredevil noted how Punisher had hung members of the Mexican Cartel of meathooks and fired in a hospital like New York City was his own shooting gallery. However, Castle accused Daredevil of treating the city like a playground where criminals should be treated like mere bullies, arguing that his method was more effective.
Castle knocked Daredevil out and collected Grotto while he was out while attaching a gun to Daredevil's hand. When Daredevil regained consciousness, Castle informed him that there was only one bullet in the gun, and that he was wearing body armor, so the only way to stop him would be to shoot him in the head. Castle threw Grotto on the ground before them and explained how he had found him trying to steal a car to escape. Castle made Grotto admit how he had murdered a man and a old woman under the orders of the Kitchen Irish. Castle completed the story by informing Daredevil that the woman had left a husband and children after Grotto had killed her.
Castle demanded that Daredevil make his choice, as he was unwilling to allow Grotto to go free as he was sure that Grotto would kill again if given the chance. Castle began slowly counting down from five and ignored both Grotto's pleas and Daredevil's insistence that he would be handed over to the New York City Police Department. The Punisher gave Daredevil a final choice and a countdown to decide, to shoot and kill him or allow Grotto to die, either way making him a killer, insisting that this was the choice he made every time that he pulled the trigger against a thug or murderer.
Unwilling to give in to the Punisher's cruel and violent test, Daredevil used his one bullet to free himself of his chains and attacked Castle. Although evidently caught off guard, Castle still shot and fatally wounded Grotto before getting beaten down. While Daredevil looked after Grotto in his final painful moments, Castle recovered and took the opportunity to fire upon the Dogs of Hell, shooting a grenade at their motorbikes which caused a massive explosion to alert the gang of his presence while Daredevil tried and failed to save Grotto's life, who died from his wounds moments later.
Once he subdued Daredevil again, Castle took aim at Jimmy the Bear with his sniper rifle, preparing to execute the entire gang in mere moments. However before he could pull the trigger, the Punisher was forced to continue fighting Daredevil, who managed to get the violent vigilante in a headlock, knocking him out. Unwilling to allow the Punisher to be killed by the gang, Daredevil managed to take him out of the building before the Dogs of Hell could beat him to death until Castle awoke and escaped during the fight.
Hunted by Finn Cooley
Returning to his current base, Castle arrived just in time to witness members of the Kitchen Irish led by Finn Cooley leaving having been searching for Castle with the aim to kill him and recover the money he had previously stolen from them, and taking his dog at the same time. Having seen this, Castle knew that he was being hunted by the Irish and knew that sooner or later they would undoubtedly find him and kill him, or much worse. Castle decided that he would use the inevitable confrontation to his advantage, despite the risks to his own life and well being.
Castle prepared to set up a trap for the Kitchen Irish, knowing that their main focus would be to find their money and therefore would likely keep him alive for a prolonged period of time until he gave up it's location. Castle left the money in his van and attached a bomb to it, which would detonate if anyone attempted to move it. He then hid a razor blade under his skin on his arm, with the intention of using it to escape when he would be tied down and tortured by the mob. He then left the van and prepared to allow the Kitchen Irish to find and capture him so he could find a way to wipe them out.
Castle took time to himself to sit alone in Central Park in front of the carousel where his family were massacred, watching the families play and enjoy their time together. Castle remained in the same spot until the lights were turned off, however he discovered that he was not alone as members of the Kitchen Irish began to surround him. As more and more people came around him, Castle prepared himself for a fight, despite being highly outnumbered by the mobsters, all of whom were armed although they claimed to want him alive, shooting Castle in the neck with a dart gun.
With the group coming closer and closer, Castle grabbed one of the mobsters and stole his gun, killing several of his attackers and using his hostage as a human shield, with Rory claiming they wanted Castle alive. The Irish gangsters began shooting Castle with tasers which barely slowed him down. Finn Cooley revealed that he was leading the group and that he wanted Castle after he killed several of their members, including Nesbitt and Cooley's youngest son and taken his money. Despite putting up a strong fight and taking down several members of the Irish mob, Castle was eventually stopped by the taser guns being fired at him as he fell to the floor.
Finn Cooley's Revenge
- "I counted on it, now I can ask you face to face, who was there that day? Who killed my family?"
"Your family? Who cares?"
- ―Punisher and Finn Cooley
The unconscious Castle was taken to the mob's hideout where once he awoke, Finn Cooley explained that not only had Castle gunned down Nesbitt, the leader of the Kitchen Irish, but he had also killed his oldest son during a shooting. Cooley promised that Castle would die that night as the whole had been dug, but promised him a painless death if he revealed where he had hidden the stolen money. The overconfident Cooley offered Castle painkillers but Castle only mocked his efforts.
Cooley continued to demand all of his stolen money back and when Castle reminded him of his son's death at his hands, which resulted in Cooley furiously losing his temperament as he then began beating Castle, questioning if his killing spree was simply his attempt to find some form of retribution. Castle pretended to be beaten to breaking point and promised to reveal where the money was, but when Cooley got to close, he simply headbutted him and laughed at his pain. As punishment, Castle was tortured, with Cooley drilling a hole into his foot while the Punisher furiously promised to murder all of them.
With Castle still remaining strong throughout all of the brutal torture, Cooley was forced to rethink his plan as he threatened to unleash the same torture methods onto Castle's adopted dog Max. Not willing to see the innocent animal put in harms way, Castle finally admitted to where all the money was and Max was taken away to safety. Cooley sent Rafe to check the money was indeed there and explained that he would keep Castle alive until it was returned. However before the money would be collected from Frank Castle's Van, the bomb which Castle had left exploded, killing Rafe and destroying the cash.
While Cooley was distracted by the disaster, Castle managed to free himself of his restraints with the use of a hidden razor blade that he had previously placed under the skin in his arm, and fiercely fought back against the mob. Castle stole his own captor's guns and shot Cooley twice in the back. Despite all his injuries, Castle was able to walk over to Cooley and threaten him with a shotgun, demanding to know who was responsible for the massacre at Central Park. When Cooley refused to answer and mocked Castle's search for revenge, Castle killed him by shooting him point blank in the face.
With Cooley now dead, the remaining members of the Kitchen Irish stormed into the room and began firing at Castle, who was forced to retreat and hide behind a doorframe, shooting back and getting a bullet in his side while the Irish called for reinforcements. Believing himself to be gravely outnumbered and likely to be killed during this final firefight, Castle recited his daughter's favorite poem of "Penny and Dime" to calm his nerves as he prepared for his final gunfight. However Daredevil suddenly arrived and then charged inside of the room, using his own Billy Club to knock out the attackers.
Castle demanded that together they make all of his torturers pay but Daredevil then insisted that they would but must not be killed, which Castle mocked him for due to his own desire to gain revenge through killing. As more Irishmen arrived, Punisher and Daredevil used their combined strength to subdue them all, however when Castle would attempt to use a gun or hammer to kill his enemies, Daredevil then knocked the weapons out of his hand and insisted that they do not kill anyone during their fight. Castle called Daredevil an altar boy but soon all his attackers were defeated and the pair then quickly made their escape back into New York City from the warehouse.
Confession and Arrest
- "That part of it was always easy for me. Killing. Even watching my buddies die, it just... it didn't mean nothing. The first time I got scared... was on a plane on the way home. I kept thinking God was gonna pull the rug out from under us, you know?"
- ―Frank Castle to Daredevil
Daredevil carried the severely injured Castle to a graveyard, where he eventually found he could no longer walk and sat beside a grave. Knowing he could not get away from his arrest, Castle took the time to explain why he became a vigilante, telling Daredevil about how he came home from the United States Marine Corps only to witness his wife, son and daughter massacred by mobsters during a drug deal.
Going into great detail, Castle told Daredevil how his daughter had begged him to read her a book the night before, but he had been too tired and tragically the next day she was gunned down and died in his arms. When the New York City Police Department arrived on the scene, Castle did not attempt to escape and instead allowed himself to be arrested by Brett Mahoney. He was taken on a stretcher and moved to an ambulance for treatment for his life threatening injuries while the city's news reporters gathered around and photographed the now infamous Punisher being arrested by the police.
Trial and Imprisonment
Meeting Nelson and Murdock
Castle was taken to Metro-General Hospital where his all of his wounds sustained while fighting the Kitchen Irish were treated and he was kept under watch by the New York City Police Department. Castle was assigned Christopher Roth as his attorney, but he was visited by Nelson and Murdock and Matt Murdock explained that they wished to represent him. Murdock explained that they believed that Samantha Reyes now wanted him dead for some reason.
When Castle mentioned their last failure to protect Grotto, he was confronted by Karen Page who showed him a picture of his family and demanded answers. Nelson and Murdock were pulled out of the room by Reyes but Castle informed Brett Mahoney that he wanted them to be his lawyers, requesting to speak to Page without Foggy Nelson present. Once they were alone, Castle demanded to know what Page knew about his family, so she told him that Reyes wanted to run a story about him and his family being involved in a road side shooting not a gang shoot out which had really happened.
Castle told Page what he remembered about that day, reliving the horror and regret of failing his family. Castle assured Page that she was not in any danger the night that he shot at her in the hospital while she was protecting Grotto, noting that he only killed those who deserved it and he believed that Grotto deserved to die. When Page asked why he wanted to see her he began asking about the layout of his house as he had forgotten in all the years he had been away from it, telling her the stories of his son hiding cookies and his daughter's toys. Castle thanked her and invited her to ask him questions about the case in order to help them in court while defending him.
Nelson returned to the room and explained that he had lost the death penalty and changed three life sentences down to one with a chance on parol in twenty-five years, although he would still likely be sent to Ryker's Island where he would likely be murdered. Although Page insisted this was impossible, Castle joked that he would enjoy the fight while Nelson told them it was the best deal that they would get. Nelson recommended that Castle take the deal, advising that he tell Reyes that he would have to plead guilty to get the deal done and be over with the case with the best possible result for Castle.
Reyes and Judge Cynthia Batzer were brought into Castle's hospital room alongside Nelson, Page and several armed guards. However when Batzer asked how Castle pleaded, Castle stared straight into Reyes' eyes and pleaded not guilty so he could destroy Reyes' own career in the court room by exposing all of her lies and dealings with his family's deaths. Batzer confirmed the plea and announced that his bail was now denied. Reyes and Batzer then stormed out the room while Nelson and Page were forced to think of a plan ready for the next week when Castle's fate would be decided.
The People v. Frank Castle
- "All of them, they all think that you're a monster, but I know that you're not, you're not!"
"You sure about that? If I find these men who did that to my family, what if? What if nothing changes? What if this is just me now?"
- ―Karen Page and Frank Castle
The trial was highly publicized, with Judge Cynthia Batzer complaining about how impossible it was to find an at least semi-impartial jury as everyone in New York City had an opinion on Castle, until at last both Samantha Reyes and Nelson and Murdock agreed on a jury and the trial was allowed to take place. Castle meanwhile was locked in his cell where he shaved and prepared for the trial.
Castle was later visited in the interrogation room of the prison by Karen Page who suggested that they bring forward a character witness from Castle's time in the United States Marine Corps who could possible help their case. Castle quickly deduced that they were trying to make a plea for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but Castle insisted that it was an insult to those soldiers who were truly suffering with it unlike him. Castle did however advise that they locate Ray Schoonover to be the witness for the case. The pair then sat down to look at his family's murder case to find new evidence.
When the trial was about to begin, Castle sat beside Page while they awaited the arrival of Matt Murdock, who was running very late for unknown reasons. As the trial began Reyes gave a statement to the jury were she accused Castle of murdering thirty men outside the law, calling him a serial killer who was guilty and now deserved to be finally brought to justice. Foggy Nelson then made his own statement where he noted that Castle was a soldier who had been betrayed by the system after his own wife and children were murdered, accusing Reyes of using Castle as a pawn for a coverup.
Doctor Gregory Tepper was called in to discuss the examination of the bodies found at the Massacre at Central Park. Once Blake Tower had finished his questioning of the witness, Murdock stepped up asking him about his own career and how he had handled the case involving Castle. However just as Murdock began questioning him, Tepper asked to confess something, so Judge Batzer had the room cleared of the jury, viewers and Castle. While Castle was gone Tepper confessed to falsifying documents as he'd been threatened by a mysterious woman demanding his confession on record.
The next day Ray Schoonover was bought in to be a new character witness for Castle, describing their time together in the United States Marine Corps and telling the story of how Castle had saved the lives of many soldiers by single handedly taking on the enemy soldiers when they were trapped behind enemy lines. When Nelson asked Schoonover to describe Castle, he told the jury that Castle was a man who would gladly give his life to protect others and was a hero. When Reyes then attempted to question Schoonover's story, she only succeeded in confirming it and helping Castle's case.
In order to discuss Castle's brain injuries, Nelson and Murdock called in Andrew Lee to discuss the bullet wound Castle sustained during the massacre in Central Park. Although Castle worried they were making another PTSD case, Lee went on to explain that the wound made Castle relive the trauma each and every day, concluding that Castle's murders were crimes of passion not premeditated. Just as the court seemed to be on Castle's side, Finn Cooley's son burst out yelling, accusing Castle of murdering his father before being escorted out of the courtroom by all of the nearby guards.
While speaking to Page outside of the courtroom, Castle confessed to killing the boy's father and feeling some level of guilt for the killing, although Page still insisted that she would not judge him for it or anything else he had done. Page recommended that Castle take the stand himself and defend his actions in front of the jury, as she felt it was the only chance they had of winning after the outburst in the courtroom. Castle argued that they would not win the case but Page insisted that they must try and reduce the charges regardless to prove he was not the monster they thought he was.
Confession of Guilt
- "You call me the Punisher, ain't that right? The big bad Punisher. Well, here I am! You want it, you got it! I am the Punisher! I'm right here! You want it, I'll give it to you. And anybody who came here today to hear me whine, to hear me beg? Well, you can kiss my ass! I'm guilty, you hear me! I'm guilty!"
- ―Frank Castle
As Castle prepared to take the stand in the courtroom, he was approached by Roy Olsky who informed him that Wilson Fisk had information about who killed his family, information he would only get if he was sent to Ryker's Island. Castle took the stand and was questioned by Matt Murdock, who asked him to describe what happened the day that his family was killed while he also told the jury that New York City needed men like him to control the crime.
Once Murdock finished his statement, Castle asked Judge Cynthia Batzer if he could make a statement, and proceeded to tell the jury that he would commit the murders all over again, promising that he was not crazy and did not need Nelson and Murdock's help and that he would never be sent to a mental hospital for treatment. Castle became more enraged as he insisted that he enjoyed killing those men and told the people that he was the Punisher and would continue killing whoever he wanted. Castle was removed from the courtroom and sentenced to jail immediately.
Dealing with Wilson Fisk
- "Well I don't help shit-bag has-been mob bosses."
"You heard what I said."
- ―Frank Castle and Wilson Fisk
Transferred to Ryker's Island for imprisonment, Castle was escorted by Roy Olsky to meet with Wilson Fisk. As Castle walked down the corridors of the prison, the inmates watching his arrival yelled out abuse and threw paper and various other materials at him. Castle met with Fisk in the outdoor gym. Initially Castle declined Fisk's offer for him to kill fellow prisoner and ruler of Ryker's, Dutton, in exchange for forming a beneficial partnership between them to survive in prison.
It was only until Fisk revealed to Castle that Dutton had information on the deaths of his family in Central Park and could likely give him the name of whoever was responsible for the massacre, that Castle accepted his offer. Giving Castle the only weapon he could provide him with, a shiv, he informed that he would to taken to Dutton's location by Olsky and would have only seven minutes to get the information he needed from Dutton, kill him, and escape. Castle agreed to kill Dutton; however, he remained highly suspicious of Fisk's true intentions.
With Roy Olsky's assistance, Castle was allowed access to Dutton's cellblock where he immediately killed one of his guards by slicing his throat with the shiv before interrogating Dutton on what he knew on the day his family was killed, slowly pushing the shiv into his gut while noting he knew Dutton was there. Dutton revealed that the supposed gang shooting was in fact a sting operation to bring out a crime lord known only as the Blacksmith, who did not appear, which in turn caused the gangs to panic and they soon began shooting.
With this information, Castle was told that his crusade of violence would never end before he fatally stabbed Dutton in the gut and then attempted to escape the block. However to Castle's horror, Roy Olsky had locked the door and were walking away, trapping Castle in a small corridor filled with all of Dutton's most loyal men. As Castle attempted to convince the guards to free him, Wilson Fisk looked down from the upper level and tauntingly thanked Castle for his help in assassinating Dutton, before leaving Castle to be murdered by the other furious inmates who were still loyal to Dutton.
The rest of the inmates, quickly realizing Castle was the one who stabbed Dutton, proceeded to charge at him, planning to beat Castle to death. The defenseless but determined Castle faced them head on, charging in with a battle cry and began fighting back, desperately trying to stay alive. The inmates continued to attack him with various weapons and shivs, but Castle's superior combat training allowed him to quickly disarm the men and use their weapons to stab them or crush their skulls, shrugging off a stab in the arm and strong blows from them as he killed more of the attacking criminals.
Eventually, after a prolonged and brutal battle to the death, Castle remained the last man standing, with dead men covering the floor, his white prison uniform now completely stained with blood and his face red from cutting another man's throat. As Castle slowly rose up from the carnage, the prison guards moved through the door, all of whom were dressed in full riot gear and ready to capture him. Once a smoke grenade had been dropped in the room, the exhausted Castle tried to defend himself before he was subdued by the overwhelming number of trained guards and was then arrested once again.
- "You want me on the outside so I step on every piece of shit I see. That way, nobody gets strong, and we... The city's yours for the taking."
"Something like that. Yeah."
- ―Frank Castle and Wilson Fisk
Castle was taken into solitary confinement where he was eventually visited by Wilson Fisk, who ordered the guards to remain outside. Castle then confronted Fisk for attempting to have him killed after murdering Dutton, but Fisk explained that since Castle's survival he had made a new plan involving him, since he was impressed by his violent nature. The handcuffed Castle took the chance to attack Fisk, headbutting him, but the wounded and exhausted Castle was swiftly overpowered and beaten down by Fisk.
Fisk then ordered all the guards to remove Castle's handcuffs and informed him that he would set him free, when Castle asked why, Fisk explained that he wished the Punisher to massacre all other criminal empires in New York City so that when Fisk got free, he could easily become the new Kingpin of Crime. Despite his desire to kill Fisk, Castle took the offer and was given a riot gear uniform by the guards which he used to walk out of Ryker's Island without being stopped and be free once again to continue his mission to kill all the criminals who he could hunt down and find in New York City.
Framed by the Blacksmith
Saving Karen Page
With Castle on the run, the Blacksmith began murdering anyone connected to the Central Park massacre, including Samantha Reyes and Gregory Tepper and blaming it on the Punisher. Seeking to clear his name, Castle sought out Karen Page, who had been working with Mitchell Ellison at the New York Bulletin to write a story about him. Finding her at her apartment, Castle knocked out her guards and greeted Page.
Page pulled out a gun as Castle denied having anything to do with Reyes and Tepper's murders. But before he could finish his explanation, the apartment was swarmed with a flurry of gunfire from across the street. Castle managed to tackle Page to the ground and shielded her from the unknown attacker. Once the gunfire had ceased, Castle pulled Page to her feet and together they made their way outside, keeping themselves low to the ground incase any more bullets were fired at them. Castle then allowed Page to go to the New York City Police Department while he stayed hidden.
Castle stayed in Page's car and listened to music until Page was finished being interviewed by Detective Brett Mahoney. When Page returned she berated Castle for stealing her car as he joked about singing along to the music. Page made it clear that she was having second thoughts about staying beside Castle, considering the fact that she was not a lawyer and therefore was now lying to the police. Castle suggested that she could walk away from the danger but she decided to help Castle find and stop the Blacksmith.
Shootout at the Cafe
- "You call the police, get protective custody, get away from this thing, away from me. Just stay away from me."
- ―Punisher to Karen Page
Knowing that he was being followed by two men, Castle convinced Karen Page that they should stop at a cafe for coffee and food, although Page remained nervous. Page told Castle that she had learned from Samantha Reyes that the Blacksmith was still moving large amounts of heroin across the country and they discussed where he could be. They changed the subject and Castle told Page that he was not surprised that she owned a gun but was impressed by the choice, although she made it clear that she did come close to shooting him.
Page told Castle that she did not kill him despite not liking what he did, she believed it was what needed to happen. Castle changed the subject and asked about her relationship with Matt Murdock, making it clear that he knew that she was in love with him and teased her while asking Susanna for more coffee. Page told Castle that Murdock had hurt people emotionally, leading to Castle telling her about how much his own wife annoyed and upset him but how important it was that he loved her, especially know that she was dead.
Seeing that the Blacksmith's men had finally pulled up outside the cafe, Castle ordered Page to hide in the kitchen with the waitress. Once they were gone, Castle waited for Chaney and Speed to get close to him before he charged forward firing his gun, shooting Chaney twice in the gut before dodging Speed's shotgun blast. Once he'd disarmed Speed, they resorted to brawling with their fists until Speed grabbed a knife, at which point Castle smashed the boiling coffee pot over his head before stabbing him repeatedly.
As Speed bled out on the floor, Castle found Chaney crawling across the floor, attempting to grab his gun. Castle stopped him and took the gun for himself, standing over the bleeding Chaney and demanding to know where he could find the Blacksmith, when Chaney refused to answer Castle shot Speed through the skull. Chaney still refused to answer and told Castle to go to hell, so Castle resorted to beating his face in with the butt of the gun until Chaney finally broke and told him that he could find the Blacksmith at Pier 81.
Although Chaney attempted to offer to bring Castle to the Blacksmith himself, Castle ignored him and instead shot him through the head. As the Punisher starred down at the carnage he had created, Page emerged from her hiding place within the kitchen and was horrified to see Chaney's beaten and bloodied corpse. Without looking at her, Castle told her to go to the New York City Police Department and get protective custody, telling her to stay away from him and his campaign of violence. Castle then left the cafe in order find and kill the man who was responsible for the deaths of his family.
With the information he had gathered from Chaney, Castle tracked the Blacksmith to Pier 81, where a ship was docked. He proceeded to gun down several criminals on the dock who were guarding the ship, before he boarded, and found a significant stash of heroin onboard. Taking numerous cans of gasoline from the docks nearby, he doused the boxes of heroin, while taunting and calling for the Blacksmith. A man emerged with a SIG pistol and shoot at him then retreated, as Castle returned fire with his H&K 416 rifle.
Castle hunted down the last man on the ship, engaging in a brief gunfight. When the man ran out of ammunition, Castle responded by shooting him in the shoulder with his rifle, ordering him to admit he was the Blacksmith and that he was the one who had killed his family, when the man refused to speak, Castle chose to shoot him in the leg with his S&W 1911 pistol. The man pleaded for his life and then half-heartedly admitted to being the Blacksmith and begged for death as Castle pressed his gun into the man's face.
Suddenly Daredevil arrived on the boat and intervened, telling Castle that the man was lying and was not the Blacksmith. Castle however was so bloodthirsty that he prepared to execute the man, so Daredevil knocked the pistol out of Castle's hand before the two engaged in an unarmed fight, which ended with Daredevil defeating Castle and revealing that the man was just a patsy to bait Castle. Furious about being denied revenge, Castle accused Daredevil's methods of failing, telling him that he did not understand the pain of having his wife and children taken away from him, even making Daredevil admit that Castle's methods were sometimes the answer.
Daredevil sensed there was a substantial amount of gunpowder below decks, which would cause a massive explosion if the gasoline from earlier was ignited. As more henchmen arrived, including Gosnell who personally called Castle out for the fight, Castle agreed to leave, but then pushed Daredevil into the water to save him, and revealed himself so they would open fire and the ship exploded in a massive fireball, causing shrapnel to hit and kill Gosnell and his men while Castle was barely able to survive and escape.
Finding the Blacksmith
- "Alright, they call you the Punisher. Prove it; prove you don't need me anymore."
"One shot... One kill... You taught me that."
"You stupid son o-"
- ―Ray Schoonover and Frank Castle
Castle survived the explosion and when he saw Gosnell was one of the men sent to kill him, he deduced that Ray Schoonover was the Blacksmith. Travelling to Schoonover's home, Castle witnessed Karen Page interviewing him until she made the same discovery, at which point Schoonover drew his gun on her. Castle made Page aware of his presence by putting a familiar song onto her radio and as Page and Schoonover drove down the road, Castle plowed into the side of the car with his own SUV, badly injuring Schoonover.
Castle dragged Schoonover out of the car and forced him to walk through the woods, while Schoonover told Castle that he wanted him to have drowned when he destroyed his heroin. Schoonover mocked the massacre of Castle's wife, son and daughter, causing Castle to kick him to the ground. Page then arrived and begged Castle to stop, but Castle ignored her pleas and dragged Schoonover into a nearby cabin. When Page insisted that he would be dead to her if he killed Schoonover, Castle told her he was already dead.
Once they were alone, Castle began looking at the various weapons which he could use to slowly torture and kill the man who took his family from him. Schoonover continued to taunt Castle's moniker as the Punisher, and how he had to teach him how to use his first firearm at age eighteen. Schoonover told him to prove that he was the Punisher and that he did not need him anymore, at which point Castle remembered Schoonover's lesson about one shot, one kill, before executing Schoonover with a single bullet through his skull.
With Schoonover now dead and his blood staining the walls of the cabin, Castle began exploring the room further. He eventually found a secret room within the cabin that contained Schoonover's impressive armory filled with military-grade weapons. Castle began looking over the various weapons closely, which included a minigun as well as a bulletproof vest that had all previously belonged to Schoonover. As Punisher inspected the various guns, he looked at the bulletproof vest, noticing that the design on the front resembled a skull.
- "See you around, Red."
Castle returned to his family's home with Ray Schoonover's stolen arsenal of weapons and looked around before sitting in at the kitchen table with a newspaper featuring an article on his trial, with the x-ray of his skull as the front image. Using this image as inspiration, Castle went into the garage with the Bulletproof Vest he found in the armory and began spray painting an image onto it. Castle, donning his bulletproof vest with a spray painted skull-like symbol, embraced the mantle of the Punisher.
With his new uniform and logo on his bulletproof vest, Castle returned to New York City to assist Daredevil in his confrontation with the Hand. Using his sniper rifle, he dispatched four assassins in quick succession, giving Daredevil an opening to fight and eventually defeat Nobu Yoshioka, launching him off the roof of the building to his death. As the battle concluded, Castle watched from the roof, seen by Karen Page down below as she was protected by the police, Castle gave a nod towards his ally while he promised to see Daredevil another time before walking away.
With all those who had a hand in the deaths of his family lying dead in morgues, in the streets, and other places throughout Hell's Kitchen, the Punisher accepted closure, and proceeded to burn away the last memories of his former life, setting his home on fire. Armed with the weapons from Ray Schoonover's armory, Castle prepared to leave Hell's Kitchen to continue to punish crime the only way he saw fit. He was last seen in his home where he retrieving a CD with his name "Micro" on it. On CD was footage of Ahmad Zubair's execution.
- "An eye for an eye and all that. I got a family of my own."
"For God's sake, man, killing me is not gonna bring yours back. What does it change if I'm dead?"
- ―Mickey O'Hare and Punisher
Months after helping Daredevil take down Nobu Yoshioka's division of the Hand, the Punisher continued to hunt and kill all of the gangs who had been responsible for killing his family. Heading to Alabama, the Punisher ended up chasing down two members of the Dogs of Hell, shooting at them with a shotgun from his own van until they crashed. As they men lay in pain, the Punisher reciting Penny and Dime before running them over with his van and killing them.
The Punisher traveled into El Paso, Texas, where he had eventually tracked down Cartel Sicario the last remaining surviving member of the Mexican Cartel who had believed he had finally escaped from the Punisher's wrath by getting across the border. Taking a position far away from Sicario, the Punisher set up his sniper rifle and watched as Sicario celebrated his return with his allies before preparing to be pleasured by two prostitutes as his reward. Patiently waiting for his shot, the Punisher fired a single bullet which struck Sicario directly in the forehead, killing him instantly before the horrified prostitutes.
Upon returning to New York City, the Punisher then tracked down Mickey O'Hare, the last remaining member of the Kitchen Irish who was attempting to catch a flight from JFK International Airport and return home to the safety of Ireland. The Punisher soon found O'Hare in the Airport Bathroom and then furiously charged into the stall to confront him, knocking him down and locking the door behind him, with the horrified O'Hare terrified by seeing the skull painted on the Punisher's Bulletproof Vest while he begged Castle to spare his life, desperately questioning what would change if he died.
The Punisher however then calmly admitted that he knew that killing O'Hare would not bring his wife and two children back but made it clear that this no longer mattered to him as he now desired O'Hare's death. Upon hearing two other men enter the bathroom, the Punisher stopped O'Hare from calling for help by knocking him back and then strangled him with his own tie until O'Hare eventually ran out of air and was chocked to death. With the two other men assuming they heard gay sex in their stall, they walked out before the Punisher left O'Hare's corpse, zipping up his hoody to hide the vest.
With seemingly all the gangs destroyed who had been involved with the terrible Massacre at Central Park root and stem, as well as the individuals such as Dutton and Ray Schoonover also now deceased, Castle believed that his family had finally been avenged once and for all. Believing that he no longer had a war to fight for, Castle then gave up the mantle of the Punisher, symbolically burning his bulletproof vest as he considering every single person he had killed to avenge the mindless death of his family. Castle told Curtis Hoyle that he was still alive and assumed the new name of Pete Castiglione.
Building a New Life
- "Look, Donny. Thanks for the sandwich. You know, I appreciate that. But I'm not looking for a pal, yeah? Whatever it is you're looking for I'm not it."
- ―Frank Castle to Donny Chavez
Six months on from tracking down and killing all of the members of the Dogs of Hell, Kitchen Irish as well as the Mexican Cartel who had previously been involved with the Massacre at Central Park, Castle gave up his life of violence and got a job as a construction worker, under the new alias of Pete Castiglione and attempted to keep himself out of harms way, avoiding stress as best he could. Castle would often work late into the night hammering down concrete walls by himself, quickly earning him the ire of some of his coworkers.
Upon finishing his work at the construction site, Castle would return back to his small apartment and ready Moby Dick, the novel which had been lent to him by Curtis Hoyle as a way to cope with the stress of his own mind, although Castle found himself struggling to focus on reading it. As Castle attempted to sleep however, he found himself haunted by dreams of the Massacre at Central Park during which he had lost his entire family, having visions of Maria Castle waking him from his sleep before Castle would then remember that his family had been taken from him, bringing back those painful memories.
Eventually, Lance and all his friends confronted Castle regarding him working late nights and taking away their own overtime. As Castle continued to ignore everything they were saying and kept striking the wall, Lance responded by ruining his lunch out of spite, which then caused Castle to turn around and look Lance furiously in the eye as he tightened his grip on his sledgehammer. Lance however, unaware of who he was now angering, threatened Castle before walking away, purposely stepping on Castle's sandwich while Castle had remained stood, swallowing his fury and his desire to punish Lance.
At lunchtime, when Castle went up to the roof to brood and consider what Lance had said to him to ensure that he did not lose control and risk being discovered to be the Punisher. While Castle was sat alone, Donny Chavez, a new worker at the construction site, came up and offered him one of his sandwiches out of sympathy for Lance ruining his. Despite Chavez's efforts to strike up a friendship as they discussed his career in the United States Marine Corps and Chavez family, Castle still kept his distance, not wishing to hurt Chavez if the truth was ever exposed about all the secrets which Castle had been hiding.
Meeting with Curtis Hoyle
- "Look, you got half a life left to live, my friend. If you don't, you might as well be dead."
"Oh, I am dead, Curtis. You didn't hear?"
"Bullshit. You got a name, a passport. As I recall, Frank Castle's dead. Pete Castiglione, he's got a life."
- ―Curtis Hoyle and Frank Castle
To be added
Protecting Donny Chavez
To be added
- "You see, what worries me the most is that you've been in a hole so long that it's become home."
"Maybe that's where I'm supposed to be."
"Do me a favor, Frank. Don't be a wallowing asshole."
- ―Curtis Hoyle and Frank Castle
At the same time, Castle visited a group therapy session for other veterans run by his old comrade Curtis. The two caught up on old times, with Curtis remarking on how everyone wants to be anyone but themselves. Though Curtis offered Castle another chance at a new life, he politely refused.
Back in Action
The Gnucci Job
A few days later, Castle overheard Lance and Paulie discussing plans for an upcoming heist. Sure enough, Lance confronted and taunted Castle, whom sat nearby, for eavesdropping. Before the two could come to blows, however, another coworker was badly injured. Chavez begged Castle for medical aid, but he simply walked away.
That evening, while working late again, Castle spotted Lance and his lackeys return to the construction site and chase Donny into the building. Before they could bury him alive in concrete, however, Castle defeated the attackers with his sledgehammer and interrogated Lance, learning they had robbed an underground card game run by the Gnucci Crime Family and were killing Chavez for accidentally revealing his identity during the heist. After bashing Lance and pulling Chavez to safety, Castle traveled to the gambling den in Linello's and quickly dispatched the mobsters before they could retaliate, unaware that someone had been watching his escape.
- "You got the wrong guy."
"Yeah, I don't think so. Unless I'm not talking to Frank Castle? You know, let's not waste time. You're Frank Castle, right? Frank Castle, the dead man?"
"Makes two of us now."
"You're more right than you know. You're not the only ghost in this town, Frank."
- ―Frank Castle and Micro
Paying a visit at Graniteville Diner, Castle ate breakfast before a waitress informed him that someone describing his exact features managed to ask for him on their land-line. When he answered, the man acknowledged that he was Frank Castle and informed him that he knew what he did. Though Castle began to threaten him, Micro said that he needed him. Castle soon left the diner, paying his bill as he went.
Castle bolted through an alley and into a building, climbing its stairs with a sidearm in hand to find the rooftop empty, a flashlight, cellphone, and mirror placed for him by Micro. Looking back at the diner, he noticed the man wave to him atop the roof before leaving.
Checking Loose Lips
Fearing that someone revealed his existence to the public, Castle visited Curtis Hoyle and questioned if he spoke. He informed that a man under the alias "Micro" was aware of what he had done and that he knew he was alive.
Eliminating Hoyle, he disguised himself as a homeless begger and managed to cross paths with Karen Page again, calling her out by name after being gifted money. As the two were catching up, he was invited into her apartment, where they shared beer and commented on things since their last interaction.
Visiting Sarah Lieberman
- "I'm Pete, by the way. Castiglione."
"Uh, Sarah. Lieberman."
- ―Frank Castle and Sarah Lieberman
Frank shaves his beard and hair, and when he leaves his apartment he changes his walk to throw off gait recognition software. Heading to Carson Wolf's home, he attacks him and knocks him unconscious. When Wolf comes to, he is tied to a chair and Frank begins to torture and interrogate him about Lieberman's whereabouts. Wolf insists that torture will not work; Frank shoots him in the leg. During the torture, Wolf manages to free himself and grabs Frank's gun. While holding Frank at gunpoint, Wolf reveals some information about why Frank's family was killed then pulls the trigger. However, Frank knew that torture would not work so had made sure the gun was unloaded. Wolf revealed the information with duress and then Frank kills him.
Reactivating the phone, Frank is contacted by Micro. Frank, now with leverage, arranges a meeting. He sends Micro to a location, then calls him to send him to another location, and so on to ensure that he is not followed. The final stop is the cemetery when Lieberman is "buried." However, Frank has enlisted Curtis to meet Micro. Curtis tells him that Frank has rethought the entire situation and does not want to meet. Furthermore, if Micro tries to contact him again, then Frank will visit Sarah again.
Despondent, Micro returns to his hideout. However, it was a ruse Frank used Curtis' distraction to sneak into the trunk of Micro's car. Frank gets out and punches Micro.
Micro wakes up to find himself naked and restrained to a chair with zip-ties. Frank starts to interrogate him until a three-minute countdown starts. Micro reveals that it is a fail-safe system – if the countdown reaches zero, then it would trigger explosives in the building that would kill them. He needs to enter a code and retinal scan.
Micro tells Frank that Cerberus is totally off the books. No record of it exists, meaning that it was not approved by Congress and therefore illegal. Frank agrees to work with Micro on one condition, the targets are all killed, with no exception or pleads for a trial, which Micro agrees to.
Saving Gunner Henderson
- "Gunner? You here? Gunner, it's Frank Castle! Brother, I just want to talk!"
- ―Frank Castle to Gunner Henderson
Using the bug the head office of Homeland Security, William Rawlins listened tapes and heard Dinah Madani and Sam Steindiscussing the names of soldiers who suspected to be involved with Cerberus Squad, including Castle and Gunner Henderson. Fearing that Homeland Security would uncover his involvement in Operation Cerberus Rawlins decided to assassinate all the last members of Cerberus Squad. As he watched the mission unfold on his computer screen, Rawlins sent a small unit of Anvil agents to ambush and assassinate Gunner Henderson.
Micro found Gunner Henderson in a cabin in Kentucky. Punisherwent alone to find Henderson while Micro stayed with the van. When Castle inding the cabin, Henderson shooted him with an arrow. He convinced Henderson to talk with him and that he is not a threat. Henderson revealed why he filmed the Assassination of Ahmad Zubair and discovered that Colonel Morty Bennett supervised operation.
Meantime, helicopter with Anvil agents landed in the woods. Assisted by Micro who spotted targets with a drone, Castle and Henderson took out the tactical team. Rawlins, who supervised operation, discovered that Castle is still alive. Punisher and Henderson was badly wounded. Henderson died of blood loss, and Castle was rescued by Micro, who gave him basic medical treatment and brought him to the hideout.
Micro asked Curtis Hoyle to help Castle. At the hideout, Curtis removed the arrow from his shoulder and patched him up.
Dinah Madani learned from Sam Stein that Gunner Henderson has been found dead on a mountain in Kentucky. In Kentucky, they surveyed the site of Henderson's death. Dinah determined that a gunfight occurred in the woods and that there was probably two men. She takes evidence to be tested for DNA, and discovered that the survivor was Frank Castle.
Aided by Micro and his drone, Frank Castle clipped the chained fence guarding the outside perimeter and managed to maneuver through the shadows, avoiding detention from foot soldiers. Meanwhile, Morty Bennett dined and vented his frustration to a dominatrix, whom he engaged in erotic role-play. With the arrival of Castle, the dominatrix alerted Billy Russo of his presence, Bennett attempting to grab his gun. Castle pinned him to the wall and threatened him to inform him on William Rawlins. Warned of approaching soldiers by Micro, Castle demanded that Bennett kept silent in a closet before dropping two smoke grenades and concealed his face. They silently searched for their target before being taken out one by one by Castle, who chose not to kill any of them. At one point, one agent found and aimed their rifle at Bennett by mistake, only for Castle to appear from the darkness and knock the man out. Eventually Castle took out the final agent, non-lethally shooting him. At this time, Micro finished hacking and said Castle to escape.
Castle leaping out of the window while the final agent continued shooting at him. As the smoke left the room and the agents got back onto their feet, the lead agent revealed himself to be Billy Russo much to Bennett's surprise, as Russo ordered him to tell the soldiers at the base that this had all been a training exercise before telling Bennett to follow him to a safe house, with Bennett coming to believe that Rawlins was behind the entire situation.
The base was put on alert in order to find intruder. Castle successfully got to the exit but confronted with young soldier who told Castle to surrender. He shot soldier in arm and escaped on his van.
Frank Castle and Micro managed to escape the area and retreated to the hideout to await new intelligence from Morty Bennett's phone. Elsewhere, Bennett reported back to William Rawlins and Billy Russo, in which he explained whether they had schemed a plan for Castle to attack him and wished to know if and when he would be relocated to a safe house and given a new identity.
Arriving at the Lieberman house, Castle finds out that Sarah had unplugged the Internet to punish Zach for his behavior, causing the cameras to go offline. However, she then admits that she undermined herself by allowing him to go out. Sarah asks Frank to stay for a glass of wine.
Frank reactivates the Internet router in the Lieberman house. Unfortunately, this allows Micro to see Sarah drunkenly kiss Frank. While Frank gently rebuffs her advances, he returns to the hideout to find Micro extremely drunk.
Micro and Frank talk about how they each met their wives. Micro comes to the decision that the only way back to his family is to involve Dinah Madani. Frank would be the witness she needs to take down Rawlins. Frank punches Micro out to stop him.
Micro wakes up with a hangover but still thinks going to Madani is the best option. Sarah calls Frank for help with Zach. She is freaking out that she found a knife in his bag. Frank has a talk with Zach and manages to scare the kid enough for him to finally break down and admit that he is sad and scared.
Zach and Frank throw a football around, and Micro comes by. Frank tells him to leave before Zach sees him, because it could lead to his family being killed. Frank promises to talk to Dinah.
- "There's nothing in this world I hate as much as a goddamn bomb. Goddamn cowards. They think they're gonna scare people into making them do what they want. They're wrong. It just pisses people off, you know, brings them together, makes them stronger. New York doesn't forget. Whoever this is, they're in for a world of shit."
- ―Frank Castle
Castle and Micro watch her through the window from a nearby rooftop in preparation for approaching her. As they watch, the street below is rocked by an explosion.
Frank and Micro watch the news where he states he hates cowardly bombers. Frank says they are putting their plan to contact Dinah on hold because of the current situation.
Castle later read a newspaper article by Page, whom the bomber had directly mailed, speaking out against the bomber, which he regarded as reckless provocation. Subsequently, Micro revealed that Page was on the Ricky Langtry Show with Senator Stan Ori, the latter of whom dragged Castle's name through the mud by bringing up his murder spree. The bomber called the show to spout his rhetoric, ending his call with sic semper tyrannis. Castle then suspected that Lewis from Hoyle's support group was the bomber on the radio and had Micro look up his address. Once obtained, Castle ignored Micro's suggestion to tip off the authorities or call Hoyle, knowing the latter would try to fix Lewis.
While staking out Clay Wilson's house, Castle then called Page to warn her against going after Lewis. Page suspected he knew something and insisted they do things the right way but Castle advised her to remain under FBI protection. Micro then informed him that he pinged both Lewis and Hoyle's cellphone at O'Connor's apartment, forcing Castle to head there.
He tries to find Lewis, going to his home first and then to O'Connor's. There, he finds O'Connor's corpse and Lewis' bomb-making supplies. Lewis discovers him and the two fight; eventually Lewis gets the upper hand and beats Curtis unconscious with his prosthetic leg.
Rescuing Curtis Hoyle
- "Frank, you son of a bitch, please! I don't give a damn about the past, and you don't owe me anything."
"I am not leaving."
- ―Curtis Hoyle and Frank Castle
Frank arrives at O'Connor's to find Curtis tied up and rigged with mines. Frank tries to find a way to disarm the explosives. Lewis, watching from a rooftop, calls him. Dinah finally decides to attend Sam's memorial and to tell the truth about the failed operation, no matter the cost to her career.
Frank can't figure out how to disarm the bomb. Curtis tells Frank to leave him and admits that he is living a lie. Despite looking like he has things together, she is as miserable and scared as the other veterans. Part of him thinks it would have been better to die rather than just lose his leg. Lewis has called the cops so that there will be a witness to the explosion, but Frank wants Lewis to tell him how to disarm the bomb.
Frank tells Lewis the story of how Curtis lost his leg, and how Frank was to blame for not shooting a suicide bomber in time because she was pregnant. Lewis tells him to cut the white wire then escapes. Frank disarms the bomb then flees before the police arrive. However, he is spotted and chased. Cornered by a squad car, Frank knocks out the two police officers and steals the cruiser.
News breaks that the Punisher is still alive, the cop car that he stole captured a clear image of him via its dash camera.
Royal Hospitality Situation
- "Whole world thinks we did this together, kid."
"Hey! Hey! Stay back."
"You know, kid, maybe you were right. Maybe you and me, we are the same. Maybe this is the way it's supposed to end. Just... just you and me, though, right? Just you and me, and a bomb."
- ―Frank Castle and Lewis Wilson
She also says that Ori pushed Karen into Lewis' arms to escape. Lewis then takes Karen hostage to escape while wearing a bomb vest, heading to the elevator he prepared earlier. When Lewis is clear of the floor, the surviving Anvil guards target Frank.
In the stairwell, Dinah and Frank have a standoff while he tries to go after Karen. Billy arrives and shoots at Frank; Dinah shifts her attention to Billy and comes to the realization that Billy led the mercenaries and killed Sam. The New York City Police Department arrive and restrain Billy and Dinah. Frank fights back and uses a fire hose reel to escape.
Frank follows Lewis and Karen enter the basement kitchen. Frank tries to talk him down, and uses the story about how he helped Curtis as a signal to Karen to grab the white wire on Lewis' deadman's switch. She yanks the wire out to disarm the bomb, then uses the gun in her bag to shoot him in the foot. Frank then locks him in a storage room. Lewis rewires the bomb and blows himself up.
To allow Frank to escape, Karen willing lets herself be used as a human shield to get him to an elevator. Inside, Frank uses the emergency hatch to escape into the shaft, reaching the roof to escape via a zip-line.
Rawlins and Russo
As Castle and Micro learned about Sarah and Zach Lieberman's kidnapping and decided to act. Frank called Leo and convinced her to meet him at Central Park, but told Micro to meet her so he reunite with his daughter. Frank decided to stay at the hideout, knowing well that if they knew of the Lieberman residence, then they knew about the hideout. 
Castle got prepared for the assault and set up bombs and hid, awaiting for the agents. Russo stayed and watched over the Lieberman's as Rawlins refused to get his hands dirty. The agents arrived as Jack informed Russo that Castle wasn't there and found Micro's computer on a mysterious countdown clock. Before Russo could inform his men that Castle's phone was still there and abort, the Punisher set off an explosion and ambushed the entire team. Frank went on the offense and started a shootout, leading him to kill agents and execute the rest with his shotgun. Castle proceeded to kill many agents but was shot by an agent, surviving due to his bulletproof vest.
Pushed into a corner, Castle called for Russo, wanting to know where he is, luring the remaining agents into his trap. Setting off the second explosion, an enraged Castle grabbed his M249 SAW machine gun and destroyed a stone pillar an agent was hiding behind. Dropping the gun, Frank stabbed the agent and grabbed his gun and proceeded to kill the few agents left. Castle attacked an agent and took of his mask to interrogate him until he heard Jack in agony, executing the unmasked agent.
Castle walked over to Jack, interrogating him on where the Lieberman family were, shooting him when he stated he didn't know. Jack told the Punisher he know's how it is and didn't know anything, as Castle replied fair enough and killed him. 
Castle warned him that if anything happened to the Liebermans, Micro would release everything on Operation Cerberus. The two agreed to have an exchange for Micro and Punisher in exchange for the Liebermans.
At the exchange, Russo was placed above and had a sniper rifle to watch. However, Homeland Security agents came and Micro was presumably killed in the crossfire, Russo continued to shoot at the security agents and had Castle captured, taking him back to Micro's hideout to stop the countdown clock on Micro's computers.
- "You are nothing but a grunt! You do not get to take me down. You are gonna beg to me. Blood loss is gonna make you weak. You're gonna slip in and out of shock. You will know pain and fear. Fear, Frank. Your ribs must be cracked. I'm gonna take all the breath out of your lungs, out of your lungs, until you can barely whisper and the last word out of your mouth is gonna be "please, please, please."
- ―William Rawlins to Frank Castle
Frank was captured by Billy Russo who wanted to unlock Micro's computers which were on a countdown clock. Castle asked Russo did he trust Rawlins, similar to how he trusted Morty Bennett before his murder. Rawlins answered that he and Russo had some mutual interest. Rawlins put on his gloves while Castle asked were they the same ones he used to torture Ahmad Zubair, Rawlins replied that these were special and for Frank's interrogation only. Rawlins proceeded to slap Castle around and punch him repeatedly while the latter mocked him. Rawlins stopped the torture after two hours of beating Castle, taking a break while Russo convinced Castle to enter the codes into Micro's computer. Rawlins told Castle he was deeply disappointed on how he broke so easily under torture.
However, Frank was using their overconfidence to get the blade he hid under his chair, which he use to furiously stab Rawlins in the chest. Russo attempted to stop Castle but the latter continued and bit Rawlins on the neck, causing the agent to scream in agony. As the two wrestled, Russo struck Frank with his gun, leading to Frank letting his grip go. Rawlins proceeded to kick Castle in anger and knocked him unconscious. Enraged, Rawlins mocked Castle for being nothing but a military grunt and didn't have the right to kill him and continued to torture him. Russo interrupted Rawlins and told that they should focus on wiping everything on Micro's computers, and will kill Castle himself. Rawlins refused, stating that he wanted to kill Castle for everything he took from him and have the latter begging for his life. Russo questioned what Rawlins had meant by Castle taking things from him, as Rawlins had inadvertently revealed that Marion James had taken his position from him.
Rawlins continued to torture Castle by pushing his finger into his wound; causing Russo to drag Rawlins away. Rawlins reminded Russo that he pulled Russo out of the mud after Afghanistan, and reminded Russo that he murdered Homeland Security agents and gotten this far by him. Russo claimed that he wish Castle had killed him back in Kandahar, causing Rawlins to laugh in his face. Russo proceeded to place a gun to Castle's head, leading to Rawlins to pull out his handgun, ordering Russo to step away and not take away his revenge, stating that Castle owed him an eye.
Unbeknownst to Rawlins, Russo had cut Castle's cord, allowing him to kill the agent. Russo left Castle's side and took away Rawlins' gun, who continued his torture by injecting Castle with adrenaline to keep alive long enough. The Anvil agents left after the hacker succeeded to wipe all of Micro's files as Rawlins proceeded to test Castle's heat beat. Rawlins grabbed the weapon he would to get his revenge on Frank, holding a blade to stab out his eye for payback.
Castle stopped Rawlins, knocking him on the ground, learning of Russo's betrayal. Rawlins stabbed Castle into his side, but the latter took it out of his side and stabbed the agent's throat and shoulder. Russo watched from afar, allowing Frank to kill his former ally. Castle told Rawlins that he was a reminder of the crimes he committed and the punishment that came for them. Castle proceeded to punch the agent repeatedly, ending his life by pushing his thumbs into his eyes. Castle then fell to ground beside Rawlins' corpse, tired of holding his own from his torture and killing the CIA agent.
- "I'm not gonna let you die today. Dying's easy. You're gonna learn about pain. You're gonna learn about loss. Every morning I look for 'em, Bill. I look for 'em but then I remember. It's gonna be the same for you. When you look at your ugly, mangled face, you're gonna remember what you did. You'll remember, Bill!"
- ―Punisher to Billy Russo
Russo decided to confront Curtis Hoyle if he had known about Frank Castle's whereabouts, unaware that Castle had already taken a sniping position directed at Hoyle's apartment. Intending to ambush Russo, they both agreed over the phone to finish this at any place Russo wanted. Deciding to end it where it all began, the two agreed to meet at the Carousel in Central Park at midnight.
Staying true to his word, Castle headed out to the park, unaware of Agent Dinah Madani tracking his movements. Upon locating Russo around the Carousel, Castle started the assault with a grenade launcher. As the two approached even closer, the carousel began to run, with Carl and Hayley tied up and taken hostage by Russo. Not willing to let the two civilians die, Castle dropped his gun, willing to surrender. Suddenly, Agent Madani unexpectedly had Russo at gunpoint, but the former took a headshot immediately after.
This gave Castle time to tackle Russo and the two started a bloody fight. Russo seemed to have the upper hand and was about to kill Castle, but he stabbed Russo with a piece of broken glass from one of the carousel's mirrors. Castle then smeared Russo's face across the shattered mirror, with Russo screaming in pain. With Castle now able to kill Russo, he decided his best suited punishment was to have him live, with his battered face as a reminder for what he did to his family and the consequence it had. And he proceeded to bash his head against the glass a few more times, leaving Russo unconscious and brutally injured. He freed the two hostages and held Madani close to him as the New York City Police Department arrive at the carousel.
A New Life
- "We've redirected the narrative for recent events. Lewis Wilson and Russo are the only suspects anyone needs right now."
"You're officially still at large, but we wiped your prints and DNA from the criminal justice system and replaced them with those of a dead man. We've done what we can to give you your life back. Pete Castiglione is a free man."
"You were betrayed. Some kind of justice was done, and we hope that's enough for you."
- ―Marion James and Rafael Hernandez
Three days after the fight in Central Park, Castle was brought by police at the hospital room where Madani was being treated, also finding agents Marion James and Rafi Hernandez there. They thank him for taking care of Rawlins' operation and Russo as well, who is still recovering but can suffer brain damage if he wakes up. Castle was additionally rewarded by telling him that his criminal record has been ceased and that Frank Castle is "dead" yet again and that he can go back to live a normal life as Pete Castiglione.
Later that day, Castle heads to Curtis's rehab center early, setting it up. Hoyle, surprised to see Castle, suggests that he should open up at his rehab sessions, noting that it'll stay confidential among the group. Castle takes Hoyle's advice and stays until the rest of them show up. Noting that he no longer has any sort of objective or mission to fulfill, Castle admits to being scared for not knowing what the rest of his life holds for him. 
Frank Castle is a man who has come to see the world in pure black and white terms and believes that the only way to keep the streets safe is to kill criminals so they do not harm innocents again. His sense of morality has turned to the extreme, differing greatly from what most would consider acceptable ideals of good and bad. He firmly believes that the wicked deserve to be punished and stopped permanently, and that their deaths - no matter how brutal and even illegal are needed as they better the world. His military past has hardened him to even the most extensive violence, as well as his iron mentality; he claims to not suffer any PTSD for his actions as a Marine nor did he claim to feel particularly disturbed when he saw his friends die or kill for the first time. However the events left him too exhausted to even read a bedtime story to his daughter. The death of his wife and child in contrast completely traumatize him with vivid night terrors and flashbacks to the night they were murdered.
When his wife, son, and daughter were murdered, a devastated Castle turned into a violent almost sociopathic individual, determined to kill every single criminal who had a hand in his family's death. When dealing with criminals, he becomes an extremist. He is brutal, cold, and efficient. He would use extreme tactics such as torture, brutality and eventually kill them. He firmly believes that the truly evil deserve no mercy, and as such he holds no regret in the deaths of any heinous criminal he kills.
However, despite this Castle greatly values the lives of innocents, and will do his absolute best to make sure that civilians are not harmed, as shown when he went to the hospital looking for Grotto and made sure not to harm any patients or Karen Page. Castle upholds an honor code of "One Shot, One Kill", getting the job done as quickly as possible, whilst trying to avoid any collateral damage. As he delved deeper into Rawlins and Russo’s operations, though he becomes increasingly more vengeful and sadistic, abandoning the honor code of his squad in pursuit of his personal vengeance especially as he realises it was a part of his own squad that betrayed him. This led him to brutally torture Rawlins to death, prolonging his suffering for as long as possible in stark contrast to swiftly murdering the Blacksmith with a headshot when Castle also had the opportunity to torture him for his family’s death. Despite his lack of hesitation to kill, he still refused to kill Billy Russo but only violently mutilated his handsome face. Whilst he claims this was also to prolong his miserable life with a constant punishment of his wicked deeds, it is possible he could not bring himself to kill his former closest friend. He also avoided killing Daredevil, and when presented with the chance to kill him, Castle simply resorted to knocking him out.
Despite his cold and ruthless demeanor, beneath it all, Castle is a man who strongly and deeply misses his beloved family, and wishes only to make up for what he sees as his inability to protect them. Though he undoubtedly loved his family with all his heart, Castle has admitted that his true home is only at wartime and when he feels like a soldier - something which he enjoyed being more than a family man. Despite having the chance to honor their memories and accept their deaths, Castle believes his vengeance against those who murdered them is more important and ultimately what drives him to war. It is ultimately the lack of conflict in life that scares Castle rather than death and having no true home to call to. Castle also appears to believe in returning favors, since him helping Daredevil defeat the Hand ninjas can be seen as him repaying the vigilante for rescuing him from torture at the hands of the Kitchen Irish.
Frank dislikes being thought of as insane or not in control of his actions as it goes against what he believes his mission stands for. At the same time, he does not seem to care what the citizens of New York and the law enforcement think of him as he has witnessed their ineptitude in dealing with his family's murder first hand. He openly sneered at Daredevil for considering himself a "hero" as he claims that he was only "one bad day away" from being like Castle. Indeed, Castle knocks out Daredevil when he claimed that he was insane and goes into a furious rant in court when they planned to instigate him into a mental asylum, admitting he was fully sane and enjoyed killing every criminal he encountered.
Outside of “the mission”, Castle does have other interests and even a certain sense of fun, and enjoys playing guitar. He seems to have a liking for disco and funk, commenting that he enjoyed singing along to “Shining Star” by Earth Wind & Fire so much that he nearly drove the rest of his unit crazy with it. He also enjoys reading and goes through books at a fast pace.
- "He's tracking gangsters to their home turf and taking them out with military precision."
- ―Blake Tower
- Master Combatant: Castle, as a former marine with years of experience, is a very dangerous, fierce, and lethal armed and hand-to-hand combatant, holding his own against the highly skilled Daredevil, even briefly gaining the upper hand against him in their first encounter. He impressed Daredevil with his speed and ferocity, despite the latter ultimately being able to get the upper hand in the fight, with the use of his agility. Hence, Castle, while unarmed, survived being ambushed by multiple armed prison inmates at once, swiftly taking them all down in a brutal bloodthirsty fashion, greatly impressing Kingpin, who claimed that Castle has a "unique talent". Later, Punisher also quickly overpowered Agent Orange, held his own against the highly skilled Carson Wolf, and defeated the highly skilled Billy Russo after a prolonged fight.
- Master Marksman: Castle graduated from Marine Corps Base Quantico of class 307. A former scout sniper and marine, Castle has considerable expertise in handling many firearms. Due to his military training, Frank Castle is a deadly shot, adhering to his unit's philosophy of "One shot, One kill". With his devastating use in firearms, he made many criminals and police officials believe his attacks were the work of a group or "army". Hence, as the Punisher, Castle rarely misses his target, and easily avoids injuring innocent civilians, thus managing to swiftly take down the last four Hand ninjas without wounding Daredevil, all from an immense distance away. Castle later sniped the Cartel Sicario with an immensely long range from across the border.
- Master Tactician: Castle is a highly skilled, effective and experienced military tactician, since notably, during the seemingly hopeless extraction of his unit, Castle assumed command, and single-handedly cleared a helicopter landing zone of enemy combatants (that prevented his unit's escape), while the rest of his men, even Ray Schoonover, hunkered down. As the Punisher, Castle later used these tactics to single-handedly track and kill entire gangs of criminals (notably the Dogs of Hell, Kitchen Irish, and Mexican Cartel) with high efficiency, to the point that Castle was initially mistaken by Daredevil and the police for an entire squad of gunmen, rather than a single man.
- "Military-grade hardware you seem to know your way around. You sure carry stuff like a soldier."
- Kimber Warrior: Castle carried this handgun as his service pistol during his time in the United States Marine Corps, and while serving as part of the Cerberus Squad. While serving in Operation Cerberus, he was ordered to use his handgun to kill Ahmad Zubair, which began to question the validity of his work in that mission, as he was also ordered to retrieve the bullet from Zubair's corpse. During their last mission, when the entire squad was ambushed, Castle took upon himself to clear the area, single-handedly defeating all enemies with the weapons he had available, using his handgun when his assault rifle ran out of ammunition.
Castle carried this handgun when he took Karen Page to a diner. While being there, he noticed that a car had been following them, and that they were going to be attacked. As two soldiers working for the Blacksmith entered into the diner, Castle opened fire and avoided their shots. Despite he lost the handgun during the shootout, he overpowered the two men, and retrieved the handgun to kill the two injured soldiers, shooting one of them in the head, and killing the other using the gun as a club. He also took it to the ship that the Blacksmith used to smuggle heroin into New York City, almost using it to kill a man that claimed to be the Blacksmith, until being disarmed by Daredevil.
Castle obtained another one of these handguns from the weapons cache he stole from the Greek Mob, and began to use it as his main sidearm, such as when he used it to threaten Colonel Morty Bennett for information and had to shoot a soldier while escaping from Fort Bryon, or when he took to prevent Lewis Wilson from killing Stan Ori and Karen Page, confronting Lewis until he was forced to holster it when members of Anvil appeared, and finally losing it Billy Russo shot him while Dinah Madani had him cornered.
Castle took a spare one from his his hideout and used it as his sidearm during an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He resorted to use the handgun when he was forced to kill one of the agents in close-quarters-combat, until retrieving a shotgun, but used it again to executing Jack, the field leader of the team, whom he had mistaken for Russo.
Castle took the gun as his sidearm, briefly dueling Russo with them as they were battling in the carousel of Central Park. Russo resorted to threaten the hostages, forcing Castle to throw his own gun away. Russo then shot at him, and realizing that Dinah Madani was sneaking upon him, he also shoot at her, giving Castle the chance to disarm him.
- Springfield Armory XDM Compact: Castle carried this handgun in an ankle holster when he went to Metro-General Hospital to try to kill Grotto. Once Daredevil attacked Castle, he resorted to take this handgun and shoot him in the head.
- Para G.I. Expert: Castle carried this handgun when he visited the carousel in Central Park where his family had been killed. The Kitchen Irish set an ambush there, and Castle killed some of them, until he was overwhelmed and kidnapped under Finn Cooley's orders.
- Heckler & Koch P30: Castle obtained this gun from one of the members of the Kitchen Irish that was about to use it on him under Finn Cooley's order when they realized that Castle had tricked them into activating a trap. However, Castle freed himself, took the gun from the henchman and used to kill him and shoot at Cooley, before discarding it for a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun.
- Colt M1911A1: Castle obtained this weapon from Paulie, who opened fire on him while he went to rescue Donny Chavez. Paulie missed the shots, and tried to escape, but Castle took the gun for himself and used to kill him. Castle then kept Paulie's gun, carrying it the following day, and using while trying to chase the man who had called him while having breakfast at a diner.
Until he obtained better weapons, Castle kept using the handgun, taking it to ambush David Lieberman inside his hideout, and in his attempts to obtain a weapons cache, first by threatening Turk Barrett for information regarding the weapons, and then to attack Mazur and his gang to obtain some vehicles they needed for the robbery of the weapons.
- Glock 17: Castle took Carson Wolf's handgun when he ambushed him inside Wolf's house. Castle prevented him from grabbing the gun and then he took the weapon right after leaving Wolf unconscious. While he was unconscious, Castle emptied the gun, leaving only one bullet, using it to shoot Wolf at his kneecap. Wolf managed to free himself from his ties and grabbed the gun from Castle, threatening him with it until he realized the gun was empty.
- Smith & Wesson M&P: Castle took this weapon from Karen Page, who had picked it up from a downed Anvil member while she was attacked by Lewis Wilson. With Castle's guidance, Page shoot Wilson in a foot to free herself, and then gave Castle the gun to help him escape, by acting as if Castle had taken Page as hostage, in order to avoid the New York City Police Department officers from shooting him.
- Smith & Wesson Model 327 Performance Center TRR8: Castle carried this revolver when he kidnapped Daredevil and used him to threaten him while he was chained in a rooftop. He also used to point at Jerry when he went to the rooftop, without Jerry noticing and only for Daredevil to hear it, so that he feared for the man's life. Once Castle brought Grotto to the rooftop to demonstrate Daredevil that the criminals he punished were beyond redemption, he threatened Grotto with the gun, and killed him with a shot to his chest before Daredevil could stop him.
- Smith & Wesson Model 327 Night Guard: Castle owned this small revolver, and attached it to Daredevil's hand using duct tape. Castle prompted Daredevil to shoot him, as that would be the only way of stopping him. However, Daredevil eventually used it to shot the chains that tied him up.
- Heckler & Koch MP5A3: Members of the Anvil unit sent to kill Gunner Henderson carried these submachine guns outfitted with suppressors as their standard weapons. Castle obtained one of them, and used to kill one of the operatives and defend himself until he ran out of ammunition. He took a second weapon from an operative he killed with his knife, and used it to kill some of the remaining operatives with David Lieberman's guidance, who had a drone above the area.
- Ithaca 37 Custom Short Barrel Stakeout: Castle took this shotgun to Metro-General Hospital in order to kill Grotto. Once he saw him, he began to shoot at Grotto, but being extremely careful and not hurting Karen Page, who was trying to get Grotto to safety, or any other civilian.
- Franchi SPAS-12: Castle obtained this shotgun from the weapons that Finn Cooley was going to use to torture him. However, he freed himself and despite he obtained a handgun from the henchman that was going to kill, he quickly discarded it for the shotgun. Castle then used the shotgun to kill incoming henchmen and then blew up Cooley's face with a point-blank shot as he had no information about the death of his family. Castle kept using the shotgun until he was cornered by Cooley's henchmen, only to be rescued by Daredevil.
- Remington 870 MCS: Having guessed that Billy Russo would know his location as he had kidnapped Sarah Lieberman kidnapped, Castle prepared his hideout for an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He set up a series of weapons and explosive traps, placing this shotgun over some pipes, and retrieving to kill some Anvil agents until he was shot from behind, losing the weapon as he was forced to take cover.
- Mossberg 500 Knoxx Sidewinder Kit: Castle infiltrated a garage owned by the Dogs of Hell, in order to prepare for an ambush that the New York City Police Department was setting for him. He used this shotgun to kill all the gang members inside except for one, whom Castle tied inside a truck to use as diversion.
- Heckler & Koch HK416: Castle carried this assault rifle as his standard weapon during his time in the United States Marine Corps, and while serving as part of the Cerberus Squad. While serving in Operation Cerberus, the entire squad was ambushed, and Castle took upon himself to clear the area, single-handedly defeating all enemies with the weapons he had available, using his assault rifle until it ran out of ammunition.
- AKS-74U: Castle took one of these assault rifles from an enemy when the Cerberus Squad was ambushed, and Castle took upon himself to clear the area. He proceeded to single-handedly defeat all enemies with the weapons he had available, using this rifle when his weapons ran out of ammunition.
- SIG-Sauer 516 Tactical Patrol: Castle carried this assault rifle, outfitted with an LMT M203 Grenade Launcher, to a rooftop in order to prepare an attack on the Dogs of Hell. Having kidnapped Daredevil, he had to start his attack right as Daredevil freed himself. Castle shot a grenade to the motorbikes stationed on the street, and then used the rifle as a clubbing weapon when Daredevil tried to stop him. Once he took him down, Castle prepared to open fire, but Daredevil threw the gun down to the street, disarming Castle and knocking him down.
Castle obtained another rifle as he infiltrated the Blacksmith's Ship, but he did not have to use it, as the only man onboard quickly ran out of ammunition, so Frank discarded the rifle to take his sidearm.
- Heckler & Koch G36C: Having guessed that Billy Russo would know his location as he had kidnapped Sarah Lieberman kidnapped, Castle prepared his hideout for an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He set up a series of weapons and explosive traps, taking this weapon as soon as revealed himself to the Anvil agents, shooting many of them until being cornered by one, that forced him to discard the rifle and kill him with a handgun.
- M4A1 Carbine: Both Castle and Billy Russo wielded heavily customized versions of this assault rifle while battling each other in the carousel of Central Park. As they engaged, they began to shoot at each other, with Russo hitting Castle's leg. As they covered from each other's bullets, Castle and Russo boarded the circling carousel with Castle shooting as Russo taunted him until they successfully shot at each other, with Castle being hit in the chest and Russo in the cheek, losing the guns and resorting to fire their sidearms.
- Nemesis Arms Vanquish: Castle took this sniper rifle to a rooftop near Metro-General Hospital after he tried to kill Grotto inside of the hospital. Seeing that he would not catch Grotto up, he began to shoot the rifle hoping to kill him, until Daredevil confronted him and they began to fight.
- Knight's Armament SR-25: Castle kept one of these rifles as part of the arsenal in his apartment.
- Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout: Castle climbed to a water tower to act as a sniper in his second attempt to kill Grotto. Knowing that Grotto was acting as bait for him, Castle created a diversion for the New York City Police Department and he began to shoot hoping to kill Grotto, until Daredevil attacked him a second time.
- Barrett MRAD: Castle obtained this rifle as part of the secret arsenal kept by Ray Schoonover. Castle then followed police radio signals to the site of a massive hostage situation, arriving soon after Nobu Yoshioka had accidentally killed Elektra. As Yoshioka ordered the rest of the Hand members to kill Daredevil, Castle acted as Daredevil's backup, killing the ninjas and allowing Daredevil to finally defeat Yoshioka. Castle then respectfully said goodbye to Daredevil and left the scene with the rifle still in his hands.
- Accuracy International AWSM-F: Castle took this rifle with him to El Paso in order to kill the last survivor of the Mexican Cartel. He patiently waited until his target arrived to Juárez, and once the shot was clear, Castle fired a bullet that took a few seconds to reach the border, but ultimately killed the Cartel leader when it hit his head.
- Ruger Mini-14: Castle ambushed Turk Barrett in order to obtain the weapons shipment from the Greek Mob that Barrett was supposed to receive. However, as Barrett had no other weapon available, Castle had to take a customized rifle with a synthetic pink stock that Barrett had acquired as a request from a gangster who wanted it for his daughter. Castle took the rifle to their hideout to show it to David Lieberman, but he never put it to use.
- Dillon M134 Minigun: Castle obtained a handheld version of the minigun as part of the secret arsenal kept by Ray Schoonover. He then took it when he went to torch his former house, carrying it while the house began to be engulfed by flames.
- Combat Knife: Castle carries a combat knife which he uses on multiple occasions. He even uses it as a makeshift throwing knife.
- Police Radio Frequency Scanners: At his hideout, he was in possession of multiple radio frequency scanners that allowed him to listen in on the police and stay step ahead of their plans, as well as to find leads on his enemies.
- Bulletproof Vest: A vest of armor worn on Frank's chest and torso, helping him absorb the impact from firearm projectiles and shrapnel from explosions. He painted a huge skull over the vest's front.
|Appearances for Frank Castle|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Francis Castiglione is a veteran of the Vietnam War, who returned home only to watch his family die for witnessing a mob execution lead by the Costa family, a crime family in the Maggia. He vowed to kill criminals, disregarding his identity as Castle and calling himself only the Punisher.
- Punisher is the character with the second highest body count in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being responsible for the deaths of 65 known characters, with 17 of them being named after Thanos who was responsible for the deaths of half of the universe, with 21 of them being named.
- Frank Castle is a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire and Bruce Springsteen.
- Frank can play the guitar.
- Frank Castle, along with Odin, Scott Lang, Hawkeye and Hank Pym are the only superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have children.
- In the comics , the Punisher appears as an adversary of Spider-Man , when he targets the hero for inadvertently causing Gwen Stacy's death, they later become situational allies after a misunderstanding. Jon Bernthal , Punisher's actor made audition tapes with Spider-Man's actor Tom Holland , landing them both their respective roles.
- The Punisher was originally set to be introduced in a post-credits scene at the end of first season finale of Daredevil, where he kills Leland Owlsley, with the character's face unseen but his skull insignia appearing. But the idea was dropped because the way Netflix airs it's series episodes
- Frank is, or at least at one point was Catholic.
Behind the Scenes
- Jon Bernthal made audition tapes together with Tom Holland while filming Pilgrimage, both landing their roles of Frank Castle and Peter Parker respectively. In the comics Punisher first appeared as an adversary of Spider-Man.
- Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson.
- Daredevil Season One showrunner Steven S. DeKnight said this version of Punisher would be "completely the Marvel version," as previous portrayals did not appear under the Marvel Studios / Marvel Television banner. He also felt Bernthal's Punisher would not be as "graphically violent" as in Punisher: War Zone.
- Season two showrunner Doug Petrie stated that Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver was an influence on the character, as well as current events, saying, "Taking lethal justice into your own hands in America in 2015 is tricky shit. We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of Now. If you've got a gun and you're not the police you're going to incite strong feelings."
- Jon Bernthal added that "This character has resonated with law enforcement and military ... and the best thing about him is that if he offends you, he just doesn't care."
- Season two showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez talked about creating their version of the character following the film versions, with Ramirez saying, "even if you know the character, you’ve never seen him like this. That was the big thing we wanted. There are four movies, eight hours and four actors. We’ve seen this guy. We think we know who he is, but even we learned that he’s so much more." Petrie said, "We hope to make people forget what they’ve seen before, whether they’ve loved it or not."
- In order to get in the correct mindset to portray Castle, Bernthal trained with military members, along with receiving weapon training. Bernthal also "had to put myself in as dark of place as possible" to connect with "the emptiness inside" Castle, and isolate himself, including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to set "to shed any outside influence of joy."
- Describing the character, Jon Bernthal said, "As a man who put his [life] on the line and really went through the ultimate sacrifice for this country in his involvement in the military. He’s a guy who brought the war home with him [in] the worst possible way. There are a lot of iterations of this character and in all of them it’s a man who’s gone through this unbelievable trauma and what’s interesting about our take on him is how this trauma reshapes his own philosophy."
- Bernthal also talked about the character's 'superpowers', saying, "If I got one thing from the comics, I think, as far as superpowers... his superpower is his rage. His superpower is that he is not going to quit, and he is going to go forward no matter what. And that's as human and grounded a quality as I think as this sort of genre could have."
- Eric Linden, Justin Eaton and Can Aydin were stunt doubles for Jon Bernthal in the role of the Punisher.
- Rocky Kellon Smith was a stand-in for Jon Bernthal in the role of the Punisher.
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.04: Resupply
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Punisher: 1.03: Kandahar
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Punisher: 1.08: Cold Steel
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Daredevil: 2.12: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Daredevil: 2.08: Guilty as Sin
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Punisher: 1.02: Two Dead Men
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.09: Front Toward Enemy
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.05: Kinbaku
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Punisher: 1.07 Crosshairs
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.12: Home
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Daredevil: 2.04: Penny And Dime
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Punisher: 1.13: Memento Mori
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Daredevil: 2.01: Bang
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Daredevil: 2.02: Dogs to a Gunfight
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Daredevil: 2.03: New York's Finest
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.06: Regrets Only
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.07: Semper Fidelis
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 Daredevil: 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.10: The Man in the Box
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Daredevil: 2.11: .380
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.13: A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 The Punisher: 1.01: 3 AM
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 The Punisher: 1.11: Danger Close
- ↑ Daredevil Season 2 (2016) Jon Bernthal Kill Count
- ↑ https://www.hypable.com/punisher-daredevil-season-one/
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE: Jon Bernthal and Tom Holland made audition tapes together to land The Punisher and Spider-Man roles
- ↑ Steven DeKnight Says ‘Daredevil’ Finally Features “The Marvel Version” of the Punisher
- ↑ Daredevil season 2: First photo of The Punisher
- ↑ ‘Daredevil’ Showrunners on How Punisher and Elektra Shake Up Season 2
- ↑ Daredevil Jon Bernthal interview: Went to a dark place for Punisher
- ↑ DAREDEVIL: THE PUNISHER AND ELEKTRA WILL MAKE MATT MURDOCK QUESTION HIS ROLE AS A HERO