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"You know, this crusade of yours it's never gonna end, right? Right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, you're right."
Dutton and Frank Castle[src]

Frank Castle's War was a vigilante crusade orchestrated by Punisher in an attempt to avenge the deaths of his famiily.

History

Prelude

Operation Cerberus

"This is who we are now. This is Operation Cerberus... and you are my dogs of war. The enemy operates without regard to honor or rules. So neither will we."
Ray Schoonover to the Cerberus Squad[src]
Lieutenant Frank Castle was assigned to participate of covert military operation in Afghanistan known as Operation Cerberus. Castle joined Cerberus Squad, covert death squad, led by CIA agent William Rawlins and Colonel Ray Schoonover. The main objecitve of operation was eliminatins terrorist groups stationed in Afghanistan. With the help of Billy Russo and Morty Bennett in funding, they would transport heroine into soldiers that were killed on the battlefield and taken home.
Frank Tortured

Execution of Ahmad Zubair

Amidst the operation, Afghan National Police officer Ahmad Zubair learned of the operation and was captured by Cerberus Squad. Zubair was tortured by Rawlins and was executed by Castle, placing him in an unmarked grave in Kandahar. Unbeknownst to the squad, Gunner Henderson secretly taped the torture and execution and gave it to David "Micro" Lieberman, an NSA analyst who gave it to Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani who was Zubair's friend.[1]

Following failed mission in Kandahar, operation was shut down and Cerberus Squad was demobilized. However, Rawlins used his communication in Homeland Security and learned that footage of Zubair's execution was leaked. However, they believed that Castle was responsinle for leaking. Both Rawlins and Schoonover decided to eliminate Castle and Lieberman. Agent Carson Wolf, who secretly worked with Rawlins, led Homeland hit squad to Lieberman's location. After high-speed chase, Wolf managed to shot Lieberman in the chest and deemed him as a traitor.[1] Then, Frank Castle became their next target. Using his criminal alter-ego "Blacksmith", Schoonover organized a big drug deal between Kitchen Irish, Dogs of Hell and Mexican Cartel in Central Park where Castle spent time with his family upon his returning.[2][3] Russo refused to participate in his friend's murder but allowed the event to happen.[4]

Massacre at CP

Massacre at Central Park

Massacre at Central Park

"A good player hides his hand, Frank. We figured if there were enough dead bodies, nobody would really care to look close enough at any given one of 'em. It was a calculated risk."
Carson Wolf to Frank Castle[src]
Meanwhile, District Attorney Samantha Reyes set up undercover sting operation to arrest Blacksmith but did not clear the park of civilians due to fear of showing their hand. When the Blacksmith failed to appear and gangs grew eventually learned the agent's true identity they started a gunfight. During this chaos, Rawlins ordered his men to open fire on Castle. His wife Maria, and children Lisa and Frank Jr. all lost their lives.

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. 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.[5]

Also, doctor Gregory Tepper was assigned to examine the crime scene. However, he discovered that one of killed gangsters was an undercover cop. This could be used as evidence of operation and destroy Reyes' carrer. Reyes' men visited Tepper and ordered him to cover up the inciedent.[3]

Violence on the Streets

PunisherTrailer19

Punisher's victims

"And all of these people were were killed by the same man?"
"He's tracking gangs to their home turf and taking them out with military precision. But it doesn't stop there."
"What do you mean, "doesn't stop"?"
"His targets aren't random, Mr. Grote. He knows exactly who he wants to hit."
Karen Page, Blake Tower, Grotto and Samantha Reyes[src]

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. He took his first shots at the Dogs of Hell, ambushing a small team of them and massacring them all, including one called Smitty. Then he exposed the Mexican Cartel's hideout in Meatpacking District. Castle managed to attack them and hanged them off meathooks.[6]

Massacre at the Burren Club

"Fifteen men, tough Irish. Armed. All of them blown away. It was a massacre. We weren't hit by any rival family there. I'm telling you, we were hit by an army."
Grotto[src]
One night, Castle learned about Kitchen Irish's meeting in the Burren Club who tried to reestablish control over New York City, after arrest of Wilson Fisk. While leader of gang Nesbitt spoke, Castle fired a shot through the window which hit Nesbitt in the forehead, killing him instantly. The Kitchen Irish crew launched up and began firing back as bullets littered the room. George took a bullet to the throat and fell back onto his chair as he bled out and died. The attack killed all but one of them. Grotto escaped.
IrishGeorgeDeath

Kitchen Irish members massacred by the Punisher

Grotto soon arrived at Josie's Bar to speak with Nelson and Murdock. He informed them of what he had witnessed happen to the Kitchen Irish and claimed that the massacre was carried out with military precision. When Page asked what his own involvement was he admitted that he sometimes did jobs for the Irish, before asking them to help him get placed in witness protection as he was paranoid that the shooter was currently looking for him. Despite Murdock's protest that they only help good people, Nelson told Grotto that they will look into it. Grotto then passed out and fell out of his chair due to blood loss from his gunshot wound.[6]

Attack on Grotto

Grotto awoke in Metro-General Hospital with Karen Page and immediately began freaking out because whoever was looking for him would undoubtedly find and kill him. Page urged him to relax and reassured him of his safety by telling him that he was checked in under a fake name. However, Castle 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. Grotto was saved by Page, who rushed him out of the room away from shooter.

Grotto-HospitalEscape

Punisher attacks Grotto

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 had still managed to get onto the roof of the hospital and used a sniper rifle to attempt to take out his target, watching Grotto as he peered out of the car's window. 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 finally managed to find his perfect shot and took aim at Grotto.

PunisherTrailer26

Daredevil confronts Punisher

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.[6]

Became Target

Ambush on Punisher

Punisher-DogsOfHellAttack

Castle brutally massacres the Dogs of Hell

All of the Castle's murderous activities made him a high-level target of the District Attorney's office. Because his name was unknown, press dubbed Castle as "The Punisher". DA Samantha Reyes went to the 15th Precinct Police Station to meet with Grotto, criminal who survived from two Punisher's attacks. Grotto promised to give up information about the Kitchen Irish in exchange for a deal, however Reyes insisted that most of Grotto's associates were already dead. Instead, Blake Tower proposed that Grotto wear a wire to meet with drug dealer Edgar Brass and trick him into confessing that he was dealing drugs in the city again. Grotto refused and Reyes told him he was free to go, but Tower showed Grotto images of the Punisher's previous victims to make him change his mind. Actully, Reyes and NYPD wanted to use Grotto as bait to capture Punisher.

However, the Punisher learned about operation using stolem police radio station. Knowing that this would most likely be an ambush for him, the Punisher made his own plans about how to protect himself and kill his target. So, the Punisher attacked Dogs of Hell's base, killed almost all the members inside and taking control of one of the trucks.

PunisherAiming-DogsToAGunFight

Punisher takes aim at his target Grotto

While Grotto with wire moved forward towards Brass' warehouse, police noticed an incoming truck and fired upon it. But they realized it was being driven by a captured member of the Dogs of Hell and was a distraction. The Punisher meanwhile took sniper position on a nearby rooftop and once again took aim at Grotto, however once again he was interrupted and attacked by Daredevil and the pair began to fight once again. As the Punisher and Daredevil continued to fight, Reyes ordered the police to 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.[7]

Kidnapping of Daredevil

Upon awakening, Daredevil discovered that he was chained to a chimney on a rooftop. As he struggled against the chains and tried to free himself, Punisher wished him a good morning. When Daredevil asked him why he didn't remove his mask, he responded that he didn't care about his identity. Daredevil deduced that Castle was a soldier and tried to get him to reveal information about himself.

Daredevil-01

Daredevil kidnapped by the Punisher

The two began to argue about their differing methods of justice. Daredevil argued that all human beings had a spark of goodness in them, and that there was always hope they would find redemption and change their ways to become better people, while Castle argued that the criminals Daredevil put away always got out of prison again, and continued to hurt innocents, therefore Daredevil's methods were worthless. Frank claimed that the only way to stop the cycle was to kill them. Daredevil then told Frank that he would never stop coming after him, because he was insane and needed to be stopped, so Frank knocked Daredevil unconscious by hitting him with his gun.

When Daredevil regained consciousness, he was horrified to find that the Punisher had duct taped a gun to his hand. Frank informed him that there was only one round in the chamber, and that he was wearing body armor, so the only way to stop him was to shoot him in the head. Frank then dragged Grotto into Daredevil's view, explaining that he was going to kill him, and the only way Daredevil could stop him was to shoot Frank.

Grotto-ThreatenedBy-Punisher

Punisher prepares to execute Grotto

Frank coerced Grotto into telling Daredevil that he had performed hits for the Kitchen Irish mob while he was working for their leader Nesbitt, while being beaten, Grotto finally admitted to killing an old woman who had witnessed one of the hits. Despite hearing all this, Daredevil refused to shoot Grotto. Frank said that he would do it himself, and the only way for Daredevil to stop that from happening would be for him to shoot Frank. Daredevil, however, found another way - he used the one bullet in the gun to shoot through his chains and free himself.[8]

Attack on the Dogs of Hell

Now free, Daredevil attacked Castle, but was unable to stop him from fatally shooting Grotto. As Daredevil tried to comfort the dying Grotto, Frank took aim at motorcycles parked outside the Dogs of Hell's Club. With Grotto now dead, Daredevil launched himself at Castle, but he was still able to take the shot, causing an explosion, alerting Jimmy the Bear and his men.

JimmyTheBear-Targetted

Punisher takes aim at Jimmy the Bear

Daredevil fought and eventually subdued Castle, taking him inside the building and placing him in a freight elevator to make escape quickly. Just as Daredevil was about to leave the building with the still unconscious Punisher, bikers from the Dogs of Hell arrived, angry at the destruction of their bikes. Daredevil managed to fight them and defeated all bikers.[8]

Kidnapping of Punisher

High-ranking member of Kitchen Irish Finn Cooley arrived to New York City to take revenge on Punisher who killed his son that night in the Burren Club and stole $1.2 million from them. Cooley and his man scoured the city looking for information about the Punisher. Eventually they came to the hideout where the Punisher has been living. Cooley saw a map of the city with tickets for the Central Park pinned to it, he realized where shooter will be. As they left, they tok Castle's dog Max with them.

At night in Central Park, Castle sat on a bench in front of the carousel until Rory arrived with some members of the Kitchen Irish. Rory managed to stab Castle with a hypodermic needle. Castle subdued Rory, who yells at his men not to shoot, as Castle is wanted alive. Castle managed to shoot several of the men. Cooley showed himself, and Castle, weakened by the tranquilizer, aws tazed, rendered unconscious and taken away. Later, Daredevil found Rory, barely alive, and ased him to tell him where the Irish have taken the Punisher.

Fcastle8

Castle prepares to execute Finn Cooley

Cooley restrained Castle and began beating and torturing him with a drill to get him to reveal where his money is. Nearby, Daredevil attacked the men guarding the location and incapacitated them. Inside, Cooley has his men bring in Castle's dog, and threatened to torture the dog if Castle doesn't reveal where his money. Castle finally told him that it's in a van and gave the location. Cooley sent men to the van, but when they recovered the briefcase with the money inside, it is shown to have been rigged to explode. Cooley heard all this over the phone and is unprepared when Castle freed himself and killed the other men in the room. He asked Cooley who killed his family, and when Cooley laughed and asked "who cares", Castle shot him in the face. Punisher fought his way through the building, but found himself outnumbered. At this moment Daredevil bursted in, and together the two incapacitated the Irish, with Daredevil stopping Castle from killing them.[5]

Arrest and Trial

Punisher Punished

Punisher Punished

Newspaper article about arrest of the Punisher

Daredevil carried injured Castle to the Saint Michael's Cemetery, 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. 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 Sergeant 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.[5]

RememberingTheHouse

Castle in the Metro-General Hospital

Castle was taken to Metro-General Hospital where his all of his wounds and he was kept under watch by the police. 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. They were pulled out of the room by Reyes but Castle informed 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.

Nelson 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. He 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. Batzer confirmed the plea and announced that his bail was now denied.[9]

"The People vs Frank Castle"

The trial was highly publicized, with Judge 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. Castle meanwhile was locked in his cell and prepared for the trial.

Semper Fidelis

Frank Castle's trial

During trial, Gregory Tepper was called in to discuss the examination of the bodies found at the massacre at Central Park. Once 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. However, confession was recognized irrelievant. 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 about mission in Kandahar withoust classified details. When Nelson asked Schoonover to describe Castle, he told the jury that Castle was a hero. When Reyes then attempted to question Schoonover's story, she only succeeded in confirming it and helping Castle's case.[10]

Punisher Restrained

Castle pleads guilty and is subdued

As Castle prepared to take the stand in the courtroom, he was approached by Officer 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 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.[11]

New Details

Approached by Fisk

Fisk and Castle

Castle agrees to kill Dutton for Wilson Fisk

Transferred to Ryker's Island, Castle was escorted to meet with Fisk. Initially Castle declined Fisk's offer for him to kill fellow prisoner and ruler of the prison, 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.[3]

Assassination of Dutton

Dutton-vs-Punisher

Castle questions and stabs Dutton

With Olsky's assistance, Castle was allowed access to Dutton's cellblock where he immediately killed one of his guards before interrogating Dutton on what he knew on the day his family was killed. 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 Duttonand then attempted to escape. However, Olsky locked the door and walked away, trapping Castle in a corridor filled with all of inmates.

Castle faces the police

Castle faces prison guards

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 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 kill them. After battle, 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 again.[3]

Release

Castle was taken into solitary confinement where he was eventually visited by 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. Castle took the chance to attack Fisk but the wounded and exhausted Castle was swiftly overpowered 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. 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 to continue his mission to kill criminals in the city.[3]

Seeking for Truth

Assassination of Samantha Reyes

Public was horrified because of Castle's escape. Samantha Reyes discovered a copy of Castle's cranial radiography in her daughter’s backpack and was worried for her safety. Reyes was mortified and her daughter was put into protective custody. Fearing the worst, Reyes called upon the help of Nelson and Murdock to try get some information about Castle and his location. However, Foggy Nelson insisted that she first explain the real reasons why Castle would be targeting her.

Reyes Murdered

Death of District Attorney

Both Reyes and Blake Tower explained how she had inadvertently caused the Massacre at Central Park which had claimed the lives of not only some gang members but Castle's entire family while Reyes had tried and failed to capture the Blacksmith. Although Karen Page insisted that Castle would not harm Reyes' child, she was not convinced and begged them to give her whatever information they could about him. As Reyes was speaking, Matt Murdock heard a gun being loaded and pushed his friends out of the way just as a hail of bullets shot Reyes through the back and killed her. Murdock pulled Page and Nelson down from gunfire, but Foggy was shot in the arm, injuring him.

The New York City Police Department and FBI swarmed the courthouse, searching for and blaming the assassination on the Punisher. The real assassin, Ray Schoonover began to cover his tracks and went on to eliminate his second target, Gregory Tepper.[12]

Saving Karen Page

FCastleProtectsKPage

Castle protects Karen Page

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. Castle tried to convince her that he's not guilty of Reyes and Tepper's murders. Before he could finish his explanation, the apartment was attacked by Blacksmith. Castle managed to tackle Page to the ground and shielded her from the 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 stayed in Page's car until Page was finished being interviewed by Brett Mahoney. He suggested that Page could walk away from the danger but she decided to help Castle find and stop the Blacksmith. Knowing that he was being followed, Castle convinced Page that they should stop at a cafe. 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.

Punisher-vs-Speed-CoffeeHit

Castle hits Speed with the boiling coffee pot

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. Castle told Page to go to the police and get protective custody. Castle then left the cafe in order find and kill the man who was responsible for the deaths of his family.[12]

"Death" of the Punisher

Destruction of the Blacksmith's Ship

With the information he had gathered from Chaney, Castle tracked the Blacksmith's docked ship. 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.

Punisher uses his gun

Castle attacks Blacksmith's ship

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, 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 who learned about location from Madame Gao arrived on the boat and intervened, telling Castle that the man was lying and was not the Blacksmith. Castle then prepared to execute him, 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 family taken away from him, even making Daredevil admit that Castle's methods were sometimes the answer.

Daredevil reasoning Castle

Castle attacked by Daredevil

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.

New York City Police Department discovered pier and had found that Frank Castle most likely dead. However, Castle was barely able to survive and escape. Castle recognized Gosnell at the ship, and deduced that Ray Schoonover might be involved.[13]

Snake's Head

"You think this all of this is about a bad drug deal? That's what you see. You're losing your touch, Frank. Your kids, at the park? Nah. Who cares? That's never what this has been about. It's about what happened with you. With all of us. Kandahar. You think they would ever let that go?"
Ray Schoonover to Frank Castle[src]

Assassination of Ray Schoonover

Karen Page late visited Schoonover inside his home. Page explained that she was there because she now wished to do a profile on the real Frank Castle and she believed that Schoonover was the only person who had any good things to say about Castle. She began the interview by asking Schoonover if he liked Castle as a man and Schoonover told her stories of their time together in the United States Marine Corps. However as they were speaking, Page realized Schoonover's identity as the Blacksmith when she noticed a picture of Gosnell, who's burnt corpse she had seen at Pier 81. Realizing he had now been made, Schoonover drew his gun and took Page hostage.

Bloody Schoonover 2

Castle assassinates Ray Schoonover

Schoonover led Page outside by gunpoint and ordered her to get into her car and drive away from his house while keeping the gun aimed at her head. Suddenly Castle drove out of the shadows and drove into the side of the car. Castle ripped wounded Schoonover from the car and dragged him through the woods. As Castle threw Schoonover to the ground, Page eventually caught up with the pair and tried desperately to convince Castle to let Schoonover go. Seeing no way out for him, Schoonover instead continued mocking Castle, hinting to him that his family's deaths were more to do with Operation Cerberus and Castle's actions while in Kandahar, with Page demanding to know what he was talking about which neither Schoonover or Castle explained. Despite Page still begging Castle to let him go, he instead dragged the wounded Schoonover inside of a nearby cabin in order to kill him. After small talk, Castle managed to took a single shot right in Schoonover's head.

Punisher's Arsenal

Castle explores Schoonover's arsenal

With Schoonover now dead, Castle eventually explored 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.[13]

Leaving the Past

Castle returned to his family's home with stolen arsenal and found at the kitchen table 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.

Ddtt65-1-

Punisher helps Daredevil's fight with the Hand

With his new uniform and logo on his bulletproof vest, Castle assisted 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 gave a nod towards his ally while he promised to see Daredevil another time before walking away.

Micro CD

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 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.[14]

The Last Survivors

"You won! You... you killed everyone! The bikers, the cartels, the Kitchen Irish, they're all gone!"
"Yeah. Yeah, almost."
Mickey O'Hare and Punisher[src]

Chase of the Dogs of Hell

Dogs of Hell Killed

Punisher attacks the Dogs of Hell members

Months after, 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.[15]

Assassination of Cartel Sicario

Snipe out Cartel

Cartel Sicario eluminated

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. Taking a position far away from Sicario, the Punisher set up his sniper rifle and watched as Sicario celebrated his return with his allies. Punisher fired a single bullet which struck Sicario directly in the forehead, killing him instantly before the horrified prostitutes.[15]

Assassination of Mickey O'Hare

Mickey O'Hare Assassinated

Assasination of Mickey O'Hare

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 bathroom and then furiously charged into the stall to confront him, knocking him down and locking the door behind him. O'Hare begged Castle to spare his life, desperately questioning what would change if he died. 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. 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.[15]

Aftermath

"Anybody that had anything to do with what happened to Maria and the kids are dead. Mission accomplished."
Curtis Hoyle to Frank Castle[src]
With seemingly all the gangs destroyed who had been involved with the 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 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.[15]
3AM pic

The Punisher choses to burn his vest

However, Castle was contacted by Micro, mystrious hacker who sent him footage of Zubair's execution. After temporary conflict, Micro informed him that massacre in Central Park was more than Castle believed. Micro said that conflict linked with Operation Cerberus and Punisher returned to violence to eluminate former members of Cerberus Squad who were actually involved.[2][1]

References

Wars and Conflicts in Earth History
First Dark Elf Conflict (Pre-2988 B.C - 2988 B.C.) • Ego's Expansion (Pre-1 A.D. - 2014) • Asgard-Jotunheim War (965 A.D. - 2010) • World War II (1939 - 1945) • Johann Fennhoff's Campaign (1946) • Cold War (1947 - 1991) • Chase of Bruce Banner (2005 - 2010) • Battle of Puente Antiguo (2010) • Aldrich Killian's War (2012) • Chitauri Invasion (2012) • Second Dark Elf Conflict (2013) • HYDRA Uprising (2014) • War on HYDRA (2014 - 2015) • S.H.I.E.L.D. Civil War (2014 - 2015) • Ultron Offensive (2015) • War against the Inhumans (2015) • Inhuman Outbreak (2015 - 2016) • Grant Ward's Campaign (2015 - 2016) • War for New York (2016) • Avengers Civil War (2016) • Erik Killmonger's Campaign (2016) • Uprising in Attilan (2016) • Adrian Toomes' Campaign (2012 - 2016) • Attack on the Sanctums (2017) • Infinity War (2018)