|For other uses, see Punisher (disambiguation)|
- "I think that this world needs men that are willing to make the hard call."
Francis "Frank" Castle Sr. is a vigilante who, after the brutal murder of his entire family, assumed the moniker of the Punisher, aiming to clean up New York City of crime by any means necessary. While searching for those responsible for his family's deaths, Castle went into conflict with Daredevil, who felt Castle's methods were too extreme. Castle was soon arrested for his crimes and, despite the efforts of Nelson and Murdock, was sentenced to life in prison. However, Castle was freed with the help of Wilson Fisk, and soon discovered that the Blacksmith was the one responsible for his family's murder. Once he had his revenge, Castle helped Daredevil defeat the Hand, and then proceeded to move on from his past, now dedicating his life to permanently punishing criminals wherever he found them, aiming to make the city a better place.
Frank Castle was born in the Hell's Kitchen district of New York. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 18 the day after the 9/11 attacks, where he was placed under the command of Colonel Ray Schoonover. Castle would later take part in the Battle of Fallujah and other historic combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually earning the title of Scout Sniper, and was inducted into the ranks of the elite Marine Corps Force Recon, undertaking classified missions behind enemy lines.
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
The day he returned from Iraq, Castle was tearfully reunited with his children at school. They spent the day together, but Castle eventually realized how weary he had become, and although his daughter pleaded, he declined to read her favorite bedtime story 'Penny & Dime', and promised that he would do so the next night, an action that he later regretted deeply.
- "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 took his family to Central Park the day after he returned from Iraq, where they ended up in the middle of a three way mob fight. His wife, son and daughter were all killed. Castle survived after getting shot in the head, but at the hospital, a Do Not Resuscitate order was placed on him by District Attorney Samantha Reyes. Although he flatlined, he came back to life a few seconds later without any medical aid. Upon awaking, Castle demanded that the nearby George Bach take him back 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, killing them all before finding the Mexican Cartel and hanging them off meathooks.
- ―Punisher to Daredevil
Seeking to find any surviving members of the Kitchen Irish, Castle went to an illegal pawn shop, where he spoke to the owner Clint, offering him a considerable amount of cash for police 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 him pornographic films. Castle ignored the offers 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 him with a metal baseball bat.
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, he choose not to kill Daredevil. Instead Punisher shot Daredevil in the helmet, ensuring the wound was not fatal, before escaping.
Preparing an Ambush
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. Knowing that this would 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 unaware of the Punisher's true location. 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 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 was able to take the wounded Daredevil hostage onto another 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 who are willing to make the hard call. I think you and me are the same!"
"That's bullshit, Frank, and you know it!"
- ―Punisher and 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 tried to pull himself free, Castle poured himself a coffee before mockingly greeting the vigilante as he continued to desperately try to free himself from his chains.
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 heard and 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.
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 that 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 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 Armed Forces 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 eventually knocked Daredevil out for the insults and collected Grotto while he was out while also 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 as well as an 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.
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 on, 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. 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. Castle was eventually stopped by the taser guns being fired at him.
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 his money back and when Castle reminded him of his son's death, Cooley left his temperament and 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 Castle promised to kill them all.
With Castle remaining strong, 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 where the money was and Max was taken away to safety. Cooley sent Rafe to check the money and explained that he would keep Castle alive until it was returned. However before the money would be collected, the bomb which Castle had left inside 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 captor's guns and shot Cooley twice in the back. Despite 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, Castle recited his daughter's favorite poem to calm his nerves as he prepared for his final gunfight. However Daredevil charged into the room, using his Billy Club to knock out the attackers.
Castle demanded that together they make his torturers pay but Daredevil insisted that they would but must not be killed. As more Irishmen arrived, Punisher and Daredevil used their combined strength to subdue them, however when Castle would attempt to use a gun or hammer to kill his enemies, Daredevil knocked the weapons out of his hand and insisted that they do not kill anyone. Castle called Daredevil an alter boy but soon all his attackers were defeated and the pair made their escape 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 Armed Forces 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 wounds were treated and he was kept under watch by the New York City Police Department. Castle was originally 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 wanted him dead for some reason. When Castle mentioned their 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 in Central Park. Castle told Page what he remembered about the 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 stories of his son hiding cookies and his daughter's toys. Castle thanked her and invited her to ask him questions about the case.
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 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.
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 starred straight into Reyes' eyes and pleaded not guilty so he could destroy Reyes' career in the court room. Batzer confirmed the plea and announced that his bail was now denied. Reyes and Batzer 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 Armed Forces. Castle quickly deduced that they were trying to make a plea for PTSD 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. 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. 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. Foggy Nelson then made his own statement where he noted that Castle was a soldier who had been betrayed by the system after his 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, Murdock stepped up asking him about his career. 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 character witness for Castle, describing their time together in the United States Armed Forces and telling the story of how Castle had saved the lives of many soldiers by single handedly taking on the enemy soldiers. 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 tried 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, with Lee explaining that it made Castle relive the trauma each and every day, with Lee 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 the nearby guards.
While speaking to Page outside of the courtroom, Castle confessed to killing the boy's father, although Page insisted that she would not judge him for it. 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 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 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 and be free to continue his mission to kill all the criminals he could 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
- "One shot... One kill... You taught me that."
- ―Frank Castle to Ray Schoonover
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 car radio and as Page and Schoonover drove down the road, Castle plowed into the side of the car with his own SUV, knocking out and 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 she would be done with him 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 search of a mysterious ally from Frank's past called "Micro" after retrieving a CD with his name on it.
- "I know who I am ... I am smack-dab in the middle of my right goddamn mind, and any scumbag, any- any lowlife, any maggot piece of shit that I put down, I did it because I liked it! Hell, I loved it!"
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, it did cause him to have extreme exhaustion when he was too tired to even read a bedtime story to his daughter.
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. 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. 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.
- "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 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, while the latter was 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kimber Warrior: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- M4A1 with M203 Grenade Launcher: Castle kept one of these rifles as part of the arsenal in his apartment, and brought it to the rooftop where he had Daredevil chained. He began to prepare the weapon while Daredevil inquired him, wanting to know more about Castle and his motivations. Once Castle killed Grotto, he shot a grenade to the motorbikes of the Dogs of Hell that were on the other side of the street, used the rifle as a club to knock Daredevil down and tried to shoot the gang members again, but Daredevil disarmed him and prevented him from doing so.
He later brought another rifle to the ship that the Blacksmith used to smuggle heroin into the country. He killed the few soldiers guarding the ship, until finding a man posing as the Blacksmith. Once the man spent all his bullets trying to shoot at Castle, he used the rifle to put a bullet in the man's shoulder before discarding the rifle to finish him off with his handgun.
- 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.
- 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.
- Knight's Armament SR-25: Castle kept one of these rifles as part of the arsenal in his apartment.
- 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.
- Dillon M134 Minigun: Castle obtained a handheld version of the minigun as part of the secret arsenal kept by Ray Schoonover. He then carried when he went to torch his former house, carrying it while the house began to be engulfed by flames.
This section requires expansion
- 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 personal 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 design 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.
- Frank Castle enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 18 after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. This puts his birthdate at 1983.
- Punisher is the character with the highest body count in all the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being responsible for the deaths of 65 known characters, with 17 of them being named.
- Frank Castle is a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire.
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.
- Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character after 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."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Daredevil: 2.08: Guilty as Sin
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Daredevil: 2.04: Penny And Dime
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.01: Bang
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Daredevil: 2.02: Dogs to a Gunfight
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Daredevil: 2.03: New York's Finest
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.06: Regrets Only
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.07: Semper Fidelis
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Daredevil: 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.10: The Man in the Box
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Daredevil: 2.11: .380
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.12: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.13: A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen
- ↑ Daredevil Season 2 (2016) Jon Bernthal Kill Count
- ↑ 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