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Characters: The Punisher
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    Frank Castle / The Punisher 

A former Marine turned brutal vigilante, Frank Castle lost his family in the crossfire from a Mafia conflict, and declared his own personal war on the criminal underworld using a vast arsenal of weaponry. He mainly works alone, his relations with the superhero community being strained at best.
  • Anti-Hero: Varies between an Unscrupulous Hero and Nominal Hero in the Marvel Universe, is a Nominal Hero in MAX.
  • Badass
    • Badass Beard: On occasion when it goes beyond his usual Perma Stubble. He sported one for most of Greg Rucka's run.
    • Badass Grandpa: In MAX.
    • Badass Longcoat: He frequently dons a black trenchcoat.
    • Badass Normal: Castle has no superpowers of his own, and typically most of his foes are either just mooks or other badass normals. However, he has gone toe-to-toe with various superheroes and villains in the past.
    • In the MAX continuity, no superheroes exist, but Frank's badassery is not lessened one bit.
  • Berserk Button: Desecrating the memory of his dead family, harming his illegitimate daughter, or otherwise harming innocent women and children.
  • Blood Knight: Why does Frank kill? 33% justice, 33% revenge, 33% because he likes it, and the other 1% is just plain Ax-Crazy.
  • Brooklyn Rage
  • Byronic Hero
  • Celibate Hero: Frank doesn't seem to have much interest in the ladies, but this is most likely justified by the fact that he still thinks about his family and/or he's too busy killing scum. He isn't opposed to sleeping with O'Brien in the MAX series though, but on the other hand he doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic about it either.
    O'Brien: "I've been in jail around eighteen months. When we get through here, wanna jump in the sack?"
    Castle: "Sure."
  • Chest Insignia: The Punisher's iconic skull. Like Batman, it serves as a heavily armored target and in the earlier issues the teeth were spare ammo magazines
  • Cold Sniper: Was one during Vietnam, as shown in a story arc of Fury: My War Gone By.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Even though he was only a Captain in Vietnam, he still fits this trope
  • Combat Pragmatist: The following quote from "Welcome Back, Frank" sums it up:
    Frank Castle: "When you're on your own, behind enemy lines, no artillery, no air strikes, no hope of an evac, you don't fight dirty. You do things that make dirty look good."
  • Crusading Widower
  • Dark and Troubled Past
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frank occasionally shows a sense of Black Humor
  • Despair Event Horizon
  • The Dreaded: Every crook and mobster (and most "street" level supervillains) brown their trousers at the mere mention of Frank. In the MAX continuity, the smarter crooks are shown to be the ones who know to run like hell when they see him.
    Polly: [during a firefight as Frank is cornered behind a bar] We've gotta go!
    Eamon: We've got this guy Polly! We've go-
    Polly: Eamon, "that guy" is the fucking Punisher. We have got to go.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Sported one for most of Greg Rucka's run, after he nearly lost an eye during a battle with the sixth Vulture.
  • Friend to All Children: While not necessarily good with kids, Frank nonetheless is shown to have a soft spot for them.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Skirts the line here a lot.
  • Iconic Item: His skull T-shirt.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Frank's a big fan of this
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a violent, deranged sociopath and a jerk to almost everyone he meets but its shown that Frank does genuinely care about the people he saves and his few friends. After saving girls from a sex slave ring, he sets them all up with visas and really wants things to work out for them, while also acknowledging how screwed up their lives have become and always will be.
  • Karmic Thief: He swipes the cash that he finds on his raids to finance the war.
  • Knife Nut: If Frank uses a close combat weapon, it'll be a knife.
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • Knight Templar: At his most brutal, he's this. He's still on the side of good, but his methods are way beyond what most people find acceptable and his moral absolutist tendencies generally don't help sway anyone.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Mentor: To Rachel Cole-Alves. Might qualify as an Evil Mentor depending on how you want to look at it.
  • More Dakka: His solution to most problems
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: One of the reasons why the Punisher is an Anti Hero. Well, he won't kill innocents, and he probably won't give them any permanent injuries.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: The Ur Example
  • One-Man Army: In the side materials to Secret War, Nick Fury compares the Punisher's destructive capabilities to that of The Incredible Hulk's.
    Fury: Drop the Punisher on one end of Latveria, and the Hulk on the other, and see who gets to the middle first.
  • Papa Wolf: Do not desecrate the memory of his dead wife and children, as Nicky Cavella learned the hard way. Likewise, Barracuda meets the fate he does by attempting to kill Sarah Frank's illegitimate daughter with Kathryn O'Brien.
    • He promises Galina that noone will hurt her again, and he makes good on his promise, from swinging the Mongolian like a flail, to beating his ally when the man attempted to kill her and get her blood, to acting as her bodyguard after their pick-up so the medics can't stick her with needles to extract the biological superweapon put inside her.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: This trope defines him.
  • Perma Stubble: Quite regularly.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Frank's default expression.
  • Phrase Catcher: When Frank enters a room, the response is usually some variation of...
    Mobster: Holy shit! It's the fucking Punisher!
  • Pragmatic Hero
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right
  • Semper Fi: Frank was a marine.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Frank definitely fits the bill. After three brutal tours of duty in The Vietnam War, Frank Castle lost his wife and children to Mafia thugs and now wages a one-man war on crime. Various authors have toyed with Frank's mental state, and Garth Ennis has suggested that in Vietnam, Frank started to love combat and killing people, with the death of his family possibly being only the final straw that caused his killing sprees.
  • Sociopathic Hero
  • The Stoic: Frank is either calm, detached, and homicidal, or (much more rarely) pissed off and homicidal. That's it. To quote the videogame (written by Garth Ennis):
    *after blasting Bushwacker through a wall* I don't smile much. Don't smile ever. But if I did, this would be one.
  • That Man Is Dead: A favorite saying of his. Frank Castle died with his family. He's the Punisher.
  • Tragic Hero
  • Torture Technician: Push one of his Berserk Buttons, and you'll wish he was just using the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Rare 'heroic' version. If you aid the Punisher, even save his life repeatedly, don't expect him to show much gratitude if you're on his 'bad' list. Or his 'good' list either, as Yorkie has found out.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As seen in the one-shot The Tyger Frank was a tough but quiet, thoughtful kid who liked poetry, stood up to bullies who picked on weaker kids, and was friends with an older girl whom he had a crush on, and her older brother, a Marine. Then this girl was raped by the jackass son of the local mafia don and killed herself. Frank then takes his father's gun and tails the don's son, intending to kill him, only to witness the girl's brother brutally murder the guy himself.
  • Vigilante Man: One of the ultimate examples in the Marvel Universe
  • Villainous Vidows Peak: When Frank was still an antagonist in his early appearances, he had a pronounced widows peak.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Heroic type. He may be a psychopath with methods that are excessively brutal at best and completely and utterly unacceptable at worst, but he's a horribly broken shell of a man who has nothing else to live for and who essentially depends on violence to validate his existence. Even when you look at all of the bad things he's done in his career, the overwhelming shittiness of his existence just makes one feel sorry for the guy no matter what.

    Allies 

Linus "Microchip" Liberman

Mickey Fondozzi

  • Accidental Misnaming: Mickey usually referred to Frank as "Johnny", the alias he was using when they first met.
  • Chronic Villainy: Despite being a main source of information for the Punisher, he tended to be embroiled in various petty crimes whenever Frank contacted him. He had to remind him of their arrangment.
  • Heel-Face Turn: In the original "Marvel Knights" series, he got hit by one of Dagger's light daggers, which sometimes cure someone's criminal impulses. Seeing that he genuinely turned over a new leaf, Frank let him be.
  • The Informant

Martin Soap

  • Biggus Dickus: Apparently. At the end of the series he's left the force and found a career in porn.
  • Butt Monkey: He's the biggest joke in the NYPD. Some of his highlights include getting dropped on the head as a newborn, finding an ax murderer by getting drunk and sleeping with him, going out with an obvious crossdresser, and accidentally dating his own mother.
  • The Chew Toy
  • Childhood Brain Damage: A variation of the trope occurs: We see the nurse dropping him on his head just after being born, but he doesn't end up with any mental handicap for it (it's just there to show the crap life shoves on him started very early and never let up).
  • Interrupted Suicide The first time he tried to commit suicide, The Punisher talks him out of it and convinces him to be a mole for him. The second time, he Ate His Gun in the restroom of his favorite bar and the bartender stops him, but only so he wouldn't have to clean up the blood. This leads to Soap...
  • NYPD: He manges to blackmail his way to Commissioner before being blackmailed back down.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He threatens the cruel bartender, breaks the nose of an snitch, and even shoots the Punisher and almost arrests him.
    • Then subverted almost immediately as the Punisher just gives him a mean look in the middle of his attempted arrest and Soap breaks down whimpering.

Colonel Yorkie Mitchell

A British officer who served with Castle in Vietnam. Shows up periodically to provide intelligence or recruit Frank for a mission in Britain.

Rachel Cole-Alves

A Marine sergeant and decorated Afghan War veteran, Rachel saw her husband and entire wedding party die when they got in the way of a gangland hit ordered by Stephanie Gerard and Chris Poulsen. She worked alongside The Punisher for a time, eventually donning the same skull insignia worn by him.

    Villains 

Jigsaw

AKA: Billy "The Beaut" Russo

"You may not remember my name— but does my face seem familiar?"

A hitman for the Maggia and the Costa crime family, pretty-boy Billy "The Beaut" Russo had his face mangled when The Punisher shoved him through a plate glass window. Left with a tattered mess of a face, Billy took the name Jigsaw, and set about doing his best to ruin Castle's life.
  • Abusive Parents: Billy abused his son Henry, even forcing him to kill a cat that he had let inside by telling him that he'd kill his mother if he didn't.
  • Affably Evil: In Matt Fraction's The Punisher: War Journal, he's extremely personable (if still a psychotic sociopath). Probably because he's tired of the whole "try to kill the Punisher" circus and just wants to move on with his life.
  • Archenemy: He's the closest thing that Castle has to one, being one of his few recurring enemies, his Evil Counterpart and, in his mind, The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.
  • Axe Crazy
  • Badass Normal: Enough so to threaten Spider-Man during his early appearances.
  • The Big Bad: Of most arcs he appears in.
  • Bishōnen: Billy used to be this. Then the Punisher got his hands on him...
  • Butt Monkey: Sometimes played this way.
  • Chest Insignia: When dressed in his knockoff of the Punisher's costume.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He and The Hood inflicted this on Tigra when they captured her.
  • Evil Counterpart: Often wears an inverted version of The Punisher's costume (white with a black skull on the chest), and has trained himself to be Frank's physical match.
  • Genre Savvy: Every now and then. In the Suicide Run arc, Jigsaw shows up at a meeting between several big wig criminals for the sole purpose of telling them that no matter what they have planned, Frank will turn it back on them and kill them. During John Ostander's run, when Jigsaw has kidnapped a mafia family Frank has befriended and hears that Frank is coming for the hostages, he orders his men to kill them because he knows that Frank can't win if he can't save his friends.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His scars are about as evil as you can get, horribly disfiguring his face.
  • In-Series Nickname: Before his run-in with Frank, he was known as Billy "the Beaut".
  • Joker Immunity: Jigsaw even lampshades this and the Punisher justifies letting him live since Jigsaw is more of a danger to his fellow criminals than innocents.
  • Mad Eye: The reconstruction of his face left his left eye larger in appereance.
  • Man in White: Favours white suits, and a colour inverted Punisher costume much of the time.
  • Nightmare Face: He's been mutilated to a grotesque degree, to the point that his surgeons were forced to reconstruct his features from scratch.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: When he heard that Castle had been fried in electric chair, he started killing those responsible while ranting how inappropiate it was that he didn't get to kill him.
  • Professional Killer: Was an assassin for the Maggia before reaching his current station in life.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Like the Punisher, he was an antagonist in The Amazing Spider-Man. When Frank got his own book, Billy's villainy was taken there.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Has gone from a failed assassin to one of the few criminals who can match The Punisher's combat skills.
  • Unknown Rival: Frank only sees him as just a mid-level mafiosi. In fact, he doesn't even remember their initial meeting.

Hitman

AKA: Lieutenant Burt Kenyon

A Marine in Vietnam, where he saved the life of Frank Castle, Burt Kenyon became a costumed assassin for the underworld after the war, bringing him into conflict with Spider-Man and the Punisher.

  • Badass Bandolier: Two.
  • The Cameo: Appears in a flashback in Punisher: Return to Big Nothing.
  • Cool Bike: A jet-powered motorcycle.
  • Cool Plane: His base of operations is a jet.
  • Disney Villain Death: Fell off the Statue of Liberty.
  • Dissonant Serenity: When he gunned down a group of enemy soldiers which had surrounded Frank in Vietnam.
  • Evil Versus Evil: In his first appearance, he is hired by a mobster with a grudge against the Vulture.
  • Face-Heel Turn: A soldier turned contract killer.
  • Human Shield: Enjoyed making one out of J. Jonah Jameson.
  • The Mentally Ill: Section 8'ed, meaning he was deemed mentally unfit for military service.
  • Monumental Battle: His final battle with Spidey and the Punisher occurs on top of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Jack the Ripoff: An unnamed criminal became the third Hitman after buying the name and gear from the Hobgoblin.
  • Pet the Dog: The Punisher owed his life to the Hitman. While dangling from the Statue of Liberty, the Hitman informs Frank that he owes him a life, not his life, and tells him to save Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson instead.
  • Professional Killer: Hence the name.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Introduced as a new Spider-Man villain, he was given ties to the Punisher in his second appearance.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: With Spider-Man and the Punisher, on top of The Daily Bugle.
  • Tracking Device: Employed these against Spider-Man and the Vulture.
  • Walking Arsenal: He whips out a lot of gadgets and weapons.

The Rev

AKA: Samuel Smith

Sam Smith was the leader of a would-be suicide cult called Church of the Saved, whose zealousness was stopped by the Punisher. He struck a deal with Satan note , and returned later with a plan to sterilize the American populace.

Sniper

AKA: Rich von Burian

Von Burian was part of Frank's military unit in The Vietnam War. After the conflict, he was hired by the DEA for illegal drug operations. He later became a mercenary whose brand of work made him a target to The Punisher.

Damage

Damage was a gang member who was caught by Punisher's battlevan's defense-mechanisms. In act of Cruel Mercy, Frank decided to leave him into a life in agony, and dropped him to a nearby hospital. He was then recruited to a project of Kingpin's that rebuild him into a killing machine.

Saracen

AKA: Muzzafar Lambert

A mercenary and terrorist-for-hire of Middle Eastern extraction, Muzaffar Lambert, alias Saracen, brooked no interference with his operations. When Frank Castle destroyed one of his missions, Saracen took it personally, kicking off a rivalry that would result in the deaths of Castle's only remaining relatives, and Lambert himself.
  • Badass Moustache: Saracen was an evil, evil guy, but there was no denying that both he and his moustache were very badass.
  • Badass Normal: Like most of Castle's enemies, Saracen had no superhuman powers. He earns points, however, for being one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, in a 'verse where a sizeable portion of the population can shoot lasers out of their orifices and throw cars around like dolls.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He kills without remorse, but he refuses to be unfaithful to his wife.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Has a classically evil moustache.
  • Greed: His primary motivation.
  • Happily Married: Apparently, given his refusal to betray her.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Highly visible assassin anyway. Saracen's purple costume is pretty obvious.
  • Hired Guns: Lambert has no particular allegiances, save to his money.
  • It's Personal: Gets this way with The Punisher when he kills his aunt and uncle, Frank's last remaining family members.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Master Swordsman: Saracen was very proficient with his scimitar.
  • The Mole: Castle first met Saracen when they were both infiltrating a so-called ninja school. They allied at the time, with neither aware of the other's real goals or reasons for being there.
  • Only in It for the Money: Saracen was loyal only to his paycheck.
  • Professional Killer: As a terrorist-for-hire, assassination is certainly within his purview.
  • Recurring Character: Made sixteen appearances, which for a Punisher villain is pretty good.
  • Sinister Scimitar: As part of his stereotypically Arab persona.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: As seen in the picture, Saracen's uniform is void of sleeves.
  • Terrorist Without A Cause: A terrorist-for-hire to be exact, with his only cause being enriching himself.
  • You Killed My Father: You killed my aunt and uncle, actually. There's a reason Castle wanted this guy dead.

Rosalie Carbone

Rosalie was the spoiled daughter of Julius Carbone, who had fling with Frank during his infiltration of her organization. After death of her father, she swore revenge on the Punisher after his part in dropping the Carbone family from top of the foodchain.
  • Arranged Marriage: She was arranged to marry an Italian mafioso's son, but the massacre at the Island of the Sleeping Sharks put a stop to that.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Even though she was just a pawn for her father, she still wants to avenge him.
  • Genre Savvy: Since she has personal experience with Punisher, she is smart enough not to take a part in the skyscraper trap in Suicide Run.
  • The Informant: Frank, as Johnny Tower, used their relationship to get information out of her family's businesses.
  • Killed Off for Real: Since Frank has an aversion to kill women, it took a while before she met her end at the hands of Leslie Geraci.
  • Mafia Princess: Was one before Punisher became part of her life.

Thorn

AKA: Salvatore "Sal" Carbone

Cannot rest until the stone-face man dies. Cannot rest until I stand over him. Until I see him breathe his last breath.

Sal was the younger brother of mob boss Julius Carbone, who was nearly killed when Frank (who was infiltrating the Carbone organization as Johnny Tower) chased him into a frozen lake. He barely survived, but now shows no reaction to pain, and has no memory beyond knowing who tried to kill him.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Develops these when he eventually turns into what can be described as a walking corpse.
  • The Gunslinger: His last appearance shows him easily wielding dual assault rifles.
  • Identity Amnesia: He doesn't (initially) know who he is, but he knows whom he's out to get.
  • Implacable Man: After his dip into the lake, Thorn would push through bullets, shark-infested waters, and even more bullets to get his revenge.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: When a trucker who is giving him a lift asks about his name, he gives out "Thorn", a word which he saw on a passing road sign.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Thorn refuses to sleep while preying on his targets. This extends to refusing to die from his wounds and exhaustion.
    I was killed so long ago. But I cannot rest. Not until I have destroyed those who destroyed me.
  • The Quiet One: Speaks only when he has to, the rest is left to Inner Monologue.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He only wants to take revenge on those who left him for dead, nothing else.
  • The Stoic: His near-death experience left him devoid of any emotion.
  • That Man Is Dead: Even when learns he about his past, he rejects it and continues his quest.
    Name is Thorn now. Not Sal. Thorn.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the last encounter with Punisher, he lands on a moving vehicle which takes him into Newark. Presumably, he is still there.

Mondo Pain

The Russian

"Hey Punisher, remember The Russian?"

A hulking giant from Smolensk with clear, if undisclosed, superhuman powers, the relentlessly cheerful Russian exists to mock Frank Castle's ability to kill people. Initially hired by Ma Gnucci, The Russian has clashed with The Punisher on several occasions, and despite seemingly dying a number of times, always comes back.
  • Adorkable: A rare evil example. Affectionate towards his allies/friends, wants to get "lots of Levis and CD's" with a million dollar reward, and is openly a fan of GOOD Superheroes (Mighty Thor Good Communist, with that Big Hammer of his!).
  • Affably Evil: Murderous, violent and psychopathic. He is, nonetheless, incredibly friendly to his enemies, actively complimenting and joking with them mid-fight.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He is a huge fan of the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spider-man and is the president of his local chapter of the "Daredevil: Man Without Fear" fan club.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil
  • Blood Knight: He went to Afghanistan for a vacation and is described as taking jobs for money or for fun.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • The Brute
  • Came Back Wrong: The resurrection process gave him ridiculously huge breasts, but he's the only one not to care. In fact, he likes them.
  • Dirty Commies: Expresses some Communist sentiments, though he's also a big fan of capitalism and consumer society.
  • Dumb Muscle
  • Foil: The always happy Russian makes for an effective comedic foil to the grim and serious Punisher.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Was last scene hanging onto an ICBM, laughing and waving as it detonated.
  • Husky Russkie: Eight feet tall, five hundred pounds, and hailing from Smolensk, Russia.
  • Immune to Bullets: Doesn't react at all when shot.
  • Joker Immunity: He's been stabbed, shot, beaten, burned, decapitated, and nuked. Only the last one seems to have taken, and even that may be temporary.
  • Made of Iron: May actually stray into Made Of Titanium territory, if it is a superpower.
  • Nuke 'em: His most recent exit was at the hands of an atomic missile.
  • Off with His Head!: How he died the first time.
  • Super Strength: The Russian's strength crosses into the metahuman. He can punch through walls, ripped a toilet out of the floor and swung it like a club, and once crushed a man while trying to hug him.
  • Theres No Kill Like Overkill: It took being chained to a dropped atomic bomb to kill him for good. Maybe.

Dr. Stephanie Gerard

A former AIM scientist, Stephanie Gerard left her parent organisation to set up a new criminal organisation, The Exchange. Wearing civilian clothes instead of spandex, she and her allies recruit former AIM and Hydra personnel in the interests of creating a new force in the underworld.

Chris Poulsen

A one-time operative for SHIELD, Chris Poulsen is Stephanie Gerard's partner, confidante, and muscle. He handles the wetwork for The Exchange, and has a massive crush on Stephanie.
  • Axe Crazy: By the end.
  • Badass: Takes on Castle, Cole-Alves, and half the police force during his last appearance.
  • Bodyguard Crush: On Stephanie
  • The Coats Are Off: Ditches his Badass Longcoat and his suit during his last battle with Castle and Cole-Alves.
  • The Dragon: To Stephanie, whom he allows to take the lead in most of their operations, while serving as her muscle.
    • Dragon Ascendant: Following Stephanie's death, Chris goes on a massive rampage that caps off the arc, and kicks off events of War Zone.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His crush on Gerard.
  • Frame-Up: Calls the police, claims Castle and Cole-Alves are attacking his office building, then proceeds to slaughter them all himself. The resulting shootout leaves sixteen dead, including Poulsen and three cops, and sees Castle and Cole-Alves hunted for murder (though Cole-Alves really did kill Detective Walter Bolt).
  • Hand Cannon: His modified nine milimetre, with which he's able to hit police officers on the street from several stories up in an office building.
  • More Dakka: Especially during
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on a killing spree after Dr. Gerard is killed, ending with his own death.
  • Sanity Slippage
  • Suicide by Cop: Suicide by Frank Castle. With Stephanie dead, Chris doesn't have much to live for.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Undergoes a massive one when Stephanie dies.
  • Villainous Friendship: Type I with Stephanie Gerard.

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