Characters: The Punisher
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MAX (Earth-200111) Punisher
AKA: Francis David Castiglione/Frank Castle
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #129A traumatized 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.
- Axe Crazy: Depending on the Writer.
- Badass Beard: On occasion when it goes beyond his usual Perma Stubble. He sported one for most of Greg Rucka's run.
- 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.
- Berserk Button: Hurting kids.
- 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. Now, if you're not talking about a long term relationship on the other hand . . .
- 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: Has the persona and was one in Vietnam.
- 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.
- Death Seeker: It has been suggested more than once that Castle's ultimate goal in life is suicide by gangster.
- Despair Event Horizon
- The Dreaded: Every crook and mobster (and most "street" level supervillains) brown their trousers at the mere mention of Frank.
- Evil Wears Black: He's easily the darkest of Marvel's nominally heroic characters, and his all black costume (military-goth chic, as Spider-Man dubs it) is intended to contrast with the brightly colored outfits of the more traditional superheroes.
- 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.
- Immuneto Mind Control: Once No Selled a sexuality-based mind control power from two villainesses who ordered Spider-Man to attack him (something about his using his reptilian brain more than other brain functions).
- I Work Alone: Repeatedly discussed. In his opinion "no one should be like me."
- 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 it's shown that Frank does genuinely care about the people he saves and his few friends.
- 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: Toyed with. So long as Frank remains within his own weight class (baseline human and just above), his Marine training, tactical skill, and vast arsenal will give him a significant edge, and enable him to mow down Mooks as if it were going out of style. Put him up against a superhuman adversary, conversely, and it's frequently all he can do to stay alive.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: This trope defines him
- Papa Wolf: As the eponymous bad guys found out in "The Slavers" arc, Castle does not take kindly to kids being threatened or murdered, as they found out for themselves.
- Perma Stubble: Quite regularly.
- Perpetual Frowner: Frank's default expression.
- Phrase Catcher: When Frank enters a room, the response is usually some variation of...
- Pragmatic Hero
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right
- Semper Fi: Frank was a marine.
- Sex for Services: While Frank would never consider a serious relationship with any woman, he isn't above doing the mattress mambo. Generally he does this as part of a cover when getting Intel on the various criminals he does surveillance on (he once bedded a Mafia don's daughter to get in said don's organization better). In other instances it was with women he met and liked but it was a one time thing (like with Suspiria or O'Brian) and they in turn assisted him on a specific mission. Also, Frank tends to use hookers on occasion but for him it's just satisfying an urge.
- 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.
- Vigilante Man: One of the ultimate examples in the Marvel Universe
- Villain Protagonist: Sometimes, most notably in Greg Rucka's War Zone when he goes up against the Avengers.
- Villainous Underdog: Given how underpowered he is compared to most superheroes, any story in which he's the bad guy is likely to make him this. Notable examples include his early Spider-Man and Daredevil appearances, and especially War Zone where he goes up against the Avengers with nothing but his guns and his tactical acumen.
- Villainous Vidows Peak: When Frank was still an antagonist in his early appearances, he had a pronounced widow's peak.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Would Hit a Girl: Castle has no problems killing female villains.
AKA: David Linus Lieberman
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 2, #4A computer and engineering whiz, Linus "Microchip" Lieberman joined the Punisher's crusade after his nephew was murdered under orders of the Kingpin, and worked alongside the vigilante for years, becoming the closest thing Frank had to a best friend. Unfortunately, a series of tragedies and clashing ideologies led to the two butting heads, and becoming bitter enemies, which ultimately led to Micro's death at the hands of a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent called Stone Cold.
"I hacked computers to find him targets. I customized guns and ammunition. I put him in the right place at the right time to kill the maximum number of people; without me the body count for those ten years would be a third of what it is. I turned a lone gunman into a machine that runs at optimum efficiency. Because of me, what he does can be truly defined as war."
- Back from the Dead: During Dark Reign.
- Faking the Dead: In the MAX continuity, although how isn't specified.
- Killed Off for Real: So far. Given how many of the Punisher's most well known stories feature Frank solo, it seems unlikely that any writer will be motivated to bring him back long term.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Even people who didn't know about his activities usually just called him "Micro" or "Chip". Frank refers to him by his first name once during their entire partnership.
Debut: The Punisher War Zone #1A low (almost subterranean) level criminal, Mickey was strong-armed by the Punisher into helping him infiltrate the Carbone crime family. After that misadventure, the Punisher reluctantly kept Mickey around as a source of information regarding the various goings-on in the criminal underworld.
Punisher: You know better than to lie to me, Mickey.
Mickey: You're nuts. You can't do this to me.
Punisher: That's where you're wrong. I asked you a question and you tell me you're not connected anymore.
Mickey: Buh-but you kill connected guys.
Punisher: Not ones I have a use for. Give me something big.
- 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 arrangement.
- 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
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 5, #2Martin Soap was dropped on his head seconds after being born, and things just went downhill from there, from being abandoned as a child to becoming the New York Police Department's biggest joke, and the sole member of the pointless "Punisher Taskforce". After the Punisher dismantled the Gnucci crime family, the hapless Soap became his informant within the NYPD.
"You know how they say it can't rain all the time? They're lying through their teeth. Really. I should know, I've been getting rained on my whole life."
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: 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, but the bartender stops him, though only so he wouldn't have to clean up the blood. This leads to...
- Took a Level in Badass: He threatens the cruel bartender, breaks the nose of a 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
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 6, #18A British officer who served with Castle in Vietnam. Shows up periodically to provide intelligence or recruit Frank for a mission in Britain.
"He's going to kill you. Not over me. You're going up against him, so he'll kill you. Because you're a joke in spite of it all, and he's the most dangerous man that ever walked this earth."
- Mister Exposition: When it comes to The Troubles.
- Old Soldier
- Secret Intelligence Service: Although still very much on the military side.
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 9, #1A 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.
"But I feel. I can't stop. God, I've tried, and I can't stop... and you do, too, I know you do... the gnawing that isn't anger and isn't rage and isn't guilt but it's all of it, a thousand times over. Feeding on you, devouring you, stealing your breath and you never stop seeing it... seeing them..."
- Anti-Heroine: Unscrupulous Heroine. Possibly a Nominal Heroine by the end.
- Broken Bird
- Captain Ersatz: Her backstory is lifted from the Bride from Kill Bill.
- Chest Insignia: Castle allows her to wear a copy of his chestplate and its skull insignia.
- Dark Action Girl: Given her general instability she fits this better than Action Girl.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Frank Castle.
- Evil Wears Black: Mimics Frank in this regard.
- Fiery Redhead: Rachel's even less stable than Frank, and has flaming red hair.
- Foil: To Castle, with her fiery temper and immediate need for revenge, contrasting his cold-blooded pragmatism. She's him as he was at the start of his career.
- Guns Akimbo: As prone to Frank at charging in with a weapon in each hand.
- Hot-Blooded: Contrasting the far icier Castle.
- Legacy Character: Proceeded Lynn Michaels as the "Lady Punisher".
- More Dakka: Shares Castle's conviction that bullets solve all problems, and that more bullets solve more problems.
- Murder by Mistake: Kills Detective Walter Bolt when she panics and mistakes him for Poulsen.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Evokes this in her mimicry of Castle.
- Revenge: Wants revenge on Gerard and Poulsen.
- Revenge Before Reason: Repeatedly jeopardizes her own safety and Frank's in order to get at Gerard and Poulsen.
- Semper Fi: Like Castle she's a former Marine.
- That Man Is Dead: Forced to cut all ties to her past by Castle.
- Woman in Black: Wears a black special ops suit at first, and then dons a replica of Castle's Punisher costume.
"My own list of troublemakers? Let's just say it's getting shorter all the time. However, some of them seem to keep coming back, like the pain from an old wound..."
— The Punisher, The Punisher Annual Vol. 2, #5 ("The Punisher's Top Ten Villains!")
AKA: Billy "The Beaut" Russo
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #161A 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.
"See, guy, see—before I get to the punchline I gotta back up a second. Let me tell you about Frank—let me tell you about the Punisher. Because he's—he's my—see, the first time we met, I was just this guy, y'know? I was this, I was this guy, I had my things goin' and he—well, he's got his thing goin' too. And our things, they don't go together so well. So the guy—the guy who kills so many, so often—me he decides not to kill. Me he decides to just put through a window. Again and again and again. Frank Castle just kinda drives me a little crazy. See? Just you look at what that maniac brings out of me. We scrap. We tussle. Loads of times, me and him. And you know what? I can't never seal the deal and he—he always lets me live. A little worse for wear, of course. I'm tellin' you, Irish, he's like a kid what pulls off the wings off flies just to watch 'em wiggle. He digs the torture. I mean, what kind of sick, sad, insane—what kind of lunatic—"
- 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 appearance.
- Man in White: Favors white suits, and a color-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 an electric chair, he started killing those responsible while ranting about how inappropriate 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. Distance did not make the heart grow fonder◊.
- Supervillain: One of the few in Punisher's limited rogues gallery. He's a classic, Batman-style freak, with no actual powers, a grotesque physical deformity, and a seeming inability to be put down for good.
- 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.
AKA: Lieutenant Burt Kenyon
Debut: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #4A 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.
AKA: Samuel Smith
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 2, #4Sam 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.
- Alliterative Name: Just like his real life counterpart.
- Big Bad: Of two separate storylines.
- Dark Messiah: Fashions himself as a savior of his people, while being completely insane.
- Good Powers, Bad People: He is a crazy cult leader who has Healing Hands, which he notably uses to resurrect Jigsaw when he was working for him.
- Hollywood Satanism: After his cult fell apart, he became a worshipper of Satan.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Of Jim Jones, the leader of People's Temple cult whose base of operations was also in South America.
- Sinister Minister: They don't call him "The Rev" for nothing.
AKA: Rich von Burian
Debut: The Punisher War Journal #4Von 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.
"I know that slippery *#%&# as well as I know myself. I know how he feels - what he thinks. That makes him predictable to me. I'm ready to nail his hide."
- Blond Guys Are Evil: He is blonde, and completely amoral.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has some serious facial scarring in his last appearance, even missing his lips.
- The Gunslinger: As his mercenary-name suggests, he is quite handy with the sniper rifle.
- Hired Guns: He's loyal to anyone who pays him enough.
- Knife Nut: He uses a triangular punch-knife as a melee weapon.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He feels that the Punisher owes him big time, and is not happy when the "honor" of killing him is given to someone else.
- The Von Trope Family: And definitely part of the evil side of the trope.
AKA: Jaime Ortiz
Debut: The Punisher War Journal #8Damage was a gang member who was mangled by the Punisher's Battle Van's defense-mechanisms. In an act of Cruel Mercy, Frank decided to let him continue to live in agony, and dropped his crushed body off at a nearby hospital. He was then recruited by a project of the Kingpin's that rebuilt him into a killing machine.
- Badass Moustache: His former gang didn't allow its members to have beards or moustaches, but he was deemed tough enough to be an exception.
- Evil Knockoff: He is turned into a duplicate of the Punisher so that Frank can be framed for killing innocents.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: One of his weapons is a flamethrower.
- Gang Bangers: Former member of the Bunsen Burners.
- The Power of Hate: He would have departed from life when he was comatose if it wasn't for the Kingpin's lackey questioning him about the person he hated the most.
- Shock and Awe: He can use his cybernetic features to generate electricity.Damage: You look tired... no energy left? I can fix that! *TZZZAPP*
- Shoulder Cannon: It's a minigun.
- We Can Rebuild Him: He was rebuilt into a Cyborg with the Kingpin's money and Reaver technology, with a variety of tricks up his sleeve. After his defeat at the hands of the Punisher and Wolverine, it is suggested that he can be rebuilt again, if he ever was.
AKA: Muzzafar Lambert
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 2, #22A 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.
"You're an interesting man... life will be duller without you."
- 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 sizable portion of the population can shoot lasers out of their orifices and throw cars around like dolls.
- Characterization Marches On: In his two-part debut he spoke slightly broken English, and displayed none of the traits he would later possess. Adding to the oddity is the fact that neither he nor the Punisher bring up their previous encounter when they meet face to face again in The Sicilian Saga.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He kills without remorse, but he refuses to be unfaithful to his wife.
- Good Counterpart: His equivalent on Earth-1009 is a hero, and a member of the Royal Avengers.
- 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 and red costumes are pretty obvious.
- Hired Guns: Lambert has no particular allegiances, save to his money.
- It's Personal: He kills the Punisher's aunt and uncle, Frank's last remaining family members.
- Killed Off for Real: The Punisher hacked him to bits in a Sword Fight.
- 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 nine 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.
AKA: Salvatore "Sal" Carbone
Debut: The Punisher War Zone #1Sal 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.
"Cannot rest until the stone-face man dies. Cannot rest until I stand over him. Until I see him breathe his last breath."
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Develops these when he turns into what can be described as a walking corpse.
- Feel No Pain: Sal doesn't register any pain, no matter how often he's shot or hit.
- 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 in 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.Thorn: 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 he learns about his past, he rejects it and continues his quest.Thorn: Name is Thorn now. Not Sal. Thorn.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After his last encounter with the Punisher, he lands on a moving vehicle which takes him into Newark. Presumably, he is still there.
Debut: The Punisher War Zone #2Rosalie was the spoiled daughter of Julius Carbone, who had a fling with Frank during his infiltration of her organization. After the death of her father, she swore revenge on the Punisher due to his part in knocking the Carbone family from top of the food chain.
"You stupid #$%@! Stop #$%@ing around and come kill this #$%@!!"
- 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 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 sometimes has an aversion to killing 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.
AKA: Edmondo Paina
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 2, #85A demented psycho who was contracted to deal with The Punisher. After Castle humiliated him, Pain forced his way into another group that he knew The Punisher was targeting, in order that he might gain his revenge.
"You don't know who I am, do you? They call me Mondo Pain. I like to think there's a reason for that. Go ahead. Pick it up. Of course, if you shoot and miss... well... I'd barely be able to contain my rage. I might hurt you—without thinking about it—and I much prefer to think about it..."
- Combat Sadomasochist: Getting hurt just gets him in the mood for more.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: If the info boxes are to be believed, Pain is his actual surname.
- Nightmare Face: He likes to psyche out his opponents by displaying a rictus grin, which coupled with his scarred face is enough to give them a pause. Except for the Punisher, who simply shoots him.
- Psycho for Hire: And sometimes he won't even bother to wait for that pesky "hiring" part, he just walks up to someone and forces himself into their organization.
Debut: Marvel Super-Action #1 (as Frank Costa); The Punisher Vol. 4, #1 (as Olivier)The Prince of the Archangels, Olivier sided with Lucifer in his rebellion against God, and as such was cast down to the netherworld, where he became a Hell-lord. The other devils, disapproving of Olivier's ambitions and methods, temporarily banded together to banish him to Earth, where he was trapped in the body of the stillborn Frank Costa. After committing murder, Olivier's memories of his previous life returned, and he subsequently used his powers to become the head of the Costa branch of the Maggia, and to manipulate a young Frank Castle into becoming the Punisher as apart of a complex plan that would see Olivier very nearly conquering both Earth and Hell.
"The others... the big guys... the devils, they thought I got a little too big for my britches. So they threw me out. Trapped me in a stillborn baby, purged of my memory of Hell, and my ambition... they thought. Mephisto. Satannish. Lucifer. Satan. Murray. I'll bet they thought that was really funny. They didn't count on me being born into a mob family. They didn't count on me killing. They didn't count on the blood giving me back my memory. If I was going to go back, I needed an edge. I needed power. An engine of death and sacrifice. I made you that engine, and all it cost was your family's blood."
- AKA: Isabella Carmela Magdalena GnucciDebut: The Punisher Vol. 5, #4"You scum! You vicious, evil scum! You're no better than I am, Punisher! You think you're better, you think you're on the side of justice, but you're wrong! You're a serial killer, Punisher! You're insane! It's mass murder, whatever you want to call it! It's genocide! What'll you do, keep going 'til we're all dead? Will that make you happy, you sick, twisted creep?! You should put a bullet in your own head, Punisher! That's the only way you'll get any peace! And you know, it too! You're a dead man walking, Punisher! You are damned!"
- Back from the Dead: Years after her fiery death at the hands of the Punisher, Ma supposedly came back from the dead seeking revenge, but this turned out to merely be an elaborate hoax orchestrated by the second Elite.
- Evil Cripple: Lost all of her limbs to polar bear, but that didn't stop her from running her organization.
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 5, #8A 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.
"Hey Punisher, remember The Russian?"
- 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, the 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.
- Supervillain: Possess superhuman strength and durability.
- There's No Kill Like Overkill: It took being chained to a dropped atomic bomb to kill him for good. Maybe.
AKA: Tanya Adrian
Debut: Punisher War Journal Vol. 2, #20An assassin for the ninja organization The Hand.
Frank, angel, if you're going to kill someone—make sure they're dead.
- Another Man's Terror: She has Psychic Powers that allow her to project a dying person's thoughts into someone else's mind. She uses this to give herself an upper hand in combat.
- Dead Person Impersonation: The In the Blood miniseries has her pretending to be Frank's wife, whom he had torched some time ago when she was brough back from the dead by The Hood, to mess with him psychologically.
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 8, #12A monster hunter who was the Punisher's first major villain during his days as Franken-Castle.
"His brutal kind massacred my family. So I hunted and killed his. Though gruesome, our families died for a reason: To set us on our crusades. With their lives torn away—we are left empty. And only a man who is wholly vacant can effectively wage war."
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Despite his genius in engineeering, he just wanted to live happily with his family doing common work. Then he was forced to kill werewolves that were attacking his village, including his now-transformed family. After being recruited by Ulysses Bloodstone, he dedicated his craft to coming up with effective ways to slay monsters.
- Eyepatch of Power: He lost his right eye during his days with Ulysses Bloodstone, and covered it with an eyepatch.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Happened to him twofold when he first donned his trademark battle-suit; first he was fried by the suit's internal workings when Dracula cut off the tubes that protected him from that, and then he was thrown into the dimension that he had intended to use to get rid of unkillable monsters.
- Remember the New Guy: His former partner Ulysses Bloodstone has appeared in Marvel titles since the seventies; Hellsgaard's contributions to his work weren't mentioned until his appearance in The Punisher.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: He hunts all monsters, even the sapient and docile ones that are no danger to anyone. Henry also mentions that he's begun targeting mutants and baseline humans who just happen to be physically abnormal in some way.
Doctor Stephanie Gerard
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 9, #2A former AIM scientist, Stephanie Gerard left her parent organization to set up a new criminal organization, 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.
"If you want attention, feel free to dust off your costumes and go back to being beaten bloody by the likes of the Avengers. I'm sure A.I.M. or Hydra or even Hive will be glad to have you back. They're always looking for fresh cannon fodder. Meeting is adjourned. Happy Thanksgiving."
- Anti-Villain: At least when compared to most of the Punisher's other foes. Stephanie has no interest in hurting innocent people (berating the men who shot up Rachel's wedding), tries to run her organization with a minimum of casualties, and in general tries to get things accomplished with a minimum of bloodshed and fuss.
- The Big Bad: Of Greg Rucka's sixteen issue run.
- The Chessmaster
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Is friends with Chris Poulsen, and may be starting to return his crush by the end.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Reads the henchmen who shot up Rachel Cole-Alves' wedding the riot act.
- Evil Genius
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
- Hime Cut
- Hot Scientist: Just look at her picture.
- Mad Scientist: She used to be.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: She's "Doctor" Gerard, used to work for AIM, and is now going into organized crime.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Stephanie's not a fighter, which is why she keeps Poulsen on the payroll.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Gerard wants to get things done as efficiently as possible, with no unnecessary violence. The reason she left AIM was because she felt that status as borderline Card Carrying Villains was preventing them from accomplishing anything.
- Villainous Friendship: Type I with Chris Poulsen.
Christian "Chris" Poulsen
Debut: The Punisher Vol. 9, #2A one-time operative for SHIELD, Chris Poulsen is Stephanie Gerard's partner, confidante, and muscle. He handles the wet work for the Exchange, and has a massive crush on Stephanie.
"I know you saw that, Frank... you and your girlfriend, you saw that and you couldn't do anything about it. I called the police, you know, right after you killed Stephanie... called the N.Y.P.D. and told them you were in the building, that you were murdering all these people... they're coming in any second, now, coming with gas and guns to put you down like the rabid dog you are... you killed her, Frank. She never looked at me until twice today, but I loved her, and you killed her... and when you did that, you killed me, too. So we'll all die together. You and me and the missus... all us like the bastards we are... like we deserve..."
- Antivillain: There was nothing particularly nasty about Poulsen, at least prior to his Villainous Breakdown.
- Axe Crazy: By the end.
- Badass: Takes on Castle, Cole-Alves, and half the police force during his last appearance.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Chris' killing spree in issue fifteen gets him everything he wanted, leaving the Punisher and Cole-Alves on the run from the police, their relationship with law enforcement apparently ruined.
- Berserk Button: Hurting Stephanie. When the Punisher kills her, Chris goes on a rampage that results in a double-digit body count.
- Bodyguard Crush: On Stephanie
- The Coats Are Off: Ditches his Badass Longcoat and his suit during his last battle with Castle and Cole-Alves.
- Cop Killer: Guns down two police officers, and, as a bonus, sets up the events that result in Rachel Cole-Alves killing Detective Walter Bolt.
- The Dragon: To Stephanie, whom he allows to take the lead in most of their operations, while serving as her muscle.
- 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 millimeter, with which he's able to hit police officers on the street from several stories up in an office building.
- Handicapped Badass: He's walking with a leg brace during his final confrontation with Castle and Cole-Alves, courtesy of injures from their first clash, and the subsequent torture he endured at the hands of Black Spectre. It doesn't slow him down much.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on a killing spree after Dr. Gerard is killed, ending with his own death.
- Sanity Slippage: After Stephanie Gerard's death.
- Suicide by Cop: Suicide by Frank Castle. With Stephanie dead, Chris doesn't have much to live for.
- Taking You with Me: The purpose of his final rampage. He rants to The Punisher that he, Frank, and Cole-Alves are "going to die together. Like the bastards we are."
- Unstoppable Rage: When Gerard dies, he flips out and goes on a rampage. The only thing ceasing it being his death.
- Villainous Breakdown: Undergoes a massive one when Stephanie dies.
- Villainous Friendship: Type I with Stephanie Gerard.
- We Have Reserves: Baits a trap for Castle with The Exchange's less competent henchmen.
AKA: James "Jimmy" Natale
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #592Originally a Spider-Man villain, the fourth Vulture, Jimmy Natale, was a freak science experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong. Contracted by The Exchange to put Frank Castle out of their misery, Jimmy was killed in aerial combat with The Punisher above the streets of New York.
- Ax-Crazy: He doesn't have much in terms of sanity, if at all.
- Absurdly Sharp Claws: To the point of punching through Kevlar.
- Beast Man: Incredibly bestial, and barely capable of speech.
- Character Death: Castle inflicted a mortal wound on him with his knife, which caused him to plummet to the streets and his untimely death.
- Flight: Thanks to his wings.
- Hired Guns: Worked for The Exchange as one.
- Obviously Evil: A slavering beastman dressed all in black and red and drooling acid? Pretty obviously evil.
- Psycho for Hire: A cannibalistic monster hired to take out Frank Castle.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: A Spider-Man villain who was hired to deal with the Punisher.
- Super Spit: Acidic spit to be precise.
- Supervillain: One of the few bonafide supervillains Castle has clashed with.