YMMV: The Punisher
- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- Frank is usually treated as a absolute moralist who just happens to be fighting a never ending war on crime. Other interpretations imply he's just as bad as the monsters he fights and is little different from a serial killer. The only thing that stays the same is the reason why he became the Punisher.
- Punisher: Year One has yet another take on Frank's character - he goes vigilante only after all other methods of bringing the mobsters who killed his family to justice fail spectacularly (the police is ineffective and corrupt; an attempt to do an independent investigation leads only to death of the reporter whom Frank briefly befriended).
- Punisher: Born from MAX imprint has a different take on WHY he became the Punisher. Frank fell in love with killing and made a deal with an unknown supernatural entity (or just plainly went mad, you choose) to fight a war that would last forever. He wasn't informed until later that the price would be his family, at which point the supernatural entity makes Frank forget that they ever made the deal.
- Author's Saving Throw:
- For instance, in an early appearance, he tried to kill people for running stop signs and littering (this was Hand Waved in The Punisher: Circle of Blood by saying he had been drugged by Jigsaw to make him more violent and hardline).
- Most notoriously, The Punisher: Purgatory turned the gritty, mafia-killing Vigilante Man into an Empowered Badass Normal with divine abilities, which literally ended up more or less killing the Punisher as both a character and a series... at least, until Garth Ennis brought him back.
- Complete Monster: See here.
- Ho Yay:
Punisher: Up for thirty-six hours watching a crack lab, and Micro calls me with a grocery list on the way home. Sometimes having Microchip is like having a wife.
- Frank and Microchip would come off like an old married couple sometimes. In some issues, Micro would even use the word "bubbelah" (Yiddish for "darling") when talking to Frank.
Microchip: ¢%$#! I don't need this, I'm going out.Punisher: Where? I might need you later.Microchip: Just out. *¢%, we're not married, Frank.
- The most overt instance of this probably the first issue of War Zone, where Frank and Micro bickering over Micro sneaking off to see a therapist comes off like a couple cracking up due to one member uncovering another's infidelity.
- Franken-Castle's fight with Daken was filled with homoerotic banter.
- Magnificent Bastard: Frank himself. Agree with his methods or not, but either way he is damn good in what he does. Just try to keep tally of the times where he got out of a seemingly impossible situation or pulled off a complicated plan to get to his target. Occasionally he even outsmarts super-powered beings far more mighty than him. What Reed Richards is to Science and Tony Stark to Mechanics, Frank Castle is to Warfare and Survival.
- Misaimed Fandom: Gerry Conway has stated he's uncomfortable with how popular the Punisher is with members of the American military, as he is very anti-war. He intended for the Punisher to be a bad guy, partially to show how horrifying a violent, well-trained soldier could be if he used his skills outside of a war zone.
- My Real Daddy: He's had a few writers over the years who have done well with the character, though the ones that most readers will think of are Steven Grant, Chuck Dixon, and Garth Ennis..
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The Punisher's willingness to kill made him a novel character when he was first introduced, thanks to The Dark Age of Comic Books much of this novelty has worn off.
- Sequel Displacement: While Frank was one of Marvel's cash cows back in the early nineties (alongside Spider-Man and Wolverine), many of his modern fans know nothing about his stories before Ennis. Sadly this means that a lot of his gentler characterizations are overlooked, as well as the fact that he actually did have something of a supporting cast.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
- Which is what a lot of fans said of Angelic Punisher.
- Many people feared the worst at the announcement of Franken-Castle. Surprisingly, the change has been relatively popular.
- Writer on Board: Garth Ennis hates conventional superheroes. You cannot help but notice that whenever any of them appears in an issue of the main Punisher series written by him.