Warning: Unmarked spoilers abound!
A tough as nails CIA agent who is part of a covert task force, dedicated to taking the Punisher into custody. She shows a very evident attraction towards Frank, which she admits to with no shame.
- Action Girl: You don't spend time in the company of Frank without being some sort of professional badass. And O'Brien, is certainly no exception.
- Action Mom: She gives birth to a daughter fathered by the Punisher himself.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She became attracted to Frank while trying to catch him.
- Ascended Extra: At first she was a fairly non-important CIA mook working under Bethell. That is until she reappears three arcs later and is given a greater role.
- Broken Bird: With three failed marriages, getting raped, thrown in jail and trying to survive there, and being in the middle of the violence the Punisher is associated with, she's pretty much a broken bird.
- The Bus Came Back: Last we saw of her she was being hauled off to jail for taking part in an illegal operation. We don't see her again until three arcs later in Up is Down, Black is White.
- Character Overlap: She refers to a former lover called "Tommy" who was completely doomed, implying that she is the same character as Kathryn McAllister from Hitman, also by Garth Ennis but from a different superhero universe. McAllister is also included in a list of aliases that she's used.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Repeatedly. It's the way she and Frank "hook up".O'Brien: I've been in jail for eighteen months. When we get through here, you want to go jump in the sack?
- And again in Man of StoneO'Brien: You cold?
O'Brien: You lonely?
O'Brien: You wanna jump my bones anyway?
- And again in Man of Stone
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dies completely by chance in Afghanistan by stepping on a mine, after she and Frank have beaten the Russians.
- Genius Bruiser: She's a highly skilled combatant courtesy of her CIA training. And she did graduate from Princeton.
- Last Request: Two, actually. The first is Stay with Me Until I Die, the second is to kill Rawlins.
- Mistaken for Murderer: In Up is Down and Black is White, while in prison a pair of inmates set her up for killing a guard.
- Now What?: When she realizes that once she fulfills her vengeance in killing the people she's after, there is nothing to live for after that.
- Promiscuity After Rape: Though she's not shown as throwing herself to any man, it's implied her rape experience in Afghanistan made her much more sexually crass and explicit than she used to be, notably with Frank much to the chagrin of those within earshot of lustful rantings.
- Prison Rape: Averted. While serving her sentence in jail, a bunch of inmates frequently tried to gang up on her, including the time she was taking a shower. Fortunately Katheryn can hold her own, even while being naked.
- Rape as Backstory: Years ago, she was raped numerous times by Mujaheddin commanders after she was abandoned in Afghanistan by Rawlins, her ex-husband. She returns to Afghanistan years later and kills all but two of the men who raped her, before being caught up in the main plot. Frank kills the two she missed before leaving.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The fiery red to Frank's saturnine blue.
- Retirony: After she and Frank beat the Russians in Afghanistan, she muses on what she's going to do with her life after clearing up all the unfinished business from her years as a spy, which she has no intention to go back to. Then seconds later she steps on a mine.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After being release from prison and helping out the Punisher with Cavella. She promptly returns to Afghanistan to take care of the sick fucks who gang-raped her years ago.
- Stay with Me Until I Die: Near the end of Man Of Stone, just as soon as she and Frank have finished defeating Zakharov's men, she steps on an old mine completely by chance. She has two requests for him, one of which was to hold her until she died. The other was a thing that Frank is good at.
- Unwanted Harem: To Frank. Much to her chagrin.
A stern, no-nonsense British MI-6 agent who first met Frank in 1971, back when he was serving in the Australian Special Air Service Regiment during the Vietnam War. Since then he has remained in touch with Frank. Using his connections in the MI-6 to aid Frank with his war on crime.
- Author Avatar: In a similar fashion to Frank, every now and then, writer Garth Ennis will use him as a mouthpiece for whatever opinion he may have on a variety of subjects. This is most evident in the scene where he lectures a young IRA member (who is being held prisoner by him and several others) on how pointless and idiotic his entire quest for "Ireland's freedom" really is.
- Badass Grandpa: He's around the same age as Frank, but that hasn't stopped him from being any less of a capable field agent.
- Blood Knight: Its revealed in a conversation with Frank that he was once this before growing tired of death and warfare.
- Breaking Speech: In Kitchen Irish, he delivers a long drawn out one to a naive IRA member. Lecturing him about the idiocy and futility about his supposed "noble endeavor". Which also doubles as a reason you suck speech to the IRA itself.
- The Bus Came Back: After a lengthy absence, he finally makes his return in Man Of Stone.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: His fight with the Westies was less of a Curb-Stomp Battle, and more like a Curb Stomp Slaughter.
- To better elaborate. When he and Frank need to deal with the Westies. They carefully arrange a false meeting between them and several other outlaw groups aboard a decommissioned warship. When the Westies arrive in force, he and Frank, armed to the teeth and waiting for them in hidden vantage spots, proceed to massacre them. In what has to be the largest gunfight in the entire series. Well... it wasn't really much of a gunfight to begin with. More like he and Frank re-enacting the climax of First Blood: Part 2.
- Defiant to the End: Even when facing imminent death. He still manages to let off one final F Bomb to his killer.
- Depending on the Artist: He's usually drawn as a chubby middle aged man, but in the Long Cold Dark, he looks like he's suddenly dropped thirty pounds.
- The Cynic: Much like the other characters in the cast. As a result of his years of service in the military and various other government organizations. The man has developed a very cynical disposition.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He's an MI-6 agent, by way of the SAS, by way of the Parachute Regiment.
- Hannibal Lecture: The man is the master of these, in fact he'd probably have the Trope Namer weeping for forgiveness after a few minutes alone with him.
- Mean Brit: Downplayed. Although he is slightly surly, he isn't exactly mean either.
- Mister Exposition: This is more or less his role in Kitchen Irish. Whenever something regarding the IRA comes up, odds are he will be the one giving out the info.
- More Dakka: When he and Frank are preparing an ambush for a gang of Irish hoods, he brings along a M60 to help "weed" them out.
- Old Friend: Subverted. He makes it clear early on that although he and Frank may be former associates. They aren't exactly "friends".
- Retirony: Quite possibly one of the cruelest examples in fiction. In Man Of Stone he tells Frank that he plans on retiring from the military and settling down with his wife, who has just inherited a commercial airline. Then, at the very beginning of Long Cold Dark, we see him bleeding to death in his living room, with his aforementioned dearly beloved wife laying dead not to far from him. And Barracuda standing over them both, with a sneering Slasher Smile and a loaded M1911...
- The Vietnam Vet: Much like Frank he to took part in the Vietnam War. Which is where he first met him, back when they were apart of a cross-training exercise with the Australian SAS. And at one point he even saved Frank from being burned alive by the Viet Cong.
- Would Hit a Girl: He has absolutely no hesitation in executing O'Brien when he's ordered to (although he changes his mind when Frank asks him to spare her). When one of his men expresses misgivings about killing a woman in cold blood he responds that the fact that O'Brien is a woman doesn't change the fact that she's a hardened killer like the rest of them who doesn't deserve any special mercy.
A Lance Corporal in the Parachute Regiment in the British Army who tags along with Yorkie to New York City to track down a group of former IRA members responsible for detonating a bomb in a diner in Hell's Kitchen.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He's a soldier in the Parachute Regiment.
- Everyone Has Standards: When Yorkie gives Frank the order to torture an Irish terrorist for information, he's very visibly disturbed by this.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Averted. He's a rare depiction of a black British character in American media.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: In the end, he finally kills his father's murderer, but states that he doesn't feel any better for it.Andy: I don't feel any different. Me dad's still dead and I don't feel the slightest bit different.
An old-school super spy from the cold war era. He has a long history with Frank, dating back to their tours of duty in Vietnam. He has recently returned in Frank's life to offer him a job that he feels only he can accomplish.
- Adaptational Jerkass: More like Adaptational Anti-Heroism. Although his mainstream counterpart was certainly no dainty maiden, his MAX counterpart is far more shady, willing to go to greater extremes and do whatever it takes to accomplish his mission. So much so that at times he almost veers into Villain Protagonist territory.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: This is how he convinces Castle to take part in Operation Barbarossa. He knows that a guy like Frank has zero interest in working for his government again, so how does Fury change his mind? By offering him the coordinates to every know crime syndicate in the country, that's how.
- Artistic License Military: You'd figure that a man who has been in the military for as long as he has should hold a rank higher than Colonel. At one point he mentions having been the director of SHIELD at some point, when in reality he would have to hold the rank of General to command an organization that large.
- His later MAX series shows him as a Colonel in the fifties and never working in a purely military capacity. He likely left active-duty after Korea and worked for the CIA since, before transferring to SHIELD.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Oh yes. A Colonel in the U.S. Army, and by far the most badass character in the series. Second only to Frank.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Admit it. A guy with a name like Fury just sounds impossibly badass.
- Badass Grandpa: The man looks like he's pushing eighty, but that hasn't stopped him from living up to his reputation as the most badass super-spy that has ever lived.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a buttoned up one at all times.
- Batman Gambit: His way of getting in contact with the Punisher involves him releasing a convicted felon way ahead of parole, and simply standing back and waiting for the Punisher to deal with said felon.
- Big Good: His overall role. Although he is by no means a saintly or even nice individual, he can be counted on to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.
- Cigar Chomper: He is always seen smoking one. Much to the chagrin of his peers, who would prefer that he respect the "no smoking" rules.
- Colonel Badass: Back in Vietnam he was a Colonel in the US Army who led numerous counter offenses against the Viet Cong. That have since become the stuff of legend.
- Covered with Scars: It may not be noticeable at first. But in one panel, we see him laying naked (save for his boxers) in bed with a group of hookers at his side. And see that he is covered head to toe in scars.
- The Cynic: His years in the spy business has left him with a rather bleak and cynical view of the world. A disposition that has gotten even worse when Frank meets with him again.
- Deadpan Snarker: He usually isn't the kind of guy to joke around. But when he does, it's obvious he has a very cynical sense of humor.General: You always were a goddamn ray of sweetness and light, weren't you Fury?Fury: Check the small print General, nothing in there about us sucking each other's balls.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: He does this to a corrupt military general in Mother Russia. To better elaborate, the general in question had put together a cell of Middle Eastern terrorists and sent them on a plane, which they were to hijack. The plane was then blown up by the Russians, killing the US funded terrorists and the innocent people aboard.
- The Dreaded: He very evidently holds this reputation among the cabal of Generals. Who speak of him in a hush worried tone, as if he where some sort of urban myth. It's apparently so great that the military has given him the nickname, "The Prince of Darkness."
- Drowning My Sorrows: When Frank meets with him again in a bar, he's hitting the bottle pretty hard. Not a surprise, given what he'd just learned at the time you can hardly blame him.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He was a U.S. Army Ranger during his tour of duty in Vietnam, who according to Frank had "set fire to half of Asia long before I had boarded a plane to Da Nang."
- Peacemaker and My War Gone By take this back even further, revealing his origins as an squad leader-turned-OSS commando during WWII.
- Everyone Has Standards: The man may be a hardened cold war spy with a heart as cold as ice, but even he knows that the cabal of Generals crossed the line with their False Flag Operation.
- Eyepatch of Power: Much like his mainstream Marvel counterpart.
- Good Is Not Nice: One of the few characters who is unambiguously good, but don't let that fool you into thinking he's some sort of All-Loving Hero either. The man is a world class cynic, with a barbed wired heart who isn't afraid to cuss out a four-star General.
- Grumpy Old Man: Oh yes. Grouchy, vulgar, volatile and otherwise completely hostile towards anyone who isn't named Frank Castle.
- Handicapped Badass: You see that eyepatch he's got? He's had it for nearly sixty years Hasn't slowed him down at all though.
- Hero of Another Story: It's pretty obvious that while Frank is going around dispensing vigilante justice, Fury has at least half-a-dozen different operations going on behind the scenes. This becomes more obvious if you've read his solo spin-off series.
- Jerk with the Heart of a Jerk: Make no mistake, although he might be on the side of justice (by the standards of this series at least), he is not a nice man. Profane, grouchy, volatile, and all around hostile to just about everyone who isn't named Frank Castle. He make's his mainstream counterpart look like a dainty maiden by comparison.
- Living Legend: Naturally. The man has seen action in just about every armed American conflict in the last 50+ plus years. It would be weird if he didn't play this trope straight.
- Mildly Military: Despite his rank and years of service, he shows a blatant disregard for standard military practices. Such as cussing out superior officers, not bothering with a uniform, and smoking in "no smoking" areas.
- Military Maverick: He is shown constantly telling off the Generals and intimidates those who try and challenge his authority. In his crowing moment, when he discovers the General behind the horrific False Flag Operation. He removes his belt and beats the holy fuck out the General responsible, and threatens anyone who tries to intervene. Leaving the General a bloody, snivelling mess.
- Mister Exposition: This is more or less his role in the beginning of the Mother Russia arc. He's there to explain to Frank, and by extension the audience, what the flesh eating super virus that is currently in the hands of the Russians is and why the US military wants there hands on it.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Upon discovering the military General behind the False Flag Operation. Fury proceeds to pull off his belt and beat the ever loving shit out of said General. A beatdown so horrific that the other Generals can only look on in horror.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Very much averted. The man swears like a sailor, and shows no respect to the various "no smoking" rules that try to keep him from enjoying one of his sweet Cuban cigars.
- Overt Operative: For being a master spy whose been in the game for as long as he has. He doesn't do a terribly good job at keeping a low profile. The eyepatch alone is practically a dead giveaway.
- Overranked Soldier: Inverted and justified. By the time Punisher MAX starts Fury has spent over sixty years in the military and is a living legend yet he is only a Colonel, but it's shown that he shares a mutual hatred with a highly influential cabal of corrupt generals and is an uncontrollable maverick who freely violates protocol and has no tolerance for the politicking that goes on among the top brass. Him beating the shit out of a general makes his low ranking crystal clear.
- Perma-Stubble: Is never seen without a 5 o'clock shadow.
- Perpetual Frowner: Much like Frank. Fury's facial expression, never changes from his default pissed off scowl.
- Pet the Dog: In his final appearance Nick finds Frank had written "I'm sorry" on the walls of his old house for failing to save his family. Fury then uses Frank's old flamethrower to burn down the house and drives away the police, preventing them from raking over old wounds.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Frank's stoic blue.
- Running Gag: Every time he sparks up a cigar he will almost always be chastised by a nearby officer for not acknowledging the "no smoking" rules.
- Being shown in bed with multiple prostitutes.
- Seen It All: The man has seen action in Second World War, the Korean War, the First Indochina War, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Vietnam War and the Nicaraguan Revolution. Worked for the CIA before moving on to S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been through paratrooper, demolition, Army Ranger and Special Forces training. So yeah, I guess you can say he's seen some things.
- Sergeant Rock: He started off as one of these during the Second World War, before moving on to being a Colonel Badass.
- Sex God: During "Mother Russia", he is roused during a mission to be updated on Castle with three women in his bed. In his first miniseries after the handicapped boy he's looking after injures himself he goes into a... well, fury and phones for half a dozen Asian hookers.
- Shellshocked Veteran: This incarnation portray him as this, disillusioned with Iraq, looking after a young boy who he wants to mercy kill, drinking heavily, sleeping with multiple hookers, and beating the crap out of US generals when they resort to terrorism.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even in old age, the man still possess a colorful vocabulary that makes the rest of the characters look like choir boys by comparison.
- The Spymaster: Much like his mainstream incarnation. However here its presented in a less fantastical and more realistic fashion. In order to better suit the more grounded tone of the series.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He flatly tells the Generals that the only reason he agreed to help them in their covert operation to steal the biochemical agent from the Russians, is that he believes that handing it over to the US military is the "lesser of several evil." Naturally the Generals don't take this remark very well.General: Are you suggesting that Senior Officers of the US Army and Air Force would consider using such a—Fury: Well reassure me, General. Don't say "sample". Say six year old girl.
- To Absent Friends: His finale appearance shows him attending the funeral of Frank Castle. And just to rub it in, he's the only person who bothered attending.
- Unwitting Pawn: In Mother Russia, although he tried keeping a watchful eye on the cabal of Generals, at the end of the day it wasn't enough, as the Generals still managed to use him as a pawn in their false flag operation.
- The Vietnam Vet: Much like Yorkie, he to served alongside Frank in the Vietnam War.
- Action Girl: She does the job even better than Frank Castle. She methodically trails the mobster widows until they set a trap for Castle, slices open the one who lured him there, picks up his assault rifle and makes the others flee for their lives. Deconstructed in that, like Frank Castle himself, she is a deeply screwed-up person who when left with nothing to live for after accomplishing her revenge, cannot cope with the overwhelming despair and emptiness she feels and commits suicide. Ultimately, Frank finds himself lamenting the fact that she even had to go down this path at all.
- Anti-Hero: The Nominal Hero type. She even scares Frank.
- Ascended Fangirl: She introduces herself to Frank as his biggest fan, after saving him from the widows trying to kill him and getting him to her home. She lays out all the terrible things done to her and expresses sympathy to what happened to him, before asking to borrow his clothes to finish what she started.
- Ax-Crazy: And the Punisher knows it, coming across as intimidated by her. For her part Jenny knows this and discusses the damage the abuse they go through does.
- Broken Bird: She gets cancer, is brutally beaten all the time during her arranged marriage and is finally disposed of, left for dead. Then she took a level.
- Byronic Hero: She bluntly picks up men; however she cannot feel anything, gets upset and beats them to a pulp, then regrets her actions later. She's also vicious enough to creep the Punisher out, but given what was done to her nothing is too reprehensible to be unjustified.
- Cosmic Plaything: Given everything done to her its little surprise Jenny kills herself after she gains revenge and finds nothing changes.
- Despair Event Horizon: After finally getting revenge on the mobster's widows who set her up, she's overcome with the emptiness she feels inside. Unable to "feel" anything, she takes her own life.
- Distaff Counterpart: A perfect carbon copy of the Punisher himself.
- Driven to Suicide: After killing all of the mob wives who ruined her life and having sex with the Punisher, Jenny sadly concludes that she feels nothing and cannot be fixed. She shoots herself in the head.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Another feature she happens to share with Frank. Made especially apparent in close up panels.
- It's Personal: Let's just say she took the widows betrayal, very personally. The end of the arc sees her taking The Punisher's clothes and seeking out revenge on the five mob widows who betrayed her.
- Legacy Character: She takes on Frank's role and costume when he is bedridden from gunshot wounds for the latter part of the arc. Deconstructed - her entire story is about how anybody who tries to be the Punisher is a deeply, deeply screwed-up individual, and she shoots herself when her revenge doesn't make her happy.
- Loony Fan: Of Frank Castle. She doesn't particularly bother him, or try to harm him, and he goes along with her desire to be him, but he does seem to be aware that she's one of the last people he should piss off. Though it's also quite likely he pities her to an extent.
- Pet the Dog: An old school friend tries to talk to her. Knowing how damaged she is, Jenny politely tells him he has her confused with someone else, and he shouldn't associate with her.
- Shower of Angst: In a flashback, where she describes what a terrifying ordeal it was to live with her monster of a husband. She is seen huddled naked in a shower, blood running down her mouth and nose, and mascara mixed with tears. It's not, a pretty sight.
- Sociopathic Hero: After everything that was done to her the only thing she lives for is revenge. The only thing that strays away from this is picking up men, but because she can no longer feel anything she gets mad and beats them to a pulp instead.
- Spanner in the Works: Her arrival was the only thing that stopped the Widows from finishing off Frank.
- Took a Level in Badass: From mobster wife to the She-Punisher.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her victims are the wives of the heavy hitters on the East Coast, who not only set her up to be married to a psychopath then tried to kill her when she wanted out, they tried to kill the Punisher, even tried to kill the cop investigating their involvement.
As a young man, George Howe served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1969, his helicopter crashed near the border near Laos; the Viet Cong soon arrived, capturing the survivors and taking them back to their base. One by one Howe's comrades were killed, their hands and feet chopped off and tossed into his bamboo cage. When it seemed that his time had come, a Marine Force Recon unit led by Captain Frank Castle attacked the VC and rescued Howe. Admiring the special operations personnel for their proficiency, Howe joined the Green Berets for the remainder of the war and was among the first to be recruited into Delta Force.
Almost forty years later, Howe, now a Colonel in the US Army's elite Delta Force unit is tasked by a cabal of military generals to arrest Castle. Who possesses incriminating evidence on the generals' involvement in Operation Barbarossa.
- Artistic License Military: It is unusual that despite having served in the Army for over three decades that Howe is still only a Colonel. Thirty years is typically long enough for a real world officer to reach the rank of General. It's possible, however, that Howe was an enlisted man who gained an officer's commission later in his career; this could explain why he does not hold a higher rank.
- One of the crooked Generals reviewing his file says he's noted as having "an independent streak a mile wide", and concludes that's why he isn't a General.
- Colonel Badass: Served in the Vietnam War in Special Forces before being among the first soldiers recruited into Delta Force.
- Combat Pragmatist: Orders his men to keep tasering Frank even when he's down, knowing he'll just get up again otherwise.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Is very obviously Morgan Freeman.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Spent most of his military career serving in the Green Berets and later in Delta Force.
- Manipulative Bastard: A heroic version. It's strongly implied near the end of the Valley Forge arc, that he was the one playing the cabal of crooked Generals all along. Not the other way around.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In stark contrast to the cabal of crooked military Generals who hired him. Col Howe, is depicted as polite, reasonable, and surprisingly friendly for a guy who leads a team of elite killers. So much so that even the informant that the Generals sent to go meet with him, is surprised at how friendly he is.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When he finally sees the generals he gets his orders from are worse criminals than Frank, he lets Frank go.