Characters affiliated with the US Government or Military
Warning: Unmarked spoilers abound!
United States Military
United States Army
An elite Delta Force operative, who along with Frank was hand picked to participate in "Operation Barbarossa." A covert military operation that involves rescuing a six year girl (whose blood contains an experimental super virus) from Russian captivity.
- The Captain: Before taking part in Operation Barbarossa. He was a Captain in Delta Force.
- Chairman of the Brawl: During a Bar Brawl in a Siberian pub, he can be seen swinging a chair at a pub dweller.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Despite his muscular build, and combat prowess, he gets his ass handed to him on a number of occasions.
- First, against the Mongolian who makes short work of him without even breaking a sweat.
- Ditto for his brief fight with Frank.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: When Frank catches him doing something he really shouldn't be doing. Vanheim shouts at Frank, telling him. "Back Off! Don't make me fuck you up!" Frank just kicks him in the face and knocks half his teeth out.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He's a Delta Force soldier by way of the 82nd Airborne Division.
- Everyone Has Standards: Averted; the man was about to give a little girl a poison that would kill her and stabilize the supervirus in her blood. Had it not been for Frank, he would have gone through with it. Eventually he settles for helping Frank in his plan to threaten Russia with nuclear war. A few arcs later, his squadmates refuse to believe that he'd go through with it.
- Guns Akimbo: At one point he dual wields a pair of AK's when firing at some hapless guards.
- Heroic Build: The man is over six feet tall, built like a linebacker, and sports a very noticeable Lantern Jaw of Justice. Everything about him just screams Action Hero.
- Hollywood Action Hero: Amusingly this is the reason behind why Frank doesn't like him. As Frank thinks that Vanheim's action star good looks make him stand out too much.
- Hunk: He's six feet tall, blonde, and according to Frank, is built like an "action figure."
- It's Raining Men: In order for him and Frank to covertly make their way into Siberia undetected. They sneak aboard a Commercial Airliner and HALO jump unto their target. Later on, when they have to sneak out, they do so by HALO jumping out of a nuclear missile. What's more, before joining Delta Force, he was once a paratrooper in the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
- Just Following Orders: When Frank catches him trying to inject Galina with a lethal poison that will kill her, he tries using this as an excuse for his actions. Naturally Frank isn't having any of it.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: To go along with his traditional Hollywood good looks.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Had he not preemptively fired at a pair of unsuspecting guards, he and Frank could have easily walked out of the nuclear silo base without a hitch. By killing them he jeopardizes the entire mission, forcing him and Frank to come up with an alternative means of escape.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: His shapely build doesn't mean much when it comes right down to it. First he gets his ass kick by the Mongolian who sports a far slimer build. The second time he gets trounced by the much older Frank.
- Over Shadowed By Awesome: Vanheim is a legitimate badass in his own right, but he is easily overshadowed by his partner Frank. In both skill, and body count.
- Overt Operative: Apparently this is one of the things about him that annoys Frank to no end. In Frank's monologue he talks about how back in his day, the Spec Ops guys did their best to keep a low profile. Chastising Vanheim, for looking like a "walking action figure."
- Would Hurt a Child: Has no problem trying to injecting a six year old girl with a lethal poison that will almost certainly kill her. That is until Frank stops him.
See Major Antagonist
A Delta Force officer assigned to the unit that has been tasked with bringing in The Punisher .
- Admiring the Abomination: The above quote references a conversation between him and one of his fellow Delta commandos. Where he expresses very obvious admiration for Frank's ruthless vigilante methods.
- Badass Mustache: He sports a sweet looking one.
- Gas Mask Mooks: He and his squad all wear identical gas masks during their first attempted raid on Frank's warehouse.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Along with being an elite Delta Force operative, he also has an affinity for the cinematic works of Ridley Scott.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: An officer in the Army's highly prestigious Delta Force.
- Hero Antagonist: Although he and the rest of his boys are tasked with taking down Frank Castle, they are all depicted as honest, law abiding soldiers who are deeply loyal to one another. And are only following orders.
- Oh, Crap!: When Frank tosses a grenade in a crate full of flashbangs. He realizes that Frank won't kill them but feels like they are old enough to handle some roughhousing.
- Sherlock Scan: He shows off some serious Sherlock-level detective skills when he is examining the aftermath of one of Frank's attacks. Correctly deducing Frank's point of entry, method of attack, and weapons used.
- Shout-Out: He name drops the Ridley Scott classic Alien, in a conversation with a fellow soldier. Comparing Frank with the eponymous alien.
United States Marine Corps
See The Punisher
A young US Marine serving under Frank Castle at Firebase Valley Forge in the final years of the Vietnam War. He eagerly anticipates being able to return home from the war, counting down the days until he is discharged. Stating that he has no wish to experience the terror of combat ever again.
- Bayonet Ya: How he dies. His brother Michael noted that this is probably the most merciful death compare to the other kinds of deaths inflicted in the war.
- Dying Dream: When he dies, it is depicted with a fantasy sequence where the "big freedom bird" swoops down, and takes him away while he is reassured that he made it safe.
- Naïve Newcomer: The newest addition to the Valley Forge Firebase, and he is very well aware of his status as the newcomer to the squad. And tries his best to avoid attracting any unwanted attention.
- Nice Guy: One of the very few kind and idealistic characters in the entire series.
- Peaceful in Death: Stevie's last moment is envisioning himself being on a plane bound for the United States with beautiful stewardesses tending to his every whim.
- Semper Fi: Subverted; he makes it clear that he is an unwilling conscript who wanted nothing to do with the war. And whose only wish is to live long enough to go back home.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Averted. It's for this reason that he hopes to be discharged and returned home as soon as possible. Out of fear that he will become another "combat junking, forever jonesing for his next firefight."
- Token Good Teammate: One of the better natured and genuinely likable of all the Marines in the base with a strong moral compass to boot. Unlike the rest of the Marines, he keeps away from heroin.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He's by far the most optimistic and positive of all the Marines. And sincerely believes in the ideals and values that his country was founded on.
A bitter young Marine, who alongside Stevie Goodwin is stationed at the Valley Forge Firebase, in the final years of the Vietnam War.
- Angry Black Man: He's young, black, and mad as hell. Although seeing as how he's stuck in the hellhole that is the Vietnam War, and only "a ghetto full of death" is waiting for him back home, it's not hard to see why he is so pissed off.
- Boom, Headshot!: While ranting to his friend Stevie, in the middle of an all out NVA assault on the Valley Forge Firebase, about how there will be no cavalry to come and save them , he ends up getting his head completely blown off.
- Black Best Friend: To Stevie.
- Drugs Are Bad: Like half of the other Marines at the base. He has developed a heroin habit much to the chagrin of his friend Stevie.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Throughout the Born miniseries, he is only ever referred to by his nickname. It's only till later on, in the Valley Forge arc do we learn that his name was, James Morris.
- Straw Nihilist: His impoverished upbringing has left him with an extremely bitter and cynical outlook on life. At one point he tells Stevie that the only thing waiting for him back home is "a ghetto full of death."
The commander of the Valley Forge firebase and Frank's superior officer. A bitter defeatist who appears well aware that the war in Vietnam is already lost and spends most of his time piss drunk.
- The Alcoholic: As stated above, the man spends most of his time drunk off his ass.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: He's very blatantly modeled after actor William H. Macy. The resemblance is so obvious it's surprising that Macy hasn't sued by now.
- The Cynic: In case you couldn't already tell from the quote above. The man has more or less already admitted defeat and is just waiting to be killed or stationed somewhere else. Whichever comes first.
- Driven to Suicide: When the NVA start rushing the Valley Forge base, they are shown discovering Col. Ottman after he has shot himself.
- Only One Name: His first name is never revealed.
An undisciplined thug stationed at Valley Forge Firebase, and the main heroin smuggler at the base.
- The Bully: And a drug dealer as well.
- Drugs Are Bad: It's stated that the heroin he's smuggled into the Firebase is one of the contributing factors behind why the base is in such bad shape.
- Fantastic Racism: He makes no attempt at masking his overt racism. Referring to Angel as a "jungle bunny" and even calling his right-hand man a "spic".
- Semper Fi: Subverted; he's a Marine in name only. Lacking any of the discipline or honor associated with the Corps.
- Shovel Strike: How Frank finishes him off.
See Other Characters
An understrength Marine platoon stationed on Hill 861 near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. During the Tet Offensive, they were placed under Frank Castle's command.
Central Intelligence Agency
A corrupt CIA officer in charge of a black ops unit charged with assassinations. He has a peculiar interest in recruiting operatives of "questionable" character. Among them is a certain individual who he hopes to recruit to his special unit. That individual is Frank Castle.
- Death by Irony: He made a career out of performing countless covert operations throughout the years. So it's only fitting that he would meet his end when a pair of Homeland Security agents execute him under orders from the very same government he pledged allegiance to. And just to rub it in. No one will ever know the truth behind it.
- Drugs Are Bad: He had absolutely zero qualms about using smuggled heroin to fund his illegal operations. Once this information becomes public, it eventually dooms him, his squad, and Microchip.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Not only is he a CIA operative, but he was also once apart of the elite US Army Grey Fox unit. Where he took part in numerous black ops operations.
- Informed Ability: Frank is told by Microchip that Bethell is actually a highly trained CIA operative with years of experience. He was even apart of the highly secretive US Army unit, Gray Fox unit. However, we never get to see his combat skills in action. He can man a turret gun though.
- Underestimating Badassery: He really should've heeded Kathryn's advice when she tried warning him that Frank Castle is not a man to be fucked with. Instead he arrogantly dismisses her warning and writes Castle off as just another "super grunt".
- Villainous Breakdown: Like many other villains in the series. Whatever cool, collective demeanor he has at the beginning is all but lost near the end of the arc.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Judging from his cavalier demeanor that borders on arrogance, he appears to be under the impression that he's the star of some sort of Tom Clancy action thriller. He is in an action thriller... Just, not the one he has in mind.
One of Frank's old partner's and presumedly, his only friend in the world. He has returned to Frank's life in an attempt to recruit him into a CIA Black ops unit.
- Badass Boast: When Roth makes the mistake of bad mouthing him. Microchip responds by (quite literally) grabbing him by the balls and telling him this:Micro: I think you've gotten the wrong idea about me, Roth. First of all, I'm not what I look like. But that must be all too apparent right now. Second of all, my name is Micro. Not Fat boy. The third thing is that I worked with Frank Castle for ten years. I helped him kill over eight hundred people. Anyone who knows him better than I do is long dead. I hacked computers to help find him targets. I customized his 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 all those years would be a third of what it is. I turned a lone gunman into a killing machine that runs at optimum efficiency. Because of me, what he does can truly be defined as war.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Castle disposes of him◊. Given the context, it's also a case of You Have Failed Me.
- Everyone Has Standards: This is the reason why he forbids his CIA colleague's from ambushing Frank during his visit in the graveyard. He feels that doing so would be, "indecent".
- Face Death with Dignity: Even though he was brutally killed off by his former ally. At the very least, he had one of the more dignified deaths in the series.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever it is that caused him and the Punisher's relationship to turn sour, leading Micro to fake his own death, and Frank to become willing to kill him on sight.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on his face when he realizes that Frank is serious about killing him for being a willing accomplice in the CIA's illegal schemes.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Wears a pair of thick rims, and is one of the smarter characters in the series.
- Sudden Name Change: His real name is changed from "Linus Lieberman" to "David L. Lieberman".
- True Companions: Averted. He seems to believe that he and Frank are this, even going so far as to call himself Frank's "only friend in the world". He finds out the hard way that the feeling isn't mutual.
A surly and uncouth CIA agent who is a part of a covert task force, dedicated to taking the Punisher into custody.
- Butt-Monkey: Just about all of his appearances end with him being somebody's proverbial punching bag. Either verbal or physically.
- Cowardly Lion: He may be a CIA operative but he's got a cowardly streak that runs a mile long.
- Humiliation Conga: Oh dear lord does he ever. The guy may have been a bit of a jerk, but he still didn't deserve half the crap that happened to him.
- Jerkass: He starts off as one towards Microchip, but wisely mellows out after a "humbling experience" with Micro causes him to reconsider his dickish ways.
- Killed Offscreen: We never see him die on panel, but when Kathryn discovers his body, it appears that his neck was snapped by Rawlins.
- The Men in Black: Subverted. Although he is a CIA agent in a black ops unit, he doesn't fit the image of this trope at all.
- Neck Snap: His body seems to have a broken neck when O'Brien shows up.
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite O'Brien warning him about Rawlins he falls for Rawlins pleading him to at least escort him to the bathroom. It doesn't end well for him.