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Heartwarming / The Punisher MAX

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One survivor of the long, cold dark comforts another.

  • Frank retrieves a bottle of rare vodka in Russia and leaves it at a Brighton Beach bar for a Russian WWII vet to drink. Especially touching because the veteran was not only a World War II vet, but had also been forced to watch the USSR, for all it's faults, collapse and degenerate into the gangster-controlled New Russia, leaving him despondent and depressed, with the vodka being one of the few things reminding him of better days. Not to mention Frank giving the bartender a hell of a scare for disrespecting the old man.
    • From the same arc, Punisher says that Nick Fury sent him in not for the biological superweapon, but to rescue Galina, the little girl. Fury agrees, considering he sent the one man who could do the job and not kill the kid. He then states he'd have gone personally, but he needed to watch the generals, lamenting he did a poor job of it.
    • After Frank fights off the Delta Force operative who was going to kill Galina for her blood she picks up a gun and asks if he would like her to help. Something one might think The Punisher might approve of. Nope.
    Galina. Put that down. Right now. You never play with guns Galina.
    • Frank's fatherly attitude towards Galina throughout the arc is one giant CMOH. As it's one of the few times that we get to see a softer side from an otherwise extremely brutal character.
    Frank: Galina, my name is Frank. If anyone tries to be mean to you, I'll be much meaner to them. I promise.
    • What's even sweeter, is that Frank keeps his promise.
    • Heck, at one point Frank even takes a break from his rampaging to go and get the little girl some ice cream!
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    • Near the end of the arc, after safely bringing Galina to American soil (albeit not without some psychological scars), Frank has now found himself at the hardest part of his mission. Saying goodbye. The parting words between Galina and Frank are equal parts heartwarming, and tear inducing.
    Galina: Why Frank, why? Don't leave me! Please, please don't! I want you to look after me, Frank! I want it to be YOU!
    Frank: I can't Galina. I can't protect anyone.
  • In the almost unbearably bleak story arc The Slavers Frank launches an assault on a group of human sex traffickers by first drugging their food to knock them out so he can take out the bad guys without harming the sex slaves, but one of the girls passes out face down in her stew and suffocates. It's a small scene in a very bleak story, but seeing Frank calmly and gently cleaning the girl's face, his inner monologue "I figured I'd cross this bridge when I came to it. But nothing came."
    • In the same arc, when Frank brings Viorica to his hideout and lets her rest, she begins writhing in her sleep, screaming and crying. Frank realizes she's been through hell and back, just like him, and gently holds her hand while she goes through her nightmares, even when her nails begin to cut into him, with a sad expression on his face all the while.
  • In the story The Long, Cold Dark, there's Castle caring for his infant daughter whom he wasn't aware of until recently.
    • At the end of that arc, as Frank is giving his daughter away to O'Brien's sister he shares a moment of when he and O'Brien were in Afghanistan and he saw O'Brien watching the sunrise, with a small, content smile on her face.
      Frank: Memories like that I like to kill, but you can do something with it if you wish.
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  • In the very last issue of Punisher Max after Frank's death Nick Fury is sitting in a bar, in low spirits about how little lasting impact Frank actually had on the city. Cue him seeing a news report of numerous vigilante uprisings and an image of several people wearing tributes to the Punisher (skull facepaint, skull mask, etc). Fury notes that Frank got his rightful eulogy. The next and final panel being the Castle family grave with a new tombstone featuring Frank's name alongside his family. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • At the beginning of "Kitchen Irish", Frank helps a paramedic save a mortally wounded man's life. For a brief moment, his crusade took a backseat to saving a complete stranger's life.
  • After Jenny takes in a wounded Castle she describes her abusive rapist husband, who the Punisher killed. Of course he wouldn't know but she says he did a wonderful thing that night, showing that as brutal as his methods are, they can be a source of good and comfort for the victims of those he kills.
  • Similar sentiment happens in Naked Kill where after Frank saves as many women as he could they crowd him, hugging him, so relieved and happy to be alive that even he can't help but crack a smile.
  • The ending of Punisher: The Platoon sees Molland leaving for home on a helicopter. As he waves goodbye at Frank Castle, Molland says he knows Frank won't wave back at him... except Frank does wave goodbye to him after he's out of sight.
  • Also in Punisher: The Platoon, the relationship between North Vietnamese General Le Trong Giap and his protege, the orphan Ly Quang, with the veteran general clearly trying to help his protege live and survive the war. Likewise, Giap's aide, who got the job due to nepotism, is initially dismissive of Ly Quang. However, near the end of the arc, when General Giap is away and he's in charge, he gets a questionable report from Ly Quang. After initially hesitating, he decides that she deserves the trust Giap has placed in her and sends the forces she asked for. Unfortunately, Ly Quang was lying to the aide at that moment, in an effort to get revenge on Frank and his men on account of Frank calling down the air strike that killed her old unit.


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