Ares is the voice in Castle's head
- During The Punisher: Born, a voice in Frank's head keeps confronting him about his feelings toward the war that he enjoys coming to an end, and goads him toward making a deal that would ensure a never ending war for Frank to fight in. When asked who or what it is, it just mentions that it is in the same kind of work as Castle. A lot seem to believe it is death talking but I think it is but Ares, the Greek god of war, who in the Marvel Universe happens to be the only character aside from The Punisher to wear a uniform featuring a white skull on a black background on his chest.
- That actually makes a lot of sense. If Frank is indeed Ares unwitting "champion" it would certainly explain how he's been able to survive multiple decades of crimefighting, let alone continue to do so at 60+ years of age.
- Frank Castle is the reason Ares exists. Think about it. The Norse gods, but not the Greek or Roman gods exist on earth. Yet bam, there's Ares. I think Frank Castle embodied Ares on earth so perfectly (a one man engine of death and destruction, locked in unending war) that Ares returned to existence. Which explains why Ares and Frank Castle share a lot of traits. Ares' appearance is based on Frank Castle.
- Nope, the Greco-Roman pantheon exists. There's Ares, Ares' kid son Phobos, Hercules, Hera, and Athena as major players right now (the Hindu and Egyptian gods also exist, but they seem to like just hanging out, keeping quiet and watching people ooh and ah over their artifacts). Ares has been around for awhile (until the end of Siege, anyways) because there's always war somewhere. Plus, a lot of the stuff the Punisher does is very sadistic. Ares, despite being the God of War, Murder, and Killing, is very, very forceful about the fact that he is "NOT! [the god] OF! SADISM!" so even he might get a little sick at what Frank does sometimes. The uniform is oddly similar, though.
- We're talking about the MAX version, though, who generally eschews sadism in favor of thoroughly wiping out the enemy. The Slavers is the exception, not the rule.
- Pertaining to the 616 version: It is hinted by Khonshu in Moon Knight vol. 4 #9 that the Punisher is an avatar/servant of either Ares or Death.
The voice in Castle's head is the personification of the military-industrial complex.
- Either that, or it's the voice of the grim reaper... or the devil... or...
MAX Punisher did not escape again between The Cell and The End
- These were two one-shot issues set apart from the normal timeline. It was never stated when The Cell took place. Admittedly, Punisher looks relatively young in that special, but beyond that it would fit perfectly, as the last thing he says in that special is that he's waiting for "the end".
- That's...actually a really neat idea. However I recall that In the Beginning starts off with Frank saying "the old man from the park is long since dead. So are his soldiers. So's the shooter" or words to that effect, which I always took to mean the Cell was before, when Frank was in his late 30s or 40s.
Punisher: The End'' is the canon end of the MAX universe.
- It was set 20 Minutes into the Future and published in 2004, so it could work as long as Marvel ends the line relatively soon.
- Jossed in The PunisherMAX, which concludes with his death in 2012 at the age of 65 after one last fight, walking from Queens to Manhattan just to finish off Wilson Fisk, and then walking back towards the house where he'd lived with his family.
- Both are jossed even further with the inclusion of The Platoon and Punisher: Soviet, with the former retconning both Frank's rank as a 2nd-Lieutenant instead of a regular infantryman as well as his first kill by having him fire on a crowd of Vietnamese soldiers while defending Hill Eight-Sixty-One, while the latter retcons Frank's death in 2012 by having him still operate as the Punisher in 2017 after Valery revealed that his unit was slaughtered in 1987 during the Soviet-Afghan War, which Frank states took place 30 years ago.
Daredevil exists in this universe...
- ...but he's either blind lawyer Matt Murdock or an agent of the Hand, since the Chaste don't appear to exist in this universe.
Frank Castle died at the Valley Forge Firebase along with the rest of his platoon. And everything that happens after that is only happening in his head.
- Think about it. How the hell else do you explain how a flesh and blood man managed to kill dozens of Viet Cong/NVA troops by clobbering them to death with the butt of his rifle and somehow lived through a napalm strike.
The MAX universe and Black Lagoon share the same universe
- This one's actually not too farfetched if you think about it, and begin to see how both of these universes have plenty of things in common. They both have crapsack settings, are filled to the brim with outrageously badass characters with over the top personalities who are virtually unkillable. You can easily imagine someone like Barracuda showing up in a place like Roanapur and fitting right in. Without disrupting the flow of either universe.
Sergeant Dryden, from Punisher: The Platoon, was briefly mentioned in the original run.
- During the events of Man of Stone, while listing some of his contacts still in the military, Frank mentions a sergeant who became a colonel. Dryden is the only surviving sergeant we've met from Frank's time in Vietnam, although there may have been others during his so-far unseen second tour of duty. It is mentioned at the end of The Platoon that Dryden finished his tour in a hospital bed, but it's possible that after his recovery he remained in the army in a state-side capacity. And from what we saw, he'd certainly have been willing to give Frank information due to the past they shared.