Frank Castle. A war veteran of the U.S. military, who was reborn amidst the bloodshed in the loss of his wife and kids during a Mob war crossfire, seeks only vengeance. The Punisher wages his one-man war on the mob and all criminal elements, using only his mastery of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare, and weaponry.
The Punisher is brutal in nature and his willingness to kill his enemies makes him a fan favorite. The Punisher’s foes don’t often live long enough to became recurring antagonists, but the most notable of these being the severely scarred Jigsaw and arch-nemesis the Kingpin.
Due to the Punisher’s homicidal nature, his actions are frowned upon by all the other heroes of the Marvel Universe.
Created by writer Gerry Conway and artist John Romita, Sr., with publisher Stan Lee providing the name, The Punisher made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129. Frank Miller had a classic use of the character with some iconic showdowns featuring Daredevil in the 80’s. Punisher’s popularity in the 90’s was featured in three monthly publications, The Punisher War Journal, The Punisher War Zone, The Punisher Armory, as well as a slew of cameo appearances across Marvel comics. Frank once again came to fame with the release of three films, Dolph Lundgren portrayed the Punisher in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004, and Ray Stevenson in 2008. Jon Bernthal will portray the character in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil, set to premiere in March 2016. The last two films were more in-line with the comic books series Welcome Back Frank and Punisher Max series. Welcome Back Frank created by super-gritty scribe Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and the awestriking covers from Tim Bradstreet who captured the anti-hero in such fashion that has never before been seen.
While the first of the masters to dominate The Punisher ‘look’ after Romita Sr. would be the great Mike Zeck and Joe Jusko’s run with every single one of their outstanding The Punisher Magazine covers (which gets a whole section), there are so many other great talents that have done The Punisher proper justice, like during Mike Baron’s run with artist Klaus Janson, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio.
Matt Fraction and penciler Ariel Olivetti brought a resurgence with Punisher War Journal‘s next volumes. The main Punisher series for awhile was renamed FrankenCastle and featured a Castle who is resurrected by Morbius and the Legion of Monsters as a patchwork Frankenstein-like creature. At the conclusion of the series, the character was transformed back into a normal human.
So many fantastic artists have had their hand at drawing The Punisher over the short history of the mega popular character. Having epic fights with heroes include Spider-Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, the Hulk, Wolverine, Nick Fury, and Moon Knight.
We here at PopCultHQ have collected the best of The Punisher! There is a ton of past and new talents showcasing their best Punisher works.
The Punisher Comic Book Covers.