Character Profiles: The Punisher

The Punisher is easily my favorite character at Marvel. I have been a huge fan of his books since the early 90’s. He’s brutal, he’s violent, he’s merciless, he’s like a justice infused force of nature!! He is the epitome of the American anti-hero – truly hated by the superhero community and society at large. And yet, a lot of cops are glad the Punisher is out there doing what they can’t.

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The Punisher (Francis “Frank” Castle) is a character appearing in Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru, with publisher Stan Lee green-lighting the name. The Punisher made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 ( Feb. 1974).

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The Punisher is a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime. Driven by the deaths of his wife and two children, who were killed in the crossfire of a gun fight between several gangsters in New York City’s Central Park, the Punisher wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of conventional war weaponry. His family’s killers were the first to be slain. The Punisher has killed thousands in his career but he feels absolutely no remorse for this as he feels he is not only not doing anything wring, he’s doing the right thing that needs to be done. When confronted by Ghost Rider’s infamous penance stare – a power which requires knowledge of guilt to work – the Punisher just laughed and said, “I regret nothing.”

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The Punisher is the recipient of multi-disciplinary military training from the United States Marine Corps, United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance. While a Marine, he also received training from the Airborne School and U.S. Navy SEALs as well as cross-training with the Australian Special Air Service Regiment during the Vietnam War. In addition, since beginning his work as the Punisher, Castle has used his military discipline and training techniques to update and expand his skills in areas that aid in his mission (disguise, acting, use of non-military weapons, etc.). From this training, Punisher is proficient in not only basic infantry skills, but in special operations, which includes the use and maintenance of specialized firearms and explosive ordnance. He is highly trained in infiltration into heavily guarded enemy territories and structures for the purpose of assassination, capture, and military intelligence. Also, he is trained in various forms of camouflage and stealth. He is also highly adept at hand-to-hand combat, and has been trained in multiple forms of martial arts such as Nash Ryu Jujutsu, Ninjutsu, Shorin-ryu Karate, Hwa Rang Do, and Chin Na. All of this training has made him a master of stealth tactics and guerrilla warfare. As if all that were not scary enough, Nick Fury, Captain America and Tony Stark have commented on how extraordinarily high his pain tolerance is. He does not take painkillers, as he feels that their benefit of dulling pain is not worth the side effects of drowsiness and slowed reflexes.

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He maintains multiple safehouses and vehicles around the greater New York City area as well as multiple forged identities and bank accounts (most of the funds and equipment aiding him in his work being taken from the criminals he hunts). The Punisher has a Kevlar uniform which protects him from most gunfire, though he can still suffer concussive injury or penetration from sufficient or repeated impacts. The bright white skull in his chest is used both to intimidate his enemies and to lure their fire to the more heavily protected area of his armor. The design was supposedly taken from either a Vietcong sniper, or the demon Olivier. The Punisher has been using technology derived from super-villains and other costumed characters, such as the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs, a modified Goblin Glider, and a Doctor Octopus tentacle that he can shrink down for easy storage via Pym Particles.

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Aside from his physical prowess, the Punisher also has complete control of his mind and consciousness, providing a strong resistance against psychic and telepathic powers that are used against him. When Letha and Lascivious tried to control Punisher’s mind, Punisher scoffs at their attempt saying “It doesn’t feel different from any other day”.

Edited by: Michael Nunneley

Sources include wiki and my personal collection.

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