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Frank Castle (Earth-616)

Full Name: Frank Castle
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #129
Created by: John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru, Gerry Conway
Home Universe: Earth-616
Alignment: Neutral
Status: Alive
Place of Birth: Queens, New York
Citizenship: American
Base: Mobile, Usually New York
Affiliations: Thunderbolts, formerly U.S. Marine Corps., Marvel Knights, Heroes For Hire, Secret Avengers (Civil War), Legion of Monsters, Code Red, National Force
Powers/Abilities: The Punisher possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. The Punisher is a thoroughly seasoned combat veteran of exceptional skills. A former U.S. Marine Captain with a distinguished combat record who has undergone SEAL (Sea Air Land) training, UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) training, and LRPA (Long Range Patrol) training, Frank Castle is well versed in the arts of warfare and hand-to-hand combat. Armed solely with conventional weapons and motivated by a fanatical hatred for criminals like those who murdered his family, the Punisher has single-handedly incapacitated up to a dozen well-armed and experienced opponents in a single encounter and escaped uninjured.
Height: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Blue
Unique Features: A scar on his left eye inflicted by Vulture

"They laugh at the law. The rich ones who buy it and twist it to their whims. The other ones, who have nothing to lose, who don't care about themselves, or other people. All the ones who think they're above the law, or outside it, or beyond it. They know all the law is good for is to keep good people in line. And they all laugh. They laugh at the law. But they don't laugh at me."
— Punisher

Frank Castle (of Earth-616), better known as The Punisher, is a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime.


Early Life

Born in Queens, New York to parents of Sicilian ancestry, Francis Castiglione enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, eventually becoming a U.S. Marine Captain. He married his wife, Maria, who was pregnant with their first child prior to his enlistment.

During his time in the USMC, Castiglione graduated from boot camp and went on to United States Marine Corps School of Infantry. While in training, Castiglione met Phan Bighawk, an American Indian scout. He was assigned to be Castiglione's guide, and he learned how to survive in the wilderness.


Following his training, Castiglione served in the Vietnam War in the Special Forces Unit as a point man. He fought in numerous engagements and was the only survivor (from both sides) of a Viet Cong assault on Valley Forge Firebase. For heroism in the line of duty, he was decorated with the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, 3 times the Silver Star and Bronze Stars, 4 times the Purple Heart, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After finishing his second tour of duty in Vietnam, he came back to the United States and had a second child with his wife. He then signed up for a third tour to which he illegally re-entered the U.S. Marine Corps under the name of Frank Castle in order to return to battle. Castle served a total of 4 years in the Vietnam War. Six years later after the American involvement in Vietnam ended, Castle ran Special Black op training missions for Marine Recon Commandos in the upper New York State area.

Death of his Family

"When mobsters slew his family, Frank Castle vowed to spend the rest of his life avenging them. Trained as a Marine and equipped with state-of-the-art weapons, he now wages a one-man war against crime as the Punisher."
— Narrator

Frank took his wife and two small children to Central Park in New York City. His family happened to upon the scene of a mob killing on the Sheep's Meadow green in the park. Fearing the witnesses, the mobsters murdered Castle's family in cold blood and escaped. Castle managed to survive the attack but was deeply traumatized by the incident.

He was going to testify in court to identify the shooters, but Castle was denied this since the New York police department were deeply connected to the Mafia. Castle decided not to return to Marine duty, but instead, devoted the rest of his life to eradicating organized crime, using the nom de guerre of the Punisher. He outfitted himself with assorted weapons and a battle suit that displayed a large death's head on the chest, and embarked on a one-man army campaign throughout New York City.

Becoming the Punisher

Civil War & Beyond

Dark Reign


After Healing

After healing completely, Frank started hunting the Hood but without results so he went after Micro. On his way, a woman in a black leather suit attacked him. She pretended she was his burnt wife but it was later revealed that it was Lady Gorgon who he had also burned whil working with Jigsaw. This all ended with a final confrontation between Jigsaw, Henry, and Frank. Lady Gorgon was killed by Master Yoshiokya, a leader of the Hand and Jigsaw fell in a fire. Frank told Henry that if he ever saw him again, he would kill him.

The Exchange

Marvel NOW!

At some unknown point, the Punisher was recruited by General Thaddeus Ross to be a part of his new Thunderbolts team alongside Elektra, Deadpool, and Venom.

Powers & Abilities



While he was Franken-Castle, Castle had superhuman strength to an unknown degree. Castle once had a bloodstone fragment which had enhanced him in currently unknown ways, it had also given him some degree of a healing factor which has allowed him to recover from serious injuries including restoring him to his old self.


  • Maximum Human Condition: Castle has been through rigorous training and exercise regimes.
  • Master Martial Artist: Castle is a very thoroughly seasoned combat veteran of exceptional skills. He is very well-versed in the arts of warfare and hand-to-hand combat. His styles of choice being Nash Ryu Jujutsu, (the four-style martial art founded by his Sensei Adam Nash and the Marine Corps LINE/MAPS combative systems) Ninjutsu, Shorin-Ryu Karate, Hwarang Do, and Chin Na. He is an exceptional knife fighter who carries up to 3 or 4 different types of edged weapons, preferring the knife he learned to fight with in the USMC: the Ka-bar.
  • Expert Marksman: He is an exceptional marksman of every type of firearm who is sometimes depicted as being ambidextrous in this respect. He is skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing as well.
  • Expert Pilot: Castle received helicopter training with the U.S. Army and U.S. Naval Special Warfare.
  • Interrogation Expert: Castle uses his interrogating skills to get information from people who has links to criminals thru very creative use of torture as well such as waterboarding, electrocution, suffocation, sleep deprivation, starvation etc.
  • Demolitions Expert: He also received a U.S. Navy SEAL/UDT (Underwater Demolition Team), EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), US Army Ranger training, Army Special Forces Q-Course, and LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) training.
  • Expert Tactician: Armed solely with conventional weapons and motivated by a fanatical hatred for criminals like those who murdered his family, the Punisher has single-handedly incapacitated up to a dozen well-armed and experienced opponents in a single encounter and escaped uninjured. It is his military training and his attention to detail that allows him to achieve this.



  • Non-Superhuman Physical Conditioning: Castle is as susceptible to physical injury and disease as any other normal human, often having to rely more on strategy than strength when up against a superhuman opponent. However, different characters like Nick Fury have commented on how extraordinarily high his pain tolerance is. Frank does not take even over-the-counter painkillers, believing that their benefit of dulling pain isn't worth the side effects of drowsiness or slowed reflexes.


Castle once relied on a "synaptic glue" medication to keep his mind together due to brain damage caused by his fight with Daken and becoming Franken-castle.




Many different kinds of vehicles



  • Punisher usually uses rubber "mercy bullets" (non-lethal ammunition) when guest-starring in other comics, most notably Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Captain America in the 70s and 80s.
  • Punisher used to have a pet Rottweiler called "Max" which he saved from animal poachers.
  • Number plates on The Punisher's black Pontiac has "Year One" on it; a reference to The Company that worked on making the 5 GTOs for the Punisher movie.
  • According to Don Daley, then editor of The Punisher Vol. 2, #98, in his response to a fan mail, he stated that the Punisher's version of justice is classically based as "an eye for an eye".
  • In the early 1990s, flagging sales drove Marvel to place the then-popular character The Punisher in several guest appearances in The 'Nam. After the series' conclusion, an epilogue of sorts was published in the form of a Punisher special, The Punisher in the 'Nam: Final Invasion.
  • As of the mid-2000s, Castle's timeline remained untouched when Marvel adjusted the time frames of other characters. His history has never been altered or moved up; he has effectively aged in real time from the Vietnam War.
  • In the miniseries Born, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Castle's roots are traced back to Vietnam, during his third tour of duty in Vietnam, where he undergoes a psychological and possibly supernatural transformation into the Punisher in order to survive a massive assault on his fortification by the combined forces of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army.


  • Punisher getting punched by Molly Hayes

    Punisher gets punished

    The Punisher once went after the Runaways when they were hired by the Kingpin to steal a hyperdrive device. This resulted in one of the more embarrassing moments in Castle's life, when he was dispatched by a single punch from 12-year-old Molly Hayes.
  • Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has stated that the second part of his band's hit song "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" is about the Punisher. The lyrics themselves only reinforce this feeling:
Wage the war on organized crime
Sneak attacks, repel down the rocks
Behind the lines
Some people risk to employ me
Some people live to destroy me
Either way they die
They die
  • Megadeths first album Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good was also a reference to the Punisher, being that the title track of the album was based on early Punisher comics.

See Also