July 24, 2017

Amazing Spiderman 129Real Name: Frank Castiglione

First Appearance: The Amazing Spiderman #129 (February, 1974)

Abilities: Frank Castle is trained in hand to hand combat, explosives, and a vast array of weapons, and possesses a keen eye as a marksman.

Powers: Possessing no real powers, The Punisher uses a number of weapons to serve his own brand of Justice.  These include automatic and semi-automatic guns.  Aside from guns, he also enjoys close combat weapons like his Ballistic Knife.

Affiliation: U.S Marine Corps, Code Red, Secret Avengers

Enemies: The Kingpin, Jigsaw

Love Interests: Black Widow, Elektra

Did You Know:  We have had four different Punisher’s portrayed on screen.

  1. Dolph Lundgren
  2. Thomas Jane
  3. Ray Stevenson
  4. Jon Bernthal

A Little History

Have you ever been out for a day in the park and watched your family be brutally murdered in front of you?
Have you ever decided that maybe, just maybe, your family would enjoy a leisurely walk through the park, maybe a little ice cream and fun in the sun, only to go to the park and wish you didn’t?

Frank Castiglione lived this feeling.

Punisher 2Picture this:

It is a beautiful day outside.  Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, skies are blue and there is a hint of wind blowing through your hair.  You think to yourself, “Boy would it be nice to take my family out to the park,” and so you do.

Frank Castiglione (soon to be Frank Castle) was enjoying a walk in Central Park when he and his family witnessed a Mafia execution.  Seeking to eliminate all witnesses to the execution, the Mafia set their sights on eliminating the Castiglione family and they did.  They murdered the all but one of the Castiglione clan on the spot.  As it would turn out, this was a big mistake.  This mistake took the form of Frank.

Question for you…

Have you ever watched any of those Snickers commercials where the person turns into an angry old lady/old man/spouse/coach?  This mistake caused Frank to do just that.  This mistake would awaken the rage within Frank.

Frank Castiglione can be summed up nicely in three points:

  1. Frank was a decorated military man.
  2. Frank believed in the justice system.
  3. Frank took orders and understood rank and discipline.

After dealing with the justice department, Frank through all of that out the window.

After the murder of his family, Frank would learn five important things:

  1. Frank would find out that the justice department was too heavily tied to the Mafia/Mob.
  2. Frank would find out that nobody would help him.
  3. Frank would learn that the murders would be brushed under the carpet.
  4. Frank would no receive closure.
  5. Frank decided that he needed to take action into his own hands.

Frank, let down by the justice department, was pissed.

Frank took on the persona of “The Punisher” and waged war against crime.

PunisherFrank killed all those who in his mind, deserved worse than jail.

Frank Castiglione would make his initial appearance in the Amazing Spider-Man #129.  Within the pages of this classic, highly sought after issue, The Punisher is hired by a villain known as the Jackal to kill Spider-Man.  If you read and not skimmed over the upper portion of this biography, you will know that the Punisher only kills the worst of the worst people; murderers, rapists, drug dealers, etc…

Knowing this information, The Jackal tricks Frank into believing that Spider-Man is just one of these people and Frank begins his quest to wipe him out.

Long story, short, much like the Golden Girls theme song, Frank, and Spider-Man become ‘friends’ and figure out that they have been played; played worse than a bad hand of poker.

Throughout the history of the Punisher, fans have been clamouring for Frank Castle to be written as Frank Castle, ruthless mercenary and not Frank Castle, spandex-wearing, white boots loving, Mickey Mouse with a gun toting, PG kind of guy.

Marvel began to get this in the early 2000’s in the form of a storyline entitled, “Welcome Back Frank”

Published under the Marvel Knights version of Marvel Comics, “Welcome Back Frank”
was a 12 issue run. Within the confines of this book, Frank kills, and Frank kills violently.  When this title launched, it took a once floundering to find his way character and brought him to where he belonged.

“Welcome Back Frank” would lead Marvel comics to publish The Punisher Max
under its newly formed line, Marvel MAX.  Inside the issues of Marvel Max, the Punisher was published as a Rated-R hero.  There was violence, violence, and more violence.  Finally, the Punisher would receive the treatment he deserved.

Scott’s Notes:

  1. Takes family to the park
  2. Watches family be murdered
  3. Takes justice in his own hands
  4. Murders mafia
  5. Jackal has Frank set his sights on Spider-Man
  6. Spider-Man and Frank learn it is a ruse
  7. Frank became too soft
  8. Marvel relaunched him in a much more violent title

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