Here you can read the comic book history of The Punisher. Bone up on his comics origins, and learn why this comics anti-hero has become so popular that he's made the leap from comics to the big screen!
Punisher Comics History and Origins:
When his family was killed in the crossfire of a Mafia shootout, Frank Castle put his military training to use -- waging a one-man war on crime. As the Punisher, Castle reinvented himself as the merciless scourge of the underworld. The mere mention of his name causes criminals everywhere to cringe in fear, because they all know the Punisher plays for keeps -- and someday, he may come gunning for them!
Real name: Frank Castle (Last name a derivation of Castiglione)
Occupation: Former United States Marine turned professional vigilante Identity: Known to legal authorities.
Legal status: Citizen of the United States with a criminal record, listed in Marine records as a deserter.
Former aliases: None known
Place of birth: Queens, New York
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair: Black (Although in the Artisan movie he's blonde)
Marital status: Widower
Known relatives: Mario Castiglione (father, possibly deceased), Louisa Castiglione (mother, possibly deceased), Maria (wife, deceased), Frank Jr. (son, deceased), Christie (daughter, deceased)
Group affiliation: None-- He's a lone wolf and wants it that way.
Base of operations: Mobile, usually in New York City; operates from his combat van.
First appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129
Origin: MARVEL PREVIEW #2
Strength level: The Punisher possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.
Know superhuman powers: None
The Punisher is a thoroughly seasoned combat veteran of exception skills. A former U.S. Marine Captain with a distinguished combat record and having undergone SEAL (Sea Air Land) training, UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) training, and LRPA (Long Range Patrol) training, he 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.
The Punisher constantly employs an arsenal of portable weaponry. His most commonly used personal weapons are the Vietnam era M16 automatic rifle in .223 caliber; a Sterling Mark 69mm, 34-round clip fed, semi-automatic rifle converted to automatic fire; a 14-round, 9mm Browning Llama automatic pistol; a Government issue .45 caliber automatic frame re-chambered for 9mm ammunition with a replaceable barrel to convert it to .223 caliber ammunition; and a 4-shot derringer in .223 caliber (Thus, he needs to carry only two types of ammunition.) The Punisher sometimes carries a Smith and Wesson .357 revolver and ammunition in place of the Browning Llama. He normally carries a strapped down, Biachi speed-draw bolstered Browning pistol at his hip, and an ankle holster containing his re-chambered .45 pistol. The derringer is secreted in various places at various times. The Punisher also carries several M26 fragmentation grenades, several custom-designed concussion grenades, plus small, custom-designed tear-gas grenades which are secured in pouches lining his shoulders. In his right outside knife sheath, he alternately carries a no-longer produced, Vietnam era, Gerber Mark 11 Combat Knife or a Marine Combat Knife.
Frank Castle was a captain in the United States Marine Corps and served five years
in the Vietnam war. For heroism in the line of duty, he was twice decorated with both the
Bronze and Silver Star and four times with the Purple Heart. Several years after the
American involvement in Vietnam ended, he ran special training missions for Marine commandos
in the upper New York State area. While on leave he took his wife and his two small children
to Central Park in New York City for a picnic. There Castle's wife and children happened
upon the scene of a mob killing on the Sheep's Meadow green in the park. Fearing witnesses,
the mobsters murdered Castle's wife and children and escaped. Castle himself survived but
was traumatized by his wife and children's murders. He deserted from the Marines just before
he was to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Castle dropped out of sight for a few months and then resurfaced to conduct a one-man
anti-crime campaign throughout New York City. He had outfitted himself with assorted
weapons and a battlesuit which displayed a large death's head on the chest. For the next
few weeks he sought out and executed criminals who he believed had some association with
the gangsters who had killed his wife and children. The news media named him the Punisher.
A concerned New York City detective named John Laviano identified the gang who slew the
Punisher's family as the "family" of Bruno Costa, brother of a powerful Maggia boss on the
East Coast. Unfortunately, Costa's alibis were supported by enough alleged "witnesses" to
make prosecution impossible. Since the law's hands were tied, the Punisher used the
information Laviano had accumulated to hunt down Costa's gang and eliminate them.
Thus began the Punisher's career as a vigilante, a self-proclaimed enemy of crime. He
has both clashed and cooperated with the costumed crime fighter Spider-Man, and the
Punisher has made an enemy of another crime fighter, Daredevil, who disapproves of his
violent, often lethal methods (see Daredevil).
The Punisher has served time in prison for his brutal slayings, and has even managed to
wage his warfare against criminals within prison itself. While imprisoned on Ryker's
Island the Punisher was drugged with mind-altering chemicals on the orders of his
enemy, the criminal gang leader Jigsaw, whose face was horribly damaged when the Punisher
once hurled him through a window. The chemicals had a delayed, cumulative effect that
drove the Punisher mad, so that after he escaped prison, he eventually began firing at
even such minor criminals as litterbugs and traffic violators. After the Punisher was
again taken into police custody, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he
underwent detoxification and was restored to sanity. The Punisher was sent back to Ryker's
island but soon escaped again. He is now again at large, continuing his war on crime.