Francis Castiglione/Frank Castle (The Punisher)

PunisherFor the end of the year, we get to see another major Marvel character who’s going to hit our screen in 2016: new pics from Daredevil Season 2, in fact, gave us a first look at The Punisher, the main antagonist (?) of the new season. This time it’s up to Jon Bernthal to portray the character, who, judging from the producers’ comments, will be a veteran suffering from some kind of PTSD and will bring war home in the worst way possible. This is the fourth live action portrayal of the anti-hero: Dolph Lundgren was the first one, in 1989’s The Punisher, where the character was just a black-dressed guy with a lot of guns intervening in a local war between Italian Mafia and Yakuza slaughtering both of the teams; then, in the 2004 film of the same name, Thomas Jane portrayed Frank Castle, an FBI undercover agent who got busted by mob boss Howard Saint, who killed his family in retaliation; Frank survives, and destroys Saint’s empire. Last but not least, Ryan Stevenson portrayed a more brutal and violent version of Castle in Punisher: War Zone, a vengeance-bent vigilante who goes to an all-out war with Jigsaw, a criminal he disfigured. Now that Punisher’s rights are back to Marvel, let’s see what they’ll do with one of the most popular anti-heroes ever…hoping they’ll do better than their predecessors.

Francis Castiglione was born in QueensNew York, son of Sicilian immigrants Mario and Louisa. Raised as a responsible man and a patriot by his father, young Francis enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and married his girlfriend Maria just before his enlistment. Castiglione showed remarkable natural skills, and was soon promoted to the rank of Captain (while he was in training, Maria gave birth to their first child, Lisa). Continuing his training in Infantry, Castiglione had as a guide Phan Bighawk, an American Indian scout who taught him survival skills. Having completed his training as the very best of his platoon, Castiglione was sent to Vietnam during the war in a Special Operations Unit, and became a war hero during his very first tour. When the Viet Cong attacked Valley Forge Firebase, Castiglione was the sole survivor…from both sides. He earned a number of medals and punishercomics1decorations, and after his second tour, he came back home with honor. He had a second son from Maria, Francis Jr., but despite having the chance to live a happy and serene family life, he still wanted to fight. He legally changed his name in Frank Castle, and illegally re-entered the Corps for a third turn in Vietnam. Finally, when years later the war was over, Frank came back home for good, and he received a new job from the Corps: he would have trained the Marine Recon Commandos in the New York State, preparing them for special black ops. Working in the States gave him the possibility to stay with his family as well, so for the first time in his life Castle had everything he wanted: a family who loved him and whom he loved, and the Marines he had always dedicated himself to. This, unfortunately, didn’t last long. One day, Frank brought his wife and children to Central Park, so that they could enjoy a family day; they had a picnic on the Sheep’s Meadow green…a little bit too close to the spot chosen by a local Mafia for a killing. Fearing witnesses, the mobsters killed the Castles in cold blood; once again, Frank was the sole survivor. Distraught and severely wounded, he offered himself as an eye-witness to the NYPD, but the department was in league with the Mafia, so Castle was denied his testimony, and the shooters were never captured. In that moment, something within Frank’s mind cracked.

Out of the hospital, Castle didn’t come back to the Corps, and he simply disappeared from radars for months. In this time, he dedicated to recovery, he intensified his training, he collected all the weapons and the resources he could get in order to prepare for a new war: the one against criminality, a war police was taking far too lightly. When he came back, he was not Frank Castle anymore: he was The Punisher, a one-man-army wearing a kevlar body-armor with a white skull emblazoned on it, a sign of certain death for all the criminals he would have crossed paths with. The Punisher started patroling the streets of New York, using all his experience from wartimes to hunt down single criminals, gangs, organized criminal groups, and even super villains. The Punisher didn’t fight criminals to arrest them, so that they could escape justice in a crooked system: he slaughtered them, giving them back all the brutality and violence they invaded the streets with. He joined forces with Reiss, a wheelchair-bound armorer who aided him in punishercomics2his quest. When businessman Norman Osborn was apparently killed by Spider-Man, The Punisher was among the ones hired to stop the “swinging menace”, now considered a dangerous murderer (the one who gave Castle the hint was actually the supervillain Jackal). The Punisher, convinced by the death of Reiss, slain by Jackal to frame Spider-Man, nearly killed his target, using his arsenal and his training to best the hero’s superpowers, but he eventually realised that he had been fooled by the Jackal witnessing his target’s heroism. The two teamed-up to take down Jackal, but the criminal escaped; The Punisher still was a murderer at Spider-Man’s eyes, so the hero tried to apprehend him…only to lose him immediately. That was just the first one of many uncomfortable alliances between Punisher and other NY heroes, among which DaredevilCaptain America, or even the X-Men; most of the heroes, with a few ecceptions (Wolverine over all), didn’t like Frank’s methods, and their alliances often ended up with The Punisher incarcerated immediately after the resolution of the immediate threat. Not that in jail Frank stopped killing: prisons were full of people who deserved punishment, and many guards were eager to help him deliver it. The Punisher was not alone at all in his bloody crusade…

Frank Castle is a broken man who lost everything he held dear: his family, his values, the faith in justice and law; from the ashes of the man he was emerged a killing machine who transformed his thirst for vengeance into a sacred mission, and he is now bent on a solitary crusade to wipe out criminality from his city (and beyond…). As The Punisher, he is a one-man army, fully armed with an arsenal provided to him by his few allies and connections, and he’s a master in the use of nearly any kind of weapons, from heavy machineguns to light guns, from knives to rocket launchers, from tasers to mass-destruction explosives; he’s an expert detective and tactician, and one of the most accomplished martial artists in the world, with his style spanning from several schools of kung fu and jujutsu to krav maga, ninjutsu, karate, and even brutal and simple street-fighting. A skilled pilot and driver, a trained soldier and a committed crusader, The Punisher is a man with a mission, a task he totally dedicates himself to: the war will be over when either the last criminal on Earth or The Punisher will have stopped breathing…and the odds are not in mobsters’ favor.

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25 Comments

  1. […] Francis Castiglione/Frank Castle (The Punisher) […]

  2. […] Francis Castiglione/Frank Castle (The Punisher) […]

  3. […] Francis Castiglione/Frank Castle (The Punisher) […]

  4. […] long request, and this time we meet a minor yet essential character: Microchip, the assistant of The Punisher. He only appeared in Punisher: War Zone, portrayed by Wayne Knight. In the movie, he acted as an […]

  5. […] dreamt of: one of his first scoops came from an unexpected source, the brutal vigilante known as The Punisher, who told him he had killed the Kingpin, the legendary boss of the entire NY’s criminality. […]

  6. […] new trailer for Daredevil Season 2 has been released, and this time it’s all centered on The Punisher. We see a little bit of his past as well, as a picture of him and his daughter is spotted: the girl […]

  7. […] start from the first episode, Bang. In here, we witness the “social debut” of The Punisher, who targets a gang of Irish mob leaving just one survivor (not that it’ll take much for him […]

  8. […] second season just as crowded as the first one: always in the first episode, Bang, we learn to know The Punisher‘s modus operandi in the worst way possible…in his application. In Punisher’s hunt […]

  9. […] Reyes (who already appeared in Jessica Jones) tries to build her political career on The Punisher‘s case, thus involving Grotto as well. The woman is accompanied by one of her assistants, […]

  10. […] York’s Finest. At the beginning of the episode, poor Daredevil received quite a beating from Frank Castle, and awakes on a roof, chained to a chimney…and he has a weird vision of a nun nursing him […]

  11. […] four. In Penny and Dime, Karen Page discovers an investigative side, and starts digging in Frank Castle‘s past…and we finally see his family, albeit in photograph only. The wife is Maria […]

  12. […] Castle, Jr. was the son of Francis and Maria Castiglione. He was born when his father, a much-decorated marine, came back from his […]

  13. […] episode Penny and Dime. When most of the infamous gang Kitchen Irish is wiped out by The Punisher, a renowned boss comes back directly from Ireland to take the lead, and to take his vengeance for […]

  14. […] and he ends up being the only survivor, taken in by the same man who killed his former masters, Frank Castle. The dog happens to have a name, Max, and just like in the show, in the comics he’s one of […]

  15. […] have to jump to episode eight, Guilty as Sin, looking at the trial of the century, State vs Frank Castle. Desperate to find somebody able to defend the brutal vigilante, brilliant Foggy Nelson calls in a […]

  16. […] good and evil, the anti-heroes: specifically, he tempted the second Ghost Rider, Wolverine and The Punisher. He settled in the town on Christ’s Crown, and he lured the three vigilantes there, in an […]

  17. […] from various criminal organizations framing his translator Paolo; things became complicated when The Punisher intervened and killed all of his unwilling financiers. Lester barely escaped with his life, and he […]

  18. […] timeline created by Booster Gold)…and he’s basically a DC pastiche of Marvel’s Punisher. Let’s see […]

  19. […] the time he had spent in jail, some brutal vigilantes such as the Scourge of the Underworld or The Punisher had started killing criminals like him, and he was terrified by them. His cellmate Fred […]

  20. […] Pretty Boy to investigate. The source of the attack was Microchip, the computer expert ally to The Punisher, and the trio attacked them without holding back. In the following fight, one of Microchip’s […]

  21. […] their system: the culprit was Microchip, and the three cyborgs got involved in a fight with The Punisher, from which they barely came out alive (despite destroying his base and Micro’s computers, […]

  22. […] called back home: the scourge that had been decimating the Black Cullens, the vigilante known as The Punisher, had been apparently killed, and Peach Cullen wanted Jimmy to become the new Punisher, pretending […]

  23. […] human mercenaries known as the Punishers (weapon-worshippers who idolized the ancient vigilante Frank Castle). The battle was won, and at the end of it the Guardians asked Talon to join their ranks: Krugarr […]

  24. […] falls asleep immediately after using her immense strength. Quite short-tempered (as Wolverine, Punisher, Beast and other heroes she’s beaten the crap out of have realised) but with a heart of […]

  25. […] (a human-supremacist government-sponsored team composed of alternate versions of Captain America, The Punisher, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Invisible Woman and Ghost Rider) would have won the siege and […]


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