- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of the Punisher from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Punisher.
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|“||One batch. Two batch. Penny and dime.||„|
|~ Frank Castle.|
|“||Only I do the one thing that you can't: You hit them and they get back up, I hit them and they stay down! I make sure that they don't make it out on the street again and I take pride in that.||„|
|~ Frank to Daredevil in their argument.|
|“||All the things that I done... Memories. They never hurt me. But the past is more than memories... It's the devil you sold your soul to. He's coming. He's coming to collect.||„|
|~ Frank Castle.|
|“||You call me the Punisher, ain't that right? The big bad Punisher. Well, here I am! You want it, you got it! I am the Punisher! I'm right here! You want it, I'll give it to you. And anybody who came here today to hear me whine, to hear me beg? Well, you can kiss my ass! I'm guilty, you hear me! I'm guilty.||„|
|~ Frank defends himself in the courtroom.|
Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher, is a recurring character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He served as one of the two tritagonists of Daredevil's second season, and later as the titular anti-heroic protagonist of the spin-off series The Punisher.
He was a New York City-based vigilante whose wife, daughter, and son were murdered in a drug sting gone wrong. In contrast to Daredevil, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, the Punisher leaves none of his targets alive. With his military background and training, the Punisher is precise, tactical, and hard to capture or contain. Only in cases of extreme torture or having no other options will he get captured or imprisoned.
His use of murder and extreme violence caught the attention of the other vigilante of Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil and the two engaged in a war between their ideologies to achieve justice and peace. After being tortured by the Kitchen Irish and subsequently imprisoned due to his crimes, Castle underwent a trial but purposefully botched it to go to prison and gain information on his family's death.
Frank Castle was born in the Hell's Kitchen district of New York City sometime in 1983. Shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks on September 11, 2001, Frank Castle, 18 at the time, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served under General Ray Schoonover. He participated in numerous battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions, including the Battle of Fallujah, eventually becoming a Scout Sniper. During this time, he married a woman named Maria Castle and had two children, Lisa and Frank Jr., and after returning from Iraq, he reunited with Lisa at her school. He declined to read a children's book to her titled "Penny & Dime", saying he'd read it for her tomorrow.
The next day, on April 4, 2015, he took his family to Central Park, where, unexpectedly, three gangs were present; the Dogs of Hell, the Mexican Cartel and the Kitchen Irish. The resulting three-way firefight ended up killing Maria, Frank Jr. and Lisa, leaving Frank himself alive, traumatized and angry. He was shot in the head and sent to a hospital, but a Do Not Resuscitate order had been placed on him. Despite flat-lining, Frank came back to life within seconds without any medical aid, demanding to be taken back to his home, which they did. Now having a vendetta against all three of the gangs involved in the firefight, he made his targets, acquired all the weapons necessary for his mission.
His first attack was on the Kitchen Irish, whom he massacred with a machine-gun. He then targeted the Burren Club, where the Dogs of Hell were located, and he killed them all. After finding members of the Mexican Cartel, he kills several of them and spares a few, leaving the survivors hung up on meat hooks, blood covering them. They were later found by the vigilante Matt Murdock/Daredevil, who had assumed that an army of men had done this; he was proven wrong when one of the men he found on a meat hook said "Not they; him", implying one single man. He goes to a pawn shop and buys several weapons and a police scanner, using the scanner to catch up on crime in Hell's Kitchen. However, the man told Frank to stay, as he had some fine pornography videos, including one with a 12-year-old girl in it; Frank, horrified, locked the door and used a baseball bat to brutally-murder him. Grotto, a member of the Kitchen Irish who survived the attempt on his gang, was placed in Metro-General Hospital; Frank, wanting no strings left untied, went to the hospital with a shotgun in hand, walking through the halls in a fast-walk pace before finding Grotto fleeing with amateur lawyer Karen Page and firing off multiple rounds in the halls with a shotgun in his hands.
Despite their escape from the hospital, Frank went to the rooftop to snipe at Grotto from above, taking several shots at him while avoiding Page, who he viewed as innocent; at that moment, Daredevil arrived and fought Frank. Frank, not considering Daredevil a criminal but an obstacle, shoots him in the helmet, saying aloud "Bang" right as he did it, and fled while Daredevil was incapacitated.
While Grotto was still on the run, Frank would anticipate when he would appear once again. As District Attorney Samantha Reyes would use him as bait, Castle would later ambush the situation. After regaining his senses, Daredevil manages to intervene, but is knocked out once again, and this time taken captive.
After Daredevil finds himself tied up in chains, Punisher wakes him up in time to make him witness killing the Dogs of Hell. As he prepares the attack, Daredevil is able to hear the necklace around Frank's neck. Matt begins asking if he was actually Catholic, although Frank admits once. Castle tells Matt to stop digging any further into his past. When Daredevil suddenly realizes what is causing the motivation of Frank Castle's war against crime, the Punisher begins to mock the Devil of Hell's Kitchen about his method on fighting crime.
Marvel's The Punisher
After aiding Daredevil with the fight from the Hand, Frank resumes hunting down whoever is left of the dogs of hell and the Irish Mob.
Frank Castle is a cynical, brutal man with a black-and-white attitude for the world and a lack of distinction, or even care for right and wrong, good and evil and even morals. He does not expect criminals to change and believes the only way people can be safe is for them to be put down, less they come back and cause more harm. He mocks Daredevil for leaving criminals alive and his beliefs of hope.
When his family were killed in a gang war it transformed Castle into a brutal and determined vigilante with the mind of an almost sociopath. In dealing with criminals, he is efficient but with little remorse or ethical boundaries to cross. Due to his military background he is highly desensitized to the violence he inflicts others and is able to kill with tactical precision which results in him finishing the job with as minimum or maximum casualties as he wishes. Because of his violent fashions and nature, many people believe he possesses sadistic attraction to his profession. This might be true, however Castle appears more driven out of love for his family and rage over their deaths. If he believes there is a small chance a mugger would become like the criminals who took his children from him he will take it seriously and eradicate them without a second hesitation. He obviously loves his family, even years after their deaths, viewing his crusade as the Punisher as a way to make up for his inability to save them. He avenges their deaths by destroying the three gangs who partook in killing them and repeats his daughter's favorite book before pulling a trigger to honor her.
Despite his ruthless nature, Castle does genuinely care for the lives of the innocent and is careful towards civilian casualties. He lives by the same code he learn while in the military; "One Shot, One Kill", getting the job done with as little casualties as possible. He has a strong dislike towards unnecessary violence, knowing a soldier finishes the enemy quickly despite how much he may or may not deserve it. Though he will use violence as means to his end and torture to gain information, and on one occasion hanged the Mexican Cartel on meat hooks to die, whilst pondering how to torture the Blacksmith, the man who inadvertently caused his family's death, in a shed he remembers the motto Schoonover taught him in the idea and kills him with a swift shot to the head.
Frank dislikes being thought of as insane or not in control of his own actions, knocking Daredevil out when he says otherwise and screaming during his trial when they state he needs mental help. He also refused to accept a plea for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, claiming he didn't suffer from any of the sort and it was insult to soldiers who did. It's unknown if this is true as the trauma of war and guilt of his family's deaths could be a contributing cause of his mental state. However it’s possible he does not have PTSD because of his strong mind and because grieving doesn’t always lead to insanity because it’s rational for someone to feel anger at someone who has killed someone they loved.
- Frank has a higher body-count than all other single characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having killed 65 known characters and 17 of them being named.
- To be considered for the role, Jon Berthnal made audition tapes with young actor Tom Holland while filming Pilgrimage. Jon was then cast as the Punisher, while Tom Holland was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War and for future solo films and sequels to Marvel's The Avengers.
- In the original Marvel Comics, the Punisher was a Vietnam War veteran named Francis Castiglione.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Punisher marks the fourth live-action appearance of the character, having been portrayed by Dolph Lungren (who portrayed Drago in Rocky IV and Konstantin Kovar in Arrow), Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson in several live-action movies about the character.