|For other uses, see Punisher (disambiguation)|
- "I'm not the one that dies, kid. I'm the one that does the killing. Thing is, every time I try to be someone different, that's when the wrong people get hurt."
- ―Punisher to Amy Bendix
Francis David "Frank" Castle Sr. is a violent vigilante and former member of the United States Marine Corps, who had joined Cerberus Squad while he was serving in Afghanistan. Fearing he was slowly losing his honor under the command of Agent Orange, Castle returned to his family, only to lose them all during a brutal shooting. Castle became the Punisher, as he aimed to clean up New York City of all crime by any means necessary. While seeking to avenge his own family's deaths, Castle also came in conflict with Daredevil. Castle was soon arrested and, despite the efforts of Nelson and Murdock, was sentenced to life in prison. However, Castle was freed with the help of Wilson Fisk and discovered the Blacksmith was in fact the one who was responsible for his family's murder.
Abandoning his identity, Castle attempted to live the quiet life before he was found by Micro who revealed to him that more people had been involved in his family's death, and they were involved in the illegal Operation Cerberus he had performed in Afghanistan. While hunting down all of those involved, Castle then came back in contact with his friend Billy Russo, who he eventually learned was working with William Rawlins to try to assassinate Castle. Having discovered the truth, Castle then allowed himself to be captured by Russo and Rawlins, until he eventually killed Rawlins and, in a brutal showdown, managed to disfigure Russo's face beyond repair. With Rawlins' crimes exposed, Castle was then finally allowed to regain freedom by the CIA and looked to begin a new peaceful life for himself.
Castle's attempts at a peaceful life were shattered when he discovered Amy Bendix being hunted down by John Pilgrim, before then learning that Billy Russo had also escaped from custody. With Bendix by his side, Castle returned to New York City with Dinah Madani as they attempted to stop Pilgrim and Russo from causing chaos, with the assistance of Madani and Curtis Hoyle. The Punisher eventually managed to uncover the conspiracy linking Bendix to Anderson and Eliza Schultz, while also fighting back against Russo's Crew. Once he was certain that Bendix was safe from harm, the Punisher tracked down and finally executed the now mortally wounded Russo, before then dedicating his life to the Punisher cause, tracking down criminals wherever he could and executing them.
- "I was a real prick asshole just like you. Only child. My parents were basically senior citizens. They couldn't control me. No, all I wanted to do was I wanted to hurt people. And I did."
- ―Frank Castle to Zach Lieberman
Frank Castle was born on November 15th in the Hell's Kitchen district of New York City. According to him, his parents were too old when they had him and consequently had difficulties to control him. He was also a trouble-maker when he was a young man, with a strong desire to hurt people, which he would later claim that he often did, quickly becoming a highly effective fighter. Castle also played baseball, and his father attended all of his games.
Armed Forces Recruitment
When Castle was just eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he had eventually met and was then placed under the command of Major Ray Schoonover. Having never held a gun before, Castle was trained by Schoonover himself on how to effectively use a firearm in a military situation. Lieutenant Castle would later take part in the Battle of Fallujah as well as other combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually earning the title of Scout Sniper, and was inducted into the ranks of the Marine Corps Force Recon, undertaking classified missions behind enemy lines.
While Castle was stationed in Baghdad, he befriended with Curtis Hoyle, a corpsman, who lost his leg due to Castle not being able to shoot a pregnant suicide bomber running at Hoyle, something Castle felt guilt over for many years. During his service in Afghanistan, Castle witnessed Gosnell suffer terrible facial wounds and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service.
While on leave from the United States Marine Corps, Castle was out in a park playing his guitar when he was overheard by a woman named Maria, who teased him over his playing. Castle instantly fell in love with the woman and, after some flirtation, the pair began a relationship. Three months later Maria informed Castle that she had fallen pregnant with his first child, Lisa, so Castle proposed to her, resulting into both getting married.
Despite many of Castle's friends recommending against the marriage due to how short their relationship had been, Castle and his new wife began a happy life together living in New York City. Castle then went overseas and came back to meet his second child and son, Frank Castle, Jr. for the first time, finding that he was already walking and, upon seeing his father for the first time, the young Frank, Jr. had screamed. Castle's good friend Billy Russo was introduced to both Maria and the children as they became close friends.
Training with Billy Russo
- "You nervous, Bill? Come on, these guys ain't shit. Ain't nothing Bill, ain't nothing."
"Pain is only temporary right?"
"That's right. Go get 'em devil dog, go get 'em!"
- ―Frank Castle and Billy Russo
During his time serving still with the military in Iraq he came to become best friends with Billy Russo, a fellow marine from New York City and special forces soldier while the two were close, saving each others lives while in Basra. As they completed one of their trainings together, Castle and Russo both underwent the gauntlet, in which they would walk through all their fellow marines while getting beaten down to prove their endurance as well as their physical strength, with Castle giving Russo a mocking prep talk before he went through the gauntlet first.
Castle endured the punishment of being beaten by his fellow Marines while being thrown into the freezing mud, eventually making it all the way through and being rewarded with cheers from his fellow men. Until he made it into Russo's arms at the end of the gauntlet. Castle is helped up onto his feet and told him that he loved him by Russo, before getting punched in the stomach by him, much to the delight of everyone in attendance as the two brothers in arms had celebrated their success at making it through the gauntlet.
Learning about Russo's Past
- "Tell you what, Bill. I think about all that shit you went through, I was one of these kids, I never stopped to think about how lucky I was, you know. The old man was at every single game I played at, every single one. You know, I wish you had that. I'm sorry you didn't."
- ―Frank Castle to Billy Russo
As his friendship with Billy Russo grew, Castle is brought by Russo to Ray of Hope back in New York City where they watched the children playing baseball together. When he would learn about how much Russo loved the game and how he believed he would be the next Joe DiMaggio. However, Russo noted how Arthur Walsh took away Russo's love of the game when Walsh attempted to sexually molest him.
Castle then learned, following Walsh's assault, he came to hate baseball, to which Castle expressed his sympathy towards his friend, noting he had never stopped to think how lucky he was when he was a child to have his father attending every game he played, expressing a wish that Russo could have enjoyed that. Castle would note that he was a badass since joined the United States Marine Corps, which they both laughed at.
Meeting Agent Orange
During one of his unit's deployments within Afghanistan, Castle was assigned to a new task force under the supervision of Ray Schoonover and an anonymous civilian commander known to the men only as Agent Orange. Castle sat with Billy Russo and listened as Orange and Schoonover explained they were now part of Operation Cerberus tasked to capture and assassinate enemy targets, with Castle questioning if United States Congress had approved the operation which Orange insisted they had.
Russo and Castle formed the two lieutenants taking command under the orders of Schoonover, leading the unit's two squads. While Castle played his guitar and relaxed with Russo, he was introduced to one of his new squad members Gunner Henderson, a dry yet witty soldier from Kentucky who had deeply respected Castle as a fellow soldier, while Castle noted that he had also heard good things about Henderson from Jack Kimber. While they were talking, Henderson teased Castle by briefly pretended to be more deeply Christen than he was while laughing with Castle over his nervous reaction.
Castle and Russo then discussed their units while Russo noted that Orange had not even bothered to give them his actual name, with Russo questioning if Castle trusted Orange or not. Russo then quoted a poem as they joked about if Castle had actually ever read a poem before, with Castle throwing his football at Russo's face as a joke. The task force participated in the operation, specializing in nightly raids for the purpose of kidnapping, interrogating, and then executing high value targets of the United States of America, with the squad quickly becoming known as the American Taliban.
Among the targets that were captured by Cerberus Squad included a man named Ahmad Zubair, who was brutally strung up and beaten down by the Squad before Agent Orange then entered the room and began questioning Zubair in Pashto, so neither Castle nor any of the other members of the Squad could understand what Orange was saying. Castle therefore stood by and watched as Orange began repeatedly striking the clearly terrified Zubair while wearing a pair of thick leather gloves.
During the torture, Gunner Henderson questioned Orange over what Zubair was saying, as Orange insisted that it was nothing important and demanded that Henderson not question his intelligence. Turning to the Squad, Zubair insisted that he was not a terrorist and that he had a family, while Castle and the rest of the Squad watched Orange grabbing Zubair by the face and then say something more to him in Pashto. Eventually Agent Orange noted that clearly Zubair did not know anything useful for them, and therefore turned to Castle, who then shot Zubair point blank in the face, killing him instantly.
Castle and Henderson were then ordered by Ray Schoonover to take Zubair's corpse outside and bury it within the desert, with Henderson questioning if they were being ordered to bury evidence. Following Schoonover's orders however, Castle then removed the bullet from Zubair's skull, without questioning what Schoonover and Orange's true motivations with Operation Cerberus could be. Despite all these killings, the intelligence which was provided by Orange's task force was considered to be highly useful for the military, enabling his own ascension within the CIA while solidifying his reputation.
- "I'm going through that building. Clear a path for an evac."
"You out of your mind?"
"What do you wanna do? You wanna die here? Like a rat in a jar? It's about time I had a fair fight."
- ―Frank Castle and Billy Russo
While he was opening birthday cards from his two children, Castle cheered as he discovered that his wife had bought him tickets to go and see a Bruce Springstein concert when he returned home, which Castle then proudly showed off to Billy Russo. As Castle and Russo then discussed how long until they could return home, Castle teased Russo over knowing that he planned on meeting with several women when he got home, as Castle noted that he should instead choose one woman to settle down with, although Russo claimed he was too handsome not to share himself with multiple women.
However the pair were interrupted as Ray Schoonover entered their tent to order them to come for a mission briefing. Once there they were informed by Schoonover and Agent Orange that they had a new target who was believed to have been tracked down and was now hiding out in a compound within Kandahar. Although they were then ordered to go into Kandahar and capture the target, Castle warned against it, believing this was a trap for Cerberus Squad, with Russo agreeing. Orange however ignored Castle's objections and insisted that they continue with the mission objective regardless.
Just as Castle had predicted would happen, the surprise raid quickly turned out to be an ambush as their squad was hit with machine gun fire and mortar rounds, which resulted in Schoonover losing his arm while many soldiers were killed. Taking cover amid the firefight, Castle and Russo discussed what should be done as Castle decided that the only opition remaining was for him to storm the Fort alone and clear a path for an evacuation, ordering Russo to give him some covering fire. Castle then charged across the battlefield, reassuring Schoonover while he then made his way up the hill firing upon any insurgents he encountered in order to keep his men safe.
Making his way through the enemy's stronghold, Castle proceeded to use all of his military training and utter fury and charge through the enemy strong hold, killing all those he encountered. As the enemy ran at him, Castle went through his arsenal of weapons, going from his machine gun to pistol as the battle closed in on him, at one point pinning an enemy to the wall and firing multiple shots into his face before continuing to move forward. Sneaking through the hallways, Castle drew his shotgun and killed three more of the insurgents in quick succession, ending up covered in their blood.
Finding himself in an open hallway surrounded by hostiles, Castle continued firing until he took a bullet to the shoulder which knocked him to the ground as he hid behind a pillar. However Castle remained determined to not only save all his fellow soldiers, but to return home to his family, so he swallowed his pain and got back onto his feet. Drawing his knife, Castle waited for his opening and furiously battled the remaining four soldiers, beating and stabbing them to death until their blood covered his face. However Castle had successfully cleared the whole area, killing all hostiles, and saved his squad.
Fury at Agent Orange
Reaching to extraction point, Castle and all of the surviving members of Cerberus Squad were evacuated out of the area and taken back to base for emergency medical treatment. As Ray Schoonover was taken away, Castle and all the others were looked at, with Castle himself washed the enemy blood from his face and spat out almost a bucket load of his blood while trying to keep himself calm.
Despite the loud ringing in ears, Castle overheard someone asking for a mission update and saw Agent Orange looking at all of the wounded and severely damaged soldiers, calmly asking if they had successfully killed the target as he wanted. Mortified that Orange was more concerned for Operation Cerberus' mission than he was over all of the wounded and dead men, Castle charged forward and assaulted Orange for the deaths of his men, meaning to kill him as he raptured Orange's eye-socket with a single punch while the soldier tried to drag the furious Castle off the now horrified Orange.
The enraged Castle was then dragged off Orange by Billy Russo and Gunner Henderson while Orange fell to the floor in agony, with Russo then pulling Castle aside and declaring that he was not protecting Orange from Castle but Castle from himself. As they both argued, with Castle furiously throwing chairs across the room, Russo informed him that was quitting the United States Armed Forces, and that Castle should consider joining him. Despite being devastated that Russo was leaving, Castle still remained in service, and would serve again in Iraq before returning home once again.
Back with his Family
- "She looks up and sees me. I see her. By God, that's real. That's real, Red. Boom. In an instant, she's across that classroom floor, she's in my arms. She's squeezing me so tight I swear I was gonna bust a rib, you know? We just stayed there like that, we're holding each other."
- ―Frank Castle to Daredevil
The day he finally returned home to New York City, Castle was soon tearfully reunited with his children at school as he found Lisa Castle in their yoga class at her school. Upon seeing her father again once again, Lisa charged across her classrooms and into her dad's arms. Castle and his children then went back to the Castle Residence where he was also reunited with Maria Castle and they spent the day together, but Castle soon realized how weary he had become from all of his time being far away from his own beloved family. One night, Lisa pleaded with her father to read her favorite bedtime story 'Penny & Dime', but the emotionally exhausted Castle promised that he would do so the next night.
One day Castle took Lisa and Frank Castle, Jr. onto a trip to go and see the Statue of Liberty and took joy in reciting a nonsense poem to them, smiling while Frank Jr. argued that was stupid. As they looked at the statue, Lisa noted that her teacher told her that it represented everything good about the United States of America which he agreed with. However when Frank Jr. had confidently claimed that Castle fought in the United States Marine Corps in order to kill the jihadists, Castle lost his temper and threatened his son, something he instantly regretted as he apologized to Frank Jr. and held his children close to him.
Reunion with Russo
During his leave from the military, Castle and Billy Russo reunited in New York City, where Castle took his wife, daughter and son for a day out at Central Park. As Castle and Russo considered each other brothers, Castle invited Russo, who had been accepted as a member of their family by Castle's wife and lovingly referred to as "Uncle Billy" by their kids.
When Russo left, Castle and his family stayed in Central Park, unbeknownst to them that William Rawlins and Ray Schoonover decided to have Castle killed for he believed he leaked the torture and death of Ahmad Zubair. Schoonover then arranged a deal between Mexican Cartel, Dogs of Hell, and Kitchen Irish and they started a firefight.
Having failed to see what was about to happen in time, Castle was forced to look on helpless, in utter horror as his own wife, son and daughter were all gunned down during the crossfire. Castle was shot down and managed to survive after getting shot at close range in the head, but at the hospital, a Do Not Resuscitate was placed on him by District Attorney Samantha Reyes. Although he flatlined, he came back to life just a few seconds later without any medical aid. Upon waking, Castle demanded that the nearby George Bach take him back to his home, away from the hospital, which Bach did.
Becoming the Punisher
Without knowing about the link between Operation Cerberus and massacre, Castle targeted the three gangs that were involved in the firefight at the park - the Kitchen Irish, the Dogs of Hell, and the Mexican Cartel. Castle started to tracking and eliminating all members of three gangs and other criminals along the way. He took his first shots at the Dogs of Hell, ambushing a small team of them and massacring them all, including Smitty. He later fired a machine gun into Nesbitt's meeting of the Kitchen Irish in Burren Club, killing them all before finding the Mexican Cartel and hanging them on meat hooks. Office of the District Attorney codenamed Castle as "The Punisher", due to his brutality and ruthlessness against criminals.
- ―Punisher to Daredevil
Castle eventually learned that Grotto managed to survive his initial attack on the Kitchen Irish, and was taken to Metro-General Hospital as the wounds he had received got the better of him. Castle tracked him and charged into the hospital, fighting off a security guard on the way before blasting through the hallways with a shotgun. However, Grotto, who was recuperating in the hospital from his wounds, was only saved by the timely intervention of Karen Page, who rushed him out of the room away from Castle.
Although Grotto was able to get out of the hospital with Page taking him downstairs and putting him in her car to be driven away, Castle had still managed to get onto the roof of the hospital and used a sniper rifle to attempt to take out his target, watching Grotto as he peered out of the car's window. Although Grotto made it to the car, Castle took aim and fired off several shots at Grotto, while aiming away from Page whom he did not wish to harm as he viewed her as an innocent in this situation. Before long, Castle finally managed to find his perfect shot and took aim at Grotto.
Just as Castle prepared to take the shot and execute Grotto, he was interrupted by Daredevil, who rushed onto the rooftop and disarmed Castle, knocking the gun from his hands. The pair engaged in a brutal fistfight during which Castle attempted a few times to shoot his attacker. However, Castle knew that his attacker was not a criminal and when he finally got the upper hand and managed to pull out his gun, as Castle shot Daredevil in the helmet. Castle, however, ensured that the wound was not fatal by aiming directly for the strongest part of the helmet, leaving Daredevil on the rooftop before escaping.
Seeking to find any surviving members of the Kitchen Irish, Castle went to an illegal pawn shop, where he spoke to Clint the owner, offering him a considerable amount of cash for New York City Police Department radios and the shells in his shotgun. Once he had what he wanted, Castle prepared to leave, but the greedy Clint tried to convince him to stay by offering pornographic films. Castle ignored him until Clint told him that he had a film involving a 12-year-old girl. Furious and disgusted, Castle locked the door and proceeded to kill Clint by brutally beating his skull with a metal baseball bat.
Preparing an Ambush
All of the Punisher's murderous activities quickly made him a high-level target of Samantha Reyes and the District Attorney's office, who attempted to attract his attention by offering him another attempt to execute Grotto, who was being protected by his lawyers, Nelson and Murdock. Knowing that this would most likely be an ambush for him, Castle made his own plans about how to protect himself and ensure that his target was killed. So Castle attacked a base for the Dogs of Hell, massacring almost all the members inside the base with his shotgun and taking control of one of the trucks to be used in his plan.
Castle strapped the last remaining member of the bikers to the driver's seat of the truck and made him drive to the meeting point. The police officers under Reyes' command mistook the gang member for Castle. They began shooting at the truck, killing the man, while they were still unaware of Castle's true location as he continued to watch the entire event unfolding just as he had planned. Castle meanwhile perched on a nearby rooftop and once again took aim at Grotto, however once again he was interrupted and attacked by Daredevil who attempted to ensure that Grotto was not harmed by the Punisher as the pair began to fight once again.
As Castle and Daredevil continued to fight, Samantha Reyes ordered the New York City Police Department to aim their largest lights at the roof to expose Castle and Daredevil while the SWAT teams began shooting at them. Castle and Daredevil continued fighting as they dodged the many bullets being fired at them. Eventually, they fell through a glass ceiling and Castle saw that Daredevil was suffering great pain. Castle was able to take the wounded Daredevil hostage onto a rooftop for interrogation and a discussion about their differing methods of justice.
Debating with Daredevil
As Daredevil slowly began to wake up, having been tied to a nearby chimney with chains that ensured he was unable to move or escape from his situation, Castle watched close by. When Daredevil awoke he immediately attempted to pull himself free, all while Castle poured himself a coffee before mockingly greeting the vigilante as he continued to desperately try to free himself from his chains as Castle drank his coffee.
Castle commented on the theory that it was impossible to hear the bullet that kills you being fired, leading to him asking Daredevil if he heard the bullet being shot into his helmet. Daredevil continued to try to free himself but Castle made it clear that the only way to leave was if he allowed him to. As Castle treated his wounds, Daredevil asked why he was still alive and had not had his mask removed, but Castle ignored his comments, only informing him that he had no interest in his identity and began going through all the boxes of weapons he had stored on the roof for killing the Dogs of Hell.
Daredevil began trying to predict how many missions Castle had done and how long he had been on his crusade of violence against the criminals of the city, but Castle remained silent until Daredevil suggested Castle could walk away from his mission, to which Castle turned the question back on his hostage and questioned if he could ever stop as well, which Daredevil did not answer. During the night Castle commented on the bells of St. Matthew's Cathedral, leading to Daredevil asking if he was Catholic. Daredevil tried to learn more about him, but Castle just told him to stop digging to try and get some kind of better understanding of his mindset.
Daredevil continued to discuss how New York City affects people. He continued his analysis of Castle, asking if he was born in New York, but Castle only mocked his efforts. As Daredevil tried to comment about Castle enlisting, he was told not to comment on such things he could not understand, noting how soldiers did not wear masks like vigilantes. When Daredevil commented on how he knew how to fight and had almost beaten him, Castle insisted they were not discussing brawling but war, which he viewed as a completely different matter altogether and one Daredevil did not understand.
Despite Castle's warnings, Daredevil continued to make comments about how wartime affected people and how it changed them, but Castle dismissed all these views as Daredevil was not a soldier and had never been to war. As they began mocking each other for their different viewpoints and their different codenames which were both given to them by the newspapers, Castle walked closer to Daredevil and accused him of being a half-measure, a coward and being one bad day away from being a killer like him. However, Daredevil paused and warned Castle that someone was coming.
Castle greeted Jerry who had come to investigate the noise he had heard on the rooftop and Castle claimed to be just up there for a cigarette to avoid his crazy sister, whom Jerry assumed was a woman named Betty. When Daredevil tried to free himself and made more noise, Castle distracted Jerry and quietly and covertly aimed his gun at his head to warn Daredevil to remain silent. The pair realized they had both been a part of the United States Marine Corps which gave themselves great respect for each other as Jerry left Castle alone to enjoy his cigarette and peace and quiet.
As Castle returned once Jerry had gone, Daredevil accused him of taking pleasure from risking the lives of innocent people, noting how he had been ready to shoot Jerry, although Castle claimed that had only been for his benefit. Daredevil continued to accuse Castle of making widows and orphans through his actions. Daredevil noted how Punisher had hung members of the Mexican Cartel on meathooks and fired in a hospital like New York City was his own shooting gallery. However, Castle accused Daredevil of treating the city like a playground where criminals should be treated like mere bullies, arguing that his method was more effective.
Castle knocked Daredevil out and collected Grotto while he was out while attaching a gun to Daredevil's hand. When Daredevil regained consciousness, Castle informed him that there was only one bullet in the gun and that he was wearing body armor, so the only way to stop him would be to shoot him in the head. Castle threw Grotto on the ground before them and explained how he had found him trying to steal a car to escape. Castle made Grotto admit how he had murdered a man and an old woman under the orders of the Kitchen Irish. Castle completed the story by informing Daredevil that the woman had left a husband and children after Grotto had killed her.
Castle demanded that Daredevil make his choice, as he was unwilling to allow Grotto to go free as he was sure that Grotto would kill again if given the chance. Castle began slowly counting down from five and ignored both Grotto's pleas and Daredevil's insistence that he would be handed over to the New York City Police Department. The Punisher gave Daredevil a final choice and a countdown to decide, to shoot and kill him or allow Grotto to die, either way making him a killer, insisting that this was the choice he made every time that he pulled the trigger against a thug or murderer.
Unwilling to give in to the Punisher's cruel and violent test, Daredevil used his one bullet to free himself of his chains and attacked Castle. Although evidently caught off guard, Castle still shot and fatally wounded Grotto before getting beaten down. While Daredevil looked after Grotto in his final painful moments, Castle recovered and took the opportunity to fire upon the Dogs of Hell, shooting a grenade at their motorbikes which caused a massive explosion to alert the gang of his presence while Daredevil tried and failed to save Grotto's life, who died from his wounds moments later.
Once he subdued Daredevil again, Castle took aim at Jimmy the Bear with his sniper rifle, preparing to execute the entire gang in mere moments. However before he could pull the trigger, the Punisher was forced to continue fighting Daredevil, who managed to get the violent vigilante in a headlock, knocking him out. Unwilling to allow the Punisher to be killed by the gang, Daredevil managed to take him out of the building before the Dogs of Hell could beat him to death until Castle awoke and escaped during the fight.
Hunted by Finn Cooley
Returning to his current base, Castle arrived just in time to witness members of the Kitchen Irish led by Finn Cooley leaving having been searching for Castle with the aim to kill him and recover the money he had previously stolen from them, and taking his dog at the same time. Having seen this, Castle knew that he was being hunted by the Irish and knew that sooner or later they would undoubtedly find him and kill him, or much worse. Castle decided that he would use the inevitable confrontation to his advantage, despite the risks to his own life and well being.
Castle prepared to set up a trap for the Kitchen Irish, knowing that their main focus would be to find their money and therefore would likely keep him alive for a prolonged period of time until he gave up its location. Castle left the money in his van and attached a bomb to it, which would detonate if anyone attempted to move it. He then hid a razor blade under his skin on his arm, with the intention of using it to escape when he would be tied down and tortured by the mob. He then left the van and prepared to allow the Kitchen Irish to find and capture him so he could find a way to wipe them out.
Castle took time to himself to sit alone in Central Park in front of the carousel where his family was massacred, watching the families play and enjoy their time together. Castle remained in the same spot until the lights were turned off, however, he discovered that he was not alone as members of the Kitchen Irish began to surround him. As more and more people came around him, Castle prepared himself for a fight, despite being highly outnumbered by the mobsters, all of whom were armed although they claimed to want him alive, shooting Castle in the neck with a dart gun.
With the group coming closer and closer, Castle grabbed one of the mobsters and stole his gun, killing several of his attackers and using his hostage as a human shield, with Rory claiming they wanted Castle alive. The Irish gangsters began shooting Castle with tasers which barely slowed him down. Finn Cooley revealed that he was leading the group and that he wanted Castle after he killed several of their members, including Nesbitt and Cooley's youngest son and taken his money. Despite putting up a strong fight and taking down several members of the Irish mob, Castle was eventually stopped by the taser guns being fired at him as he fell to the floor.
Finn Cooley's Revenge
The unconscious Castle was taken to the mob's hideout where once he awoke, Finn Cooley explained that not only had Castle gunned down Nesbitt, the leader of the Kitchen Irish, but he had also killed his oldest son during a shooting. Cooley promised that Castle would die that night as the whole had been dug, but promised him a painless death if he revealed where he had hidden the stolen money. The overconfident Cooley offered Castle painkillers but Castle only mocked his efforts.
Cooley continued to demand all of his stolen money back and when Castle reminded him of his son's death at his hands, which resulted in Cooley furiously losing his temperament as he then began beating Castle, questioning if his killing spree was simply his attempt to find some form of retribution. Castle pretended to be beaten to breaking point and promised to reveal where the money was, but when Cooley got to close, he simply headbutted him and laughed at his pain. As punishment, Castle was tortured, with Cooley drilling a hole into his foot while the Punisher furiously promised to murder all of them.
With Castle still remaining strong throughout all of the brutal torture, Cooley was forced to rethink his plan as he threatened to unleash the same torture methods onto Castle's adopted dog, Max. Not willing to see the innocent animal put in harm's way, Castle finally admitted to where all the money was and Max was taken away to safety. Cooley sent Rafe to check the money was indeed there and explained that he would keep Castle alive until it was returned. However before the money would be collected from Frank Castle's Van, the bomb which Castle had left exploded, killing Rafe and destroying the cash.
While Cooley was distracted by the disaster, Castle managed to free himself of his restraints with the use of a hidden razor blade that he had previously placed under the skin in his arm and fiercely fought back against the mob. Castle stole his own captor's guns and shot Cooley twice in the back. Despite all his injuries, Castle was able to walk over to Cooley and threaten him with a shotgun, demanding to know who was responsible for the massacre at Central Park. When Cooley refused to answer and mocked Castle's search for revenge, Castle killed him by shooting him point blank in the face.
With Cooley now dead, the remaining members of the Kitchen Irish stormed into the room and began firing at Castle, who was forced to retreat and hide behind a doorframe, shooting back and getting a bullet in his side while the Irish called for reinforcements. Believing himself to be gravely outnumbered and likely to be killed during this final firefight, Castle recited his daughter's favorite poem of "Penny and Dime" to calm his nerves as he prepared for his final gunfight. However Daredevil suddenly arrived and then charged inside of the room, using his own Billy Club to knock out the attackers.
Castle demanded that together they make all of his torturers pay but Daredevil then insisted that they would but must not be killed, which Castle mocked him for due to his own desire to gain revenge through killing. As more Irishmen arrived, Punisher and Daredevil used their combined strength to subdue them all, however when Castle would attempt to use a gun or hammer to kill his enemies, Daredevil then knocked the weapons out of his hand and insisted that they do not kill anyone during their fight. Castle called Daredevil an altar boy but soon all his attackers were defeated and the pair then quickly made their escape back into New York City from the warehouse.
Confession and Arrest
- "That part of it was always easy for me. Killing. Even watching my buddies die, it just... it didn't mean nothing. The first time I got scared... was on a plane on the way home. I kept thinking God was gonna pull the rug out from under us, you know?"
- ―Frank Castle to Daredevil
Daredevil carried the severely injured Castle to a graveyard, where he eventually found he could no longer walk and sat beside a grave. Knowing he could not get away from his arrest, Castle took the time to explain why he became a vigilante, telling Daredevil about how he came home from the United States Marine Corps only to witness his wife, son, and daughter massacred by mobsters during a drug deal.
Going into great detail, Castle told Daredevil how his daughter had begged him to read her a book the night before, but he had been too tired and tragically the next day she was gunned down and died in his arms. When the New York City Police Department arrived on the scene, Castle did not attempt to escape and instead allowed himself to be arrested by Brett Mahoney. He was taken on a stretcher and moved to an ambulance for treatment for his life-threatening injuries while the city's news reporters gathered around and photographed the now infamous Punisher being arrested by the police.
Trial and Imprisonment
Meeting Nelson and Murdock
Castle was taken to Metro-General Hospital where his all of his wounds sustained while fighting the Kitchen Irish were treated and he was kept under watch by the New York City Police Department. Castle was assigned Christopher Roth as his attorney, but he was visited by Nelson and Murdock and Matt Murdock explained that they wished to represent him. Murdock explained that they believed that Samantha Reyes now wanted him dead for some reason.
When Castle mentioned their last failure to protect Grotto, he was confronted by Karen Page who showed him a picture of his family and demanded answers. Nelson and Murdock were pulled out of the room by Reyes but Castle informed Brett Mahoney that he wanted them to be his lawyers, requesting to speak to Page without Foggy Nelson present. Once they were alone, Castle demanded to know what Page knew about his family, so she told him that Reyes wanted to run a story about him and his family being involved in a roadside shooting, instead of the truth of a gang shootout.
Castle told Page what he remembered about that day, reliving the horror and regret of failing his family. Castle assured Page that she was not in any danger the night that he shot at her in the hospital while she was protecting Grotto, noting that he only killed those who deserved it and he believed that Grotto deserved to die. When Page asked why he wanted to see her he began asking about the layout of his house as he had forgotten in all the years he had been away from it, telling her the stories of his son hiding cookies and his daughter's toys. Castle thanked her and invited her to ask him questions about the case in order to help them in court while defending him.
Nelson returned to the room and explained that he had lost the death penalty and changed three life sentences down to one with a chance on parol in twenty-five years, although he would still likely be sent to Ryker's Island where he would likely be murdered. Although Page insisted this was impossible, Castle joked that he would enjoy the fight while Nelson told them it was the best deal that they would get. Nelson recommended that Castle take the deal, advising that he tell Reyes that he would have to plead guilty to get the deal done and be over with the case with the best possible result for Castle.
Reyes and Judge Cynthia Batzer were brought into Castle's hospital room alongside Nelson, Page and several armed guards. However, when Batzer asked how Castle pleaded, Castle stared straight into Reyes' eyes and pleaded not guilty so he could destroy Reyes' own career in the courtroom by exposing all of her lies and dealings with his family's deaths. Batzer confirmed the plea and announced that his bail was now denied. Reyes and Batzer then stormed out the room while Nelson and Page were forced to think of a plan ready for the next week when Castle's fate would be decided.
The People v. Frank Castle
The trial was highly publicized, with Judge Cynthia Batzer complaining about how impossible it was to find an at least semi-impartial jury as everyone in New York City had an opinion on Castle until at last both Samantha Reyes and Nelson and Murdock agreed on a jury and the trial was allowed to take place. Castle meanwhile was locked in his cell where he shaved and prepared for the trial.
Castle was later visited in the interrogation room of the prison by Karen Page who suggested that they bring forward a character witness from Castle's time in the United States Marine Corps who could possibly help their case. Castle quickly deduced that they were trying to make a plea for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but Castle insisted that it was an insult to those soldiers who were truly suffering with it unlike him. Castle did, however, advise that they locate Ray Schoonover to be the witness for the case. The pair then sat down to look at his family's murder case to find new evidence.
When the trial was about to begin, Castle sat beside Page while they awaited the arrival of Matt Murdock, who was running very late for unknown reasons. As the trial began Reyes gave a statement to the jury where she accused Castle of murdering thirty men outside the law, calling him a serial killer who was guilty and now deserved to be finally brought to justice. Foggy Nelson then made his own statement where he noted that Castle was a soldier who had been betrayed by the system after his own wife and children were murdered, accusing Reyes of using Castle as a pawn for a coverup.
Doctor Gregory Tepper was called in to discuss the examination of the bodies found at the Massacre at Central Park. Once Blake Tower had finished his questioning of the witness, Murdock stepped up asking him about his own career and how he had handled the case involving Castle. However just as Murdock began questioning him, Tepper asked to confess something, so Judge Batzer had the room cleared of the jury, viewers, and Castle. While Castle was gone Tepper confessed to falsifying documents as he'd been threatened by a mysterious woman demanding his confession on record.
The next day Ray Schoonover was bought in to be a new character witness for Castle, describing their time together in the United States Marine Corps and telling the story of how Castle had saved the lives of many soldiers by single-handedly taking on the enemy soldiers when they were trapped behind enemy lines. When Nelson asked Schoonover to describe Castle, he told the jury that Castle was a man who would gladly give his life to protect others and was a hero. When Reyes then attempted to question Schoonover's story, she only succeeded in confirming it and helping Castle's case.
In order to discuss Castle's brain injuries, Nelson and Murdock called in Andrew Lee to discuss the bullet wound Castle sustained during the massacre in Central Park. Although Castle worried they were making another PTSD case, Lee went on to explain that the wound made Castle relive the trauma each and every day, concluding that Castle's murders were crimes of passion not premeditated. Just as the court seemed to be on Castle's side, Finn Cooley's son burst out yelling, accusing Castle of murdering his father before being escorted out of the courtroom by all of the nearby guards.
While speaking to Page outside of the courtroom, Castle confessed to killing the boy's father and feeling some level of guilt for the killing, although Page still insisted that she would not judge him for it or anything else he had done. Page recommended that Castle take the stand himself and defend his actions in front of the jury, as she felt it was the only chance they had of winning after the outburst in the courtroom. Castle argued that they would not win the case but Page insisted that they must try and reduce the charges regardless to prove he was not the monster they thought he was.
Confession of Guilt
- "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 Castle
As Castle prepared to take the stand in the courtroom, he was approached by Roy Olsky who informed him that Wilson Fisk had information about who killed his family, information he would only get if he was sent to Ryker's Island. Castle took the stand and was questioned by Matt Murdock, who asked him to describe what happened the day that his family was killed while he also told the jury that New York City needed men like him to control the crime.
Once Murdock finished his statement, Castle asked Judge Cynthia Batzer if he could make a statement, and proceeded to tell the jury that he would commit the murders all over again, promising that he was not crazy and did not need Nelson and Murdock's help and that he would never be sent to a mental hospital for treatment. Castle became more enraged as he insisted that he enjoyed killing those men and told the people that he was the Punisher and would continue killing whoever he wanted. Castle was removed from the courtroom and sentenced to jail immediately.
Dealing with Wilson Fisk
- "Well I don't help shit-bag has-been mob bosses."
"You heard what I said."
- ―Frank Castle and Wilson Fisk
Transferred to Ryker's Island for imprisonment, Castle was escorted by Roy Olsky to meet with Wilson Fisk. As Castle walked down the corridors of the prison, the inmates watching his arrival yelled out abuse and threw paper and various other materials at him. Castle met with Fisk in the outdoor gym. Initially, Castle declined Fisk's offer for him to kill fellow prisoner and ruler of Ryker's, Dutton, in exchange for forming a beneficial partnership between them to survive in prison.
It was only until Fisk revealed to Castle that Dutton had information on the deaths of his family in Central Park and could likely give him the name of whoever was responsible for the massacre, that Castle accepted his offer. Giving Castle the only weapon he could provide him with, a shiv, he informed that he would take to Dutton's location by Olsky and would have only seven minutes to get the information he needed from Dutton, kill him, and escape. Castle agreed to kill Dutton; however, he remained highly suspicious of Fisk's true intentions.
With Roy Olsky's assistance, Castle was allowed access to Dutton's cellblock where he immediately killed one of his guards by slicing his throat with the shiv before interrogating Dutton on what he knew on the day his family was killed, slowly pushing the shiv into his gut while noting he knew Dutton was there. Dutton revealed that the supposed gang shooting was, in fact, a sting operation to bring out a crime lord known only as the Blacksmith, who did not appear, which in turn caused the gangs to panic and they soon began shooting.
With this information, Castle was told that his crusade of violence would never end before he fatally stabbed Dutton in the gut and then attempted to escape the block. However. to Castle's horror, Roy Olsky had locked the door and were walking away, trapping Castle in a small corridor filled with all of Dutton's most loyal men. As Castle attempted to convince the guards to free him, Wilson Fisk looked down from the upper level and tauntingly thanked Castle for his help in assassinating Dutton, before leaving Castle to be murdered by the other furious inmates who were still loyal to Dutton.
The rest of the inmates, quickly realizing Castle was the one who stabbed Dutton, proceeded to charge at him, planning to beat Castle to death. The defenseless but determined Castle faced them head on, charging in with a battle cry and began fighting back, desperately trying to stay alive. The inmates continued to attack him with various weapons and shivs, but Castle's superior combat training allowed him to quickly disarm the men and use their weapons to stab them or crush their skulls, shrugging off a stab in the arm and strong blows from them as he killed more of the attacking criminals.
Eventually, after a prolonged and brutal battle to the death, Castle remained the last man standing, with dead men covering the floor, his face and once white prison uniform were completely stained with blood. As Castle slowly rose up from the carnage, the prison guards moved through the door, all of whom were dressed in full riot gear and ready to capture him. Once a smoke grenade had been dropped in the room, the exhausted Castle tried to defend himself before he was subdued by the overwhelming number of trained guards and was then arrested once again.
Castle was taken into solitary confinement where he was eventually visited by Wilson Fisk, who ordered the guards to remain outside. Castle then confronted Fisk for attempting to have him killed after murdering Dutton, but Fisk explained that since Castle's survival he had made a new plan involving him since he was impressed by his violent nature. The handcuffed Castle took the chance to attack Fisk, headbutting him, but the wounded and exhausted Castle was swiftly overpowered and beaten down by Fisk.
Fisk then ordered all the guards to remove Castle's handcuffs and informed him that he would set him free, when Castle asked why, Fisk explained that he wished the Punisher to massacre all other criminal empires in New York City so that when Fisk got free, he could easily become the new Kingpin of Crime. Despite his desire to kill Fisk, Castle took the offer and was given a riot gear uniform by the guards which he used to walk out of Ryker's Island without being stopped and be free once again to continue his mission to kill all the criminals who he could hunt down and find in New York City.
Framed by the Blacksmith
Saving Karen Page
With Castle on the run, the Blacksmith began murdering anyone connected to the Central Park massacre, including Samantha Reyes and Gregory Tepper and blaming it on the Punisher. Seeking to clear his name, Castle sought out Karen Page, who had been working with Mitchell Ellison at the New York Bulletin to write a story about him. Finding her at her apartment, Castle knocked out her guards and greeted Page.
Page pulled out a gun as Castle denied having anything to do with Reyes and Tepper's murders. But before he could finish his explanation, the apartment was swarmed with a flurry of gunfire from across the street. Castle managed to tackle Page to the ground and shielded her from the unknown attacker. Once the gunfire had ceased, Castle pulled Page to her feet and together they made their way outside, keeping themselves low to the ground in case any more bullets were fired at them. Castle then allowed Page to go to the New York City Police Department while he stayed hidden.
Castle stayed in Page's car and listened to music until Page was finished being interviewed by Detective Brett Mahoney. When Page returned she berated Castle for stealing her car as he joked about singing along to the music. Page made it clear that she was having second thoughts about staying beside Castle, considering the fact that she was not a lawyer and therefore was now lying to the police. Castle suggested that she could walk away from the danger but she decided to help Castle find and stop the Blacksmith.
Shootout at the Cafe
Knowing that he was being followed by two men, Castle convinced Karen Page that they should stop at a cafe for coffee and food, although Page remained nervous. Page told Castle that she had learned from Samantha Reyes that the Blacksmith was still moving large amounts of heroin across the country and they discussed where he could be. They changed the subject and Castle told Page that he was not surprised that she owned a gun but was impressed by the choice, although she made it clear that she did come close to shooting him.
Page told Castle that she did not kill him despite not liking what he did, she believed it was what needed to happen. Castle changed the subject and asked about her relationship with Matt Murdock, making it clear that he knew that she was in love with him and teased her while asking Susanna for more coffee. Page told Castle that Murdock had hurt people emotionally, leading to Castle telling her about how much his own wife annoyed and upset him but how important it was that he loved her, especially now that she was dead.
Seeing that the Blacksmith's men had finally pulled up outside the cafe, Castle ordered Page to hide in the kitchen with the waitress. Once they were gone, Castle waited for Chaney and Speed to get close to him before he charged forward firing his gun, shooting Chaney twice in the gut before dodging Speed's shotgun blast. Once he'd disarmed Speed, they resorted to brawling with their fists until Speed grabbed a knife, at which point Castle smashed the boiling coffee pot over his head before stabbing him repeatedly.
As Speed bled out on the floor, Castle found Chaney crawling across the floor, attempting to grab his gun. Castle stopped him and took the gun for himself, standing over the bleeding Chaney and demanding to know where he could find the Blacksmith when Chaney refused to answer Castle shot Speed through the skull. Chaney still refused to answer and told Castle to go to hell, so Castle resorted to beating his face in with the butt of the gun until Chaney finally broke and told him that he could find the Blacksmith at Pier 81.
Although Chaney attempted to offer to bring Castle to the Blacksmith himself, Castle ignored him and instead shot him through the head. As the Punisher starred down at the carnage he had created, Page emerged from her hiding place within the kitchen and was horrified to see Chaney's beaten and bloodied corpse. Without looking at her, Castle told her to go to the New York City Police Department and get protective custody, telling her to stay away from him and his campaign of violence. Castle then left the cafe in order to find and kill the man who was responsible for the deaths of his family.
With the information he had gathered from Chaney, Castle tracked the Blacksmith to Pier 81, where a ship was docked. He proceeded to gun down several criminals on the dock who were guarding the ship, before he boarded, and found a significant stash of heroin onboard. Taking numerous cans of gasoline from the docks nearby, he doused the boxes of heroin, while taunting and calling for the Blacksmith. A man emerged with a SIG pistol and shoot at him then retreated, as Castle returned fire with his H&K 416 rifle.
Castle hunted down the last man on the ship, engaging in a brief gunfight. When the man ran out of ammunition, Castle responded by shooting him in the shoulder with his rifle, ordering him to admit he was the Blacksmith and that he was the one who had killed his family, when the man refused to speak, Castle chose to shoot him in the leg with his S&W 1911 pistol. The man pleaded for his life and then half-heartedly admitted to being the Blacksmith and begged for death as Castle pressed his gun into the man's face.
Suddenly Daredevil arrived on the boat and intervened, telling Castle that the man was lying and was not the Blacksmith. Castle, however, was so bloodthirsty that he prepared to execute the man, so Daredevil knocked the pistol out of Castle's hand before the two engaged in an unarmed fight, which ended with Daredevil defeating Castle and revealing that the man was just a patsy to bait Castle. Furious about being denied revenge, Castle accused Daredevil's methods of failing, telling him that he did not understand the pain of having his wife and children taken away from him, even making Daredevil admit that Castle's methods were sometimes the answer.
Daredevil sensed there was a substantial amount of gunpowder below decks, which would cause a massive explosion if the gasoline from earlier was ignited. As more henchmen arrived, including Gosnell who personally called Castle out for the fight, Castle agreed to leave, but then pushed Daredevil into the water to save him, and revealed himself so they would open fire and the ship exploded in a massive fireball, causing shrapnel to hit and kill Gosnell and his men while Castle was barely able to survive and escape.
Finding the Blacksmith
- "Alright, they call you the Punisher. Prove it; prove you don't need me anymore."
"One shot... One kill... You taught me that."
"You stupid son o-"
- ―Ray Schoonover and Punisher
Castle survived the explosion and when he saw Gosnell was one of the men sent to kill him, he deduced that Ray Schoonover was the Blacksmith. Traveling to Schoonover's home, Castle witnessed Karen Page interviewing him until she made the same discovery, at which point Schoonover drew his gun on her. Castle made Page aware of his presence by putting a familiar song onto her radio and as Page and Schoonover drove down the road, Castle plowed into the side of the car with his own SUV, badly injuring Schoonover.
Castle dragged Schoonover out of the car and forced him to walk through the woods, while Schoonover told Castle that he wanted him to have drowned when he destroyed his heroin. Schoonover mocked the massacre of Castle's wife, son, and daughter and noted that all of that was connected with events in Kandahar. Page then arrived and begged Castle to stop, but Castle ignored her pleas and dragged Schoonover into a nearby cabin. When Page insisted that he would be dead to her if he killed Schoonover, Castle told her he was already dead.
Once they were alone, Castle began looking at the various weapons which he could use to slowly torture and kill the man who took his family from him. Schoonover continued to taunt Castle's moniker as the Punisher, and how he had to teach him how to use his first firearm at age eighteen. Schoonover told him to prove that he was the Punisher and that he did not need him anymore, at which point Castle remembered Schoonover's lesson about one shot, one kill, before executing Schoonover with a single bullet through his skull.
With Schoonover now dead and his blood staining the walls of the cabin, Castle began exploring the room further. He eventually found a secret room within the cabin that contained Schoonover's impressive armory filled with military-grade weapons. Castle began looking over the various weapons closely, which included a minigun as well as a bulletproof vest that had all previously belonged to Schoonover. As Punisher inspected the various guns, he looked at the bulletproof vest, noticing that the design on the front resembled a skull.
- "See you around, Red."
Castle returned to his family's home with Ray Schoonover's stolen arsenal of weapons and looked around before sitting in at the kitchen table with a newspaper featuring an article on his trial, with the x-ray of his skull as the front image. Using this image as inspiration, Castle went into the garage with the bulletproof vest he found in the armory and began spray painting an image onto it. Castle, donning his bulletproof vest with a spray-painted skull-like symbol, embraced the mantle of the Punisher.
Castle then returned to New York City to assist Daredevil in his confrontation with the Hand. Using his sniper rifle, he dispatched four assassins in quick succession, giving Daredevil an opening to fight and eventually defeat Nobu Yoshioka, launching him off the roof of the building to his death. As the battle concluded, Castle watched from the roof, seen by Karen Page down below as she was protected by the police, Castle gave a nod towards his ally while he promised to see Daredevil another time before walking away.
With all those who had a hand in the deaths of his family lying dead in morgues, in the streets and other places throughout Hell's Kitchen, the Punisher accepted closure and proceeded to burn away the last memories of his former life, setting his home on fire. Armed with the weapons from Ray Schoonover's armory, Castle prepared to leave the city to eliminate the last gang members who were involved in Massacre at Central Park. Before he could leave, Castle found a CD signed by "Micro", with footage of the execution of Ahmad Zubair. Castle then burned his house and left the city to continue his crusade.
- "An eye for an eye and all that. I got a family of my own."
"For God's sake, man, killing me is not gonna bring yours back. What does it change if I'm dead?"
- ―Mickey O'Hare and Punisher
Months after helping Daredevil take down Nobu Yoshioka's division of the Hand, the Punisher continued to hunt and kill all of the gangs who had been responsible for killing his family. Heading to Alabama, the Punisher ended up chasing down two members of the Dogs of Hell, shooting at them with a shotgun until they crashed. As the men lay in pain, the Punisher reciting Penny and Dime before running them over with his van and killing them.
Castle then traveled into El Paso, Texas, where he had eventually tracked down Cartel Sicario the last remaining surviving member of the Mexican Cartel who had believed he had finally escaped from the Punisher's wrath by getting across the border to Juárez. Taking a position far away from sicario, the Punisher set up his sniper rifle and watched as sicario celebrated his return with his allies before preparing to be pleasured by two prostitutes as his reward. Patiently waiting for his shot, the Punisher fired a single bullet which struck sicario directly in the forehead, killing him instantly before the horrified prostitutes.
Upon returning to New York City, Castle tracked down Mickey O'Hare, the last remaining member of the Kitchen Irish who was attempting to catch a flight from JFK International Airport and return home to the safety of Ireland. Castle soon found O'Hare in the airport bathroom and then furiously charged into the stall to confront him, knocking him down and locking the door behind him, with the horrified O'Hare terrified by seeing the skull painted on his vest while he begged Castle to spare his life, desperately questioning what would change if he died.
The Punisher however then calmly admitted that he knew that killing O'Hare would not bring his wife and two children back but made it clear that this no longer mattered to him as he now desired O'Hare's death. Upon hearing two other men enter the bathroom, the Punisher stopped O'Hare from calling for help by knocking him back and then strangled him with his own tie until O'Hare eventually chocked to death. With the two other men assuming they heard gay sex in their stall, they walked out before the Punisher left O'Hare's corpse, zipping up his hoody to hide the vest.
With seemingly all the gangs destroyed who had been involved with the terrible Massacre at Central Park root and stem, as well as the individuals such as Dutton and Ray Schoonover also now deceased, Castle believed that his family had finally been avenged once and for all. Believing that he no longer had a war to fight for, Castle then gave up the mantle of the Punisher, symbolically burning his vest as he considering every single person he had killed to avenge the mindless death of his family. Castle met with Curtis Hoyle and informed him that he was still alive and assumed the new name of Pete Castiglione.
Building a New Life
- "Look, Donny. Thanks for the sandwich. You know, I appreciate that. But I'm not looking for a pal, yeah? Whatever it is you're looking for I'm not it."
- ―Frank Castle to Donny Chavez
Six months later, Castle got a job as a construction worker and attempted to keep himself out of harm's way, avoiding stress as best he could. Castle would often arrive to work early and work late into the night hammering down concrete walls by himself, quickly earning him the ire of some of his coworkers.
Upon finishing his work at the construction site, Castle would return back to his small apartment and ready Moby Dick, the novel which had been lent to him by Curtis Hoyle as a way to cope with the stress of his own mind, although Castle found himself struggling to focus on reading it. As Castle attempted to sleep, however, he found himself haunted by dreams of the Massacre at Central Park during which he had lost his entire family, having visions of Maria Castle waking him from his sleep before Castle would then remember that his family had been taken from him, bringing back painful memories.
Eventually, Lance and all his friends confronted Castle regarding him working late nights and taking away their own overtime. As Castle continued to ignore everything they were saying and kept striking the wall, Lance responded by ruining his lunch out of spite, which then caused Castle to turn around and look Lance furiously in the eye as he tightened his grip on his sledgehammer. Lance, however, unaware of who he was now angering, threatened Castle before walking away, purposely stepping on Castle's sandwich while Castle had remained, swallowing his fury and his desire to punish Lance.
At lunchtime, when Castle went up to the roof to brood and consider what Lance had said to him to ensure that he did not lose control and risk being discovered to be the Punisher. While Castle was sat alone, Donny Chavez, a new worker at the construction site, came up and offered him one of his sandwiches out of sympathy for Lance ruining his. Despite Chavez's efforts to strike up a friendship as they discussed his career in the United States Marine Corps and Chavez family, Castle still kept his distance, not wishing to hurt Chavez if the truth was ever exposed about all the secrets which Castle had been hiding.
At the evening, Castle visited St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where Hoyle organized a group therapy session for other veterans. He returned Hoyle his novel and they caught up on old times, with Hoyle remarking on how everyone wants to be anyone but themselves. Though Curtis offered Castle another chance at a new life, he politely refused.
Back in Action
The Gnucci Job
A few days later, Castle overheard Lance and Paulie discussing plans for an upcoming heist. Sure enough, Lance confronted and taunted Castle, who sat nearby for eavesdropping, threatened Castle if he ever heard anything from him that he wasn't supposed to he will attack him. Before the two could come to blows, another coworker was badly injured. Donny Chavez begged Castle for any medical aid, but he simply walked away.
That evening, while working late again, Castle spotted Lance, Paulie, and Leo returned to the construction site and chase Chavez into the building. Before they could bury him alive in concrete, however, Castle notice what they are doing and warned them to stop the machine but they refused, resulting into defeating the attackers with his sledgehammer and interrogated Lance, learning they had robbed an underground card game run by the Gnucci Crime Family and were killing Chavez for accidentally revealing his identity during the heist.
After bashing Lance and pulling Chavez to safety, Castle left the premise as quickly as possible to go after Gnucci Crime Family by traveling to a gambling den in Linello's. As the crime family began to arm themselves to go after their money, Castle turned off the circuit breaker and quickly dispatched the mobsters before they could retaliate, unaware that someone had been watching his escape.
- "You got the wrong guy."
"Yeah, I don't think so. Unless I'm not talking to Frank Castle? You know, let's not waste time. You're Frank Castle, right? Frank Castle, the dead man?"
"Makes two of us now."
"You're more right than you know. You're not the only ghost in this town, Frank."
- ―Frank Castle and Micro
Paying a visit at Graniteville Diner, Castle ate breakfast before a waitress informed him that someone describing his exact features managed to ask for him on their land-line. When he answered, the man acknowledged that he was Frank Castle and informed him that he knew what he did. Though Castle began to threaten him, Micro said that he needed him. Castle soon left the diner, paying his bill as he went.
Castle bolted through an alley and into a building, climbing it's stairs with a sidearm in hand to find the rooftop empty, a flashlight, cell phone, and mirror placed for him by Micro. Looking back at the diner, he noticed the man wave to him atop the roof before leaving.
Checking Loose Lips
Castle then returned to his apartment, to watch the CD that Micro left for him. The contents of the disc disturb and anger him as it shows a recording of an incident in Afghanistan where he was part of Operation Cerberus and shows the murder of Ahmad Zubair. Castle would go to visit Curtis Hoyle and questioned if he spoke. He informed that a man under the alias "Micro" was aware of what he had done and that he knew he was alive.
Frank would disguise himself as a homeless man, managed to cross paths with Karen Page. After gifting him with money, he thanked her by name, which he revealed himself to her. Castle was invited in her home. Sharing a beer, the two conversed on passed time since their last interaction. When Castle questioned if she spoke of his existence, Page denied it, saying that she would never compromise him. Frank would then convince Karen to help him find out who this "Micro" is. Which Page would starts digging through the archives at the New York Bulletin and finds reference to a "Micro" but no story attached to it.
Frank would meet Karen again to get information on "Micro". However, before she gives the name to Frank, she wants to know what he intends to do. Frank promises that if Micro proves to be no threat to him, then he will not kill him. Karen tells Castle his name with is David Lieberman.
Visiting Sarah Lieberman
- "I'm Pete, by the way. Castiglione."
"Uh, Sarah. Lieberman."
- ―Frank Castle and Sarah Lieberman
Castle headed to the Lieberman Residence, where he engineers being hit by Sarah Lieberman's car. Lieberman took him into her house to treat his injury and they started to take over their deceased family members. Micro watched on his computer and panicked, calling Castle on the phone he left him. Castle deactivated the phone, causing Micro to head over to the house. However, he did not confront Castle.
Castle then shaved his beard and hair, and when he left his apartment he changed his walk to throw off gait recognition software. Heading to Carson Wolf's home, he attacked him and knocked him unconscious. When Wolf came to, he was tied to a chair and Castle began to torture and interrogate him about Lieberman's whereabouts. Wolf insisted that torture will not work; Castle shot him in the leg. During the torture, Wolf managed to free himself and grabbed Castle's gun. While holding Castle at gunpoint, Wolf revealed some information about why Castle's family was killed then pulled the trigger. However, Castle knew that torture would not work so had made sure the gun was unloaded. Wolf revealed the information with duress and then Castle killed him.
Reactivating the phone, Castle was contacted by Micro. Castle, now with leverage, arranged a meeting. He sent Micro to a location, then called him to send him to another location, and so on to ensure that he was not followed. The final stop was the Mount Zion Cemetery when Lieberman was "buried." However, Castle has enlisted Curtis Hoyle to meet Micro. Hoyle told him that Castle has rethought the entire situation and did not want to meet. Furthermore, if Micro will try to contact him again, then Castle will visit Sarah again.
Despondent, Micro returned to his hideout. However, it was a ruse Castle used Hoyle' distraction to sneak into the trunk of Micro's car. Castle then got out and punched Micro. Micro woke up to find himself naked and restrained to a chair with zip-ties. Castle started to interrogate him until a three-minute countdown starts. Micro revealed that it is a fail-safe system – if the countdown reaches zero, then it would trigger explosives in the building that would kill them. He needed to enter a code and retinal scan to cancel it.
Working with Micro
Micro told Castle that Operation Cerberus was totally off the books. No record of it exists, meaning that it was not approved by United States Congress and therefore illegal. Castle agreed to work with Micro on one condition, the all targets will be killed, with no exception or pleads for a trial, which Micro agreed to.
Acting on information from Micro, Castle went to see Turk Barrett and from him, steal a shipment of weapons he supposedly got from the Greek Mob. However, the Greeks stiffed him on the deal and the shipment went elsewhere the only weapon he has is a pink Ruger which is a mobster's "sweet 16" birthday present for his daughter. Castle knocked Barrett out. At the hideout, Micro watched a video of his family when Castle returned. He was angry at the situation and told Micro to find him weapons.
Castle cleaned and maintained Micro's gun. He was called by Sarah, her insurance company needed a signed statement about the accident so they can move forward with the claim. Micro got Castle to promise to help her in exchange for the information on a weapons cache. Micro informed Castle about the Homeland Security operation at the Red Hook Pier to take down the Greeks and the weapons shipment. Castle headed to a body shop where Mazur's gang is torturing two men. One is dead, but Castle took out the gang and stole two vehicles, a sports car, and a van.
Micro began to have second thoughts after seeing the aftermath of Castle's battle, but Castle refused to let him off the hook. Dinah Madani commanded the Homeland Security operation from a mobile command center. Micro hacked the Homeland audio and video feeds, creating a looped video feed from the follow car and piping the song "Feel the Love" into the comms system. With the distraction in place, Castle jumped on the roof of the truck carrying the weapons and stole it. Micro arrived in the Mustang and they traded vehicles. Eventually, Madani figured out the video is looped and headed out on her own. Madani found them and gave chase, but Castle blocked her and started to play chicken with her. As the cars were about to collide, Madani's car was hit by Micro in the van. Castle pulled Madani from the wreckage. She recognized Castle and asked if he killed Carson Wolf. Castle said he did, and the she should stay out of his way.
Saving Gunner Henderson
- "Gunner? You here? Gunner, it's Frank Castle! Brother, I just want to talk!"
- ―Frank Castle to Gunner Henderson
Watching the Kandahar footage, Micro asked Castle who filmed it. Castle revealed that cameraman was Gunner Henderson. Micro decided to find Henderson, since he could know Agent Orange's name or other useful information.
Micro found Gunner Henderson in a cabin in Kentucky. Punisher went alone to find Henderson while Micro stayed with the van. When Castle was investigating the cabin, Henderson shot him with an arrow. He convinced Henderson to talk with him and that he is not a threat. Henderson revealed why he filmed the Assassination of Ahmad Zubair and discovered that Colonel Morty Bennett supervised the operation.
Meanwhile, a helicopter with Anvil agents landed in the woods. Assisted by Micro who spotted targets with a drone, Castle and Henderson took out the tactical team. Rawlins, who oversaw the operation, discovered that Castle is still alive. Punisher and Henderson was badly wounded. Henderson died of blood loss, and Castle was rescued by Micro, who gave him basic medical treatment and brought him to the hideout. Micro asked Curtis Hoyle to help Castle. At the hideout, Hoyle removed the arrow from his shoulder and patched him up.
Reunion with Russo
Castle imagined a Thanksgiving dinner with both the Castle and Lieberman families but they were surrounded by masked soldiers from the Cerberus Squad. Despite Castle's pleas, both families were slaughtered. Micro enlisted Curtis Hoyle's aid in treating Castle. Waking up, Castle's first thought was for Henderson. Micro informed him that his friend died and Castle worried about making good on his promise to Henderson. Micro told him that he has made arrangements for Henderson to receive a decent burial.
Castle got's a call from Billy Russo where the two would meet with each other. Coming to the outskirts of New York City, Castle and Russo were reunited as Russo offered his condolences for the deaths of Castle's family. As they sat down for a beer together Russo questioned why Castle had not reached out to him, noting that Dinah Madani was aware of Castle's survival. Russo then told Castle about Anvil, with Castle teasing him over Russo's love for wearing fancy suits as well as cars and Russo's sexual relationship with Madani.
Castle told Russo what he knew of Operation Cerberus and their illegal actions in Kandahar, noting that he was now aware that Agent Orange, Ray Schoonover and Morty Bennett were selling heroin and using the profits to fund their illegal assassination missions, mentioning that Henderson had been killed when he had tried to blow the whistle on the entire operation. Seeking to end Castle's search for those responsible for Cerberus, Russo then offered him the chance to go work for Anvil overseas, noting that although Castle's family were gone they were still brothers.
With the offer to take a new job with Anvil overseas still on the table, Castle left to think it over and decide what would be the best move for him, however, Russo began planning for his friend's assassination, fearing that Castle could expose Cerberus Squad and ruin everything he had been building since leaving the United States Armed Forces.
Castle and Micro planned their infiltration of the Fort Bryon where Morty Bennett is stationed in order to use him to get Agent Orange's name. Aided by Micro and his drone, Castle clipped the chained fence guarding the outside perimeter and managed to maneuver through the shadows, avoiding detention from foot soldiers. Meanwhile, Bennett dined and vented his frustration to his Mistress, whom he engaged in erotic role-play. With the arrival of Castle, she alerted Billy Russo and Anvil unit of his presence, Bennett attempted to grab his gun but Castle pinned him to the wall and threatened him. Warned of approaching soldiers by Micro, Castle demanded that Bennett kept silent in a closet before dropping two smoke grenades and concealed his face. They silently searched for their target before being taken out one by one by Castle, who chose not to kill any of them. At one point, one agent found and aimed their rifle at Bennett by mistake, only for Castle to appear from the darkness and knock the man out. Eventually Castle took out the final agent, non-lethally shooting him. At this time, Micro finished hacking and said Castle to escape. Castle leaping out of the window while the final agent continued shooting at him.
The base was put on alert in order to find intruder. Castle successfully got to the exit but confronted with young soldier who told Castle to surrender. He shot soldier in arm and escaped on his van. Castle and Micro managed to escape the area and retreated to the hideout to await new intelligence from Bennett's phone.
Micro used a bug in Bennett's phone and tracked him down to the CIA Safe House. Castle and Micro arrived to the location and then Castle prepared his sniper rifle to find his target. Finally, he spotted Orange who came close to window. Castle took his advantage and took a single shot right in the direction of Orange's head. However, she survived because window's glass was bulletproof. The whole compound went to full alert and Castle and Micro managed to escape.
Helping the Liebermans
Arriving at the Lieberman house, Castle found out that Sarah Lieberman had unplugged the Internet to punish Zach Lieberman for his behavior, causing the cameras to go offline. However, she then admitted that she undermined herself by allowing him to go out. Sarah asked Castle to stay for a glass of wine.
Castle reactivated the Internet router in the Lieberman Residence. Unfortunately, this allowed Micro to see Lieberman drunkenly kissed Castle. While Castle gently rebuffs her advances, he returned to Micro's Hideout to find that Micro was now extremely drunk.
Micro and Castle talked about how they each met their wives. Micro came to the decision that the only way back to his family is to involve Dinah Madani. Castle would be the witness she needed to take down William Rawlins. Unwilling to allow this to happen though, Castle responded by punching Micro out to stop him.
Micro wakes up with a hangover but still thinks going to Madani is the best option. Sarah calls Frank for help with Zach. She is freaking out that she found a knife in his bag. Frank has a talk with Zach and manages to scare the kid enough for him to finally break down and admit that he is sad and scared.
Zach and Frank throw a football around, and Micro comes by. Frank tells him to leave before Zach sees him, because it could lead to his family being killed. Frank promises to talk to Dinah.
- "There's nothing in this world I hate as much as a goddamn bomb. Goddamn cowards. They think they're gonna scare people into making them do what they want. They're wrong. It just pisses people off, you know, brings them together, makes them stronger. New York doesn't forget. Whoever this is, they're in for a world of shit."
- ―Frank Castle to Micro
Castle and Micro had continued to watch Dinah Madani through the window from a nearby rooftop in preparation for approaching her, noting how Madani seemed to still be mourning the death of Sam Stein. As they watched, the street below is rocked by an explosion. Castle and Micro watch the news where he stated his hatred of cowardly bombers. Castle said they are putting their plan to contact Madani on hold because of the current situation.
Castle later read a newspaper article by Karen Page, whom the bomber had directly mailed, speaking out against the bomber, which he regarded as reckless provocation. Subsequently, Micro revealed that Page was on the Ricky Langtry Show with Senator Stan Ori, the latter of whom dragged Castle's name through the mud by bringing up his murder spree. The bomber called the show to spout his rhetoric, ending his call with sic semper tyrannis. Castle then suspected that Lewis Wilson from Hoyle's support group was the bomber on the radio and had Micro look up his address. Once obtained, Castle ignored Micro's suggestion to tip off the authorities or call Hoyle, knowing the latter would try to fix Wilson.
While staking out Clay Wilson's house, Castle then called Page to warn her against going after Wilson. Page suspected he knew something and insisted they do things the right way but Castle advised her to remain under FBI protection and hung up. Micro then informed him that he pinged both Wilson and Hoyle's cellphone at O'Connor's apartment, forcing Castle to head there.
Rescuing Curtis Hoyle
- "Frank, you son of a bitch, please! I don't give a damn about the past, and you don't owe me anything."
"I am not leaving."
- ―Curtis Hoyle and Frank Castle
Frank arrives at O'Connor's to find Curtis tied up and rigged with mines. Frank tries to find a way to disarm the explosives. Lewis, watching from a rooftop, calls him. Dinah finally decides to attend Sam's memorial and to tell the truth about the failed operation, no matter the cost to her career.
Frank can't figure out how to disarm the bomb. Curtis tells Frank to leave him and admits that he is living a lie. Despite looking like he has things together, she is as miserable and scared as the other veterans. Part of him thinks it would have been better to die rather than just lose his leg. Lewis has called the cops so that there will be a witness to the explosion, but Frank wants Lewis to tell him how to disarm the bomb.
Frank tells Lewis the story of how Curtis lost his leg, and how Frank was to blame for not shooting a suicide bomber in time because she was pregnant. Lewis tells him to cut the white wire then escapes. Frank disarms the bomb then flees before the police arrive. However, he is spotted and chased. Cornered by a squad car, Frank knocks out the two police officers and steals the cruiser.
News breaks that the Punisher is still alive, the cop car that he stole captured a clear image of him via its dash camera.
Royal Hospitality Situation
- "Whole world thinks we did this together, kid."
"Hey! Hey! Stay back."
"You know, kid, maybe you were right. Maybe you and me, we are the same. Maybe this is the way it's supposed to end. Just... just you and me, though, right? Just you and me, and a bomb."
- ―Frank Castle and Lewis Wilson
Castle managed to track down Lewis Wilson to the Royal Hospitality where he intended to assassinate Senator Stan Ori. Avoiding Anvil agents stationed in the hotel to guard Ori, Castle infiltrated inside and called Billy Russo. Castle informed him that Wilson is targeting Ori, who Russo is currently providing protection for. He asked Russo to evacuate Ori and leave Wilson for him to deal with.
Karen Page arrived for her interview with Ori. She also says that Ori pushed Page into Wilson's arms to escape. Wilson then took Page hostage to escape while wearing a bomb vest, heading to the elevator he prepared earlier. When Lewis is clear of the floor, the surviving agents targeted Castle. Castle managed to avoid the hostiles and followed Wilson to the stairwell. In the stairwell, Castle was confronted by Dinah Madani who ordered him to surrender. However, Castle knew that Madani could not shoot him and went downstairs to chase Wilson.
Before he could leave, Castle was suddenly shot by Russo who wanted Castle killed. Madani shifted her attention to Russo and came to the realization that Russo led the mercenaries and killed Sam Stein. The New York City Police Department arrive and restrain Russo and Madani while wounded Castle fought back and used a fire hose reel to escape.
Castle followed Wilson and Page to the basement kitchen where he attempted to talk him down and used the story about how he helped Curtis Hoyle as a signal to Page to grab the white wire on Wilson's deadman's switch. She yanked the wire out to disarm the bomb, then uses the gun in her bag to shoot him in the foot. Wilson then locked him in a storage room, before Wilson used his own explosives to commit suicide. En route to the elevator, Castle was confronted by Brett Mahoney and the Emergency Service Unit who ordered Castle to surrender. Castle did not listen to Mahoney's orders, using Page as a human shield to get him to an elevator. Inside, Castle used the emergency hatch to escape into the shaft, reaching the roof to escape via a zip-line.
Rawlins and Russo
With everything in place for the incoming battle, the Punisher donned his Skull Vest and waited in the shadows while the Anvil agents had then arrived inside Micro's Hideout with their guns raised, as they all searched for their target. Keeping still, the Punisher kept himself from being found on their motion sensors, while waiting for the mercenaries to split up during their search, as he then managed to get behind one of their mercenaries and put him into a chock hold before brutally breaking his neck, ensuring that had nobody heard the death before the Punisher then silently went in search of his next target.
Using a booby trap that he had already set up, the Punisher had then managed to tie a noose around one mercenaries throat and lifted him into the air, until he chocked to death, before stabbing two more men in the throat, still without raising the alarm. As the Punisher brutalised the corpses, the mercenaries made it to Micro's computer system as they found footage of William Rawlins torturing Ahmad Zubair playing on a loop. While they were distracted, the Punisher cut off the head of one of the mercenaries and strapped a grenade to it, before simply tossing the bloody head at them as they all looked on in horror.
Before the men realized the danger, the grenade exploded, killing two more people before the Punisher had then used the distraction to his advantage, storming out of the shadows and engaging in his surprise gunfight with the mercenaries, who were all too disorientated by the explosion to realized what was happening. As the mercenaries finally regained their bareings, the Punisher took cover before shooting at a flash grenade he had hidden inside a light, blinding a man before he gunned him down. When one man had almost shot him, the Punisher pushed him back and shot in twice in the gut and then in the face.
Due to his own superior knowledge of the layout of the hideout, the Punisher was able to get around the mercenaries who could only fire blindly at where they thought he was. Grabbing the shotgun he had hidden earlier, the Punisher shot one mercenary into his Bulletproof Vest twice, knocking him into another mercenary who he shot point blank in the face. As the other man then attempted to crawl away in agony, the Punisher calmly stepped over to him and shot him into the back of the head. However, Jack witnessed this and began shooting the Punisher in the back on his vest, forcing him to take cover.
While more men began shooting at the Punisher, he took cover as he waited for them to reload, allowing them to believe that they had him cornered, while in reality he had allowed them all to move into deadly positions. During the standoff with the mercenaries, the Punisher had furiously called out to Billy Russo, who he assumed would come into their ambush personally. As the Punisher vowed that he would watch Russo die, he got no answer from his former friend so he responded by then setting off a series of bombs that had been set up around the hideout, which had killed multiple mercenaries in those blasts.
As the surviving mercenaries recovered from the multiple explosions, the Punisher then grabbed his FN M249 SAW that had been hidden beside him, and began furiously gunning down multiple men, with all the shots being powerful enough to tear through all their bulletproof vests. As one man took cover behind a pillar, the Punisher continued shooting at him, forcing him to stay hidden, before the Punisher then dropped the gun and had plunged his knife into the man's chest. The Punisher witnessed Jack helping another mercenary to his feet, as he gunned down the other man, leaving only him and Jack standing.
In the confusion of the battle, the Punisher mistook the masked Jack for Russo, as he had then furiously thrown his knife at the mercenary, imbedding it into his shoulder which allowed the Punisher to charge forward and engage with his enemy one on one. Kicking him across the room, the Punisher witnessed Jack rip the knife from his shoulder as he then attempted to defend himself, but the Punisher had soon proved himself to be the superior fighter, while he managed to disarm Jack and stabbed him in the gut, before brutally ripping the knife out and throwing him over the table, which left Jack defenceless.
While Jack attempted to get on his feet, the Punisher, still believing it to be Russo, slashed at his legs to cause him more pain. However, all of the sounds of Jack's screams of agony soon made him realize that it was the wrong man, as the Punisher called out into the Hideout for Russo, and got no answer, as he realized that Russo was not in here. Walking through the Hideout to inspect all of the bodies, the Punisher found a wounded man attempting to crawl away, as the Punisher had removed his helmet and mask to check his identity and, when he had confirmed it was not Russo, proceeded to shoot him in the face.
Frustrated that he was not able to locate and kill Russo, the Punisher then overheard the badly wounded Jack attempting to crawl away to safety. Walking over to him, the Punisher first removed Jack's mask before questioning where Russo was. As Jack failed to answer him, the Punisher simply shot him into the leg before he then questioned where Sarah and Zach Lieberman were, only for Jack to insist that he had not been given that information. Believing that Jack really did not know, the Punisher accepted his answer and calmly executed him by shooting him in the head, before searching his pockets for a phone.
Surrounded by the corpses of all of the Anvil soldiers he had gunned down the Punisher took Jack's phone and used it to call Russo. As he sat in silence, the Punisher listened as Russo mockingly answered the call, knowing what had happened to all his men, as the Punisher noted that the Russo he had served with in the Marine Corps would have been brave enough to come into the ambush himself, although Russo simply commented on how he had men of his own who could be sent to those situations. The Punisher warned that eventually they would face each other one on one, although Russo denied this.
Having noted how the Punisher was now a wanted man, Russo then questioned him over what exactly was on all of the computers, only for the Punisher instead questioned where Lieberman's family were, as Russo promised they were with him and could be put into danger soon. Hearing this, the Punisher explained how the computers held the secrets about Operation Cerberus that Russo and Rawlins were trying to bury, as they made the deal to exchange Sarah and Zach for Micro and the Punisher, as Russo had then promised to make all the arrangements for their exchange while the Punisher hung up.
After interrogating and killing Jack, Castle used the agent's phone and called Billy Russo. Castle accused Russo of not having the balls to face him in person and sending his men to do the dirty work. Punisher vowed that the two would have a face off and one would kill the other. Russo denied the face off form happening, as Castle was a wanted and Homeland Security would likely soon capture or killed him.
Castle warned him that if anything happened to the Liebermans, Micro would release everything on Operation Cerberus. The two agreed to have an exchange for Micro and Punisher in exchange for the Liebermans. At the exchange, Russo was placed above and had a sniper rifle to watch. However, Homeland Security agents came and Micro was presumably killed in the crossfire, Russo continued to shoot at the security agents and had Castle captured, taking him back to Micro's Hideout to stop the countdown clock on Micro's computers.
- "You are nothing but a grunt! You do not get to take me down. You are gonna beg to me. Blood loss is gonna make you weak. You're gonna slip in and out of shock. You will know pain and fear. Fear, Frank. Your ribs must be cracked. I'm gonna take all the breath out of your lungs, out of your lungs, until you can barely whisper and the last word out of your mouth is gonna be "please, please, please."
- ―William Rawlins to Frank Castle
Castle was captured by Billy Russo who wanted to unlock Micro's computers which were on a countdown clock. Castle asked Russo did he trust William Rawlins, similar to how he trusted Morty Bennett before his murder. Rawlins answered that he and Russo had some mutual interest. Rawlins put on his Leather Gloves while Castle asked were they the same ones he used to torture Ahmad Zubair, Rawlins replied that these were special and for Castle's interrogation only. Rawlins proceeded to slap Castle around and punch him repeatedly while the latter mocked him. Rawlins stopped the torture after two hours of beating Castle, taking a break while Russo convinced Castle to enter the codes into Micro's computer. Rawlins told Castle he was deeply disappointed on how he broke so easily under torture.
However, Castle was using their overconfidence to get the blade he hid under his chair, which he use to furiously stab Rawlins in the chest. Russo attempted to stop Castle but the latter continued and bit Rawlins on the neck, causing the agent to scream in agony. As the two wrestled, Russo struck Castle with his gun, leading to Castle letting his grip go. Rawlins proceeded to kick Castle in anger and knocked him unconscious. Enraged, Rawlins mocked Castle for being nothing but a Military Grunt and did not have the right to kill him and continued to torture him. Russo interrupted Rawlins and told that they should focus on wiping everything on Micro's computers, and will kill Castle himself. Rawlins refused, stating that he wanted to kill Castle for everything he took from him and have the latter begging for his life. Russo questioned what Rawlins had meant by Castle taking things from him, as Rawlins had inadvertently revealed that Marion James had taken his position from him.
Rawlins continued to torture Castle by pushing his finger into his wound; causing Russo to drag Rawlins away. Rawlins reminded Russo that he pulled Russo out of the mud after Afghanistan, and reminded Russo that he murdered Homeland Security agents and gotten this far by him. Russo claimed that he wish Castle had killed him back in Kandahar, causing Rawlins to laugh in his face. Russo proceeded to place a gun to Castle's head, leading to Rawlins to pull out his handgun, ordering Russo to step away and not take away his revenge, stating that Castle owed him an eye.
Unbeknownst to Rawlins, Russo had cut Castle's cord, allowing him to kill the agent. Russo left Castle's side and took away Rawlins' gun, who continued his torture by injecting Castle with adrenaline to keep alive long enough. The Anvil agents left after the hacker succeeded to wipe all of Micro's files as Rawlins proceeded to test Castle's heat beat. Rawlins grabbed the weapon he would to get his revenge on Frank, holding a blade to stab out his eye for payback.
Castle stopped Rawlins, knocking him on the ground, learning of Russo's betrayal. Rawlins stabbed Castle into his side, but the latter took it out of his side and stabbed the agent's throat and shoulder. Russo watched from afar, allowing Castle to kill his former ally. Castle told Rawlins that he was a reminder of the crimes he committed and the punishment that came for them. Castle proceeded to punch the agent repeatedly, ending his life by pushing his thumbs into his eyes. Castle then fell to ground beside Rawlins' corpse, tired of holding his own from his torture and killing the CIA agent.
Protected by Dinah Madani
To be added
Seeking to find Billy Russo as soon as possible, Castle realized that he would likely decide to confront Curtis Hoyle in order to learn if he had known of Castle's whereabouts. Castle's predicition was correct as he took up a sniping position directed at Hoyle's Apartment where he had Hoyle move Russo by a window where Castle could shoot him. However, at the last moment Russo predicted what was happening and dived for cover, which caused Castle to miss his shot.
In the chaos, Russo was able to shoot Hoyle in the shoulder as they both vanished from Castle's view, although Castle still kept his close watch on the window which Russo was hiding under and shot at his knife when Russo had wanted to check if Castle was still out there. In order to find out what was happening, Castle then called Hoyle who informed him that he had been shot in the shoulder and was bleeding badly. Castle had then asked Hoyle to put Russo on the phone, with Russo noting how they knew one another so well that they had been able to predict exactly how the other would react to the situation.
As Castle tried to get Hoyle safe, he noted that nobody else needed to die, to which Russo vowed to hurt anyone Castle ever cared about to get to him. As Castle had promised on his honor as a Marine to let Russo walk if he let Hoyle go, Russo noted that he could let Hoyle to bleed out, as Castle promised to call Homeland Security if he did that. Russo then demanded that Castle empty his sniper rifle first. As Russo got up, he suggested they meet at Central Park for their final battle, wanting it to be where Castle's entire family had been gunned down, before Russo had then simply walked out of the door.
- "I'm not gonna let you die today. Dying's easy. You are gonna learn about pain. You're gonna learn about loss. Every morning I look for 'em, Bill. I look for 'em but then I remember. It's gonna be the same for you. When you look at your ugly, mangled face, you're gonna remember what you did. You'll remember, Bill!"
- ―Punisher to Billy Russo
Staying true to his word, Castle headed out into Central Park, having donned his Skull Vest and armed himself with multiple weapons for his showdown with Billy Russo. Upon arriving, Punisher kept himself hidden in the shadows until he witnessed the Carousel being activated, giving Punisher flashbacks of his family. Getting his mind back on the mission, Punisher checked through his rifle scope and discovered that Russo had kidnapped Carl and Hayley and tied them to the horses, with wounds that they were bleeding heavily from.
Just as Punisher watched the kids suffering, he received a phone call from Russo who questioned if he was already out there in the woods, before mockingly reminding Punisher of how Carl and Hayley did not have long left until they would both bleed out from their wounds, as Russo then gave Punisher a reminded of the ticking clock he had to save them before he hung up their call. Unwilling to allow two more children to die because of Russo's actions, Punisher then proceeded to fire off several grenades into the air, intending to distract Russo for a brief but vital moment while he made his move to get closer.
However, Russo spotted Punisher coming at him and began firing at his former friend, as the two exchanged gunfire before Punisher was struck into the leg, forcing him to take cover. While Punisher was in cover, Russo continued shooting at him, as the Punisher waited for an opening and fired back. However, Russo managed to retreat onto the Carousel itself, giving the Punisher time to bandage up his leg before returning to the fight. Sticking to cover, the Punisher ensured that Russo was out of sight before then stepping onto the Carousel himself, while keeping his weapon raised and ready to be fired.
With the Punisher now on the Carousel, he was then suddenly hit by multiple flashbacks of his wife and two children playing on that same Carousel on the day that they were all massacred in front of him. As all these images flashed in front of his face, the Punisher focused on the cries of desperation from Carl and Hayley and then continued to attempt to find Russo onboard the Carousel. During his search, the Punisher heard Russo mockingly call out to him, claiming that guys like them needed this type of conflict and that they were never good people and deserved nothing better than what they had gotten.
Checking the mirrors around the Carousel, the Punisher managed to find where Russo was hiding as the two began exchanging gunfire, using the horses as cover before the Punisher made a tactical retreat, forcing Russo to hunt him down. Russo then continued mocking his former friend, claiming that nobody would mourn them and that they were the same kind of man. At that moment, Russo managed to find the Punisher as they shot at each other again, with Russo hitting the Punisher right in his Bulletproof Vest, while the Punisher shot Russo directly in the face, causing Russo to fall onto his knees in pain.
While Russo pulled the bullet from his cheek, the Punisher recovered and drew his handgun, having dropped his assault rifle, until Russo, furious at having his handsome face permanently scarred, yelled out to the Punisher to end their fight once and for all. While the Punisher kept his weapon raised up, Russo shut down the Carousel ride and aimed his gun directly at Carl and Hayley's heads, promising that if the Punisher did not come out into the open, then he would execute the kids without a second thought, forcing them to desperately beg for their lives until the Punisher finally came around the corner.
Once he was out in the open, the Punisher told Russo to let the kids go free, only for Russo to keep his weapon on them and demand that the Punisher throw his gun and knife aside. With no other choice, the Punisher did as Russo instructed as Russo lowed his weapon from the kids, threatening that if they did not shut up he would shoot them both. As the Punisher still demanded that Russo let these kids go, he was told that attachments were a weakness as Russo then shot him in his skull vest, knocking the Punisher onto the ground, although the Punisher had claimed that Russo had once had the Castle family.
Just as Russo mocked the Punisher's name, calling it a crock of shit, they were interrupted by the arrival of Dinah Madani, who had come to capture or kill Russo. However, Russo was altered to this as Carl called out to Madani for help, as Russo spun around and managed to shoot Madani directly in the skull, as her lifeless body dropped to the ground. Witnessing this, the Punisher had furiously charged at Russo while his back was turned as they wrestled for Russo's weapon, with neither managing to shoot the other until their gun had been thrown aside and they then continued fighting with just their bare fists.
Although Russo's speed proved superior for a while as he smashed the Punisher's face into the steel poles and kicked him to the ground, the Punisher managed to use his brute force to gain an advantage as he countered Russo's punch before lifting him straight up into the air and slamming him onto the ground. From here, the Punisher began repeatedly punching Russo in the face, until Russo was finally able to avoid his strike, causing the Punisher to painfully hit the hard floor, as Russo then punched him right into the throat, knocking the Punisher back as Russo drew his knife, prepared to kill his former friend.
However, the Punisher was swiftly able to disarm Russo and pushed him back against one of the mirrors before he attempted to plunge Russo's own knife into his eyeball. While Russo held back the knife, he looked the Punisher directly into the eye and smiled, before then drawing his own Hidden Blade, which penetrated the Punisher's arm. With the Punisher now severely wounded and with Russo armed with two blades, he was now on the defensive as Russo swung these two blades at him repeatedly, cutting into his skull vest while the Punisher landed several more counter strikes during throughout their clash.
Eventually, Russo managed to gain a full advantage during their fight, knocking the Punisher into a mirror and cracking it, before imbedding his Hidden Blade into the Punisher's shoulder, causing him to drop to the floor in agony while the mirror behind him fell apart. While Russo looked down upon his former friend, he mockingly told the Punisher to look at himself as he was pathetic, before ripping the blade out of his shoulder and preparing to finish him off once and for all. However, the Punisher managed to find the broken shard of glass and stabbed Russo in the gut with it, causing Russo to then stop in his tracks.
With the broken shard of mirror now imbedded into Russo's gut, the Punisher got back onto his feet and looked his former friend directly in the eye before pushing him away, allowing Russo to pull the shard out as blood poured out of the open wound. Although Russo tried to regain his strength and fight back, he had become too weak as the Punisher took full advantage, punching Russo into the mirror. Having cracked the mirror, the Punisher decided to take away Russo's most valued asset, as he then grabbed Russo's face, dragging it down the broken mirror, tearing Russo's face apart as he screamed in agony.
Having been pulled away from the mirror, a horrifically scarred Russo had attempted to fight back, only for the Punisher to break his arm and slam him face first into the mirror. Having collected Russo's own knife, the Punisher gave him a moment to look at his mangled face, before holding the blade to Russo's throat. Unwilling to live like that, Russo begged him to kill him, as the Punisher considered every life that Russo had taken or destroyed through all of his selfish actions with William Rawlins. However, the Punisher decided to give Russo a worse punishment and removed the knife, choosing not to kill him.
Despite Russo begging for death, the Punisher told him dying would be too easy, before kicking him, face first, into the mirror. Grabbing ahold of Russo's hair, the Punisher proceeded to smash his face into the cracked mirror repeatedly, ripping his face to shreds while telling Russo that he would learn about pain and loss. Before Russo had lost consciousness, the Punisher told him about his grief towards his own dead family, and how every morning he would search for them. The Punisher promised that whenever Russo looked at his reflection and only saw ugliness, he would always be reminded of his day.
Having smashed Russo's face in the mirror a final time, the Punisher had left his bleeding body behind and instead went to care for Carl and Hayley, cutting them down and setting them free. Once the kids were safe, the Punisher then went to Madani's aid, finding that she was bleeding heavily from that gunshot wound into her skull. As the Punisher sat with Madani and held her head in his lap, he had heard the sound of the New York City Police Department coming to their location, but made no attempt to escape. Carl and Hayley then sat down beside the Punisher and thanked him for saving their lives.
A New Life
Some Kind of Justice
Three days following the fight in Central Park, Castle was brought by police at the hospital room where Dinah Madani was being treated, also finding agents Marion James and Rafael Hernandez there. They thank him for taking care of William Rawlins' operation and Billy Russo as well, who is still recovering but can suffer brain damage if he wakes up. Castle was additionally rewarded by telling him that his criminal record had been erased and that Frank Castle is "dead" yet again, leaving him free to live a normal life as Pete Castiglione.
- "If you're gonna look at yourself, really look in the mirror, you got to admit who you are. But not just to yourself, you gotta admit it to everybody else. First time, as long as I can remember, I don't have a war to fight. And I guess, if I'm gonna be honest, I just I'm scared."
- ―Frank Castle to Curtis Hoyle
Later that day, Castle headed into Curtis Hoyle's rehab center early, setting it up. Hoyle, surprised to see Castle, suggests that he should open up at his rehab sessions, noting that it'll stay confidential among the group. Castle took Hoyle's advice and stayed until the rest of the United States Armed Forces veterans had shown up. As Castle spoke to the group about his feelings, he noted that since he had killed William Rawlins and defeated Billy Russo, he no longer has any sort of objective or mission to fulfill, Castle admitted to being scared for not knowing what the rest of his life held for him.
Meeting Beth Quinn
More than a year after defeating Billy Russo and getting his criminal record expunged, Castle left New York City and went on the road in search of a better life, eventually stopping to rest at a motel in Michigan. That evening, Castle decided to visit Lola's Roadhouse across the street, attracted to the music coming from the establishment. After he had had a few drinks, a mysterious girl at the bar ordered him to stop hitting on her when she caught him staring for too long, though Castle assured her he had made no attempt to do so.
Shortly after, Castle introduced himself to the bartender Beth Quinn, under his alias "Pete", then stepped in to protect her when Johnny began hitting on her and harassing her Johnny goaded him into attacking, to the point of threatening him with a broken beer bottle, until Ringo broke up the fight kicking out Johnny when Beth informed him that Castle helped her. Impressed with Castle's chivalry, Quinn invited him back to her house once her shift ended. Though hesitant at first, Castle accepted, despite planning to leave first thing in the morning.
At Quinn's place, Castle was immediately impressed by her guitar collection and background as a small-time band member, as well as learning about her son, Rex. Feeling a genuine connection with someone for the first time in years, Castle decided to be honest with her and revealed his true identity. After having sex, Quinn in turn asked about his wedding ring, and Castle explained what had happened to his family. She expressed her condolences and they spent the rest of the night together.
The next morning Castle prepared to leave, only to find Rex asleep on the sofa, awkwardly introducing himself to the boy. Rex inquired about the strange man in their house, and Quinn apologized for not picking him up from her mother's place. Learning that Rex hadn't eaten anything since arriving home, Castle offered to treat them to breakfast at a restaurant of their choice, and Rex eagerly suggested pancakes at Donatello's diner.
At Donatello's, Rex learned more about Castle, including his own son. Castle admitted he never gets to see his son the way he wants to, and Rex found himself relating more and more due to his own absent father. Rex then asked Castle if he missed his son, and Castle replied he misses him every day. Back at the Good Rest Motel, Castle and Quinn parted on good terms, with Quinn wishing him a heartfelt goodbye. While leaving his room later that morning, Castle accidentally bumped into the girl from last night. She warned him to stop following her, though once again, Castle assured her he had no reason for doing so.
- "You're just some Good Samaritan who couldn't stand by?"
"I'm just an asshole who couldn't stay out of trouble, that's all."
- ―Amy Bendix and Frank Castle
Later that night, Castle drove out of town, but realizing he had a chance at a normal life, quickly turned his van around. Returning to Lola's Roadhouse, Castle ordered another drink and Beth Quinn thanked him for changing his mind. Suddenly, Castle noticed the mysterious girl he had been running into, along with several suspicious looking individuals pursuing her. Investigating, Castle fought his way into the women's bathroom and confronted her attackers. Arming himself with his belt, he quickly subdued two of them and questioned why they were following her. The girl refused to answer, but Castle nevertheless offered to escort her out of the roadhouse. Unfortunately, two of the hitmen recovered, but Castle managed to pin one to the stall with her own knife while the girl knocked out the other with a broken sink.
Exiting the bathroom, a fight soon broke out between Castle and the rest of the mercenaries, losing his wedding ring in the process. Ringo helped Castle fight some of them, only to be stabbed and shot several times. Quinn was shot in the shoulder, but Castle grabbed her shotgun and finished off the final two attackers. Acting quickly, Castle and the girl drove Quinn to the nearest hospital, only to be stopped by more hostiles in hot pursuit. Luckily, Castle gunned down the attackers and smashed his way through the roadblock, reaching the hospital just in time. As paramedics escorted Quinn away, she begged him to look after Rex Quinn. Castle and the girl then drove off into the night, determined to learn the truth behind the attack.
Lying Low in Larkville
- "It's my fault. I guess I'm old-fashioned. If it'd been a man those assholes were goin' after, I'll tell you what, I would've bought a beer, I would've sat back, I would've watched the show. But see, they... they came after you. A little girl. I had to get involved. It's my own damn fault."
- ―Frank Castle to Amy Bendix
Eventually, after driving all night, the duo crossed the state line into Ohio. At the girl's insistence, Castle stopped at Tides Motel in Larkville to rest. Giving her some blood-covered money, Castle watched the girl argue with the Debbie for a room before she returned.
Settling in, Castle formally introduced himself as Pete, while the girl told him her name was Rachel. Castle then went to the bathroom to patch himself up. Seeing that he'd been shot in the buttocks during the fight, Castle asked for Rachel's help to remove the bullet and stitch the wound, much to her disgust. Having driven all night, Castle then decided to get some sleep, but not before tying Rachel to the bed to prevent her from leaving and gagging her with duck tape.
Later that day, Castle interrogated Rachel, demanding to know why she was being hunted and refusing to believe her cover story as a college student. Once again, Rachel refused to talk, even after Castle found some suspicious film canisters in her back pocket. Knowing more mercenaries would be upon them soon, Castle tied Rachel back to the bed. At the front desk, Castle asked Debbie for an extra room across from their current one. She begrudgingly agreed, but charged him extra for it, to his irritation. Returning to his room, Rachel questioned his motives, but Castle simply grabbed a crowbar, opened the closet, and began punching a hole into the second room.
- "The only reason you're around right now is because of me. You see, they're comin' after us both now. That's where you got lucky. See, the way I operate, the way I handle situations like this I kill the enemy before they get to me. That's what I do."
- ―Frank Castle to Amy Bendix
Castle predicted that Marlena Olin, who had another crew of mercenaries arrived at the Tides Motel. Castle would make a hole to another room where they hid and they ambushed Olin's crew, killing three of them. Castle then emerged into the gunfight with Davy armed with a rifle, killing him after several unsuccessful attempts.
Later in the shootout, Castle would see Olin attempting to use a gun on her. Which, Castle would knock down Olin who finished with the last hostile and said Bendix that they need to go. Castle put the unconscious Olin in his van to interrogate her later, but she suddenly woke up and managed to grab Castle's gun, shooting him in the arm. Castle shot her in the leg and attempted to force Olin to talk. However, Castle's van is stolen by Rachel. Before she could drive away, the Larkville Police Department would arrive and put Castle and Olin, was put under custody.
At Larkville County Sheriff Station, Castle was going under the name "Pete" has no file, no known address, nothing. Castle said that all the sheriff needs to know is that the people paying Marlena Olin are going to want her back and to make all of this disappear. Castle and Olin are locked up in a cell with Bruce Ogden. In the cell, Castle is confronted by Roy Hardin who would ask both of them questions about the event at the Tides Motel. Castle would warn Hardin, noting that her mercenaries will kill everybody in the station, however, Hardin simply ignores both of them.
Castle is taken out of this cell and questioned, which he tells them everything about the situation. Castle tells him about his encounters with Olin's mercenaries at Lola's Roadhouse and the Tides Motel, much to Hardin's disbelief. Castle tries to convince Hardin to hand him over to mercenaries or everybody in the station will die, however, Ken Ogden proposes to take vehicles to drive away from the station and call for assistance. Hardin agrees with Ogden and orders him to contact the state police.
However, Castle and the Larkville County Sheriff Station is attacked by John Pilgrim and his mercenaries who are retrieving Olin. Castle is let free and would help Hardin and the rest of the sheriffs. He would manage to kill several hostiles, Castle would proceed to eliminate the whole group of hostiles. But, is almost shot and killed by Pilgrim before Homeland Security intervenes and Pilgrim decides to retreat.
When Homeland Security's assistance, Castle is informed that Billy Russo has escapes from the custody and she needs Castle to put him down once and for all. As Hardin returns Castle his things, as well as film canisters, Castle agrees to help Madani, only if they will take Bendix with them. Madani accepts Castle's conditions and three of them leaves Ohio and returns to New York City.
Return to New York
Castle would return to New York City with Madani and Bendix, and they would lay low at Madani's Apartment. Castle is forced to hide due to Rafael Hernandez arriving at Madani's Apartment, after they leave, Castle is questioned by Bendix on what they are doing in New York which Castle ignores her questions.
Castle and Madani discuse Russo's escape and his mental state, Castle understands that Madani is officially banned from the case of Russo. So she brought Frank back to New York to deal with him, Castle is informed by Madani that Russo is not going to stop from hurting innocent people, Frank is showen the skull vest. Which Castle couldn't bring himself to kill Russo, which he argues with Madani and tells her that the chaos will never end.
Castle would leave Bendix locked in the bedroom, as he would go and see Curtis Hoyle who was coerced about Russo. Frank is informed by Hoyle that Madani is wrong and Russo is not simulating his memory loss and notes that Castle should kill him. Castle and Hoyle would discuss Russo, as Hoyle brings up where is he going without any memories about the last years. Castle remembers his talk with Russo, as he told him about Arthur Walsh from Ray of Hope group home who attempted to molest Russo.
Castle returned to Madani's apartment, as he is confronted by Bendix who done research on Frank and found out he was The Punisher. Castle would comes clean and and revealed her name is Amy Bendix, and he is asked by Bendix that if he felt any solace in killing those that wronged him which he responded sometimes it does. Frank is informed that Bendix name is not Rachel but Amy Bendix, which he would suggest that instead of running, it's time to take the fight to the people who are after her.
- "So, then, it's a trap?"
"It might be."
"And you're still going?"
"Yes, I am. It'll be my trap. At least I know it's coming, right?"
- ―Amy Bendix and Frank Castle
Castle and Bendix would play a card game as they discuss Bendix's last work with the Russian Mafia. Castle now knowing that her crew was hired by Sergei Konchevsky who works within New York City, Castle decides to find him and extract any useful information. Castle finds Turk Barrett on the streets and asks for information about Konchevsky. Castle is informed about the Kazan's Gym where Russian Mafia working and Castle asks him to go to the gym and cut a deal with them.
Castle watches Barrett as he goes to meet with Kazan at Kazan's Gym which he learns about an event that happened in Chicago. However, Barrett is apprehended by Kazan's men. Castle returns to Madani's apartment where Barrett calls him and informs about the meeting with Russian Mafia at his shop. Castle figures that this is just a trap and decides to trick them himself.
Instead of walking to Barrett's shop where Russian Mafia prepared an ambush, Castle goes to the gym to confront Kazan. Thinking that Castle killed Konchevsky, Kazan orders his subordinates to kill Castle. However, Castle defeats all hostiles and forces Kazan to tell him who hired them. Kazan informs Castle about Nikolai Poloznev and Castle leaves the gym, as well as Barrett.
Castle with Bendix would go and visit Clive's Photo Studio to develop photographs of David Schultz that was taken by Fiona and his crew took in Chicago. Castle would attack Clive, before he would kill him Bendix stops him from killing him but suggests that they burn the place down which they do.
Castle and Bendix go to find Nikolai Poloznev who paid the Russian Mafia to make it. Returning to the trailer, Bendix suggests that she needs a gun for self-defense. However, Castle states that she is not ready to use it and trains her how to unarm the enemy. Castle claims that she needs to be ready to use the gun against any enemy in front of her.
Castle and Bendix would begin their plan, as Bendix poses as a waitress which she shows the photographs to Poloznev. This causes, Bendix to get chased by Poloznev's bodyguards which she got rid of them by posing as a school girl while Poloznev goes to his car to leave the Academy. However, Castle kidnaps Poloznev as he bodyguards try to find Bendix.
Castle takes Poloznev outside of the town, demanding information about the photographs and occurred murders. Castle is informed about Anderson and Eliza Schultz the CEOs of Testament Industries. Castle also learn that Shultzes' plan was to support their son's political campaign, Poloznev planned to blackmail them, so he paid for photographs. Castle decides to spare Poloznev to take his family and leave the United States.
Hunting Billy Russo
Castle went inside the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where he met with Curtis Hoyle and Dinah Madani to consider the situation. Castle had learned from Hoyle that Billy Russo had been hanging with a group of veterans and that he was now in control of them, so people could potentially die because of him. Castle was convinced by Hoyle that Russo was a priority target and they needed to deal with him as soon as possible. Castle agreed with Hoyle, claiming that he was going to deal with Russo by his methods.
This section requires expansion
As Russo and his crew were leaving the bank, Castle dressed as Jake Nelson arrived. Russo began berating him for being late to the robbery, he was stunned to realize that actually it was really Frank Castle wearing the vest that plagued Russo's nightmares. As Castle killed both Mike and Geno, Russo was grabbed by his crew, and drove off.
Castle is under fired by Todd, he gave chase to Russo in the crew's initial getaway vehicle, as he was determined to seek closure from their previous engagement, which was left unsettled. Castle is saved by Hoyle, which was told to idle in his car while Castle dealt with the robbers. Castle continued to chase Russo which an overwhelmed Russo angrily ordered José to stop the car in the middle of the street, while arming a machine gun, for he was preparing for a gunfight.
Castle paused after Russo's car screeched to a halt on the street. Confused by the apparent betrayal of one of his best friends, Russo demanded answers from Castle to confirm his suspicions that he was responsible for all the scarring on his face. Castle, who perceived Russo as an enemy, admitted to doing so with haste. Russo then went in a fit of rage, unleashing his wrath by furiously firing his gun violently in Castle's vicinity, going against the urges of his robber comrades.
Castle and Russo exchanged gunfire, the New York City Police Department led by Brett Mahoney interfered, which also ruined Hoyle's opportunity to kill Russo with a sniper. After an extensive, prolonged gunfight, Russo's failure to kill Castle prompted him to escape with the rest of his crew, as he was not willing to be arrested. As per Castle, Mahoney gave chase to him and cornered him into an alleyway. While attempting to arrest him, Hoyle came from behind him and aimed at Mahoney the rifle he took from Todd earlier. This allowed Castle to make a swift escape from the police.
Chase of Frank Castle
- "You can't leave, Frank. You can't leave. You can't leave, Frank. I can't let you just walk away, Frank. Frank!"
"Well, you do what you gotta do."
- ―Brett Mahoney and Frank Castle
Kidnapping David Schultz
- "You know something, David? Russians, they paid for these photos. Then, but then, somebody found out, and everybody involved, they got killed. Who could have done that? Maybe someone with power, someone with pull, right? Someone with no mercy. Thing is, you sit there in front of me, you say you got no idea who did it. But, see, here's the thing. I think you know exactly who it is."
- ―Frank Castle to David Schultz
Death of the Schultzes
- "Time for you to make a choice. You take that gun. You stick it in your mouth. You blow out the back of your head. Or you live. But you live with the truth."
- ―Frank Castle to Anderson Schultz
A New Chapter
Contacted by the CIA
- "So what happened? Get sick of reading people their rights?"
"I guess, I spent too much time with you, huh? We need good people here to get things done. And let's face it, when it comes to this stuff, you're the best. I'm offering you a job, Castle."
"I already got a job, Madani. You take care."
- ―Punisher and Dinah Madani
Three months after Amy Bendix's departure, Castle completely went off the grid, breaking off all of his contacts. Understanding that he is unable to continue his life, Castle decided to accept the mantle of the Punisher and resume his anti-criminal crusade. As he targeted two criminal gangs based in New York City and tracked down them to an old warehouse, he was suddenly called by Dinah Madani whose phone number was blocked. Castle ignored Madani's calls, continuing to watch for his targets outside of his car. Madani insisted and Castle finally answered and asked her how she found him. Madani replied that she left the Homeland Security and joined the CIA which allowed her to use the Agency equipment to track down Castle.
Castle then asked Madani what she wanted and Madani answered that the CIA was informed about a high-profile target and Madani needs help to eliminate him. Due to Madani's intention to work with him again, Castle noted that Madani had changed since the last time they met what Madani agreed, commenting that she spent too much time with him. She offered Castle the chance to participate in the CIA mission to do what he does best, but Castle refused to work with her, making Madani deal with her problems by herself.
Spotting the last gang member enter the warehouse, Castle donned his new Skull Vest and grabbed his weapons before walking to the warehouse. The deal between the two gangs went south as both of their leaders thought that they were lured in the trap. All gang members pulled their guns on each other, intending to start a gunfight before Castle drew their attention. Before they could react and fight back, Castle prepared his weapons and violently massacred all gang members in front of him, without any mercy and hesitation.
Frank Castle is a man who has come to see the world in pure black and white terms and believes that the only way to keep the streets safe is to kill criminals so they do not harm innocents again. His sense of morality has turned to the extreme, differing greatly from what most would consider acceptable ideals of good and bad. He firmly believes that the wicked deserve to be punished and stopped permanently and that their deaths - no matter how brutal and even illegal are needed as they better the world. As a consequence, Castle is a controversial figure among the general public, with many people either praising or condemning his actions. His military past has hardened him to even the most extensive violence, as well as his iron mentality; he claims to not suffer any PTSD for his actions as a Marine nor did he claim to feel particularly disturbed when he saw his friends die or kill for the first time. However, the events left him too exhausted to even read a bedtime story to his daughter. The death of his wife and children in contrast completely traumatize him with vivid night terrors and flashbacks to the night they were murdered.
When his wife, son, and daughter were murdered, a devastated Castle turned into a violent almost sociopathic individual, determined to kill every single criminal who had a hand in his family's death. When dealing with criminals, he becomes an extremist. He is brutal, cold, and efficient. He would use extreme tactics such as torture, brutality and eventually kill them. He firmly believes that the truly evil deserve no mercy, and as such he holds no regret in the deaths of any criminal he kills.
However, despite this Castle greatly values the lives of innocents, and will do his absolute best to make sure that civilians are not harmed, as shown when he went to the hospital looking for Grotto and made sure not to harm any patients or Karen Page. Castle upholds an honor code of "One Shot, One Kill"; getting the job done as quickly as possible, whilst trying to avoid any collateral damage. As he delved deeper into Rawlins and Russo’s operations, he became increasingly more vengeful and sadistic, abandoning the honor code of his squad in pursuit of his personal vengeance especially as he realizes it was a part of his own squad that betrayed him. This led him to brutally torture Rawlins to death, prolonging his suffering for as long as possible in stark contrast to swiftly murdering the Blacksmith with a headshot when Castle also had the opportunity to torture him for his family’s death. Despite his lack of hesitation to kill, he still refused to kill Billy Russo, violently mutilating his handsome face instead. Whilst he claims this was also to prolong his miserable life with a constant punishment of his wicked deeds, it is possible he could not bring himself to kill his former closest friend. He also avoided killing Daredevil, and when presented with the chance to kill him, Castle simply resorted to knocking him out. After Billy Russo murdered several prostitutes and framed Castle for the crime, he was in disbelief and shock that he took innocent lives, leading to him losing his drive as the Punisher. However, after discovering his innocence in the matter, his drive for vengeance and to take down Russo returned and he readopted the mantle.
Despite his cold and ruthless demeanor, beneath it all, Castle is a man who strongly and deeply misses his beloved family and wishes only to make up for what he sees as his inability to protect them. Though he undoubtedly loved his family with all his heart, Castle has admitted that his true home is only at wartime and when he feels like a soldier - something which he enjoyed being more than a family man. Despite having the chance to honor their memories and accept their deaths, Castle believes his vengeance against those who murdered them is more important and ultimately what drives him to war. It is ultimately the lack of conflict in life that scares Castle rather than death and having no true home to call to. Castle also appears to believe in returning favors, since him helping Daredevil defeat the Hand ninjas can be seen as him repaying the vigilante for rescuing him from torture at the hands of the Kitchen Irish.
Castle dislikes being thought of as insane or not in control of his actions as it goes against what he believes his mission stands for. At the same time, he does not seem to care what the citizens of New York and the law enforcement think of him as he has witnessed their ineptitude in dealing with his family's murder first hand. He openly sneered at Daredevil for considering himself a "hero" as he claims that he was only "one bad day away" from being like Castle. Indeed, Castle knocks out Daredevil when he claimed that he was insane and goes into a furious rant in court when they planned to instigate him into a mental asylum, admitting he was fully sane and enjoyed killing every criminal he encountered.
Outside of “the mission”, Castle does have other interests and even a certain sense of fun, such as playing guitar. He seems to have a liking for disco and funk, commenting that he enjoyed singing along to “Shining Star” by Earth Wind & Fire so much that he nearly drove the rest of his unit crazy with it. He also enjoys reading and goes through books at a fast pace. Beyond this Castle has no interest in making friends as seen when he was working as a construction worker where he worked tirelessly without breaks for six months with almost no human contact towards his co-workers with the exception of occasionally meeting with Curtis Hoyle. Despite this, Castle has shown the capability to grow emotionally attached to people in his life regardless of his hardened exterior as seen with David Lieberman and Amy Bendix. Although he first acted cold and distant towards her, Castle eventually warmed up to and became protective of Bendix. He expressed a very genuine concern for her well being and threatened to kill a hitman if he was to harm Amy in any way. Later, when Bendix was about to leave to return to a normal life, Castle said he would miss her and even hugged her, a sign of affection that he rarely showed to others.
- "A gun by itself is worthless if you don't know how to use it."
- ―Frank Castle to Amy Bendix
- Master Marksman: Castle graduated from Marine Corps Base in Quantico of class 307. A former scout sniper and marine, Castle has tremendous expertise in handling many firearms, including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, rifles, machine guns, and grenade launchers. Due to his military training, Frank Castle is a deadly shot, adhering to his unit's philosophy of "one shot, one kill," managing to shoot Ahmad Zubair, Nesbitt, Daredevil, Finn Cooley, Speed, Chaney, Ray Schoonover, the Cartel Sicario, Paulie, Moose, Tony Gnucci, Jack, Mike, and Eliza Schultz all in the head. With his devastating use in firearms, he made many criminals and police officials believe his attacks were the work of a group or "army." Hence, as the Punisher, Castle rarely misses his target, and easily avoids injuring innocent civilians, thus managing to swiftly take down the last four Hand ninjas without wounding Daredevil, all from an immense distance away. Castle later sniped the Cartel Sicario in the head with an immensely long range from across the border. Castle can also shoot his enemies in nonlethal spots to prolong their suffering or to interrogate them before they die, as he did with Marlena Olin by intentionally missing her bone by shooting through and through the meat in her thigh, leading Evans to refer to him as "one hell of a shot," meaning phenomenal. During John Pilgrim's attack on the Larkville police station, he shot a Molotov cocktail before an assassin could throw it, dousing him in flames. Outside Tipsy Tilly's Bar, Castle quickly gunned down six bounty hunters before five of them could pull their weapons on him. Castle can also hit his targets without actually seeing them, demonstrated when he fired his rifle from one flight of stairs above him to kill two hitmen. Finn Cooley described Castle as an "artist with the AK," and Blake Tower later said that Castle "shot the city to hell".
- Master Combatant: As a former Marine with years of experience, Castle is a very dangerous, fierce, and lethal armed and hand-to-hand combatant, holding his own against the highly skilled Daredevil, even briefly gaining the upper hand against him in their first encounter. His fighting style includes techniques from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (Krav Maga, Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Taekwondo and Jujitsu) and combat shooting. He impressed Daredevil with his speed and ferocity, despite the latter ultimately being able to get the upper hand in the fight, with the use of his agility. Hence, Castle, while unarmed, survived being ambushed by multiple armed prison inmates at once, swiftly taking them all down in a brutal bloodthirsty fashion, greatly impressing Wilson Fisk, who claimed that Castle has a "unique talent." Castle also quickly overpowered William Rawlins, held his own against Carson Wolf, and defeated Billy Russo after a prolonged fight. Marion James stated Rawlins looked like he was "hit by a train" after he was overpowered and killed by Castle, and Sam Stein drafted an extensive medical examination after Castle killed Carson Wolf. Marlena Olin later commended his fighting skills after seeing him fight in Lola's Roadhouse. Castle possesses a high pain tolerance that allows him to continue fighting even after being beaten by crowbars, dumbbells, punched with a chain-wrapped fist, and even being shot. During his attempted attack on Billy Russo, Castle was able to kill several of Russo's henchmen even after they beat him ruthlessly with crowbars. In fact, being beat only seemed to enrage him more.
- Knife Mastery: Castle often prefers to incorporate knife slashes into his combat style, making him all the more lethal. He has also showcased skills in knife-throwing, such as when Anvil operators ambushed Micro's Hideout.
- Master Tactician: Castle is a highly skilled, effective and experienced military tactician, since notably, during the seemingly hopeless extraction of his unit, Castle assumed command, and single-handedly cleared a helicopter landing zone of enemy combatants (that prevented his unit's escape), while the rest of his men, even Ray Schoonover, hunkered down. Castle even anticipated this conflict as a trap, despite Schoonover requesting his tactical input and Russo supporting his strategic instincts only to have Rawlins negate it. He later received the Navy Cross for his efforts. As the Punisher, Castle later used these tactics to single-handedly track and kill entire gangs of criminals with high efficiency, to the point that Castle was initially mistaken by Daredevil and the police for an entire squad of gunmen, rather than a single man.
- Master Assassin: Castle's Marine Corps service enables him to locate his enemies and eliminate them with military precision. According to Blake Tower and Samantha Reyes, survivors of his brutal kill methods are certain to be found and killed by him, even if they're under assumed names. His aptitude for killing has left many astonished, including Karen Page and Grotto, and he is so effective he was initially mistaken to be a group of trained killers rather than a single person. He has eliminated high-profile targets with the Cerberus Squad and trained to use weapons with superb efficiency. He is surgical and precise, using all of his skills with firearms, stealth and hand-to-hand combat to kill his opponents, seen when he singlehandedly and systematically killed multiple Mujahideen in Kandahar, members of the Kitchen Irish at the Burren Club, members of the Mexican Cartel in the Meatpacking District, members of the Dogs of Hell at a Redfield Electronics garage, more of the Kitchen Irish at the Central Park carousel, an entire wing of prisoners on Ryker's Island, Ray Schoonover's henchman guarding his ship, the Gnucci Crime Family under Linello's, a squad of Anvil agents in Micro's Hideout, Marlena Olin's mercenaries at the Tides Motel, John Pilgrim's mercenaries in Larkville, Russian thugs in Kazan's Gym, bounty hunters on Crescent Street, members of Jigsaw's Crew in Valhalla, and finally over a dozen gangsters in an abandoned warehouse. Castle was able to snap a neck of prisoner and Carson Wolf, and quickly draw his guns to fire at his enemies. Castle is also able to see deadly potential in objects in order to weaponize his environment against his opponents, such as when he bashed a Mujahideen's head in with a rock, bludgeoned Clint with a metal baseball bat, killed Dutton and his bodyguard with a shiv, impaled a prisoner with a sharpened wooden stick, broke a pot of coffee over Speed's head, ran over two Dogs of Hell with his van, strangled Mickey O'Hare with his own necktie, beat Paulie, Leo and Lance with a sledgehammer, hit Carson Wolf in the head with a toaster and photo frame, slammed Eddie's head through a bathroom sink, used dumbbells to defeat Kazan's henchmen, used weights to overpower and kill a Russian Thug, and improvised scrap metal against John Pilgrim in a junkyard. Dinah Madani sought to recruit him directly to assist in the apprehension of a high-value target, disregarding all other agents of the CIA in favor of his skills, declaring him to be "the best" in his line of work.
- Expert Interrogator: Castle enrolled in his SERE course, and is thus well-versed in interrogation tactics, such as employing intimidation techniques to extract information from suspects. Castle was able to successfully perform a reverse interrogation on Carson Wolf which allowed him to learn the truth about his family's murder. Castle was also able to extract information from Jake Nelson a fellow war veteran who took the SERE course through torture.
- Musician: Frank can play the guitar to some extent.
- "Military grade hardware. You seem to know your way around it. And you sure carry yourself like a soldier."
- Kimber Warrior: Castle carried this handgun as his service pistol during his time in the United States Marine Corps, and while serving as part of the Cerberus Squad. While serving in Operation Cerberus, he was ordered to use his handgun to kill Ahmad Zubair, which began to question the validity of his work in that mission, as he was also ordered to retrieve the bullet from Zubair's corpse. During their last mission, when the entire squad was ambushed, Castle took upon himself to clear the area, single-handedly defeating all enemies with the weapons he had available, using his handgun when his assault rifle ran out of ammunition. Castle carried this handgun when he took Karen Page to a diner. While being there, he noticed that a car had been following them and that they were going to be attacked. As two soldiers working for the Blacksmith entered into the diner, Castle opened fire and avoided their shots. Despite he lost the handgun during the shootout, he overpowered the two men, and retrieved the handgun to kill the two injured soldiers, shooting one of them in the head, and killing the other using the gun as a club. He also took it to the ship that the Blacksmith used to smuggle heroin into New York City, almost using it to kill a man that claimed to be the Blacksmith, until being disarmed by Daredevil. Castle obtained another one of these handguns from the weapons cache he stole from the Greek Mob, and began to use it as his main sidearm, such as when he used it to threaten Colonel Morty Bennett for information and had to shoot a soldier while escaping from Fort Bryon, or when he took to prevent Lewis Wilson from killing Stan Ori and Karen Page, confronting Lewis until he was forced to holster it when members of Anvil appeared, and finally losing it Billy Russo shot him while Dinah Madani had him cornered. Castle took a spare one from his his hideout and used it as his sidearm during an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He resorted to using the handgun when he was forced to kill one of the agents in close-quarters-combat, until retrieving a shotgun, but used it again to executing Jack, the field leader of the team, whom he had mistaken for Russo. Castle took the gun as his sidearm, briefly dueling Russo with them as they were battling in the carousel of Central Park. Russo resorted to threatening the hostages, forcing Castle to throw his own gun away. Russo then shot at him, and realizing that Dinah Madani was sneaking upon him, he also shot at her, giving Castle the chance to disarm him. He continued to carry his handgun after he met Amy Bendix, using it against her assassins at the Tides Motel, surprising them by coming through a makeshift doorway to the adjacent room and killing two after they had shot up the closet. He then used it against a sniper sitting in a car, reloading behind a truck for cover and eventually shooting him in the head. He then used it to cold-cock Marlena Olin before she could harm Bendix. He later taught Bendix how to disarm a handgun from somebody, using his Kimber as an example.
- Springfield Armory XDM Compact: Castle carried this handgun in an ankle holster when he went to Metro-General Hospital to try to kill Grotto. Once Daredevil attacked Castle, he resorted to take this handgun and shoot him in the head.
- Para 1911 G.I. Expert: Castle carried this handgun when he visited the carousel in Central Park where his family had been killed. The Kitchen Irish set an ambush there, and Castle killed some of them until he was overwhelmed and kidnapped under Finn Cooley's orders.
- Heckler & Koch P30: Castle obtained this gun from one of the members of the Kitchen Irish that was about to use it on him under Finn Cooley's order when they realized that Castle had tricked them into activating a trap. However, Castle freed himself, took the gun from the henchman and used to kill him and shoot at Cooley, before discarding it for a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun.
- Colt M1911A1: Castle obtained this weapon from Paulie, who opened fire on him while he went to rescue Donny Chavez. Paulie missed the shots and tried to escape, but Castle took the gun for himself and used to kill him. Castle then kept Paulie's gun, carrying it the following day, and using while trying to chase Micro while having breakfast at a diner. Until he obtained better weapons, Castle kept using the handgun, taking it to ambush David Lieberman inside his hideout, and in his attempts to obtain a weapons cache, first by threatening Turk Barrett for information regarding the weapons, and then to attack Mazur and his gang to obtain some vehicles they needed for the robbery of the weapons.
- Taurus PT92AFS: Castle snuck up on Tony Gnucci and forced him to shoot himself in the eye with his own pistol.
- Glock 17: Castle took Carson Wolf's handgun when he ambushed him inside Wolf's house. Castle prevented him from grabbing the gun and then he took the weapon right after leaving Wolf unconscious. While he was unconscious, Castle emptied the gun, leaving only one bullet, using it to shoot Wolf at his kneecap. Wolf managed to free himself from his ties and grabbed the gun from Castle, threatening him with it until he realized the gun was empty.
- SIG-Sauer P320 Compact: Castle took Lieberman's own pistol from him when he held him captive in his own hideout. He noted the gun had not been properly maintained and admonished Lieberman for so.
- Smith & Wesson M&P: Castle took this weapon from Karen Page, who had picked it up from a downed Anvil member while she was attacked by Lewis Wilson. With Castle's guidance, Page shot Wilson in a foot to free herself, and then gave Castle the gun to help him escape, by acting as if Castle had taken Page as a hostage, in order to avoid the New York City Police Department officers from shooting him.
- Glock 19: Castle presumably took this pistol from one of Amy Bendix's attackers and gave it to her for self-defense at the Tides Motel.
- Desert Eagle Mark XIX: Castle took this pistol off Amy Bendix after she disarmed and shot a hitman, using it to finish him off to put her at ease so she wouldn't think herself responsible for taking a life.
- Smith & Wesson Model 327 Performance Center TRR8: Castle carried this revolver when he kidnapped Daredevil and used him to threaten him while he was chained in a rooftop. He also used to point at Jerry when he went to the rooftop, without Jerry noticing and only for Daredevil to hear it so that he feared for the man's life. Once Castle brought Grotto to the rooftop to demonstrate Daredevil that the criminals he punished were beyond redemption, he threatened Grotto with the gun, and killed him with a shot to his chest before Daredevil could stop him.
- Smith & Wesson Model 327 Night Guard: Castle owned this small revolver, and attached it to Daredevil's hand using duct tape. Castle prompted Daredevil to shoot him, as that would be the only way of stopping him. However, Daredevil eventually used it to shot the chains that tied him up.
- Heckler & Koch MP5A3: Agents of the Anvil unit sent to kill Gunner Henderson carried these submachine guns outfitted with suppressors as their standard weapons. Castle obtained one of them and used to kill one of the operatives and defend himself until he ran out of ammunition. He took a second weapon from an operative he killed with his knife and used it to kill some of the remaining operatives with David Lieberman's guidance, who had a drone above the area.
- Heckler & Koch MP7A1: Frank uses the submachine gun after being ambushed by Jigsaw's Crew, who primarily use the weapon.
- Remington 870 MCS (Masterkey): After running out of ammo in both his rifle and pistol during the Ambush in Kandahar, Castle resorted to his backup weapon service shotgun to blast through more terrorists. Later, having guessed that Billy Russo would know his location as he had kidnapped Sarah Lieberman kidnapped, Castle prepared his hideout for an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He set up a series of weapons and explosive traps, placing this shotgun over some pipes, and retrieving to kill some Anvil agents until he was shot from behind, losing the weapon as he was forced to take cover.
- Ithaca 37 Custom Short Barrel Stakeout: Castle took this shotgun to Metro-General Hospital in order to kill Grotto. Once he saw him, he began to shoot at Grotto, but being extremely careful and not hurting Karen Page, who was trying to get Grotto to safety, or any other civilian.
- Franchi SPAS-12: Castle obtained this shotgun from the weapons that Finn Cooley was going to use to torture him. However, he freed himself and despite he obtained a handgun from the henchman that was going to kill, he quickly discarded it for the shotgun. Castle then used the shotgun to kill incoming henchmen and then blew up Cooley's face with a point-blank shot as he had no information about the death of his family. Castle kept using the shotgun until he was cornered by Cooley's henchmen, only to be rescued by Daredevil.
- Mossberg 500 Knoxx Sidewinder Kit: Castle infiltrated a garage owned by the Dogs of Hell, in order to prepare for an ambush that the New York City Police Department was setting for him. He used this shotgun, with a Knoxx Sidewinder magazine feed conversion kit and drum magazine for rapid reloading and changing of ammunition types, to kill all the gang members inside except for one, whom Castle tied inside a truck to use as a diversion.
- 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun: Castle took this shotgun from Beth Quinn near the end of a bar fight in Lola's Roadhouse, using it to kill one of Amy Bendix's armed attackers and proceeded to beat the second one with it, using it as a blunt weapon by delivering multiple strikes to his face until he died. He stole another one from Clive before he could shoot him, and proceeded to beat him close to death with it. He kept it for Bendix so she could defend herself. He cleaned it while the two discussed actions and consequences of taking a life after he brought it to kill Nikolai Poloznev, but the latter convinced him to spare him.
- Heckler & Koch HK416: Castle carried this assault rifle as his standard weapon during his time in the United States Marine Corps, and while serving as part of the Cerberus Squad. While serving in Operation Cerberus, the entire squad was ambushed, and Castle took upon himself to clear the area, single-handedly defeating all enemies with the weapons he had available, using his assault rifle until it ran out of ammunition.
- AKS-74U: Castle took one of these assault rifles from an enemy when the Cerberus Squad was ambushed, and Castle took upon himself to clear the area. He proceeded to single-handedly defeat all enemies with the weapons he had available, using this rifle when his weapons ran out of ammunition.
- SIG-Sauer 516 Tactical Patrol: Castle carried this assault rifle, outfitted with an LMT M203 Grenade Launcher, to a rooftop in order to prepare an attack on the Dogs of Hell. Having kidnapped Daredevil, he had to start his attack right as Daredevil freed himself. Castle shot a grenade to the motorbikes stationed on the street, and then used the rifle as a clubbing weapon when Daredevil tried to stop him. Once he took him down, Castle prepared to open fire, but Daredevil threw the gun down to the street, disarming Castle and knocking him down. Castle obtained another rifle as he infiltrated the Blacksmith's Ship, but he did not have to use it, as the only man onboard quickly ran out of ammunition, so Frank discarded the rifle to take his sidearm.
- Ruger AC556: Castle ambushed Turk Barrett in order to obtain the weapons shipment from the Greek Mob that Barrett was supposed to receive. However, as Barrett had no other weapon available, Castle had to take a customized rifle with a synthetic pink stock that Barrett had acquired as a request from a gangster who wanted it for his daughter. Castle took the rifle to their hideout to show it to David Lieberman, but he never put it to use.
- Heckler & Koch G36C: Having guessed that Billy Russo would know his location as he had kidnapped Sarah Lieberman kidnapped, Castle prepared his hideout for an ambush in the men that Russo would send after him, hoping that Russo himself would appear. He set up a series of weapons and explosive traps, taking this weapon as soon as revealed himself to the Anvil agents, shooting many of them until being cornered by one, that forced him to discard the rifle and kill him with a handgun.
- M4A1 Carbine: Both Castle and Billy Russo wielded heavily customized versions of this assault rifle while battling each other in the carousel of Central Park. As they engaged, they began to shoot at each other, with Russo hitting Castle's leg. As they covered from each other's bullets, Castle and Russo boarded the circling carousel with Castle shooting as Russo taunted him until they successfully shot at each other, with Castle being hit in the chest and Russo in the cheek, losing the guns and resorting to fire their sidearms.
- Colt Law Enforcement Carbine: Castle was given this rifle by Roy Hardin during John Pilgrim's attack on the Larkville police station, using it to kill Pilgrim's assassins in the woods. He later brought it to rescue Amy Bendix from hitmen after Shantel set her up, notably using it to kill two hitmen from one floor below.
- Battle Arms Development Tanker: Frank collected the weapon from Pilgrim's bag, wielding it during his standoff before losing it in an elevator fight with the police.
- Nemesis Arms Vanquish: Castle took this sniper rifle to a rooftop near Metro-General Hospital after he tried to kill Grotto inside of the hospital. Seeing that he would not catch Grotto up, he began to shoot the rifle hoping to kill him, until Daredevil confronted him and they began to fight.
- Knight's Armament SR-25: Castle kept one of these rifles as part of the arsenal in his apartment.
- Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout: Castle climbed to a water tower to act as a sniper in his second attempt to kill Grotto. Knowing that Grotto was acting as bait for him, Castle created a diversion for the New York City Police Department and he began to shoot hoping to kill Grotto, until Daredevil attacked him a second time.
- Barrett MRAD: Castle obtained this rifle as part of the secret arsenal kept by Ray Schoonover. Castle then followed police radio signals to the site of a massive hostage situation, arriving soon after Nobu Yoshioka had accidentally killed Elektra. As Yoshioka ordered the rest of the Hand members to kill Daredevil, Castle acted as Daredevil's backup, killing the ninjas and allowing Daredevil to finally defeat Yoshioka. Castle then respectfully said goodbye to Daredevil and left the scene with the rifle still in his hands.
- Accuracy International AWSM-F: Castle took this rifle with him to El Paso in order to kill the last survivor of the Mexican Cartel. He patiently waited until his target arrived to Juárez, and once the shot was clear, Castle fired a bullet that took a few seconds to reach the border, but ultimately killed the Cartel leader when it hit his head. He also used this rifle in a failed attempt to assassinate William Rawlins, but his rounds could not penetrate his protective glass. He used it again In an attempt to finally kill Billy Russo, with the help of Curtis Hoyle drawing Russo out in front of a window.
- Dillon M134 Minigun: Castle obtained a handheld version of the minigun as part of the secret arsenal kept by Ray Schoonover. He then took it when he went to torch his former house, carrying it while the house began to be engulfed by flames.
- FN M249 SAW: Punisher hid this machine gun in a box of packing peanuts, in preparation to face Billy Russo's Anvil soldiers' ambush on Micro's hideout. After he received heavy fire to his vest and was forced to discard his shotgun, he took cover behind bigger crates to detonate an explosive and draw out the rest of the soldiers. He began to fire upon his attackers, but quickly dropped it to instead kill a hidden soldier with his combat knife, and steal his gun instead.
- Sage Control SL-6 Rotary Launcher: During his duel with Billy Russo, Castle used a grenade launcher to confuse Russo so that he could sneak up on him and kill him.
- Ka-Bar: Talking with Zach Lieberman about his behavior, Castle found that he carried the Ka-Bar. Castle told Lieberman about combat knife he picked, before used it to threat Lieberman. Castle carries this type of combat knife which he uses on multiple occasions. He even uses it as a makeshift throwing knife.
- Baseball Bat: Castle went to Clint's store and bought some supplies from him. As Castle attempted to leave Clint offered Castle some child pornography. This disgusted Castle and he picked up a baseball bat which he then used to beat Clint to death with.
- Sledgehammer: Six months after killing all the gangs involved in his family's death, Castle retired from vigilantism and got a job as a construction worker. Castle used a sledgehammer for his job and would often work late into the night hammering down concrete walls by himself, quickly earning him the ire of some of his coworkers. Castle would later use his sledgehammer to rescue Donny Chavez from Lance and his lackeys.
- Flamethrower: During his time at robbing the Greek Mob's arsenal, Castle used a flamethrower to threaten two Department of Homeland Security agents. Castle forced them to drop their weapons and jump into the water so they could not pursue him.
- Police Radio Frequency Scanners: At his hideout, Castle was in possession of multiple radio frequency scanners that allowed him to listen in on the police and stay a step ahead of their plans, as well as to find leads on his enemies.
- Daredevil's Billy Club: Castle temporarily used Daredevil's own Billy Club against him during their second fight, though losing it once Daredevil gained the upper hand against the fight.
- "That skull? That's a memento mori. It's Latin for "Remember, you will die"."
- ―Micro to Punisher
- Punisher's Vest: Wearing a Bulletproof Vest on his chest and torso, which had helped him absorb the impact from firearm projectiles and shrapnel from explosions, Castle painted a huge skull over the vest's front in order to put fear into the hearts of his enemies as he slaughtered them.
- Frank Castle's Van: Planting the explosive in his own van, Castle informed Finn Cooley that he left the money stolen from the Kitchen Irish inside. While two gangsters went to take back their money, Castle exploded the van, killing them. Later, Castle obtained another van that was used in the chase for the Dogs of Hell. Later, together with Micro, Castle utilized the van to arrive to different places, such as Kentucky, Fort Bryon and Wilson Residence.
- 1968 GT Ford Mustang: Instead of his van, Castle used Micro's car to drive to the docks where Turk Barrett was spotted. Realized that Barrett had not any useful weapons, he drove back to the hideout.
- Homeland Security Helicopter: To be added
- Castle Residence: Castle lived with his wife and two children in the primary household in a suburban neighborhood of New York City. In the wake of Massacre at Central Park, Castle demanded George Bach to bring him to his house and then it was abandoned for several months before it was explored by Karen Page. Preparing for leaving the city, Castle returned to his house last time before burning it down.
- Cerberus Squad Compound: During the rotation in Afghanistan, Castle was stationed at the military base in Kandahar, as well as other members of the Cerberus Squad. Following the Ambush in Kandahar, Castle and the remained members of the squad was evacuated to the base for medical treatment.
- Punisher's Hideout: Orchestrating his own crusade against the New York criminals, Castle lived in a small apartment that was used as his improvised base. Hideout later was found by the Kitchen Irish members which found a map on the wall with marked Central Park and realized where he was going to be.
- Frank Castle's Apartment: Assuming his new identity as "Pete Castiglione," Castle lived in the apartment within New York City. Learning that he was watched by Micro, Castle changed his appearance and left his apartment.
- Micro's Hideout: Teaming up with Micro, Castle had come to live in the abandoned power station that Lieberman used as his hideout. Inside the hideout, Castle placed his van and the weapons stolen from the Greek Mob. Using Sarah Lieberman's phone, William Rawlins traced the location of the hideout and Billy Russo sent Anvil tactical unit to eliminate Castle and Lieberman. However, Castle knew about the attack and sent a trap, killing all Anvil agents sent after him. When Castle was captured by Anvil, Russo ordered agents to bring Castle to the hideout where he was tortured by Rawlins before he was killed by him.
- St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church: Following the arrest of Russo and regaining his freedom from the CIA, Castle agreed to attend a group therapy session for former United States Armed Forces soldiers ran by Curtis Hoyle. Arriving to the church, Castle joined other veterans and admitted to being scared for not knowing what the rest of his life holds for him.
- Tides Motel: To be added
- Dinah Madani's Apartment: To be added
- "I'm offering you something no one else could. If you don't want my help, fine. By all means, enjoy prison."
- ―Wilson Fisk to Frank Castle
- Ryker's Island: For his crimes, Castle was imprisoned in the Ryker's Island where he was approached by Wilson Fisk. Fisk offered him to kill his fellow inmate Dutton who ruled the whole prison, claiming that he most likely knows about the Massacre at Central Park. However, after the death of Dutton, Fisk locked Block A where he confronted and killed several inmates before he was overpowered by corrupted prison guards. Realizing that chaos, caused by Castle's actions can make the situation in the city more valuable, Fisk ordered his men to free him from the prison.
|Appearances for Frank Castle|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Francis Castiglione is a veteran of the Vietnam War, who returned home only to watch his family die for witnessing a mob execution lead by the Costa family, a crime family in the Maggia. He vowed to kill criminals, disregarding his identity as Castle and calling himself only the Punisher. Castle appears as an adversary of Spider-Man, when he targets the hero for inadvertently causing Gwen Stacy's death, they later become situational allies after a misunderstanding.
- Punisher is the character with the second highest body count in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being directly responsible for the deaths of 65 known characters.
- Punisher was originally set to be introduced in a post-credits scene at the end of first season finale of Daredevil, where he kills Leland Owlsley, with the character's face unseen but his skull insignia appearing. But the idea was dropped because the way Netflix airs its series episodes.
- Castle is a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Wu-Tang Clan, and Shooter Jennings.
- Castle can play the guitar.
- Castle is, or at least at one point was Catholic.
- Castle is a fan of the New York Rangers.
- Castle likes pancakes and Lombardi's sausage and mushroom pizza.
- Castle is left-handed.
- Castle is 6'3". Though this is Castle’s height in the comics, in real life Jon Bernthal is 5’10.
Behind the Scenes
- Jon Bernthal made audition tapes together with Tom Holland while filming Pilgrimage, both landing their roles of Frank Castle and Peter Parker respectively. In the comics, Punisher first appeared as an adversary of Spider-Man.
- Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson.
- Steven S. DeKnight said this version of Punisher would be "completely the Marvel version," as previous portrayals did not appear under the Marvel Studios / Marvel Television banner. He also felt Bernthal's Punisher would not be as "graphically violent" as in Punisher: War Zone.
- Douglas Petrie stated that Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver was an influence on the character, as well as current events, saying, "Taking lethal justice into your own hands in America in 2015 is tricky shit. We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of Now. If you've got a gun and you're not the police you're going to incite strong feelings."
- Jon Bernthal added that "This character has resonated with law enforcement and military ... and the best thing about him is that if he offends you, he just doesn't care."
- Petrie and Marco Ramirez talked about creating their version of the character following the film versions, with Ramirez saying, "even if you know the character, you’ve never seen him like this. That was the big thing we wanted. There are four movies, eight hours and four actors. We’ve seen this guy. We think we know who he is, but even we learned that he’s so much more." Petrie said, "We hope to make people forget what they’ve seen before, whether they’ve loved it or not."
- In order to get in the correct mindset to portray Castle, Bernthal trained with military members, along with receiving weapon training. Bernthal also "had to put myself in as dark of place as possible" to connect with "the emptiness inside" Castle, and isolate himself, including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to set "to shed any outside influence of joy."
- Describing the character, Bernthal said, "As a man who put his [life] on the line and really went through the ultimate sacrifice for this country in his involvement in the military. He’s a guy who brought the war home with him [in] the worst possible way. There are a lot of iterations of this character and in all of them it’s a man who’s gone through this unbelievable trauma and what’s interesting about our take on him is how this trauma reshapes his own philosophy."
- Bernthal also talked about the character's 'superpowers', saying, "If I got one thing from the comics, I think, as far as superpowers... his superpower is his rage. His superpower is that he is not going to quit, and he is going to go forward no matter what. And that's as human and grounded a quality as I think as this sort of genre could have."
- Eric Linden, Spencer Mulligan, Justin Eaton and Can Aydin were stunt doubles for Jon Bernthal in the role of the Punisher.
- Rocky Kellon Smith was a stand-in for Jon Bernthal in the role of the Punisher.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Punisher: 1.03: Kandahar
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Punisher: 1.04: Resupply
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Punisher: 1.08: Cold Steel
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Punisher: 2.04: Scar Tissue
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Daredevil: 2.12: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Daredevil: 2.08: Guilty as Sin
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Punisher: 1.09: Front Toward Enemy
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.05: Kinbaku
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Punisher: 1.07 Crosshairs
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Punisher: 1.12: Home
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 The Punisher: 1.02: Two Dead Men
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.10: The Dark Hearts of Men
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Daredevil: 2.04: Penny And Dime
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 The Punisher: 1.13: Memento Mori
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Daredevil: 2.01: Bang
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Daredevil: 2.02: Dogs to a Gunfight
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Daredevil: 2.03: New York's Finest
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.06: Regrets Only
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.07: Semper Fidelis
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Daredevil: 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.10: The Man in the Box
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Daredevil: 2.11: .380
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.13: A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Punisher: 1.01: 3 AM
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.05: Gunner
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 The Punisher: 1.06: The Judas Goat
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.10: Virtue of the Vicious
- ↑ The Punisher: 1.11: Danger Close
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 The Punisher: 2.01: Roadhouse Blues
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 The Punisher: 2.02: Fight or Flight
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.03: Trouble the Water
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.05: One-Eyed Jacks
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 The Punisher: 2.06: Nakazat
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.07: One Bad Day
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.08: My Brother's Keeper
- ↑ The Punisher: 2.13: The Whirlwind
- ↑ How many fighting styles does The Punisher know in Marvel's Netflix Series?
- ↑ Daredevil Season 2 (2016) Jon Bernthal Kill Count
- ↑ https://www.hypable.com/punisher-daredevil-season-one/
- ↑ Fight or Flight
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE: Jon Bernthal and Tom Holland made audition tapes together to land The Punisher and Spider-Man roles
- ↑ Steven DeKnight Says ‘Daredevil’ Finally Features “The Marvel Version” of the Punisher
- ↑ Daredevil season 2: First photo of The Punisher
- ↑ ‘Daredevil’ Showrunners on How Punisher and Elektra Shake Up Season 2
- ↑ Daredevil Jon Bernthal interview: Went to a dark place for Punisher
- ↑ DAREDEVIL: THE PUNISHER AND ELEKTRA WILL MAKE MATT MURDOCK QUESTION HIS ROLE AS A HERO