Now, most of you have probably heard the news about the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the Punisher. But for moviegoers and laymen who aren't familiar with the character, who exactly is the Frank Castle?
The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 as an antagonist. The reason why he was here is because he was after the web-slinging hero, Spider-Man for allegedly killing Norman Osborn a.k.a. the Green Goblin. He was introduced as a formidable combatant, weapons specialist and ex-US Marine. However, despite him being someone who was on a blood hunt for one of comic books' most beloved heroes, he was well-received by fans and readers and would eventually appear in more comics with Spider-Man, Nightcrawler and Captain America, too.
It wasn't until the 1980s, when writer Stephen Grant petitioned for Marvel to deliver a miniseries for the Punisher. With each story the Punisher would become a character that the fans could sympathize with, despite his violent nature and take-no-prisoners approach to crime-fighting. Sure enough, in January 1986, the Punisher War Zone #1 premiered, and with it came the Punisher we all know today. In the stories that followed, Frank Castle was revealed to us as being a family man and ex-Marine whose family was killed in a shootout by the mob. Castle survived, and because of this event, he would wage a bloody war on crime, beginning with his family's killers.
Over the course of the Punisher's career as, well, a Punisher, he would gain enemies such as Barracuda, Kingpin and most notably, Jigsaw. He would also gain staunch allies as well, such as Nick Fury, Black Widow and Daredevil. His skull insignia would grow to be as iconic as many of Marvel's heroes' symbols.
The Punisher has appeared in 3 feature films and has had many portrayals, first being with Dolph Lundgren in The Punisher (1989), Thomas Jane in The Punisher (2004), and finally, Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone (2008). (War Zone is my personal favorite)
Thomas Jane reprised his role in fan film Punisher: Dirty Laundry (2012).
He will appear in the second season of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Marvel's Daredevil, portrayed by The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal. Season 2 is set to premiere sometime in 2016. It isn't known how big of a role it will be, or if he will be an ally or antagonist, but one thing's for certain; Marvel fans everywhere are excited to see what the Punisher will be doing in Hell's Kitchen.