The Punisher is awfully good at what he does, and what he does is keep the bad guys down.
Antihero, ex-marine, and vigilante to the extreme, the man formerly known as Francis Castiglione (a.k.a. Frank Castle) has worn plenty of hats and plenty more ammo belts to go with them. However, time and time again there are some villains that just won't stay crossed off on Frank's hit-list.
Here are six crazy villains that just won't stay dead — or not for long.
(This article has been updated)
A native of Boca Raton, Florida, the man that became Barracuda grew up with the notion of becoming "hard as the motherf***ing world itself"; as a U.S. Green Beret and part-time drug-runner cannibalizing his way from Nicaragua to Africa, he became exactly that as an assassin for corrupt businessman Harry Ebbing and a one-time enemy of The Punisher.
Barracuda lost an eye, a hand, and a nose to The Punisher after being hired to silence Frank's investigation of Dynaco's attempts to sabotage Florida's power grid. Following a shark attack and a shot to the face, Barracuda would surface years later working for Mafia don and Christopher-Walken lookalike "Big Chris" Angelone.
The name Hitman has been the moniker of at least three people, including one of Frank Castle's own Vietnam war buddies, Burt Kenyon. Having saved Frank's life a number of times, Kenyon's mercenary work would pit him against his former friend on opposite ends of the battlefield. Having done everything from working for the Maggia to fighting Spider-Man to kidnapping The Daily Bugle's J. Jonah Jameson, Kenyon would finally throw down with Frank on the Statue of Liberty, leading Kenyon to fall to his death.
Since then, brainwashed army veteran Jimmy Pierce and an unknown criminal working for The Hobgoblin would don Hitman's classic skull mask — a faceless reflection of the Punisher's own skull costume. For now, it seems that there will always be a Hitman to ensure that The Punisher kills for free.
Deadpool might not be a Punisher villain per se, but he's definitely not on Frank Castle's Christmas card list either. The two crossed paths in the five-Issue Deadpool: Suicide Kings after Deadpool was (wrongfully?) framed as a terrorist. Frank was then rude enough to blow off Deadpool's head. Just like clockwork, our regenerating degenerate's head grew back safe and sound, but it's doubtful that Frank would fare as well should Deadpool ever decide to pay him back in full.
4. Ma Gnucci
"Daddies mean fun, mommies mean business" is an adage that definitely applies to Ma Gnucci. The mother of New York City's three most powerful Mafia dons, Gnucci found herself in The Punisher's crosshairs during a foot chase through New York's Central Park Zoo, in which she was mauled by a pack of polar bears. Bent on solving her Punisher problem, Ma Gnucci hired The Russian as extra muscle only for Gnucci to die in a house fire set by The Punisher.
Nine years later, Ma Gnucci's nephew, Peter, hired surgically-altered killer quadriplegics to pose as his resurrected aunt, having returned from hell itself as a horror-version of The Incredibles' Edna. Though they were all killed by the Punisher, it's clear that Ma Gnucci's name may never die.
If Batman has The Joker and Superman has Lex Luthor then The Punisher has Jigsaw. A former hitman for crime boss Frank Costa, pretty boy Billy "The Beaut" Russo planted the bomb that killed Frank Castle's family but spared Frank, who escaped the blast. Seeing Frank as the missing piece on his resumé, Billy would make it his mission to end the Punisher's kill streak — even taking a window pane to the face in the process, scaring his face like a grotesque jigsaw puzzle.
As one of — if not the only — recurring enemy in the Punisher's rogues gallery, Jigsaw's teamed up with and fought with nearly every villain in New York to make sure that he got the last shot at the Punisher. He's even shared ice cream with Spider-Man while under the spell of fairy king Oberoth'm'Gozz, but I'm sure he wasn't faking his love for ice cream — no one can.
A man like Frank Castle is always battling his demons — sometimes for real. Olivier is one such demon. The fancifully named hell lord and one-time ally to Lucifer, Olivier was banished by his jealous peers into the body of stillborn infant Frank Costa. Returning life to the baby, Costa grew up without any knowledge of his satanic heritage until he committed his first murder as an up-and-coming crime boss bent on climbing his way through the Maggia's ranks.
Realizing his true nature, Olivier plotted his revenge by ordering the deaths of Frank Castle's family, sending the grief stricken antihero on a life-long rampage against the world's criminals. Every one of The Punisher's kills fueled Olivier's hate, allowing him to build the strength to invade New York City with his own legion of hellions. Defeated only thanks to the X-Men's Nightcrawler and Magik, Olivier continues to serve in Lucifer's court, his status restored, and has become an eternal symbol of The Punisher's pain.