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The Punisher

The Punisher (Frank Castle) is a comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe, generally considered to be an anti-hero. It is also the title of several comic book series starring the character.

The Punisher was a novel character in mainstream superhero comics when he debuted in the 1970s in that he was willing to use lethal force to accomplish his aims, without actually being a supervillain.


Frank Castle was a U.S. Marine who served in the Vietnam War in a special forces unit. After his tour of duty was over he came back to the United States and started a family. His family was killed in a gangland crossfire. Since then, Frank has devoted his life to destroying organized crime, using the nom de guerre The Punisher, and using whatever resources and means necessary to do so. The Punisher has a criminal record due to his activities, and law enforcement is aware of his existence.

The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1974). The story was written by Gerry Conway, who originally conceived the character as a one-issue antagonist for Spider-Man (the story involved the Punisher stalking Spider-Man, whom Castle mistakenly believed to be a murderer). The character proved immediately popular, and made appearances in other series (usually clashing with the hero of the piece over his methods) and eventually gaining a series of his own in the mid-1980s.

Television & Movies

A film adaptation, The Punisher, starring Dolph Lundgren, was released in 1989. A second film adaptation, starring Thomas Jane as the Punisher and John Travolta as the main villain, is scheduled for release in April 2004.

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