Punishment Fits the Crime: Matt and Frank
Frank Miller sends The Punisher on a Daredevil date with destiny!
Get fired up for the November 17 debut of “Marvel’s The Punisher” on Netflix by exploring some of Frank Castle’s darkest, deadliest moments.
Having started his legendary DAREDEVIL run with issue #158, Frank Miller first introduced The Punisher to the Man Without Fear in issues #181-#184. Joined by creative duo Klaus Janson and Roger McKenzie, Frank Castle only appeared on one page of DAREDEVIL #181 before jumping into the story in earnest with issue #182.
Both he and Bullseye sat behind bars on Ryker’s Island, though Bullseye managed to break out—and ended up killing Elektra in the same issue. By the time issue #182 rolled around, Castle had an escape arranged so that he could disrupt a major narcotics shipment on Long Island. In an operation that now seems commonplace to PUNISHER readers, he brutally—and systematically—took out the drug runner’s guards, tossing out lines like, “This is war. I don’t take prisoners.”
The script, however, got flipped on Frank when he realized that his targets actually enlisted children to do their dirty work—and that his supposed liberator wanted to either kill him or send him back to jail.
Later, as Castle hunted down another drug ring, Daredevil appeared—and stopped The Punisher from killing an accomplice. Face-to-face at last, they ran their separate ways when gunshots rang out. Castle’s penchant for killing didn’t sit well with Matt Murdock, who began searching for the assassin.
Daredevil tracked The Punisher down on a rooftop as the former military man tortured a junkie for information on a drug dealer. Frank attempted to make an ally of the sightless her, but his efforts failed and they quickly leapt into battle. During the fight, Punisher shot the Horn Head with a tranquilizer dart…and then proceeded to kill the junkie. Castle’s continued search for the dealer led him to another fight with Murdock, this time resulting in Daredevil shooting Frank in the shoulder! One win each.
Daredevil and The Punisher, two very different sides of the same coin, have teamed-up, toiled, and tussled with each other ever since.
More recently, in writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark’s run on DAREDEVIL, Frank Castle found himself in prison thanks to Matt Murdock—though not for the reasons one might think.
Murdock himself had been locked up because everyone thought he was Daredevil, and—aware that the streets would always be safer if the Man Without Fear patrolled them, The Punisher allowed himself to be captured and sent to the same jail. Once inside, the duo made it look like Castle took Murdock captive before they escaped together in a helicopter.
Next week, check back for a look at the 1986 PUNISHER five issue limited series by Steven Grant, Mike Zeck, Jo Duffy, and Mike Vos!
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