Brute Force

Frank Castle was born in Hell’s Kitchen, New York to older-than-average parents who couldn’t control his rebellious nature during his teen years. Eventually, he turned his will and want to hurt others into a highly effective career in the Armed Forces as a United States Marine.

When he enlisted at 18, Castle was placed under the command of Major Ray Schoonover, who trained Castle in weapons and tactics. Moving into the Marine Corps Force Recon, Castle participated in classified missions behind enemy lines. During this time, he became good friends with fellow Marine Billy Russo and US Navy Corpsman Curtis Hoyle.

Punisher's Unit

While on leave, Castle fell in love with a young woman named Maria. Three months into their relationship, she told him she was pregnant and that he could bail if he wanted to. Instead, he asked her to marry him right there and then. Their marriage eventually brought a second child, as well as a certain amount of strain and stress due to Castle shipping off overseas for active duty.

Punisher's Family

Castle and Russo’s Force Recon unit were absorbed into a task force called Cerberus Squad, which took orders from Schoonover and an anonymous civilian commander known only as “Agent Orange” — who was, in fact, William Rawlins, the corrupt Director of Covert Operations for the CIA.

As the two lieutenants in Operation Cerberus, Castle and Russo led their team in kidnapping, interrogating, and then executing high value targets at the behest of Agent Orange. This included a man named Ahmad Zubair, who Orange tortured and questioned until Castle, on orders, executed him. At the time, a Cerberus Squad member named Gunner Henderson doubted the merits of what they were doing and secretly filmed the events.

The squad was ordered to extract a new target from a Taliban Fort within Kandahar. Castle believed the entire operation was a trap, but was overruled by Orange, who ordered his men to head in anyway. It was indeed an ambush, as Castle expected. With nearly everyone killed or trapped, Castle became a one-man army, taking out an entire battalion of attackers with guns, knives, and his bare hands — all despite his own bullet wound. Afterwards, Castle attacked Agent Orange, permanently damaging the man’s eye socket.


Returning home, Castle and his family headed to Central Park for a picnic. There, they were caught in the middle of a fierce firefight between several criminal organizations: the Mexican Cartel, Dogs of Hell, and Kitchen Irish. Maria, Lisa, and Frank Jr. were gunned down in the crossfire. Castle was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. The violent event was orchestrated by Rawlins (with help from Billy Russo) in an attempt to kill Castle, whom he believed had leaked footage of Zubair’s torture and murder.

Alive, but having lost everything he loved, Frank Castle set on his path of vengeance…


Punishing Skills

Frank Castle may not have any superhuman abilities, but he is at the top of his game when it comes to physical conditioning, alertness, and extreme combat. He’s notably stronger than average and has taken down foes like Daredevil and Billy Russo, who are ostensibly equal, or superior, in skill.

Castle is incredibly adept with weaponry, especially guns and knives. He also possesses an endurance far superior to others, which allows him to absorb large amounts of pain and keep fighting.

Castle is an expert marksman and tactician. He often chooses to plot out his assault far in advance and then takes out enemies from a distance using his unparalleled sniper skills. He utilizes this approach to wipe out entire gangs without ever having to physically engage them.


For a long time, Frank Castle’s enemies were whoever the United States Marines told him were his enemies — including some innocent souls, as it turns out, when he was part of Operation Cerberus.

Anyone who has a hand in the death of the Castle family, no matter how slight, becomes a target to eliminate. Castle goes on a killing spree that includes three major crime gangs and the heart of the U.S. intelligence community itself — including Ray Schoonover, Carson Wolf, and William Rawlins.

Punisher and Daredevil

During the initial stages of his mass mayhem, Castle draws the attention of Matt Murdock, who, under the guise of Daredevil, tries to physically stop him and apprehend him on numerous occasions, though the two eventually form an uneasy alliance.

Billy Russo was one of Castle’s closest friends from his military days, but Russo’s betrayal – providing Rawlins with the information that led to the massacre in the park – turns them into vicious enemies.

Castle Bonds

Despite a turbulent career that constantly calls for him to be away, Castle considers himself a devoted husband and father. He often uses thoughts of his wife, Maria, and their two children, Frank Jr. and Lisa, to carry him through tough times during combat missions. In fact, it is the thought of getting home to them that motivates him to become a one-man killing machine during an ambush in Kandahar, during which he singlehandedly rescued the remnants of his unit.

Castle’s love for his family is so strong that their abrupt and violent deaths drive him into a fugue state where he can’t see any alternative but to kill every last person who had a hand in their murder.

During this time, Frank essentially cuts himself off from any human emotion that isn’t rage or despair, with only legal aid Karen Page, who works for the defense firm Nelson & Murdock, getting through to him and seeing his inner humanity. She is one of the very few people he makes an exception for, and he will even drastically deviate from his plans to make sure she is safe and free from harm. He even remarks that he sees her as family, exemplifying how deeply he feels for her.

After Castle kills off everyone he thinks is involved with his family’s death, he’s contacted by an off-the-grid former NSA analyst named David Lieberman, AKA Micro, about the true nature of his actions as part of Operation Cerberus.

Though their partnership is relentlessly rocky at first, Castle eventually comes to think of Micro as a trusted ally and friend. He even befriends Lieberman’s family — wife Sarah and children Leo and Zach — and, for a short time, considers them his own surrogate family. With Sarah and the kids under the belief Lieberman is dead, Castle supports them, albeit briefly.

Castle also remains friends with Curtis Hoyle, who he still feels guilt over due to an incident where his hesitation on the battlefield caused Curtis to lose his leg.

Mission Statement

Not soon after Frank Castle left the hospital with a bullet wound to the head, he began to plan the mass execution of the Mexican Cartel, the Dogs of Hell biker gang, and the Irish mob in Hell’s Kitchen, having identified them as the three gangs who were in Central Park that day. He would later find out they were there to meet “The Blacksmith,” who turned out to be Cerberus’ Ray Schoonover.


After Castle wiped out a large contingent of the Dogs of Hell and the Irish mob, Daredevil tracked him to a rooftop and fought him tooth and nail in an attempt to stop his violent vigilante ways. Castle shot Daredevil in the helmet and escaped.

Castle turned his attention to Grotto, an Irish mobster who survived his initial attack. Though Karen Page tried to defend Grotto, Castle took pains to make sure she wasn’t harmed, as he had no grudge against her. After Castle failed to kill Grotto in the hospital, the mobster was then used as bait by District Attorney Samantha Reyes. Daredevil intervened once again, but this time Castle took him prisoner.

Castle chained Daredevil to a chimney and tried to convince him that killing was the only way to stop evil from spreading. Though antagonistic, Castle and Daredevil still developed a certain measure of respect for one another. This respect, however, didn’t prevent Castle from bringing out Grotto and threatening to shoot him unless Daredevil shot Grotto first, thus breaking Daredevil’s no-kill code. Daredevil escaped his chains too late to save Grotto from being shot by Castle.


While mourning his family at the site of their deaths, Castle was taken prisoner by Irish gangster Finn Cooley and his thugs. Daredevil ultimately rescued him and convinced him to turn himself in once the rest of the mob was defeated.

With Castle in custody and in the hospital, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson decided to defend him in court. This is when Castle officially met Nelson and Murdock employee Karen Page and began to feel like she was the only one he could talk to. During Castle’s trial, where the media dubbed him “The Punisher,” evidence of a mounting conspiracy began to take shape. Castle, shocking mostly everyone, confessed to everything so he could be sent to prison and learn more information about who killed his family from Wilson Fisk.

At Riker's Island prison, Fisk asked Castle to murder a rival prisoner in exchange for intel on the villains behind the Central Park shootout. However, this was all part of Fisk’s plan to double cross Castle, as this rival prisoner was actually the one with the information Castle sought. The prisoner told Castle about the mysterious Blacksmith who’d lured all the rival gangs to Castle’s location in the park, and then Castle ferociously fended off Fisk’s goons.


Fisk ultimately orchestrated Castle’s escape from Riker’s, so that Castle would kill off Fisk’s rivals on the outside. Castle soon discovered his old mentor Schoonover was the Blacksmith and killed him. He also found a hidden bunker on Schoonover’s property filled with tactical gear and confiscated the cache, including a bulletproof vest.

Going to his family's abandoned home with the arsenal, Castle spray-painted a white skull onto the vest, using an x-ray of his own skull — taken from a local newspaper covering his trial — as inspiration. Geared up, he aided Daredevil in his battle against the criminal organization known as the Hand, using a sniper rifle to take out four ninjas so Daredevil had a clear path to fight the Hand’s boss, Nobu Yoshioka.

After helping Daredevil, Castle returned to his family home and set it ablaze, clearing away his past and allowing him to continue forward to hunt down all the people he still blamed for his tragedy. 

Six months after killing everyone he thought was connected to his family’s demise, Castle lived a sullen, anonymous life as a construction worker under the alias “Pete Castiglione.” Still haunted by memories of his wife, Castle’s violent side returned after an amiable co-worker, Donny, got into trouble with some other workers who had robbed an underground poker game run by criminals.

This brought Castle to the attention of David Lieberman, AKA Micro, an NSA analyst who’d faked his own death to protect his family from the information he’d uncovered about William Rawlins and the Cerberus Squad. After meeting, Lieberman told Castle the truth about his actions under Cerberus and the two hatched a plan to contact Gunner Henderson, the Marine who filmed Zubair’s execution. After arriving on Henderson’s wooded compound, Castle and Henderson fought off government assassins, with only Castle surviving the ordeal.


During her investigation of the murder of her boss Carson Wolf, who was killed by Castle, Homeland Security Agent Dinah Madani realized Castle was still alive and contacted his old friend Billy Russo, who was now the owner of a mercenary-for-hire business in the private sector, in an attempt to gain information on Castle. However, Madani didn’t know that Russo had entered into a partnership with Rawlins once he retired from the Armed Forces and was fully aware of the attempt made on Castle’s life, the one that cost him his family.

At Lieberman’s request, Castle visited Lieberman’s family, whom Lieberman watched every day via hidden cameras throughout his house. Lieberman’s wife, Sarah, instantly found Castle to be a “kind stranger.” Due to her loneliness, Sarah developed some feelings for him, which he did not return. Castle was also able to appeal to Lieberman’s children in some regard, including his son, Zach, who’d become a bitter and hostile boy in the wake of his dad’s presumed death.


Castle and Lieberman worked hard to remain hidden from all eyes, with the world still believing Castle to be dead, until an unhinged ex-soldier from Curtis’ group, Lewis, began to cause violence through the city. When Lewis threatened Karen Page, Castle went after Lewis and ultimately outed that he was still alive to the media at large. Lewis later attacked Page while she was conducting an interview with a Senator but Castle intervened and saved her. Castle managed  to escape custody with Page’s help, and after the two shared a quiet moment in an elevator, he left.

Rawlins ordered Lieberman’s wife and son to be kidnapped after he learned that Castle had been meeting with them. After brutally repelling an attack in Micro’s hideout, killing off mercenaries sent by Russo, Castle threatened to reveal the Zubair tape to the world unless the hostages were freed. In the exchange, Lieberman’s family got released, but Castle was intentionally captured by Russo’s unit.

Now in Rawlins’ clutches, Castle was beaten to near-death until Russo, betraying Rawlins, helped Castle escape his bindings. Castle proceeded to beat and stab Rawlins to death. Before Russo was able to kill Castle, Lieberman and Madani arrived with the police in tow. Russo managed to escape, but he and Castle eventually met, at night, by the Central Park carousel where Castle’s family died. After a vicious fight, Castle decided to spare Russo’s life but leave him scarred by smashing his face into a mirror and dragging his face across the broken glass.

A few days later, while recuperating, Castle was informed by Madani and CIA Deputy Director Marion James that his record has been cleaned and that he could go back to living a new life as “Pete Castiglione.”