No real name was ever given for Barracuda, who came from a poor background in Boca Raton, Florida. When he was young, his father routinely tortured him in order to make him understand how painful the world was and how tough he had to be to survive in it. He was the oldest of his siblings, whom he had to take care of. His father left some time later, and the unresolved rage Barracuda had towards him fueled much of his development. He was sent to a youth detention center at a young age, after gouging the eyes out of another boy during a school yard fight. Whilst there he castrated another young man (a would-be rapist) with a homemade shiv, as punishment for attempting to threaten him. He was noted by a Colonel for his toughness and quick thinking, and he was enlisted in the US Army in 1975. During his time in the Army he joined an airborne regiment, doing lots of black-ops in Central and South America where he met dictator Leopoldo Luna. Barracuda was given full Green Beret officer training, as well as an excellent education.
Barracuda was created by Garth Ennis during his run on the Punisher in the MAX imprint. Barracuda was created as a mirror to Frank Castle, being roughly his equal in skill and abilities but lacking any type of code, being the ultimate gangster. He first appeared in The Punisher #31 (2006) and fully one issue later in The Punisher 32 (2006).
Major Story Arcs
This reputation led to working for more affluent clients, such as powerful CEO Harry Ebbing. When the Punisher got wind of Ebbing's plan to shut down major parts of the US power grid for profit, Ebbing called in Barracuda to eliminate the Punisher, and stop him from interfering. This led to Barracuda's first confrontation with the Punisher.
Their first encounter initially went well for Barracuda, who got the drop on the Punisher, but he still ended up suffering some severe injuries including the loss of his right eye and and four fingers on his right hand. To his credit, he was still able to subdue the Punisher again and proceeded to throw him into shark-infested waters. The Punisher escaped though, and in the end the roles were reversed and the Punisher tossed Barracuda into the shark-infested waters (via a shotgun blast to the chest). Barracuda was revealed to have survived this encounter though, by attaching himself to Castle's boat, which sailed to shore.
Punisher Presents: Barracuda
Having recovered from his encounter with the Punisher, Barracuda took a job from a mafia boss named Big Chris, and was asked to help Big Chris' only son, Oswald, make his first kill and prove he was worthy of inheriting the family business. Unfortunately, Big Chris' son was extremely weak and a hemophiliac (for which Barracuda gives him the nickname “Hemo”), which made the task more than a little difficult to complete on his own. The target was Leopoldo Luna, a South American dictator Barracuda helped put into power during his days in the Army at the behest of the CIA. Luna had been selling drugs to Big Chris, but decided to start increasing the price for his goods. Barracuda formulated a plan that would ultimately betray both sides, leaving him in charge of the lucrative drug trade, but things quickly fell apart thanks to the involvement of the CIA and a number of other unpredictable elements. Barracuda killed Father Flannery while he tried to rape Oswald. In the end Luna died in a volcano, Big Chris tried to kill him for betraying him (but Oswald killed his dad first), and Barracuda killed Oswald by mistake when he forgot his disease.
Long Cold Dark
Barracuda's final confrontation with the Punisher cames after he received a tip-off from a mysterious source (later revealed to be high-ranking members of the US Armed Forces). The tip led to information that ultimately surprised both the Barracuda and the Punisher: the Punisher had a baby daughter named Sarah. She had been conceived during Frank's relationship with former CIA operative Kathryn O'Brien. O'Brien had given birth to the child, and then given it to her sister to take care of shortly before going to Afghanistan to confront her traitorous ex-husband (a mission that would ultimately see her killed). Barracuda used the information to find and kidnap the infant, and then set up a trap for the Punisher. A brutal fight ensued, with both men inflicting horrible amounts of pain upon one another. At one point it seemed like the Punisher had subdued Barracuda, but flashbacks of his father's torture shook him from his unconscious state, and Barracuda used it to fuel a violent comeback. The final showdown took place in a closed school, as Barracuda chased a heavily beaten and unarmed Punisher, who was attempting to find refuge for his infant daughter. Barracuda was armed with an AK-47, but was ambushed by the Punisher, who used a fire axe to chop off Barracuda's arms. Literally disarmed, Barracuda mumbled something in a possible attempt for mercy, but the Punisher offered none, emptying the remaining magazine of the AK-47 directly into Barracuda's face, finally killing him.
Skills and Abilities
Barracuda was a highly trained soldier, a product of the American Army and years of inner-city violence. He showed high levels of proficiency with numerous weapons, from knives to machine guns. From a physical stand-point, he dwarfed most of his opponents, including the Punisher, and exhibited enormous amounts of strength. He also possessed a very high pain threshold, which was evident when he continued fighting even after being gravely injured.
Barracuda enjoyed violence and the power it brought to him. A true gun-for-hire, he showed a complete lack of loyalty to anyone, taking any opportunity that would benefit him the most. He is often seen indulging in drugs and prostitution, including buying sexual favors from a transvestite hooker. It's also indicated that he is not adverse to cannibalism, a trait he picked up during missions in Africa working for violent tribal leaders. It's hinted that he survived being lost at sea by eating the body of a former porn-star to stay alive.
Barracuda projected a strangely jovial personality in juxtaposition to the violent nature of his actions. He often made jokes and played light with both his clients and victims. He was also prone to singing, preferring classic, mellow tunes. Underneath that demeanor, though, was a tortured soul, having been twisted at an early age by an abusive father who abandoned him at a young age. He formed an obsession with killing the Punisher after being defeated by him, but this obsession ultimately led to his death.
Garth Ennis has said his biggest influence on the character was the Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds song "Stagger Lee." Barracuda actually sings this song in the "Long Cold Dark" story arc.
In the Noir universe Barracuda was a hitman that worked for Bumpy Johnson. Dutch Schultz contracted him along with Jigsaw and the Russian to kill Frank Castle for not paying him protection money. After a hard battle they succeeded in killing Frank. Years later his Frank's son Frankie grows up and goes after Barracuda killing him for what he did to his father.
Barracuda is a playable character in Punisher No Mercy.