Jen Cooke was raised by an alcoholic mother in New York City; because of her childhood experiences with her mother she has had many failed relationships in her life. Growing up she decided to become a social worker to try and help those in New York City who are less fortunate. She routinely works in her spare time at soup kitchens helping to feed the homeless in the city. Jen also does presentations about sexual slavery rings going on in New York City trying to raise awareness of the plight of women forced into prostitution.
The character Jen Cooke was created by Garth Ennis for his Punisher Marvel Knights series. Garth Ennis later brought Jen Cooke over to his Punisher series in the MAX imprint.
First Appearance: Hidden
Jen Cooke is working at a soup kitchen in New York City when all of a sudden a homeless man loses it hitting others complaining about the food. Jen tries to help the man who keeps going on about the "man down below" and how he feeds people like a king. Jen is worried that this man down below might be exploiting the homeless when the homeless man says they do stuff for him and Jen gets the homeless man to take her to see this man down below with her friend Paul from the soup kitchen following. As the homeless man leads Jen underground in the subways Paul gets nervous and Jen tells him to just go home. Jen continues to follow the homeless man as he leads her into a trap and several homeless men appear trying to capture her. She ends up being saved by the Punisher who guns down the homeless people.
Jen gets separated from Frank when they get attacked by another mob of homeless people and ends up falling through a hole landing on large pile of dead bodies and skeletons. She finds her friend Paul there badly wounded and tells him she will go get help. As she is fleeing she sees the “man down below” emerge from the bodies and speak to some of the homeless who serve him. She runs into the Punisher who is rearmed and tells him everything that happened. Jen also goes with the Punisher because her friend Paul is still held by the man down below. She also tries to persuade him not to kill any of the homeless.
As they are heading back to the lair of the man down below Jen tries to reach out the Punisher. She keeps asking if he ever considered getting professional help, if he ever thought he should take a time out from killing, if he realized what he was doing was bad for his sanity all of which the Punisher said “No” to. When they arrive at the hole Jen feel through Frank tosses a light down so they see what is below them. Jen and Frank see a massive mound of bodies showing them the man down below and the homeless who serve him have killed hundreds if not thousands of people over the years. They also find Jen’s friend Paul dead and the man down below attacks Jen until the Punisher lights the mound of bodies up with a flamethrower along with the man down below. After their ordeal the Punisher hails a taxi for Jen to go to the hospital and Jen is seen as deeply disturbed by what she had encountered.
Major Story Arcs (MAX)
The Punisher while staking out a location about to sniper a mobster he had been following is surprised when a woman out of nowhere opens fire on the mobster and his goons. She manages to wound the mobster but not kill him which Frank does before he saves the mysterious woman from getting killed by the mobster’s goons. The woman named Viorica that shot at the mobster told them they killed her child and that she was forced to work in a sexual slavery ring. That she had escaped and meet a social worker Jen Cooke. The Punisher had previously meet Jen Cooke and decided to track her down for more information on the sexual slavery ring Viorica was a part of.
The Punisher finds her giving a speech on sexual slavery that is going on in New York and waits until she is done before he speaks to her. The Punisher tells her ever thing that happened with Viorica and Jen is deeply troubled by it and the fact that Frank Castle is back in her life. Even more troubled she gives the Punisher the file which had everything on the sex slavery ring Viorica was forced into. After, the Punisher leaves Jen ends up vomiting in the bathroom crying that she gave the Punisher the files knowing what he would do and knowing that she wanted him to kill the people running it.
After drugging one of the leaders of the slave ring Cristu Bulat along with everyone else at the bordello Frank kills all the men working for Bulat and then calls Jen. Castle tells Cooke to meet him at the house so she can take the girls out of there so they don’t get captured by the slavery ring or get caught by the police and get deported. Jen grudgingly agrees knowing that Castle is partly using her but realizes the women need her. Jen drives the women back to New York City and is confronted by two police officers Russ Parker and Marcie Miller which causes Jen to tell them everything that has happened because she was so nervous. The two police officers get Jen to arrange a meeting with the Punisher.
The Punisher meets them at a diner and Jen finds out that corrupt cops have been protecting the slave trade and that she was being followed for a month by a police officer. The ringleaders had been debating on whether or not Jen was too much trouble and if they should kill her. After, the Punisher takes out the last of the leaders of the sexual slavery ring the girls that the Punisher freed call Jen and she picks them up trying to help them. When the sex ring was taken down Jen refused to provide the Punisher with any information about other rings because her conscience couldn’t take it and her along with Marcie Miller who quit the police force to work with Jen go after other slave rings their own way.