The DEFINITIVE Punisher

Posted by feebadger (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

Frank Castle.

What can you say?

It seems you either love him or you hate him and that not only applies to us readers, but also to the majority of the characters in the Marvel Universe (and a few from DC's unverse too).

Long disregarded as a Batman rip off after his creation, it was the 1986 mini series by Steven Grant and Mike Zeck, that really brought Frank into his own, though it was definitely a series of dubious quality and character reasoning. The Punisher, though, has since gone on to become a fan favourite, with stand out runs by John Romita Jr, Chuck Dixon, Klaus Janson and, of course, Garth Ennis.

THE CHARACTER

First introduced in The Amazing Spider Man #129, the Punisher was created by Gerry Conway, who wrote and designed the basic concept, John Romita Sr, who refined the costume's design and Ross Andru who drew the first comic book appearance. Though there was no doubt that the Punisher was a vigilante, there was a certain heroic nobility to those earlier Frank Castle appearances, a reluctance to be damned as being cut from the same mould as the villains and a responsibility to the heroes he worked along side. This side of Frank would change over time to a far darker tone and an almost maniacal drive and acceptance of the dark deeds that he must commit in the name of punishment. In those early Spider Man issues, Frank was almost a protector, a colleague to Spider Man, though a homicidal one at best (their first meeting with Moses Magnum still ranks as one of the best comics EVER). Frank Miller used Frank to contrast the differences between heroes in his acclaimed Daredevil run. Mark Millar used the Punisher as the wild cannon in his Civil War epic; the one hero who could never fit, too wild for either heroes or villains.

Frank had always played well as a support character in others stories, a fantastic peripheral character in the marvel universe, and though popular enough to warrant numerous solo titles, seemed destined to have all his classic moments relegated to others titles.

Then, Garth Ennis entered the picture.

THE SETUP

Fresh of his acclaimed run on Preacher, Garth Ennis took over the writing reins of the relaunched Punisher in the year 2000, 12 part maxi-series simply titled The Punisher. It was with this run that Ennis wiped years of muddled continuity, not by means of a major reboot, but by succinctly and forcefully refocusing Frank back into everything that made him a fan favourite. This was a no messing around Punisher and a series that introduced a concept no other Punisher series had ever really considered; humour. As Ennis once said in an interview on the subject, "the last thing you want to do is take this kind of thing too seriously." Yet, it seems that Mr. Ennis did not take his own advice and take Frank seriously is exactly what he did, which leads to our defining moment.

THE DEFINING MOMENT

One. Hard Bastard.

Long, Cold, Dark.

Beginning with issue 50 of volume 6 of The Punisher, this was the storyline that took Frank more seriously than any story before or since and was all the better for it. Not only did it exhibit a tone that very few stories, or mediums for that matter could match for visceral violence and dark tone, it also reintroduced the villain Barracuda as, quite possibly, the most terrifying adversary to ever grace the pages of a comic book.

Having appeared twice before in an earlier Punisher tale and a spin off mini series, Barracuda was, in essence, the anti Punisher. Somewhat comical in his previous stories, this Barracuda was out for blood, but not just the blood of Frank Castle. No. This time he was also out for the blood of (Did i mention there were major spoilers in this article?) Franks' daughter!

That's right, unbeknowst to Frank, a past liaison had produced a baby girl and, unfortunately for Frank, Barracuda found out first. Having kidnapped the baby, Frank is forced into places he has never had to go before and face the entire nightmare of his family being murdered all over again.

What follows is one of the most compelling, harrowing, ultra violent, sometimes hilarious, utterly enthralling stories ever to feature a man with a giant skull on his jumper (which, by the way, rarely makes an appearance here).

It makes us realise that Frank Castle, the Punisher is not a hero, never mind a super hero. His tale is one of tragedy, no tragedy being greater than the life Frank has chosen for himself. Like with opera, his story will never end happier than it began and Franks journey can never end well. It is marked with pain and sacrifice, suffering and violence. Frank's life is a commitment to death which will ultimately end in his own. Yet, when faced with the task of protecting an innocent, an innocent who may represent all his failings in saving his first two children, something triggers in the story and in Frank himself that seems to change things. Perhaps hope is evident. Perhaps justice. Perhaps redemption.

Or perhaps not.

Having done what he needed to do, Frank gives up his baby daughter and ensures that she will never know who her father was, for her own safety. Having faced down the embodiment of the life of violence he has chosen in Barracuda and come out victorious, though horribly beaten, Frank leaves, back onto the highway and on to the next mission.

He shows no remorse. Asks for no forgiveness. Bears his burden with out thanks or self pity.

That is the defining moment for me.

After all the blood shed and gun play, we are left not with the Punisher, but with Frank.

He is not a hero. His path is not one of made of justice, or redemption or even revenge. It is a path that leads to death. When Frank became the Punisher he committed to a never ending task that grace nor kindness nor violence or pain could stop. Only death would stop it.

Judging by news of the upcoming end of the current punisher series, it looks like Frank may finally find his ending.

Until then, please let me know what your definitive Punisher moment is.

#1 Posted by Bionder (290 posts) - - Show Bio

For me the ultimate Punisher is all the Max run since Ennis till Aaron.

#2 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32847 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher BORN

#3 Posted by cody1984 (1279 posts) - - Show Bio

@feebadger: To me the Punisher's defining story was the entire slavers story arc but this moment in particular.

It shows Frank doesn't fight his war for revenge, justice, and that he doesn't care about vengeance like many try and claim. What he does is actually beyond vengeance. What he does...what his whole mission is...the point of his entire existence...is to commit genocide on the scum of the world all the while knowing he won't be able to complete his mission even admitting so to Jen Cooke. He rarely if ever feels anything even he forgets what hate feels like since he has buried his emotions for so long it seems alien to him. The series also shows the Punisher doing something he never really did before. He brutally tortures his enemies to death because he hates them without realizing it and is actually much colder then Cristu Bulat, Tiberiu Bulat, and Vera Konstantin. In the scans above he brutally tosses Vera against the window for about thirty minutes (Widowmaker story arc tells you it was thirty minutes) torturing her brutally mocking her why doing so the same way she would mock the women she forced to become prostitutes. It shows Frank as being worse then villains when it comes to dealing with those he despises and that he has no problem acting in ways that would terrify the most ruthless sadist. At the same time he helps the woman Viorica and several other slaves get visas so they don't get deported and forced into slavery again. We get to see two very different sides in this story one that feels compassion in dealing with Viorica which shows the Punisher still possess some human emotion that he even forgets he still possess. The other shows the Punisher as the most cold character in comics being more of monster then the slavers. Two very different sides are shown in that story arc and that is why I view it as the best Punisher story ever written.

#4 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

Frank is the hero that we may not like to admit it , but wwe actually need in a sense

#5 Posted by HellionVulcan (3630 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher max made me a huge Punisher fan & made me get the t-shirts comics everything related to him but my favorite Punisher moment is when he threw that guy onto that fence & the guy survived & the gruesome shotgun blast to face to finish it off was amazing also micro chips death was also done really well .

#6 Posted by The Impersonator (5057 posts) - - Show Bio

Frank Castle is just f*cking awesome! That is the defying moment for me. :P

#7 Posted by JMLG (135 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher, most likely, is my all time favorite hero. Yes, hero. He got the most guts to do the REAL right thing out of all heroes theres is.

#8 Posted by yumyumbubblegum (618 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

#9 Posted by positronic (42 posts) - - Show Bio

The entire run of Jason Aaron's PunisherMAX (Volume 2) has been fantastic. If anything, even better than Garth's Ennis' run (although Aaron couldn't have done it without what Ennis had set up before). Although I'll be sorry to see it go, I can't wait to see the ending.

Overlooked in between the much-reviled "FrankenCastle" and Greg Rucka's new Punisher series (which doesn't do it for me) is a very good little miniseries, Rick Remender's "In The Blood". I must admit I prefer the MAX universe Frank Castle, but this story was very, very good for a Punisher story set in the regular Marvel universe. Having said that, no other Marvel universe superheroes or supervillains appear in the story, and that's to its benefit.

#10 Posted by ThomasElliot (360 posts) - - Show Bio

The entire MAX run, and anything else by Ennis along w/ Aaron, is one big definitive moment!!

Oh wait... remember when Punsiher shoots Wolverine POINT BLANK in the balls with a shotgun? And punches out a polar bear? Come on! ENNIS ROCKS.

With that said... I will say there was a 2-issue crossover back in the 80s that I *used* to have as a CHILD. I forget the issues, but I kick myself now because they are actually worth some $s and I probably ruined them as a little kid. But it was one issue of Punisher and one issue of Daredevil... both told the same story but from each other's perspective. At this point in my life, I read almost exclusively GI Joe and Transformers comics... so this 2 issue crossover really showed me how creative comics could be.

@postitronic: I feel you about Rucka's work. I like Rucka, but something about that new series is just not doing it for me. Glad I'm not the only one to think this.

#11 Edited by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

Online
#12 Posted by yumyumbubblegum (618 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

#13 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

Online
#14 Posted by cody1984 (1279 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

How is blowing up a super villain bar acting like a terrorist exactly?

#15 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

@cody1984 said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

How is blowing up a super villain bar acting like a terrorist exactly?

"He blow up a bar full of villains!!!", how is that not terrorism?

Online
#16 Edited by yumyumbubblegum (618 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@cody1984 said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

How is blowing up a super villain bar acting like a terrorist exactly?

"He blow up a bar full of villains!!!", how is that not terrorism?

Just because you blow something up doesn't make you a terrorist lol. That would make at least half the hero population terrorists. Plus, Frank made sure that the bar was clear of civilians before detonating. I'd call him a responsible citizen.

#17 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher's defining moment for me was in Punisher MAX: THE END.

The smartest, most cunning businessmen in the entire world try to convince Frank to spare them, since they have the last embryos of humanity.

Frank doesn't buy it, and he brutally murders all of them.

Even in the end, his mission takes top priority.

#18 Posted by ghelba2 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article I really enjoyed your take on Frank. Garth Ennis' run on The Punisher was the best that I've ever read. He made the character a realistic character that you could actually believe.

#19 Posted by cody1984 (1279 posts) - - Show Bio

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@cody1984 said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

How is blowing up a super villain bar acting like a terrorist exactly?

"He blow up a bar full of villains!!!", how is that not terrorism?

Just because you blow something up doesn't make you a terrorist lol. That would make at least half the hero population terrorists. Plus, Frank made sure that the bar was clear of civilians before detonating. I'd call him a responsible citizen.

This.

#20 Posted by feebadger (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

The problem with any vigilantism is where do you stop. Especially if it involves killing your enemies. Batman doesn't kill. Period. The only time he recanted that oath (recently) is when he tried to kill Darkseid in Final Crisis and look where that got him! Dead (and stuck in the crappy return of Bruce Wayne Mini series. Let that be a lesson to you Bats). I guess the biggest problem with murdering your enemies though is knowing where the line between heroism and villainy lies. What makes you different from a murderer? It is only your opinion that makes you "right" or justified in your behaviour after all. Besides this, i think it comes down to the simple fact that it's a horrifying decision and action to murder someone, whether they're the joker or not. Punisher obviously doesn't have this problem but there are plenty of issues that deal with what that does to a man to live that life.

@ghelba2: Thanks Ghelba and i completely agree. I didn't necessarily think it was possible to humanise Frank Castle the way that Garth Ennis did, but having read and loved Preacher i really should have known better. Here's hoping we haven't seen the last of Ennis' work on either one of those characters.

#21 Posted by 218Comics (191 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@cody1984 said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

@NightFang said:

@yumyumbubblegum said:

I'd definitely feel safer having the Punisher patrol my city, compared to say someone like say, Batman. Bruce should get off his high horse and just kill the Joker, because for every time he alludes Batman, the Joker kills another innocent and Batman just seems to sweep their deaths under the carpet unless it was someone close to him.

The Joker isn't the only villain in Gotham just the most popular and killing the Joker wouldn't do anything, there are still other villains in Gotham that would step up to take his place and innocents would still be killed. Batman even has some enemies that can't be killed, the Monk, Solomon Grundy, Ra's Al Ghul, he even had one villain that was the ghost of a child he failed to save and would return too hunt him by processing people and forcing them into deadly situations. The Joker just kills people for fun or to get Batman's attention, it's villains like Doctor Hurt, Hush, Bane (During the Knightfall arc) that are the really problem and now James Gordon Jr. is getting in on the action and have you seen Talon in the new 52? So killing the enemy wouldn't do anything but leave the door open for somebody new to come in and try to make a name for themselves.

The point still stands: if Batman had killed the joker years ago (obviously this will never happen), all the potential deaths at his hands would have been negated. Frank knows that for every criminal scum he guns down, many more will take their place and as a result he usually looks at the "smaller" picture. I.e. the innocent bystanders and civilians. Bruce on the other hand just seems oblivious to the fact that Arkham Asylum will never permanently hold the Joker.

The problem with Frank is his tried to kill other heroes who tried to stop him and at times endanger those bystanders and civilians by acting like a terrorist by blowing up supervillain bars.

How is blowing up a super villain bar acting like a terrorist exactly?

"He blow up a bar full of villains!!!", how is that not terrorism?

Yeah, something that our armies do every day, kill large amounts of enemies. Plus Frank was non-terrorist enough to clear everyone else from the area.

#22 Posted by feebadger (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

Getting past Frank blowing people up for a second, any more suggestions for defining moment?

#23 Posted by JMLG (135 posts) - - Show Bio

i also always thought special thing about Frank is that he realizes who he is - he doesnt need the public appreciation, (true) friendship from other heroes and he doesnt give second chances (word to his former, late partners) - he is pretty much damned (Born storyline) to do this and he doesnt lie to himself about doing the right thing, he just does what must be done one way or another

#24 Posted by feebadger (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

@JMLG: I think that is the over riding attraction of the character. There is a line from the series Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickock asks of his friend "can't you let me go to hell the way i want to?" this sums Frank up to me. I think he felt he was damned for many things in his life, none more than failing his family. So if you are on a path into flames, burn as many deserving of burning as possible. There is something refreshing about a character who asks nothing from anyone else.

#25 Posted by greenlazer (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Defining moment ... I have no clue, but I do know that Punish Max has been one of my favorite reads probably ever... Great Article

#26 Posted by Mumbles (846 posts) - - Show Bio

awesome work

#27 Posted by 1frankcastle4 (179 posts) - - Show Bio

EPIC

#28 Posted by feebadger (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

Bumping this in anticipation of more DEFINITIVE articles to come.

#29 Posted by Black_Claw (2913 posts) - - Show Bio

@cody1984 said:

@feebadger: To me the Punisher's defining story was the entire slavers story arc but this moment in particular.

It shows Frank doesn't fight his war for revenge, justice, and that he doesn't care about vengeance like many try and claim. What he does is actually beyond vengeance. What he does...what his whole mission is...the point of his entire existence...is to commit genocide on the scum of the world all the while knowing he won't be able to complete his mission even admitting so to Jen Cooke. He rarely if ever feels anything even he forgets what hate feels like since he has buried his emotions for so long it seems alien to him. The series also shows the Punisher doing something he never really did before. He brutally tortures his enemies to death because he hates them without realizing it and is actually much colder then Cristu Bulat, Tiberiu Bulat, and Vera Konstantin. In the scans above he brutally tosses Vera against the window for about thirty minutes (Widowmaker story arc tells you it was thirty minutes) torturing her brutally mocking her why doing so the same way she would mock the women she forced to become prostitutes. It shows Frank as being worse then villains when it comes to dealing with those he despises and that he has no problem acting in ways that would terrify the most ruthless sadist. At the same time he helps the woman Viorica and several other slaves get visas so they don't get deported and forced into slavery again. We get to see two very different sides in this story one that feels compassion in dealing with Viorica which shows the Punisher still possess some human emotion that he even forgets he still possess. The other shows the Punisher as the most cold character in comics being more of monster then the slavers. Two very different sides are shown in that story arc and that is why I view it as the best Punisher story ever written.

Oh man, you don't know how damn satisfied I was when he killed that bitch.

#30 Posted by deathstroke275 (6 posts) - - Show Bio

punisher is my second favorite of comic badasses because he has no powers, limits just his army training and what he does to scum like Vera is just incredibly satisfying and that moment for me just shows what Frank is capible of when he hates someone that much.

#31 Posted by LEGACY6364 (148 posts) - - Show Bio

AWSOME!

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