Character Spotlight: The Punisher

Character Spotlight: 8/3/12

A biweekly column by Talisha Harrison aka Tali Adina

Welcome to Talking Comics’ Character Spotlight! Every other week, I’ll be spotlighting a character from comics, cartoons, etc. So this week, the spotlight falls on:

The Punisher

He’s one of my favorite characters in the comic world and I was first introduced to him while watching the Spiderman animated series as a kid in which he guest stars in three episodes-the seventh & eight episodes of season 2 and the eight episode of season four.  I read my first Punisher comic when my mom bought my sister the Marvel Legends Punisher action figutre that the Punisher: War Zone #1 comic with it. From there, I’ve watched the 2004 Punisher film and the 2008 Punisher WarZone film-bought of which I thought were very cool in their own ways.  Last year I was able to finally start collecting Punisher comics and I have a lot of them-not all of them mind you. Currently, I’m reading the new Punisher series which started in August which is written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Mark Chacchetto .

The Punisher was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr., and Ross Andru. He made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974). For those of you who are new to  The Punisher, here’s a few things you ought to know:

  • Driven by the deaths of his wife and two children, who were killed by the mob when they witnessed a gangland execution in New York City’s Central Park, the Punisher  became a vigilante.
  • He wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of conventional war weaponry and  employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime.
  • A war veteran, Castle is a master of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare, and a wide variety of weapons.
  • For a few issues, The Punisher was a black man.  More recently, he was killed by Daken, Wolverine’s son during the Dark Reign event and came back as Franken-Castle.
  • Both Nick Fury and Tony Stark have commented on how extraordinarily high his pain tolerance is. He does not take even over-the-counter painkillers, as he feels that their benefit of dulling pain is not worth the side effects of drowsiness and slowed reflexes.
  • He maintains multiple safehouses and vehicles around the greater Manhattan area as well as multiple forged identities and bank accounts (most of the funds and equipment aiding him in his work being taken from the criminals he hunts).
  • The Punisher has a Kevlar uniform which protects him from most gunfire, though he can still suffer concussive injury or penetration from sufficient or repeated impacts. The bright white skull in his chest is used both to intimidate his enemies and to lure their fire to the more heavily protected area of his armor. The design was supposedly taken from a Vietcong sniper he fought against during the Vietnam War.

This year at San Diego Comic Con, Thomas Jane (who portrayed Frank Castle in the 2004 film) brought fans a most excellent treat when he debuted his Punisher short entitled “Dirty Laundry” which also features.  Jane had this to say about the film:

“I wanted to make a fan film for a character I’ve always loved and believed in – a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It’s been a blast to be a part of from start to finish — we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.”

And that my friends is this week’s Character Spotlight. I hope you enjoy the fan film. Please keep in mind this isn’t for the faint of heart, it is a Punisher film after all!


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