:This article is about the Marvel Comics character. For other uses, see Punisher (disambiguation).
The Punisher (Frank Castle) is a fictional character, an anti-hero in the . Created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr. and Ross Andru, the character made its first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974).
The Punisher is a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence and torture in his war on crime. Driven by the deaths of his family, who were killed by the mob when they witnessed a gangland execution in New York City's Central Park, the Punisher wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of conventional war weaponry. His family's killers were the first to be slain. A war veteran, Castle is a master of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare and a wide variety of weapons.
The Punisher's brutal nature and willingness to kill made him a novel character in mainstream American comic book in 1974. By the late 1980s, he was part of a wave of psychologically troubled antiheroes and was featured in several monthly publications, including The Punisher War Journal, The Punisher War Zone, and The Punisher Armory. Despite his violent actions and dark nature, the Punisher has enjoyed some mainstream success (although toned down) on television making guest appearances on Spider-Man: The Animated Series and even The Super Hero Squad Show. In feature film, Dolph Lundgren portrayed the Punisher in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004, and Ray Stevenson in 2008.
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