When we talk about Role Models as our May theme, it’s ironically – and definitely in the case of Frank Castle. Still, there are quite a few interesting bits of info about everyone’s favorite skull-adorned Marvel antihero. Check out what we’ve found out about The Punisher…
1. Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, was actually introduced as a villain within the Spider-Man series. It wasn’t until he realized he was being toyed with by The Jackal that he switched sides and fought alongside Spidey! Want to know more? Check out The Amazing Spider-Man #129.
2. The impetus of all Frank Castle’s training comes from his time in the military. In the original comics, he served in Vietnam and is haunted by the things he saw and had to do. When he came back stateside and dealt with the loss of his family, he took on The Punisher mantle.
3. Speaking of Vietnam, that was where the first use of the infamous skull emblazoned on his chest came from in his comics origin. It was used as a calling card of sorts to let a sniper who Castle was going up against know he was coming for him.
4. There are four actors who have portrayed The Punisher. Dolph Lundgren (1989), Thomas Jane (2004), Ray Stevenson (2008) and now Jon Bernthal in the current Netflix series. So far, Bernthal’s portrayal has garnered the most attention to the character and the most fan love. It’s not hard to see why — the show is fantastic.
5. Frank Castle has actually died twice and returned from the beyond twice in the comic books. Seems like someone wants to keep this antihero around. No thanks to Wolverine’s kid, at least. (Check out the “Dark Reign” story arc for that bit of drama.)
6. Thomas Jane, who starred in Punisher: War Zone – the first moderately successful film adaptation of the series – initially had no interest in playing the role. As he stated, he was never a fan of superheroes and/or the comic books they came from. Of course, he’s rather glad he did now because it definitely endeared him to the role once he stepped in and fans love his Frank Castle.
7. Speaking of Thomas Jane, he did practically all of his own stunts in the 2004 film. Honestly, he may be the closest to a real Frank Castle as we’ve ever had. Hear that, Bernthal? You best keep up with the training!
8. Stan Lee is responsible for coming up with the name ‘The Punisher’ as he was originally just ‘Assassin’ but Lee felt it needed more drama behind it.
9. There is a two-part mini-series in which Eminem and The Punisher end up battling each other. Yeah, that Eminem. I won’t spoil it, but it’s one of the silliest yet greatest things to hit comic books.
10. Speaking of mini-series, remember when I mentioned that good ol’ Eminem’s comic series was one of the silliest? You should check out Archie meets The Punisher from 1994. I won’t even tell you how downright foolish it gets, but it’s still one of my absolute favorites.