|Appeared in|| The Punisher|
- "Those who do evil to others-the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists-you will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call me...the Punisher."
- ―The Punisher [src]
Frank Castle, Jr. is an FBI agent and a former U.S. Army Delta Force operator who became the vigilante known as the Punisher, after his family was slaughtered by gunmen hired by Tampa crime boss Howard Saint.
Former Delta Force operative and FBI undercover agent Frank Castle had it all: a loving family, a great life and an upcoming desk job. On his final assignment, Castle plays his undercover role perfectly, but the operation spins out of control and a young man, Bobby Saint, is inadvertently killed. Unfortunately, Bobby is soon revealed to actually be one of the two sons of Howard Saint, a ruthless mob boss. Inflamed by the death of their son, Howard and Livia Saint prepare a wholesale mission of vengeance (they do not know that Bobby was not killed by Castle, but betrayed and gunned down by one of his own men). Castle's worst nightmare is about to come true, as Howard Saint's lieutenants perform a massacre at the Castle family reunion; among the victims are Frank's wife, his son and his parents. Castle himself is shot multiple times by the killers, who then leave him for dead after rigging nearby fuel pumps and the dock to explode. Castle is blown off the dock by the shock wave, then is rescued and nursed back to health by a local witchdoctor who was out to sea when the massacre took place.
Until this moment, he has spent his entire life adhering strictly to the law. However, even five months after his family's murder, Castle sees that the authorities have no intention of pursuing the men responsible, since Howard Saint has them in his pocket, thus making him and his entire gang above the law. Drawing upon all he has learned in 20 years, Castle sets in motion a diabolical plan to punish all of those responsible. In the process, Saint learns that Castle is alive, and sends Harry Heck and The Russian to kill him, however both are killed by Castle.
Howard Saint being shot and fatally wounded in the chest by Castle and killed in the explosion. The burning cars in the parking lot make a shape of the skull similar to the one in his T-shirt. Before Castle left he leaves a portion of Howard Saint's money for his neighbors. His revenge is taken, but now will continue his vigilante mission against others who deserve punishment, known only as The Punisher.
- "Do you know the difference between justice and punishment?"
- ―The Punisher [src]
Frank wakes up in the back of his van, after dreaming about his son being killed. He collects some dirty clothes he wants to wash in a laundry, but he meets some street criminals who just arrived with two cars. One of them, the leader, takes a prostitute and starts beating her, then he takes her to a deserted alley and rapes her. Frank doesn't intervene and proceeds with his laundry. He doesn't react even when the thugs takes a passing boy and start beating him up. After a while, Castle comes out the laundry, and the gang leader tries to scare him with his gun, but he just walks to the shop on the other side of the road. In here, he briefly talks with the owner, a man on a wheelchair who got paralyzed after trying to defend a girl from the same gang; when the man starts complaining about how the whole world is going wrong, Frank buys a Jack Daniel's bottle and comes out of the shop, heading to the thugs, who are now threatening the boy with a knife.
Rapidly, Frank kills all the gang members using only his bottle and the knife one of them had. Then, he proceeds to take on the gang leader, breaking his right arm and both his legs. When the thug is helpless on the pavement, Frank starts pouring all the whiskey on him. When he's done, he lights a zippo, asks the thug if he knows the difference between justice and punishment, and walks away, leaving the zippo in front of him. Immediately after, the prostitute the criminal raped some minutes before shows up, takes the lighter and sets fire on him.
Just before leaving with his van and his clothes, Frank is stopped by the boy he saved, who tries to give him back a shirt he dropped. Castle tells him he can keep it if he wants, since it has a hole in it. While he goes away, the boy reveals the trademark Punisher shirt.
The Punisher is driven towards erridacating organized crime. He is merciless towards his enemies and ruthless in his actions. As he is concerned, Frank Castle is "dead, he died with his family," that now he is simply the Punisher. However, upon given his name, he still accepts his name all the same. The Punisher is highly skilled in unarmed combat and proficient with most forms of firearms.
The Punisher possesses no superhuman abilities and succeeds solely through ingenuity and the rigorous training of his military upbringing, a finely honed killer instinct and an extensive arsenal of weapons culled from fallen foes and allies.
Unlike most heroes, Castle has no dual identity, no longer has a "real world" job (a former FBI agent), no known hobbies, and few friends. He spends nearly all of his time planning his next hit, stopping only to recover from injuries or fatigue. Money taken from criminals is used to purchase food, weapons, ammunition, pay the rent of his many safehouses and occasionally pay towards anyone caught in the middle of his missions such as the residents of the apartment building he was staying in when he first went after Saint.
He has no superhuman powers.
- Master Combatant
- Expert Marksman
- Interrogation Expert
- Demolitions Expert
- Expert Tactician: Armed solely with conventional weapons and motivated by a fanatical hatred for criminals like those who murdered his family, the Punisher has single-handedly incapacitated up to dozens well-armed and experienced opponents in a single encounter and escaped uninjured. It is his military training and his attention to detail that allows him to achieve this.
The Punisher's outfit upon going after Saint for the last time was a form-fitting black Kevlar vest with a large white skull on his chest.
Punisher chose not to utilize any costume outside of a black shirt with a white skull splashed across the front. His other clothing, which sometimes included combat boots, blazers, leather jackets, trench coats, bulletproof vests, body armor, black battle dress uniforms, and camouflage outfits was worn for the sake of protection or camouflage in urban and wilderness areas
The Punisher employs a vast array of conventional firearms including machine guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns, knives, explosives and other weapons culled from common and organized criminals and military sources during his operations. A vast majority of his weapons have roots in military forces around the world, and typically employs weapons and accessories limited to military operations.
The Punisher often customizes his weapons for greater effectiveness with both standard and custom items including magnified optics, reflex sights, night vision scopes, flashlights, grenade launchers, sound and flash suppressors, bipods, high-capacity magazines and drums and various ammunition including hollow point or armor piercing bullets.
- Frank Castle, Sr. - Father.
- Maria Elizabeth Castle - Wife.
- Will Castle - Son.
- Joan - Friend and neighbor.
- Dave - Friend and neighbor.
- Bumbo - Friend and neighbor.
- Mickey Duka - Enemy turned Ally.
- Jimmy Weeks - former partner.
- Candelaria - Ally.
- Howard Saint - Enemy.
- Quentin Glass - Enemy.
- The Russian - Enemy.
- Bobby Saint - Enemy.
- John Saint - Enemy.
- Livia Saint - Enemy.
- Harry Heck - Enemy.
- Lincoln - Enemy.
- Non-Canon (2 films)
Behind the scenes
- On the poster, Thomas Jane was credited as Tom Jane, in the end credits his name was still Thomas.
- Director Jonathan Hensleigh and Avi Arad said in many interviews that Thomas Jane was the first and only actor to be asked to play the title role. Jane initially turned down the role twice, as he did not see himself as a superhero actor. Jane said, when asked the second time to play the Punisher, that he became interested when Arad sent Tim Bradstreet's artwork of the character. After learning more about the Punisher, he accepted.