Jigsaw (Marvel Comics)

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Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #162 (November 1976)
Created by Len Wein
Ross Andru
In-story information
Alter ego Billy "The Beaut" Russo
Team affiliations Maggia
Abilities Experienced street fighter
Exceptional strategist and tactician
Highly charismatic criminal organizer
Familiarity with a variety of weapons and criminal techniques
Wears exoskeleton suit
Carries various handguns

Jigsaw (Billy "The Beaut" Russo) is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics Universe. Throughout his many appearances, he has served as one of the Punisher's few recurring villains.

Publication history[edit]

Created by Len Wein and Ross Andru, he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #162 (November 1976).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Billy Russo is a professional criminal and brutal assassin for the Maggia crime family, nicknamed "the Beaut" because of his good looks. He is also a favorite assassin for the Costa crime family. After the execution-style killings that inadvertently led to the deaths of Frank Castle's family, Russo is hired by Bruno Costa to assassinate another assassin who had failed to kill Frank Castle as well. Russo kills all of his targets but Castle, who narrowly avoids death in an explosion. Hours later, Castle returns and tracks down Russo to one of the Maggia's nightclubs. Several criminals are killed, and Russo is thrown through a glass pane head-first. He survives with his face torn to shreds; because of the extent of the facial damage, surgeons stitch it back together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Taking advantage of his now hideous visage, the formerly handsome gangster adopts the identity of Jigsaw, and attempts to frame the Punisher for murder. However, the plan fails due to the intervention of Spider-Man and Nightcrawler; Spider-Man witnesses one of Jigsaw's murders, and one of his victims is an old friend of Nightcrawler.[1] Jigsaw later battled Spider-Man again.[2]

It is revealed in the first Punisher miniseries that Jigsaw was behind a plan to drug the Punisher, causing his enemy to behave erratically and attack any criminals, even for things as minor as littering. Jigsaw also attempts to kill the Punisher in prison.[3] The Punisher confronts and defeats him, and later stops Jigsaw from escaping in a prison riot. Later in the series, Jigsaw is brainwashed by the Trust into serving as a member of a Punisher-style assassination squad. He manages to remember who he is after encountering Castle once again, and attacks the Punisher. He is defeated once more.[volume & issue needed]

Jigsaw becomes involved with a demon worshipper, Reverend Samuel Smith, whom Jigsaw refers to as "the Rev". Based on healing demonstrations, the Rev convinces Jigsaw to work for him in exchange for healing his face.[4] Jigsaw follows the man on a home invasion/murder spree, and then kills several cops on the way out; Jigsaw would continue to work for the Rev for some time. When the Rev finally does heal Jigsaw's face, Jigsaw is killed at the hands of the Punisher.[5] He is subsequently resurrected by the Rev and his master, Lucifer (actually Belasco). He battles the Punisher and his face is ruined again when the Punisher pushes him face down into an aloe plant.[6]

Jigsaw has been a persistent foe of the Punisher's for years. While he still works as an assassin for criminal organizations, his pursuit of the Punisher is relentless, as Jigsaw sees Castle's assassination as an unfinished job. The deranged gangster's vendetta once took a bizarre turn when the Punisher faked his death by appearing to be executed in prison. Furious with rage, Jigsaw briefly became a new Punisher, getting revenge on Castle's apparent killers for denying him the kill he believes to be rightfully his.[volume & issue needed]

After his arrest for attacking Matt Murdock's home,[7] Jigsaw is one of many villains to break out of the Raft, a floating prison for supervillains and other high-risk criminals. He breaks Spider-Man's arm in the escape.[8] He is later seen fighting Luke Cage.[9] Once freed, Jigsaw fights and is defeated by Tigra. This humiliating defeat leads to his forming an alliance with the self-proclaimed "super-villain Kingpin" the Hood; together the two join forces to brutally torture Tigra, which Jigsaw records with a video camera.[10] He also takes part in the attack on the Sanctum Sanctorum, attempting to murder Jessica Jones. He is foiled by Spider-Man.[volume & issue needed]

Jigsaw has resumed his vendetta against the Punisher, in the pages of Punisher: War Journal. Now wearing a color-inverted mockup of the Punisher costume, Jigsaw arrangea for the brainwashing of a young auxiliary police officer in the NYPD. Exploiting the naive cop's pathological "hero-worship" complex, Jigsaw and his new psychiatrist girlfriend turn the young man into a new version of the Punisher.[volume & issue needed]

After a battle on the Brooklyn Bridge where the Punisher once again spares Jigsaw's life, Jigsaw is taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. While imprisoned he is seemingly shot dead by the man that he and his girlfriend (who was actually undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Lynn Michaels) had brainwashed.[volume & issue needed]

In "Secret Invasion", he is among the many supervillains who rejoins the Hood's crime syndicate and attacked an invading Skrull force.[11] He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.[12] His tech-savvy son, Henry, aids Punisher in his war on H.A.M.M.E.R. director Norman Osborn.[13][14] Henry would go on to aid the Punisher in many threats far beyond those caused by Osborn.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Jigsaw is an athletic man with no superhuman powers. During his time in prison he was able to hone his physical strength to a level comparable to the Punisher. He has extensive experience with street-fighting techniques, and familiarity with a variety of weapons and criminal techniques. He carries various handguns as needed. He has been known to wear a special exo-skeleton in his outfits.

Though lacking any formal military training, Jigsaw is an exceptional strategist and tactician. His unorthodox pattern of operation makes him more difficult for the Punisher to anticipate than the majority of Punisher's enemies. Before Jigsaw was disfigured he was a highly charismatic leader and criminal organizer; after the accident only the latter trait remained.

Other versions[edit]


Jigsaw 2099, on the cover of The Punisher 2099 #10. Art by Tod Morgan.

Jigsaw 2099, originally known as Multi-Fractor, is a fictional villain in Marvel Comics' Marvel 2099 imprint. He is an enforcer for the Cyber Nostra, the main crime organization of 2099 New York. He was a recurring villain in The Punisher 2099 and was created by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner. [15]


Jigsaw also appeared in both Elseworlds Batman/Punisher crossover books. In the first crossover, Jigsaw allies with the Joker and they both fight Punisher and Batman (Jean Paul Valley). In the second crossover, Jigsaw returns to Gotham City and allies with Joker once again, undergoing facial reconstruction surgery, although his true face is never seen as it is kept concealed under a mass of bandages. His facial restoration is relatively short, however, as Punisher disfigures him once more with a frag grenade. Interestingly, he is one of the few Marvel characters to be directly referenced in an in-continuity DC book. During the "KnightSaga", Jean Paul Valley, who replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman, references his battle with Jigsaw during a mental hallucination.[16]

Marvel Noir[edit]

In The Punisher Noir, Jigsaw is Al Capone's top assassin.[17]

Punisher MAX[edit]

In the "Girls in White Dresses" storyline in Punisher vol. 6, Jigsaw — using the alias "The Heavy" — is shown working for a Mexican drug cartel that the Punisher traveled south of the border to eliminate. Jigsaw develops a plan to demoralize Frank shortly after the 30th anniversary of his family's murder by making him think he shot and killed a little girl. Frank saw through the scheme after performing an impromptu autopsy. During a raid on the cartel's base, Frank and Jigsaw have a fight that results in Jigsaw falling through a broken window and onto a passing freight train.[18]

In other media[edit]


Dominic West as Jigsaw, in the 2008 film Punisher: War Zone.
  • Dominic West portrays Jigsaw in the film Punisher: War Zone, though the character's real name has been changed slightly to Billy "The Beaut" Russoti.[19] In this film, while attending a meeting, the Punisher attacks and kills a mob family. Billy escapes and is pursued by the Punisher. Later, Billy accidentally falls into a glass crusher, and the Punisher turns the machine on which grinds him around multiple times against broken glass bottles. Although Russoti does not die, his face is horrifically mutilated, leaving him permanently disfigured. However, his plastic surgeon is unable to restore his face, stating that Billy's facial muscles, tendons, skin, and bone structure were damaged beyond repair, leaving him with his trademark disfigurement. After killing the surgeon, he chooses to remain focused on killing the Punisher, going under the name "Jigsaw". He then breaks his mentally unstable brother, James "LBJ/Looney Bin Jim" Russoti, out of a mental hospital and they plan their revenge on the Punisher. He is eventually impaled on a sharp metal pole by the Punisher before he is thrown into a fire, killing him in the final battle at the Brad Street Hotel.

Video games[edit]

  • Jigsaw appears as the final boss in the Game Boy port of LJN's video game version of The Punisher, replacing the Kingpin, who was the last character fought in the original NES version of the game.
  • In Capcom's 1993 video game version of The Punisher, Jigsaw appears as a sub-boss in the game's sixth and final stage, where he is fought inside a moving elevator within the Kingpin's hideout, armed with an M-16 rifle. The game's rendition of Jigsaw is a head swap of a generic enemy character named "Gaullee",[citation needed] and unlike other boss characters in the game, he has no lines of dialogue with the player.
  • A character based upon Jigsaw appeared in the 2005 Punisher video game (but with an origin that ties directly into 2004's The Punisher film),[citation needed] voiced by Darryl Kurylo. In this version, Jigsaw is John Saint, the son of Howard Saint (the film's primary antagonist and the man responsible for the death of Frank Castle's family). The explosion at the end of the film did not kill him, the explosion sends John through a window disfiguring his face. Using the name "Jigsaw", he takes up his father's old business vowing revenge on the Punisher. He is also a lieutenant of a rogue Yakuza organization called the "Eternal Sun" and the final boss of the game. After defeating Jigsaw, using stolen Stark Armor, a cutscene is shown where the Punisher seemingly kills Jigsaw by throwing him out of a flying helicopter to deliver him to the cops.


  • In 2006, Jigsaw was one of the figures in the second wave of the Marvel Legends "Face-Off" series. He was paired with the Punisher and came in two versions, one with a business suit and one with a Punisher costume. The two-pack was released in December 2006.[20]
  • In 2008, a minimates boxset was announced that is based on the Punisher: War Zone film. The boxset features civilian Frank Castle (the Punisher), Jigsaw, and Loony Bin Jim, Jigsaw's mental, cannibalistic killer brother. The toys also come with mini weapons. They are sculpted and designed by Art Asylum and feature 14 points of articulation as well as accessories from the film.[citation needed]
  • In 2009, Hasbro released a Jigsaw figure in its Mighty Muggs toy line, which came with a silver pistol.


  1. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #162 (November 1976)
  2. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #188 (January 1979)
  3. ^ The Punisher #1 (January 1986)
  4. ^ The Punisher vol. 2, #35 (July 1990)
  5. ^ The Punisher vol. 2, #39 (November 1990)
  6. ^ The Punisher vol. 2, #40 (December 1990)
  7. ^ Daredevil Vol. 2 #63-64 (October–November 2004)
  8. ^ New Avengers Vol 1 #2
  9. ^ New Avengers Vol. 1 #2 (February 2005)
  10. ^ New Avengers #35 (December 2007)
  11. ^ New Avengers #46 (December 2008)
  12. ^ New Avengers #50 (April 2009)
  13. ^ Dark Reign: The List - The Punisher #1 (December 2009)
  14. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v7, 1-5 (January–May 2009), Marvel Comics
  15. ^ The Punisher 2099 #10 (Nov. 1, 1993)
  16. ^ Batman #509 (July 1994)
  17. ^ Punisher Noir #2-3 (November–December 2009)
  18. ^ Punisher vol. 6, #61-65 (October 2008 – February 2009)
  19. ^ "Trio paged for 'Punisher' roles". The Hollywood Reporter. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Marvel Legends Face-Off: Punisher/Jigsaw Review". OAFE.net. 

External links[edit]

  • Jigsaw at Marvel.com
  • Jigsaw at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe