List of The Punisher characters

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This article is about characters in the comic book series The Punisher.



Main article: Shotgun (comics)

First appearance in Marvel comics was in Daredevil #272. First appearance in Punisher comics was Punisher: War Zone #1.

J.R. Walker, better known as Shotgun, was a U.S. Army soldier who served alongside Frank Castle during the Vietnam War. After the war, the CIA hired Walker as an assassin; however, Walker later admits to Castle that he does not know the name of the government agency he currently works for. Shotgun rescues the Punisher from a car bomb, then agrees to help the Punisher eliminate the Carbone crime family. Castle decides to spare the life of Rosalie Carbone, which Walker accurately predicts Castle will later regret.

Shotgun was noted for carrying extremely powerful (and rather large) weapons provided by his government employer, which the Punisher admired and appreciated.


First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #1.

A tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. An extremely shy, frightened and timid character, Joan was terrified of living in the city and wished to move to the countryside, but did not have the money to do so. She had a bit of a crush on Castle, baking him pies and cookies and claiming she'd merely made too many. Along with her friends, Bumpo and Spacker Dave, she receives a portion of Gnucci's money which she used to buy a cottage in the countryside as she wanted. Years later, Castle was wounded in a fight with the Russian mob and stumbled upon her abode. She tended to him, and, despite his request that she run for her life and leave him to fend for himself, insisted on helping him instead.

She was portrayed in 2004's The Punisher by Rebecca Romijn.

Mr. Bumpo[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #1.

A tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. Grossly overweight and requiring Castle's help to get through the door of his apartment, Mr. Bumpo once suffered a heart attack and the paramedics had to destroy part of the building's wall and use a crane to take him to the hospital. Shortly after he was released, the Russian attacked Castle at his home. After a vicious fight, Castle used Bumpo to smother him, doing so for thirty minutes. Castle later left him a share of Gnucci's money, and was said by Joan to be living in a clinic in Albany after "something important fell out of his bottom."

He was portrayed in 2004's The Punisher by John Pinette.

Spacker Dave[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #1.

A young tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. Heavily pierced. He did little but hang about on the building's doorstep, but recognized "Smith" as the Punisher, something which he inadvertently divulged to mobsters who came looking for him. Despite being tortured by having his piercings pulled out and carving his name into his forehead, he did not betray Castle. He received a portion of Gnucci's money after leaving the hospital, and later inspired an underground movement called the Spackers who had bandaged faces similar to his. He reappeared years later, now no longer wearing any piercings or bandages, and had taken up the hobby of superhero spotting, much to Castle's chagrin. He was trampled by the Hulk, rendering him quadriplegic, which does not hamper his fascination with superheroes.

He was portrayed in 2004's The Punisher by Ben Foster.

Detective Martin Soap[edit]

Main article: Martin Soap

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #2.

A supremely unlucky and disliked NYPD detective who was assigned to the "Punisher Task Force" to sate the mayor's demands to apprehend Frank Castle, knowing he'd never produce any results. He was at first partnered with psychoanalyst Bud Plugg, who hanged himself in their office, and later with Lt. Von Richtofen. Castle later offered the pair incriminating pictures of the Mayor and the Police Commissioner that Soap used to be appointed as Commissioner. His reign was brief, as he was himself blackmailed by being photographed with a prostitute and returned to his former position. Soap was later promoted to Lieutenant after accidentally finding and killing a serial killer. After failing to arrest Castle, Soap quit the NYPD, moved to Los Angeles and became a porn star.

He was portrayed in 2008's Punisher: War Zone by Dash Mihok.

Lt. Molly Von Richtofen[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #4.

A talented investigator who, as punishment for publicly refusing to sleep with the police commissioner, was assigned to take down the Gnucci crime family, which was as much a farce as the Punisher task force. It was her idea to team up with Soap, knowing that either Ma Gnucci or the Punisher would kill the other, and then they could move in and arrest whoever was left. When Soap became commissioner, she left on a vacation in the tropics with a stripper and was preparing for her mayoral campaign.[1]

Yorkie Mitchell[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 5) #18.

An operative of MI6 and SAS. Yorkie met Castle during the Vietnam war when they were both seconded to Australian SAS. On one occasion, Yorkie saved Castle from being burned alive by the Viet Cong. He once helped Castle by supplying information about a Heroin shipment that had made its way into Ireland, and later teamed up with him to take down Finn Cooley, a former IRA terrorist and current Irish gangster. He then was assigned to Afghanistan, where he provided security to ex-Taliban who had turned into informants for the coalition. As a favor to Castle, he was able to secure the release of Kathryn O'Brien after he was supposed to execute her, an act that cost him his job. He did not mind it, however, expressing that he wanted to retire anyway. He was finally killed by Barracuda, who was looking for leverage against Castle.

Jen Cooke[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 5) #24.

A liberal activist and social worker. She was kidnapped by a cult of tunnel dwelling homeless cannibals and was rescued by Castle, but condemned his brutal methods, pointing out that the men who kidnapped her were homeless, desperate and some with severe mental problems. While he initially shrugged off her tirade, she got to him and he gave the cultists a chance to escape while he went after their leader. Years later, she was investigating the East European sex slavery trade, and begrudgingly helped Castle go after a Romanian gang that was running a series of brothels.

Kathryn O'Brien[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #1.

O'Brien first appeared as a CIA agent and part of a task force to apprehend him and recruit him into the hunt for Osama bin Laden, when she expressed sexual attraction to Castle and a desire to sleep with him. The mission ultimately failed, and O'Brien's superior had her sent to prison. Once there, she was routinely harassed by a gang of in-mates, who were never able to beat her in a fight, so they framed her for the murder of a guard instead. O'Brien fled the prison and went to a fellow former CIA Agent for help, once there she learned of the events surrounding Nicky Cavella's desecration of the Castle family graves, and that Bill Rawlins, her ex-husband was in town. Deciding to kill her husband before she could make good her escape, she caught him as he was about to shoot Castle with a sniper rifle, as he and Cavella were in league. O'Brien assists Castle interrogating her ex-husband's role for the covert operation in Russia. She then disappears to Afghanistan to kill ex-Taliban officers under American and British protection for having a role in raping her. O'Brien is killed when stepping on a land mine, being cared for by Castle during her last moments of her life. Prior to her disappearance, O'Brien gave birth to a daughter named Sarah, who is in protective custody of her sister.

Nick Fury[edit]

Main article: Nick Fury

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #13.

Colonel Fury appears as a foul-mouthed Vietnam War veteran and Cold war spy. His command of S.H.I.E.L.D. is implied to be nominal, which he hopes to rectify with helping a group of American military generals get a Russian-developed biological weapon. He recruits Castle to get the biological weapon as he says its a suicide mission and he would not want to do it himself. It is later revealed that he recruited Castle because he trusted him to do the right thing when the biological weapon turns out to be a little girl. Fury appears as a cynical, burnt out operator who shows no respect to his superiors and is openly hostile to them. This climaxes in a point where he beats one of the generals with his belt.

Jenny Cesare[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #43.

After being sold to a mafia hitman and escaping her execution, Jenny returned to aid Castle in his war against her inlaws. She tends to him after he is wounded, but commits suicide after killing the last members of her family.

Steve Goodwin[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher: Born #1.

A young Marine serving under then USMC Captain Castle in Firebase Valley Forge near the Cambodian border toward the end of Castle's third tour in Vietnam. He was one of the better natured Marines in the base, keeping away from drugs and taking the time to ease the springs in the magazines of his rifle, in an attempt to return home alive. The events of The Punisher: Born are told largely from his perspective and narrated by him. On the night he was thirty-seven days from being discharged, the garrison was attacked by combined forces of NVA and Viet Cong. Of the marines, Castle and Goodwin held out the longest, and Goodwin got to see air support arrive, only to be bayoneted seconds later. In his final moments, he hallucinates of the bayonet missing him, being whisked away onto a passenger jet where he is dotted upon by stewardesses as he often wished.

Nearly forty years later, his younger brother, Michael Goodwin, writes a book titled Valley Forge, Valley Forge: The Slaughter of a U.S. Marine Garrison and the Birth of the Punisher about the events surrounding those final hours.

Rachel Cole-Alves[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher(vol. 9): 1.

A young Marine who was widowed after the exchange killed her relatives at her wedding. She alligneds herself with castle to destroy the exchange. She is latter captured after killing Detective Walter Bolt. Castle latter frees her from prison. In the punisher 2014 series she is seen picking up Frank Castle from Costa Rica.



First appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #162

One of The Punisher's most recurring foes, and has no superhuman powers, though he is a highly skilled fighter. 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.

He was portrayed in 2008's Punisher: War Zone by Dominic West.

The Kingpin[edit]

Main article: Kingpin (comics)

First appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #50.

Kingpin is one of the most feared and powerful crime lords of the Marvel universe. He has no superhuman powers. However, he is incredibly strong and durable, possessing remarkable strength concealed by his somewhat corpulent appearance. He has been shown to be strong enough to hurl people across a room, ripping limbs from people (demonstrated under a handshake), crush a man's skull with his bare hands, leave imprints in concrete walls after punching them, and even crush one of Spider-Man's web shooters without making any great effort. The Kingpin is intellectually formidable and is a master tactician and a highly skilled planner and organizer. Though The Kingpin would rather send a hired thug such as Bullseye or Bushwacker after Frank Castle; he is also a master of many forms of armed and unarmed combat, particularly sumo, jujutsu, and hapkido. He is an extraordinarily skilled martial artist, especially in sumo wrestling. His signature move is the bear hug. He is even capable of fighting Captain America to a standstill in hand to hand combat. Fisk sometimes carries a walking stick that conceals a laser beam weapon capable of firing a blast of concussive force. He started out as a bodyguard to crime lord Don Rigoletto until he killed him to take his place as the Kingpin of Crime, a fabricated title originally created by the mob to throw The Punisher off their trails.

He is featured in the 2005 video game The Punisher voiced by David Sobolov.


Bushwacker is a mutated mercenary whom has a cybernetic gun—arm. He has appeared as one of the main antagonists of the Punisher in the 1993 Punisher arcade game and the 2005 Punisher video game, as well as the comics.


First appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #4

Serving alongside Frank Castle in Vietnam, Burt Kenyon saved his comrade's life by cutting down enemy forces and dragging him to safety. In returning to the United States, Kenyon took work for the Maggia as Hitman, a villainous analogy to the emerging vigilante the Punisher. On his first assignment, Hitman would run afoul of Spider-Man taking a contract on the hero's life. Managing to place a tracer on the villain upon his failure, Spider-Man passed his tracker onto the Punisher who began to hunt his former friend. During Kenyon's next assignment to assassinate J. Jonah Jameson, Hitman, Punisher, and Spider-Man held a final battle at the Statue of Liberty. When Punisher chose to save an injured Spider-Man and Jameson hanging over the monument's edge over his former ally in similar dire straits, Kenyon released him of his debt to him from Vietnam and let go, falling to his death.

Hitman appears as an enemy boss in the 1990 Punisher video game piloting a helicopter.

The Holy[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #2.

Father Hector Redondo, who calls himself "The Holy", is an insane Catholic priest in Spanish Harlem who uses an axe to kill criminals who confess their sins to him. He believes killing "evil" people is God's will, and was later inspired by the Punisher to form the Vigilante Squad, consisting of the Holy, Elite and Mr. Payback (the trio hoped that the Punisher would join and lead them). The media calls him the unknown "Axe Murderer of Spanish Harlem". Father Redondo realized that he was a killer and showed remorse after killing his victims, praying for absolution and forgiveness for his "sins".

The Punisher used Detective Soap's notes to find Father Redondo, whose church was the place where all of the victims came to confess their sins. Not only did Castle find The Holy, but also Elite and Mr. Payback. By listening to their conversation, the Punisher found out Redondo was indeed the Axe Murderer. The Punisher barged into The Holy's office to confront the Vigilante Squad, who attempted to recruit the Punisher as their leader, but Castle was unmoved by their pleas, accusing Redondo of being "a lunatic". Just after Redondo made the trio's final plea with the Punisher to reconsider, Castle gunned down all three members of the Vigilante Squad.

Ma Gnucci[edit]

Main article: Ma Gnucci

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #4.

The matriarch of the Gnucci Crime Family, a Mafia-like group that appears to have majority control of illegal activities in New York. As such, she has subtle control over both the mayor and the police commissioner.


The original Elite first appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #5. His son, the second Elite, first appeared in Punisher: War Zone #1 (2009).

The first Elite was a fascist and racist vigilante who killed gang members, drug dealers and other criminals who "lower the tone" in his upper-class neighborhood. He even shot a lady's dog that urinated on the sidewalk and ran off a hot dog vendor who had set up shop in Elite's neighborhood by tossing a live grenade in the vendor's cart. Nevertheless, Elite was well-spoken: he was actually polite to his victims. Elite was the manager of an art gallery and had a wife, a son and a daughter. Elite later joined up with Mr. Payback and the Holy to form the Vigilante Squad, planning to exterminate all of New York City's criminals.

When the Punisher confronted the Vigilante Squad, he called Elite "a Nazi". Elite was gunned down by the Punisher seconds later.

Six years later, Elite's son took up his father's alter ego and vowed to avenge his father's death. Elite set up an elaborate scheme that made Castle believe his old nemesis, Ma Gnucci, was still alive, but in the end, Castle eliminated Elite and all of his henchmen.

Mr. Payback[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #5.

A vigilante who despises corporations and the corrupt, especially those who disregard the safety and well-being of the working-class. He gunned down the entire Board of Directors of the World-Wide Investment Corporation and a wealthy banker who criticized Payback during a live TV news interview. Payback is highly intelligent: he deduced the location of Elite's neighborhood and found Elite gunning down a marijuana dealer. Payback convinced Elite to join him, and the duo stumbled across The Holy, forming the Vigilante Squad.

Just as the Vigilante Squad decided that they needed the Punisher to lead them, the topic of discussion himself stormed into the room. An awed Mr. Payback told the Punisher that he was their inspiration. After insulting The Holy and Elite, the Punisher informed Payback that he had killed 6 innocent people during his quest for justice, to which Payback responded that there have to be sacrifices in war. After Payback gave the wrong answer, the Punisher pulled out his trademark Uzi and prepared to gun down the trio, who pleaded with the Punisher to reconsider their offer. Mr. Payback, along with the rest of the Vigilante Squad, died seconds later.

The Russian[edit]

Main article: Russian (comics)

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 4) #8.

A gigantic man, 8 feet (2.4 m) tall and weighs 500 pounds, with tremendous strength and endurance. It is possible that the Russian himself does not know the exact limits of his abilities. He was seen crushing a man to death when attempting to give him a "friendly" hug. During his first appearance, the Russian was able to rip a toilet out of the wall and beat the Punisher with it. He was also seen punching through walls with apparently no loss of stamina. Ma Gnucci hired the Russian to kill the Punisher.

However, the Russian's weakness was that he had sensitive skin and was intolerant of extreme heat, which the Punisher exploited and then smothered the Russian to death. Castle cut off the Russian's head and used it as an intimidation tactic against Ma Gnucci's henchmen, who walked away rather than fight the Punisher.

Shortly thereafter, terrorist leader General Kriegkopf used resurrection technology stolen from S.H.I.E.L.D. to bring the Russian back to life. In a final showdown, the Punisher used a nuclear weapon to kill Kriegkopf, his terrorist group and the Russian.

He was portrayed in 2004's The Punisher by Kevin Nash.

Nicky Cavella[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #1.

A psychotic mob captain in the Cesare crime family. At a young age he killed his father, mother and sister at the suggestion of his aunt, who took him as a lover and protege until he one day killed her. He held the distinction of being one of a few criminals to have survived an encounter with the Punisher. However, when he desecrated the Castle family's graves to lure out the Punisher so he can kill him once and for all, he eventually was killed, marched into the woods by Castle and shot in the belly, leaving him there to languish for days, dying slowly of blood poisoning. Cavella portrays himself as a charismatic, suave killer but is really an emotionally unstable coward.

Finn Cooley[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #7.

A hideously disfigured Irish criminal, a mob boss and a bombs expert, formerly heavily involved with the Irish Republican Army. Cooley must wear a facial mask as half his face was blown off in an explosives accident. He is also an expert in hand-to-hand combat.

Finn Cooley appears as a playable character in Playstation Network's Punisher: No Mercy.


First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #8.

An Afro-Irish crime lord in Hell's Kitchen, he was one of the four gang lords who would receive a share of Pops Nesbitt's fortune.

He was portrayed in 2008's Punisher: War Zone by T.J. Storm.

William Rawlins[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #14.

A CIA Agent who set up a terrorist cell in Riadh at the Pentagon's orders, later used as a distraction while Castle and a Delta Force operator infiltrated a Russian missile silo to retrieve a virus sample. He is also one of Kathryn O'Brien's ex-husbands, and had on their honeymoon pushed her out of a helicopter into the hands of the Taliban to protect a shipment of Heroin. He is later assigned by the generals to organise the death of Castle with Nicky Cavela, who he had an intimate relationship with. He is later kidnapped by O'Brien and Castle where he is tortured by Castle to find out information about the generals, which is taped. During the torture session he lost an eye. He later escapes and sells his information of the terrorist attack on Russia to the Russian military. This is because he has become persona non grata among the CIA and needed protection. He later betrays the Russians for his own ulterior gains. Before he is finally able to escape and disappear he is murdered by Castle in the men's room of Kabul International Airport.

Tony Pizzo[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #19.

A young and inexperienced gangster who becomes a mafia captain due to the Punisher killing most of New York City's veteran mafiosi. Pizzo first appears at a sitdown with Nicky Cavella and a few other captains, he and the other captains agree to make Cavella their boss so he can help them kill the Punisher and rebuild the Mafia. After an attempt to kill the Punisher fails miserably due to interference by CIA agent Kathryn O'Brien, Pizzo and the rest of the surviving Mafiosi turn on Cavella and leave him on his own for the Punisher to kill him. Pizzo appears several issues later in the Widowmaker story arc when one of the widows seduce him in order to find out about a Mafia convoy escorting a replacement boss into New York City, the Punisher finds out about this as well and attacks the convoy, killing everyone including Pizzo and the replacement boss.

Cristu Bulat[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #25.

A Romanian criminal specializing in brothels where East European abductees are forced into prostitution. He was eviscerated alive by Castle for information.

He was portrayed in 2008's Punisher: War Zone by David Vadim.

Tiberiu Bulat[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #26.

Cristu's father, with whom he fought in the Yugoslav wars with the Serbs. They eventually went to the west where they set up a series of brothels where East European abductees are forced into prostitution. He was burned alive by Castle.

He was portrayed in 2008's Punisher: War Zone by Aubert Pallascio.


Main article: Barracuda (comics)

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #31.

A hired killer who was trained as a Green Beret, is a capable opponent and is also intelligent. He is able to mastermind a coup against Luna, lead his team to victory during the 1980s, and generally find his way out of many binds. He has incredible endurance as he took a shotgun blast to the gut at point blank range. He is just as resourceful as seen by his survival at the hands of the Punisher by grabbing the side of the boat which brought him to safety.

Robert Hellsgaard[edit]

First appeared in Punisher (vol. 7) #11.

Robert Hellsgaard was a brilliant engineer in 1898 who came home to discover that his family was killed by werewolves. Ever since that day, he formed the Hunter of Monster Special Forces to exterminate monster and has since resided in the armor he made. After exterminating Monster Isle, he and forces arrived in Monster Metropolis where he ran afoul of Punisher's Frankencastle form and the Legion of Monsters.


Colonel George Howe[edit]

First appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #55.

An Afro-American, George Howe served as a young man in the Vietnam war. In the summer of 1969, his Helicopter crashed near the border with Laos, the Viet Cong soon arrived to take the survivors to their own base, where one by one they were killed, their hands and feet chopped off and tossed into Howe's bamboo cage. When it seemed that his time had come, a Marine Force Recon group led by Captain Castle attacked the ville and rescued Howe. Admiring the special forces personnel for their proficiency, Howe joined the Green Berets for the remainder of the war and was among the first to join Delta Force. Howe is then tasked by a cabal of military generals to arrest Castle, but then learns of the actual truth behind Castle's covert operation in Russia. Howe gives Castle the means of killing the generals by giving him a loaded handgun, and destroys the incriminating evidence out of the belief that if exposed, the U.S. military would lose all sense of credibility.


  1. ^ Punisher: War Zone vol. 2, #1-4 (February 2009)