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|First appearance||Frank Costa
Marvel Super-Action #1 (January 1976)
Punisher (vol. 4) #1 (November 1998)
|Created by||Frank Costa
Archie Goodwin & Tony DeZuniga
Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski, Bernie Wrightson, Joe Quesada
|Team affiliations||Hell-lords (Hellstorm, Lucifer, Marduk Kurios (Satan), Mephisto, Murray, Satannish, Thog, etc.); Lucifer's Inner Circle (including Beelzeboul, Kazaan, Malachi, Pazuzu, Xaphan); former member of the Costa crime family of the Maggia|
|Notable aliases||Frank Costa|
A mafia figure called "Frank Costa" first appeared in Marvel Super-Action #1 (January 1976), a black-and-white magazine containing several adventures of Frank Castle, Marvel's Punisher character. Twenty-three years later, in Punisher (vol. 4) #1 (November 1998), it was revealed that "Frank Costa" was actually a demonic lord of hell in disguise, who may or may not have been responsible for tempting Frank Castle into his murderous crusade against the criminal underworld.
Fictional character history
At some unspecified point in the past, there was a war in Heaven against God, in which the demon Olivier sided with Lucifer and was cast out of paradise. Olivier eventually came to rule a portion of Hell but the other lords of hell grew resentful of his ambition and they forced him into the body of a stillborn human infant. Olivier's spirit returned life to the infant, although he lost all memory of his life as a lord of hell.
Olivier grew up as a human named Frank Costa, in the Costa crime family, an arm of the Maggia. He became a petty criminal, and one night, while working as a lookout he shot and killed a mobster from a rival family. This act of taking a human life completely restored Frank Costa's memory of his life as Olivier, and he started plotting his revenge on the lords of hell that had placed him in that body.
For decades, Olivier, still in his identity as Frank Costa, worked to become the head of the Costa crime family. He used occultism and magic rituals to discover the existence of Frank Castle, an American soldier in the Vietnam War. Olivier decided to use Castle as his instrument for revenge. When Castle returned to the United States, Olivier ordered his assassins to murder a mob banker in Central Park, knowing that Castle's wife and children would be caught in the crossfire and killed. Their murders were the motivations for Castle to become the Punisher. The ritual aspects of the killings, and Castle's unconscious adoption of Oliver's face as his skull insignia, insured that the souls of all the criminals killed by Castle would wind up in Olivier's realm of hell.
The Punisher then set about killing the assassins who had murdered his family, one of whom was Bruno Costa, the brother of Olivier's host body and alter ego, Frank Costa. Castle later discovered Frank Costa dead of an icepick wound to the head, ostensibly administered by a Bruno prostitute named Audrey whom the Punisher later killed. Unbeknownst to the Punisher, Audrey killing Frank Bruno released the soul of Olivier, which returned to his realm of hell in its true form. Olivier claimed he had allowed Audrey to kill him, as he hadn't wanted to wait to die of natural causes to return to hell, and could not have committed suicide, as that would have alerted the other lords of hell to his return.
Olivier felt that through the Punisher he had gathered enough souls to launch an attack on the rest of Hell, and he caused Frank Castle to despair over the lives he had taken as the Punisher. Castle was driven to suicide by Olivier's demonic servants, and he shot himself. Castle was then immediately resurrected by Gadriel, the guardian angel who had failed in Castle's defense. From his base in New York's Flatiron Building, Olivier sent his minions against heaven's angels and the dominions of the other lords of hell, including Daimon Hellstrom, but was thwarted in his assassination attempt on Hellstrom by the Punisher and Gadriel. Olivier revealed to the Punisher that he was responsible for the deaths of the Punisher's family. The Punisher fought a reanimated Bruno Costa and the contact of the weapons of Heaven (the Punisher) and Hell (Bruno Costa) caused a dimensional portal to open through which the tentacles of hell began to reach. The Punisher shot Olivier into the tentacles' embrace, and they immediately tore Olivier to pieces. The portal was sealed by Gadriel sacrificing his life.
Olivier was presumably not killed however, as Doctor Strange tells Hellstrom that "Olivier won't be threatening you and yours for a while." Olivier later resurfaced allied to the demon Pazuzu and several other entities serving on the court of Lucifer that were trying to open a portal to Earth with the help of a coven of witches. They were thwarted by Nightcrawler, Seth Walker, and Magik.
As a demon and true fallen angel, Olivier is impervious to age, disease, and injuries that would kill an ordinary mortal. He also has the ability to create and manipulate illusions, shoot blasts of hellfire, create portals to other dimensions. He also has the authority to command demons of lesser degree. Olivier claims to be one of the most powerful of the lords of hell, approximately on the same level as Mephisto.
- Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski (w), Bernie Wrightson (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i). "Purgatory Part I: The Harvest" Punisher v4, 1 (November 1998), Marvel Comics
- Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski (w), Bernie Wrightson (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i). "Purgatory Part 2: The Mark of Cain" Punisher v4, 2 (December 1998), Marvel Comics
- Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski (w), Bernie Wrightson (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i). "Purgatory Part 3: A Gathering of Angels" Punisher v4, 3 (January 1999), Marvel Comics
- Gerry Conway (w), Tony DeZuniga (p), Tony DeZuniga (i). "Death Sentence" Marvel Preview 2 (1975), Marvel Comics
- Archie Goodwin (w), Tony DeZuniga (p), Rico Rival (i). "Accounts Settled ... Accounts Due" Marvel Super-Action 1 (January 1976), Marvel Comics
- Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski (w), Bernie Wrightson (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i). "Purgatory Part 4: The Hour of Judgment" Punisher v4, 4 (February 1999), Marvel Comics
- Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. p. 35. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6.
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (w), Darick Robertson (p), Wayne Faucher (i). "The Devil Inside, Part One: The Locked Room" Nightcrawler v3, 1-4 (November 2004), Marvel Comics
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 8 (2008), Marvel Comics
- Journey Into Mystery #627