|First appearance||The Punisher vol. 2, #4 (November 1987)|
|Created by||Mike Baron
|Alter ego||Samuel Smith|
|Team affiliations||Church of the Saved|
|Abilities||Capable of healing injuries and resurrecting the dead|
|This section requires expansion. (June 2014)|
Fictional character biography
Little of the Rev's history is revealed. What is known is that, due to his ability to heal, he manages to amass a cult following in Terre Haute, Indiana. Sometime later, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, the Rev establishes the Church of the Saved, whose members consist almost entirely of ethnic minorities from the area. When his cult grows large enough, the Rev, decrying the United States as racist and fascist, makes plans to move the church to Dutch Guiana.
Before he can leave the country, the Rev has a trio of church members, one of them actually the Punisher working undercover, track down a man about to create a documentary on the Church of the Saved and who is in possession of a tape depicting the Rev killing one of his own followers. Though the tape is recovered, the Punisher is mortally wounded in the process of getting it and is brought to the Rev, who heals him. After the tape is recovered, the Rev has his entire church brought to "Smithtown" in Dutch Guiana, where he has the Punisher train his followers in warfare, telling his disciples that they must learn to defend themselves and fight off the United States army, who he claims will attack. Poorly training the Church of the Saved on purpose, the Punisher eventually turns on the group when he discovers the Rev and his sister's plans to assassinate a United States senator who will be visiting and kill all their followers with cyanide laced punch. Battling the Rev and his sister, the Punisher shoots the former in the stomach and leaves him to die, using the speaker system in Smithtown to tell the Church of the Saved to return to America, claiming that was their leader's dying words.
Sterilize the world
It is later revealed the Rev survived, and comes to worship the demon sorcerer Belasco, who he believes to be the Biblical Lucifer. Breaking Punisher foe Jigsaw out of prison, the Rev convinces the hitman work to for him after making the promise of healing his mutilated face. Told by Belasco that he must wipe out all of humanity, the Rev travels to Venezuela and convinces the natives there to worship him, also having them harvest a plant that can cause sterilization. The Punisher destroys the Rev's entire supply of the plant that was bound for New York. The Rev, enraged at this news, breaks into a suburban home and murders the entire family living in it in the name of Lucifer before going back to Venezuela with Jigsaw.
In Venezuela, the Rev and Jigsaw begin to harvest more sterilizing plants when Jigsaw, after witnessing the Rev regrow his own limbs and heal the face of a native women, forces the preacher to heal his own face at gun point. Moments after the Rev heals Jigsaw, the Punisher, who had followed the two and been ambushed, scarred and left for dead by Jigsaw, arrives and shoots the gangster dead. With Jigsaw dead and the Punisher preparing to kill him, the Rev summons Belasco. Easily dispatching the Punisher, who he sends into the jungle with the Rev's female captive, Belasco has the Rev revive Jigsaw and send him out after the Punisher, stating that if Jigsaw fails to kill the Punisher he will remove the Rev's powers.
After successfully beating (and re-disfiguring) Jigsaw, the Punisher tracks the Rev down just as he is about to fly off in a helicopter and dump more of his sterilization drug into the Gulf. Forcing the Rev to heal his injured face, the Punisher allows him to take off. As the Rev tries to shoot him from his helicopter, the Punisher activates a bomb he had planted on the vehicle, which destroys the helicopter. Moments before dying, the Rev is left screaming for help from Belasco.
Powers and abilities
The Rev is a mutant with extensive healing powers, which allows him to perform such feats as regrowing lost limbs and reviving the recently deceased.
- The Punisher vol. 2, #4 (November 1987)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #5 (January 1988)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #35 (July 1990)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #36 (Early August 1990)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #37 (Late August 1990)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #39 (Late September 1990)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #38 (Early September 1990)
- The Punisher vol. 2, #40 (Early October 1990)