Punisher (2009 series)

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Punisher (vol. 8)/Franken-Castle
Variant cover art to Punisher vol. 8, #1. Art by Mike McKone.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date March 2009 – November 2010
Number of issues 21
1 Annual
1 "Dark Reign" one-shot
Main character(s) Frank Castle/Punisher
Creative team
Writer(s) Rick Remender
Artist(s) Jerome Opena
Tan Eng Huat
Tony Moore
Roland Boschi
John Romita, Jr. (List one-shot)
Creator(s) Rick Remender
Jerome Opena

Punisher, retitled Franken-Castle from issue #17 on, is a Marvel Comics comic book series featuring the character Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher. Spinning out of the second Punisher War Journal series by writer Matt Fraction, this volume of Punisher places the character firmly in the ongoing Marvel Universe inhabited by superheroes such as the Avengers and Spider-Man, and super-villains such as Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil.[1] For the majority of issues released, the series had tied into the ongoing events of Marvel's line-wide "Dark Reign" storyline, opening with Castle attempting to assassinate Norman Osborn.[2]

After the events of "Dark Reign", Castle was dismembered and killed by Wolverine's son, Daken, and reassembled as a Frankenstein monster by Morbius and the Legion of Monsters.[3]

Story arcs[edit]

"Living in Darkness" (#1–5)[edit]

After Norman Osborn positions himself as "humanity's savior" following the "Secret Invasion", he becomes the foremost national security officer in the country and disbands S.H.I.E.L.D., placing a new organization, H.A.M.M.E.R., in its place. Holding Osborn accountable for his actions as the supervillain Green Goblin, the Punisher plans to assassinate Osborn. Joining forces with a new, tech-savvy young partner, Castle sets about taking Osborn down. Castle, normally favoring simple ends to his targets, must adapt his methods to Osborn’s far-reaching influence and deep-seated corruption. Castle and his new associate Henry Russo elect to gather evidence of the former Green Goblin’s wrongdoing in order to completely destroy his newfound reputation and end his Dark Reign once and for all. Osborn, on the other hand, has an associate waiting in the wings to get rid of the Punisher.[4]

"Dead End" (#6–10, Annual #1)[edit]

The Hood's crime organization grows at an alarming rate, eluding the authorities of New York City, most of the superhero population, and Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. The Punisher positions himself as the only thing resembling consequence and makes it a personal mission to bring Hood and his organization down. Although, Hood is ready for him in the form of the "Deadly Dozen," a highly trained team ready to move in on Castle and eliminate him.[5] And in the monthly's first Annual, Punisher moves in on criminals of New York City before being confronted by a dangerously strong and agile hypnotized foe: Spider-Man.[6]

Dark Reign: The List – Punisher #1[edit]

Going down his list of enemies to eliminate before ascending to, what he deems, "control of the world," Norman Osborn arrives at the man who made his list after attempting to assassinate him: Frank Castle. Devoting the entirety of H.A.M.M.E.R.'s resources to the elimination of the Punisher, Osborn is surprised at the vigilante's resourcefulness in evading H.A.M.M.E.R. ground forces. To remedy this, he dispatches Daken, the Avengers' dark reflection of Wolverine, to eliminate Castle once and for all. Finding him in a New York City sewer, a fight to the death ensues between the Dark Wolverine and the Punisher. The Punisher does well, and manages to fight on par with Daken, but the mutant's healing factor proved too much for Castle, and Daken eventually cut both his arms off before decapitating him.[7]

"Dead and Alive" (#11–16)[edit]

Morbius and the Legion of Monsters reconstruct Frank as a Frankenstein monster. Morbius "re-composed" Castle, hoping his military experience, tactical mindset and leadership would help the Legion of Monsters overcome a society that has been hunting them down. However, Frank rejected the group upon waking up and left their base. He stayed in the underground tunnels, unaware the Legion was being slaughtered by the Japanese society. A creature that previously offered Frank food fled to him for help, but died at his doorstep. Frank joins in the fight to protect the innocent 'monstrous' entities being targeted by their enemies.[8]

"Missing Pieces" (#17–21)[edit]

The series was retitled Franken-Castle starting here.

After being revived, Frank must find a way to live with his new limitations and make peace with what he has become. To do this, he hits the streets once again to punish the guilty, and begins to formulate a plan of vengeance against the man that killed him.[9]

Daken, later seen at a nightclub, is attacked by the now monstrous Punisher, who is seeking revenge. After a brutal fight Daken is defeated but decides to hunt Franken-Castle to continue the fight and retrieve the Bloodstone integrated into Fraken-Castle's new physical form.[10] After following Franken-Castle's trail, Daken encounters a series of devastating traps before meeting his foe again. After a second brutal hand-to-hand battle, Daken is severely injured and retreats. Franken-Castle finds him and, after damaging Daken even more, is about to throw him into a mass of concrete foundation (presumably to kill him). However, Franken-Castle is stabbed in the chest from behind, by Wolverine, who states he is intervening in his plans to kill his son.[11]

Franken-Castle knocks Wolverine unconscious; however, Daken manages to slip away. Franken-Castle tries to avoid him, but Daken crashes into the vehicle and moves Franken-Castle's gem into his chest becoming invulnerable and attacks again. Wolverine and Franken-Castle are forced to work together to combat Daken because the effects of the Bloodgem on Daken's healing factor are disastrous. During their battle on the rooftop, Franken-Castle finally takes down the insane Daken. After Daken was defeated, Wolverine removes the gems from his son and gives it to Franken-Castle and the scene ends with Wolverine alone on a rooftop.[12][13]

After his fight with Daken, Punisher returns to Monster Island and the Bloodstone seems to have returned him back to normal but he starts growing insane and the monster within the Bloodgem is starting to take control of him. The Legion of Monsters decide to take him down and retrieve the Bloodstone from him with the help of Elsa Bloodstone. Though Manphibian attempts to talk some sense into the Punisher, Elsa decides to just shoot him and take the stone from him. This angers Punisher and he fights and defeats Elsa in a jungle but before he could finish her off Werewolf by Night intervened and saved Elsa. Then the Living Mummy convinces Frank to give up the gem and walk away.[14]

Collected editions[edit]


  1. ^ "#1 With a Bullet - Rick Remender Talks New Punisher Series". Newsarama. 
  2. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v8, 1 (March 2009), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v8, 11 (January 2010), Marvel Comics
  4. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v7, 1-5 (March–July 2009), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v7, 6-10 (August–December 2009), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher Annual v7, 1 (November 2009), Marvel Comics
  7. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Dark Reign: The List – Punisher 1 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
  8. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Punisher v7, 11-16 (January–June 2010), Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Remender, Rick (w). Franken-Castle 17 (June 2010), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ Dark Wolverine #88 (September 2010)
  11. ^ Franken-Castle #19 (September 2010)
  12. ^ Dark Wolverine #89 (October 2010)
  13. ^ Franken-Castle #20 (October 2010)
  14. ^ Franken-Castle #21 (November 2010)