The Merc with a Mouth and Marvel’s most murderous vigilante collide in April!

Bad news, those hoping for a bright, happy 2017; the forecast for the new year calls for mayhem, at least in the pages of DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER, debuting this April from writer Fred Van Lente and artist Pere Perez.

Why can’t Wade Wilson and Frank Castle settle their disputes with words rather than weapons? Van Lente gave us some further insight as he stocked up on ammunition.

Marvel.com: Deadpool and Punisher have a few defining features but within them there are a variety of interpretations: Punisher as humorless killing machine vs. super hero Punisher, for example. For you, what “versions” of the characters ring truest for you? Which Deadpool and Punisher will you be utilizing to tell your story?

Fred Van Lente: That’s a great question. To me you know Punisher is best as a killing machine—I wouldn’t really call him a “humorless” one, though, because when Garth Ennis was writing him there was certainly quite a bit of deadpan black humor to him, and that’s definitely my take. Likewise, whenever I’ve done Deadpool I love writing his quips and burns as much as the next person, but what makes him a compelling character is that element of tragedy to him—the sadness, and loss that I think the “Deadpool” film did such a good job of getting across along with the jokes.

So our story, “Bullet to the Brain,” is your classic ultraviolent super-crime tragi-comedy, I guess you could say.

Marvel.com: Given the characters’ disparate personalities, there is a pretty clear conflict in tone here. How do you blend Deadpool’s more manic livewire personality with Frank’s darker stoicism?

Fred Van Lente: It’s a real peanut-butter-in-chocolate situation, and you take that compare/contrast and run with it. You put Deadpool in a gritty crime story and Frank in this kind of insane, manic world where Deadpool’s adventures take place, and you let them try and shoot their way out of it—and at each other!

Marvel.com: Castle and Wilson have not interacted a lot previously, but they have encountered one another now and then, most recently in THUNDERBOLTS. Coming away from those, what impressions do they have of one another?

Fred Van Lente: Oh, they do not like each other, particularly from their [Thunderbolts] days on the same team together. Wade thinks Frank is a stick in the mud while Frank thinks Wade’s healing factor has made him loud, sloppy and useless.

I mean, to me the gold standard for these kinds of “versus” comics is [Christopher] Priest and [Mark] Bright’s SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE, where the two characters have a genuine reason to go after each other; it’s not mind control, it’s not mistook-you-for-a-villain, both protagonists are each other’s antagonists for legitimate reasons the reader can relate to, and that’s where this new character The Bank comes in.

Deadpool Vs. The Punisher #1 cover by Declan Shalvey

Deadpool Vs. The Punisher #1 cover by Declan Shalvey

Marvel.com: Who is The Bank, without spoilers, of course? How does this villain’s presence pull together these two very different characters?

Fred Van Lente: The Bank is a shadowy character who’s existed in the Marvel Universe for decades, but we’ve never heard of him before because he is very much off the grid—he’s as his name implies a money man, who handles offshore accounts for a variety of amoral-to-immoral characters and organizations.

He also happens to be one of Wade Wilson’s best friends, having known Deadpool before his Weapon X days, and so when Punisher decides to bring The Bank down, he’s got to go through Deadpool to do that, and you know what? Frank doesn’t really have a problem with that, since he doesn’t like Wade all that much anyway.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but that would get into spoiler territory, so I will leave it there for now…

Marvel.com: How does Pere Perez help you realize the tone you were hoping to instill in the book? How has collaborating with him influenced your approach to storytelling?

Fred Van Lente: Pere is great. We’ve worked together a lot at other companies and it’s very cool to [be] back with him at Marvel. He has a real-life background in martial arts, and it’s been great fun to put him through his paces in all the over-top action scenes in this book; it’s been a lot of fun.

Marvel.com: Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, who gets to use the biggest gun?

Fred Van Lente: The breadth and variety of weapons in this series is kind of mind-bogging. The size and destructive power of the guns increases as we go along, so it may not be until [issue] #5 when we find that out.

Pick the right side for DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER with Fred Van Lente and Pere Perez beginning in April!

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Check out this new exclusive figure from Diamond Select!

Is the Marvel Retro line ready for… The Punisher?! Never released in the classic Mego toy line of yester-year, violent vigilante The Punisher is the latest Marvel character to get the 8-inch Retro action figure treatment from DST! This gift set features one classically-styled white-gloved Punisher figure in a vintage-style box, plus two additional heads and outfits: a bandaged head with a trenchcoat and bullet-proof vest and the civilian streetwear of veteran Frank Castle! With interchangeable heads, hands, costumes and accessories, you can display your Punisher however you want! Packaged in a full-color gift tray!

Visit Diamond Select Toys for more!

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Artist Felix Ruiz teams with Frank Castle's creator to send him on a Halloween hunt!

Gerry Conway and Felix Ruiz plan on scaring some people with THE PUNISHER ANNUAL #1. No, not the readers, but definitely some of the ne’er-do-wells that Frank Castle runs into during the Halloween-set tale of murder and mayhem.

The issue marks a return to the character for both creators. Ruiz drew segments of THE PUNISHER #14 last year while Conway conjured up Frank Castle back in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129 from 1974.

We talked with Ruiz about playing with the costume-filled holiday, getting in the spirit of Halloween, and working with an all-time-great comic book legend!

Marvel.com: Right off the bat, how excited were you when you first heard you were going to work with the legendary Gerry Conway on this issue?

Felix Ruiz: When I found out that I was going to share this issue with a legend, such as Gerry Conway, as you can guess, I was looking forward to [starting] immediately. It’s a great honor to me, and to any comic artist, and I tried to keep my standards as high as possible.

Marvel.com: When it came to came to actually drawing the issue, did you two work in full script or more of the Marvel style?

Felix Ruiz: In this case I worked on a full script. Then my job has been more direct and comfortable and nevertheless my creativity was still untouched.

Marvel.com: Halloween’s such a fun holiday with all of the scary elements and costumes. How was it incorporating those elements into the violent world of Punisher?

Felix Ruiz: It was such fun mixing the Halloween iconography with the violent world of Punisher. You are going to see a lot of tributes to Marvel characters if you notice the children’s costumes for instance.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about designing the looks of Frank’s targets in this story?

Felix Ruiz: I must admit that I defined a dark character on purpose to contrast with the children’s joy, despite the dark tone and on the other hand hopeful [note] of the story.

And in all, I enjoyed very much the cleverness of Gerry Conway when it comes to dealing with very complex and controversial topics.

Celebrate Halloween early with Gerry Conway and Felix Ruiz in THE PUNISHER ANNUAL #1, available October 26!

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Peter David's epic run continues as we tour the Hulk's incredible history!

For over 50 years, the Incredible Hulk has been smashing his way through the Marvel Universe and into the hearts of fans. Whether you’ve discovered the tale of Bruce Banner and his other self through comics, TV, or film, get the whole story here…

Incredible Hulk (1962) #425

Incredible Hulk (1962) #425

  • Published: January 10, 1995
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 26, 2014
  • Cover Artist: Liam Sharp
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Eternal Knight assailed the Mount in INCREDIBLE HULK #425, the Hulk transformed into the Savage Banner when Pantheon member Achilles accidentally shot Betty during a fight with Ulysses. Achilles and Agamemnon both died during the attack, forcing the Knights to end their siege.

Doc Samson tried to treat the Savage Banner in INCREDIBLE HULK #426, but when Betty agreed to live and not ascend to Heaven, she and Bruce escaped to run away together, leaving a grieving Pantheon determined to hunt the Hulk down. Six months later, Betty and the Hulk resurfaced in a small town in Florida with new lives in INCREDIBLE HULK #427. Unfortunately, a mystery surrounding disappearing children arose, prompting the Hulk to search for them in the swamps. The path led to a deranged killer in INCREDIBLE HULK #428, as well as an encounter with the empathy-eating Man-Thing.

The town’s Police Chief Largo grew more suspicious of Betty’s “husband” in INCREDIBLE HULK #429 and when the death of a local girl during an anti-abortion rally brought the ire of the Hulk, the chief clashed directly with the green genius. The girl’s father, Hulk’s old foe Speedfreek, also ran afoul of the Jade Giant, dealing him a serious slash across the abdomen in INCREDIBLE HULK #430.

Incredible Hulk (1962) #431

Incredible Hulk (1962) #431

  • Published: July 10, 1995
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 02, 2014
  • Cover Artist: Liam Sharp
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Abomination turned up living with homeless people in the sewers of New York in INCREDIBLE HULK #431, the Hulk arrived to investigate and throw down with his former foe in INCREDIBLE HULK #432. Later, the Hulk agreed to travel to the Norse underworld of Hel in THOR #488 to retrieve the thunder god, but instead he entered into a battle with him in THOR #489 that almost leveled Hela’s dark kingdom.

Back on Earth, the Hulk intervened in a disagreement between the Punisher and S.H.I.E.L.D. in INCREDIBLE HULK #433, and afterward attended the funeral of presumed-dead Nick Fury in INCREDIBLE HULK #434. The strangeness continued in INCREDIBLE HULK #435 when the green giant found himself on the opposing baseball team to that of the super villain Rhino.

The U.S. Army found Betty and Bruce’s Florida home in INCREDIBLE HULK #436 and took Betty hostage to lure her “husband” into a trap. The Savage Banner appeared once more and fell easily into said trap, unaware of the onrushing menace of new foe Omnibus…

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A new Infinite Comic brings this odd couple back together in search of magic bullets!

Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, prefers to work alone, but what happens when he’s vastly out of his element? What happens when bombs and bullets have no effect on the magical threat within the mafia threat that he’s targeting? Why, he calls in Doctor Strange, of course!

That’s the premise of DOCTOR STRANGE/THE PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS, an Infinite Comic event coming this fall from Marvel and writer John Barber.

We caught up with Barber to get the scoop on this exciting and—-dare we say it—magical team-up…

Marvel.com: Doctor Strange and the Punisher are two wildly different heroes with two wildly different methods of fighting evil/crime. How did the idea to pair these two opposites up come about?

John Barber: Honestly, I was sitting in the bathtub trying to come up with ideas for the Ultimate Spider-Man Infinite Comic, because I’d just been asked to do a few more of those, and I was relaxing with some Doctor Strange comics. That that got me thinking about Strange, who’s one of the most interesting and cool Marvel characters. And I started thinking about an idea I had about a villain-type guy who saw these fantastical realms that Strange frequents, and was just horrified by what he saw; and I remembered when Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato had Strange with Punisher in Original Sin, it was a really interesting pairing. They were both a little out of their element in that comic, which kinda put them on equal footing. But the idea of having these two characters who both are part of the darker, shadowy recesses of the Marvel Universe, getting jammed together and seeing how different—and similar—those shadows can be, that just seemed really intriguing.

And I was excited about it, but, like, I had a job to do. So I worked on the Spider-Man stuff—which, don’t get me wrong, is incredibly awesome to be a part of. I sent off some pitches, and then I thought about MAGIC BULLETS a little and sent an email to [editor] Nick Lowe. It was sort of a “I know there’s no way this could happen but here’s an idea I had that I wanted to throw out there.” And Nick emailed back and said he maybe had a place for the story, and then he introduced me to Darren Shan in his editorial office, and we started banging the plot into shape and made it an actual story!

Marvel.com: What kind of dynamic can we expect between them? Is it one of friendliness or    wariness?

John Barber: Frank Castle doesn’t have time for the mystical nonsense. That’s where he’s coming from. I mean, historically, whenever he’s gotten involved in that stuff, he’s distanced himself from it soon after. I think he’s had his fill—he’s obviously more at home on the street, fighting regular humans. Or, well, killing regular humans, at least.

And Doctor Strange lives in the world of magic; even as magic stands now in the Marvel Universe, that’s where he belongs. He’s not comfortable with a guy who goes around blowing away bad guys; that’s just not a world Strange is accustomed to. He can stop a demon, but a mob soldier with a gun is—it’s not that he can’t deal with that, it’s just not his wheelhouse.

So they’re definitely wary of each other and what the other represents. But there is a respect. Strange kicks a lot of ass, and Frank respects that. And Frank does what he does, fundamentally, out of the love of his family, which isn’t something Strange really expects to see, but maybe he gets a glimpse of this here.

Marvel.com: What’s your favorite part about writing this Marvel Infinite Comic team-up?

John Barber: I think the little moments of Frank and Stephen together are the most fun. There’s big-scale action going on here, lots of magic and lots of shooting, as you’d hope from a story called MAGIC BULLETS. But those little instances where you see the shields drop a little, and you see some of the person behind the cape and behind the skull; those are the moments where it works.

Marvel.com: On a similar note, what is the most challenging thing about writing this team-up?

John Barber: The scale of Strange and Punisher tends to be different. I mean, Strange just is coming out of a story where sorcerers from different realities are all being attacked by forces trying to wipe away magic; and Punisher is coming out of fighting some drug dealers. I mean—neither is better or more interesting than the other, and the current PUNISHER and DOCTOR STRANGE comics are both at the top of my list to read; I love what Jason [Aaron] and Chris Bachalo are doing, and what Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon are doing in PUNISHER is really dark and amazing. 

But getting the story to the place where Punisher is doing Punisher-sized things and Strange is doing Strange-sized things and then they both get forced into the other’s world and Frank’s dealing with a scale he’s not used to and Stephen’s dealing with street stuff he’s not equipped for—that’s a tricky balance, but that’s the fun part of the story. Luckily I’ve grown up with these characters, and Nick and Darren know them inside-out, so they keep me on-track.

Marvel.com: Are you Team Strange or Team Punisher?

John Barber: Man, I can’t pick that. I gotta like ‘em both! I mean, I don’t want to just duck the question…I probably have more Punisher books on my shelf than Strange—and probably more than almost any other character—but there are so many great Doctor Strange comics, and he’s such a fantastic character. I’m just lucky to get to be a part of either of ‘em, let alone both!

Head to marvel.com/sdcc2016 for live coverage and all the latest from San Diego Comic-Con 2016!

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Condor's right hand man and Punisher's latest target gets profiled!

Before beginning, this writer must stress that I am ethically unable to estimate future dangerousness without meeting with the subject first in person. This additionally complicated by a significant lack of secondary sources. In fact, there is such a limited amount of information on the person in question, this writer can only refer to him as what must no doubt be a nickname, “Face.” Therefore, while the writer in question is fulfilling this contractual obligation, he must reiterate his concerns about this report being taken as anything more than an intellectual exercise.

Based on limited accounts, Face is an adult male in above average physical health. He typically presents as calm, collected, and confident and rarely, if ever, is dressed in anything but a tailored suit.

This description, however, runs afoul of other descriptions given of the character. These describe him as engaging in significant expressions of his temper. According to these reports, he is violent in a manner that can only be described as nearly unbelievable.

This writer tentatively offers these very different descriptions of the subject could be owed to drug use. Considering the business that he allegedly is engaged and the rumors regarding EMC and its effects, Face’s behaviors and abilities are consistent with someone taking a limited dose of the substance. Given how far into speculation we already are, it is truly impossible to speak to if the subject has a dependence to EMC or not.

What all accounts do seem to agree on is that Face presents with a lack of empathy towards others and a seeming delight in enacting his boss’s will, which usually involves criminal matters, and often those matters involve the death or destruction of human life. This would seem to indicate Face has a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder. While this can eliminate things like concern for others—and advantage in a criminal enterprise to be sure—it can also make him reckless which may also explain the drug use.

There are also rumors that Face takes trophies which would make him unique and uniquely dangerous. While those with APD do not experience empathy as most do and do not have the sort of instinctual drive to follow the law, they also are not typically violent. That Face is—and takes pride in that violence—places him in a rarified and dangerous subset of the population.

If these speculations are at all accurate, this would mean Face is a trained professional criminal whose abilities are often enhanced and judgment interfered with by substance abuse. He lacks empathy for even those he works with and is prone to attacks of violence including the taking of trophies. Finally, if estimates on Condor’s reputation and wealth are accurate, Face could theoretically be in charge of a collection of henchmen and weaponry equal to an army.

As such, this writer would recommend extreme care if and when the subject is approached.

Doctors Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon have an additional report on the subject which will be available for review on August 3 under the file name PUNISHER #4.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is an Outpatient Therapist who keeps trophies as well. Trophies from his total dominance of the POG circuit that is.

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Steve Dillon returns to Frank Castle!

The one-man war on crime is reforged, reloaded and reenergized, this April!

Frank Castle is back to wreak havoc on the underworld of the Marvel Universe once more in
THE PUNISHER #1! Writer Becky Cloonan teams with legendary Punisher artist Steve Dillon for a new take and a new beginning for Frank – and a violent ending for all those standing in his way!

A by-the-numbers drug bust is about to take Frank Castle by surprise – and he hates surprises. There’s a new drug hitting the streets, one that has the ability to create unstable super soldiers. As the threads begin to pull loose, the man behind the drug’s startling connection to The Punisher is revealed. An old associate from Frank’s military days has resurfaced. But as he follows the trail of drugs and bodies deeper and deeper into the Northeast’s heart of darkness, has Frank Castle truly met his match?

Mobsters, villains and drug runners beware – Frank Castle is back…and he’s coming for you. Be there for the new beginning as Cloonan and Dillon take Frank Castle out of his comfort zone and to the edge of the world he thought he knew in
THE PUNISHER #1!


THE PUNISHER #1 (MAR160728)
Written by BECKY CLOONAN
Art by STEVE DILLON
Cover by DECLAN SHALVEY
Variant Covers by ALEX MALEEV (MAR160731)
SKOTTIE YOUNG (MAR160732), JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (MAR160730)
Hip-Hop Variant by TIM BRADSTREET (MAR160729)
Age of Apocalypse Variant by CHRIS STEVENS (MAR160733)
Black Panther 50th Anniversary Variant by PHIL NOTO (MAR160734)
Captain America 75th Anniversary Variant by JOHN CASSADAY (MAR160735)
FOC – 04/11/16, On-Sale – 05/04/15

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See Frank Castle in a dark new light for mobile and PC!

In a hail of bullets an all-new Punisher enters the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” melee. D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to give us the lowdown on Punisher (MAX) and the extreme damage he’s capable of.

Marvel.com: Frank Castle just made his inaugural appearance facing down the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen in “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix, so it seems appropriate you guys would show him a little love in “Puzzle Quest.”

Josh Austin: That’s right! The latest 4-star Punisher is really putting the name to the test. He lays down the damage and adds to the devastation if your team is stunned or downed. He can even get carried away and stun his own team. They say revenge is a double-edged sword and in this case they’re right!  

Marvel.com: What does a 4-star Punisher bring to the table that say, a 4-star Daredevil doesn’t? Or Foggy Nelson for that matter?

Josh Austin: The 4-star Punisher will really add a lot for players that use characters that generate strike tiles. He may be a vigilante that works alone but players will really have fun dealing massive damage with his abilities that do more damage when there are more friendly strike tiles on the board.  

Not only that, but he’s great if your team is stunned or if your teammates have been ko’d. Frank’s the kind of guy that’ll go down swinging and take everyone else with him. But for Foggy Nelson, a lawyer that runs to the right people to report crime is just what this game needs!

Marvel.com: Ok, kidding aside, can you tell us a little about what makes this Punisher (MAX)? And how did you capture that in his abilities?

Josh Austin: This Punisher has some unique abilities that really set him apart from his 3-star variation!  

His first power is called Punish which has the Punisher dealing out vengeance on those he deems guilty of wrongdoing.  It deals a set amount of base damage and then even more damage for every friendly strike tile on the board. If any of his allies are stunned or downed, the power becomes Army of One where he becomes a much more efficient fighting machine! With Army of One, the Punisher doesn’t hold back, he creates strike tiles and then deals damage for every friendly strike tile on the board.

His second ability is called Merciless Charge, where the Punisher charges into the fray, mercilessly attacking anyone that gets in his way. This stuns allies and damages the enemy team, plus deals bonus damage for every downed enemy.

The last ability he has is called Weapons Expertise, where he uses his extensive weapon knowledge to ensure he makes the most of his equipment. He creates black strike tiles. This ability also has a Passive that increases the strength of friendly strike tiles.

Marvel.com: What is the strategy behind Punisher (MAX)? What teammates help him do what he wants to do—namely riddle his enemies with bullets?

Josh Austin: A good team would include Nova who also creates strike tiles or Iron Fist (Immortal Weapon) since he can feed The Punisher’s Punish and Army of One Powers by using his K’un-Lun power to create black fist tiles. Once the team has enough black AP, they can benefit each other to deal more damage. An additional character to add to his team could be Daken (Classic) to create additional strike tiles every time the player makes a green match to fuel the Punisher’s Merciless Charge.

Marvel.com: When do we get to try out this new Punisher for ourselves?

Josh Austin:
The Punisher is viewable today and will be live and available in-game starting tomorrow on March 24 in the Venom Bomb event. 

Take out the bad guys permanently with Punisher (Max) by downloading “Marvel Puzzle Quest” here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The battle begins when Season 2 of 'Marvel's Daredevil' debuts tomorrow, only on Netflix!

The “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen” hits the street in an all-new motion poster for Season 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil”! Check out the poster below and watch “Marvel’s Daredevil,” debuting only on Netflix tomorrow.

Tonight. #Daredevil

Posted by Marvel on Thursday, March 17, 2016

In Season 2 of the Netflix series, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) tries to save his city by dishing out his own form of justice. When the deadly vigilante Punisher (Jon Bernthal) begins to make a name for himself, Daredevil must walk the line of justice and revenge, while the mysterious Elektra (Elodie Yung) returns to Matt’s life! See what happens when this trio unites in the moition poster above.

Watch Season 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” streaming only on Netflix starting tomorrow! Make sure to follow @Daredevil on Twitter and like “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

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Get ready for the action with 'Marvel's Daredevil' Season 2, streaming only on Netflix March 18!

UPDATED 7:30 PM ET: Check out a new preview highlighting our protagonists’ looks directly below, then keep scrolling to see this morning’s new poster!

ORIGINAL STORY: You’ve waited to see Punisher and Elektra’s iconic looks brought to life in “Marvel’s Daredevil,” and ahead of the Season 2 debut next week you can get a look at them right here on Marvel.com!

Jon Bernthal and Elodie Yung join the cast as Punisher and Elektra, bringing a whole new type of chaos to Matt’s world and Hell’s Kitchen. Get a hint of the action with an all-new poster right here on Marvel.com.

Watch Season 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil” when it premieres only on Netflix March 18, plus follow @Daredevil on Twitter and like “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Facebook for the latest news and updates.

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