We return to Frank Castle’s first skirmish with Spider-Man!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Frank Castle returned to New York City in this week’s PUNISHER #13 by Becky Cloonan and Kris Anka. Homecomings always bring up old memories, so it’s the best possible time to take a look at the first appearance of The Punisher in 1974’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129.

Writer Gerry Conway dreamt up the gun-toting vigilante and then had resident Bullpen artist John Romita whip up a design that Ross Andru brought to life in the pages of that issue. In fact, the installment began with Punisher blasting a plaster model of Spider-Man as The Jackal watched. Their initial retort ended with Castle claiming that our favorite Wall-Crawler deserved to die for unknown reasons.

Cut to the future target slinging around the city, stopping an armed robbery, and then heading to the Daily Bugle where J. Jonah Jameson chastised him for not getting the first photos of The Punisher.  Peter put his costume back on in an attempt to find JJJ’s new quarry, but accidentally swung right into the assassin’s sights. Luckily, the old Spider-Sense kicked in and our hero dodged the gunman’s first blast.

Spidey immediately gave chase, but Punisher pulled a fast one, grabbing a hidden weapon to wrap the Web-Slinger up, giving him time to spout off about the evils of the world. Just as Spider-Man broke free, Jackal jumped out and swatted him off a roof! The antagonists thought they succeeded in killing their prey and ran off.

Back in their secret lair, Punisher and Jackal argued about methodology, but also explained that the newcomer wanted to kill Spider-Man for supposedly murdering Norman Osborn. “If I’m ever to live with myself, I have to know I’m doing the right thing…and letting a man die by accident doesn’t qualify,” Castle explained.

Later, as Spidey followed up on a lead to check out weapons-maker The Mechanic, Punisher showed up right after him and attacked. He became even further enraged when he saw the Mechanic’s body on the floor, but Spider-Man used his superior strength to knock him down and tie him up. Instead of swinging away, the hero pointed out to Punisher that Jackal actually killed his armorer and the black-clad man swore his vengeance before retreating into the shadows.

Eventually, Punisher’s backstory came to light: the former Marine had returned home to his wife, son and daughter. The quartet had gone to the park for a picnic when gunshots rang out, killing all but Frank. That day, he swore to use his particular skills to wipe evil off the face of the Earth, a mission he’s continued to this day.

Flash Forward

Thanks to Frank’s status as an anti-hero, he became incredibly popular, eventually earning his own limited series and then, basically, at least one ongoing series going from 1987 all the way to today. Though usually a loner, he’s taken part in some of the biggest events in the Marvel Universe. He sided with Captain America during the first Civil War, helped investigate the Watcher’s death during Original Sin, killed a whole bunch of villains as Secret Wars kicked off, and can currently be seen working for Steve Rogers once again in Secret Empire.

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Kris Anka brings Frank Castle home in an exclusive sketchbook!

In a lot of ways, New York City made Frank Castle the man he is today. In THE PUNISHER #13, he’ll return home to continue keeping families safe from the kind of tragedy he suffered all those years ago.

After sending Frank on a series of adventures across the American Northeast, series writer Becky Cloonan and guest artist Kris Anka plan to welcome The Punisher back with all the flair, violence and bloodshed you’d expect! With the issue hitting on June 28, we talked with Anka about his love of the character, returning Castle to the city that never sleeps, and developing his targets with Cloonan.

Marvel.com: The last issue of STAR-LORD hit not too long ago. Is it a big transition going from a series like that to PUNISHER?

Kris Anka: Sort of, not really. It’s no secret that the PUNISHER MAX series by Garth Ennis is one of my favorite [comics] of all time, so I’ve definitely always itched to draw a Punisher book. Thankfully, I finally got to scratch that itch. The fun part was I was able to stretch muscles I’ve never gotten to really play with before. There was a fair amount of me just cutting loose and experimenting with things on this issue that helped make it fresh for me and [embraced] the tonal shift between this book and STAR-LORD.

Marvel.com: What are the key visual and physical elements in capturing Frank Castle?

Kris Anka: The word I kept going back to with Frank was “foreboding.” I wanted the character oozing intimidation as soon as he steps in to the room. There are a lot of scenes in this issue of Frank walking up to people, and I wanted the terror of Frank to be immediate and believable. A lot of what went to this was hiding Frank in shadow a lot; not seeing everything helped to shape him more of a force of nature rather [than] just a human.

Marvel.com: Becky Cloonan is an artist as well as a writer. Does that come across in her scripts or your communications with her about the story?

Kris Anka: There is a conciseness to her scripts that helps convey just enough for me to picture what she has in mind. However, there is still enough wiggle room for me to really make the pages my own without feeling like I’m stepping on someone’s creative toes.

Marvel.com: This issue finds Punisher back in New York City. How does operating in his home town change the way Frank does his business?

Kris Anka: Yeah there is sort of an ease to it. These are environments Frank is comfortable in so he doesn’t have to constantly be on edge and looking over his shoulder. This is his home, and he’s here to remind everyone of it.

Marvel.com: Can you talk about any of the targets Frank will be aiming for? What’s the design process like for developing them? 

Kris Anka: The targets this issue are mostly normal people, people who have forgotten about Frank. Something that was fun I got to play with was rather than making Frank be full on attack [instead] keeping him reserved. Playing with less is more, that it doesn’t take a lot to remind them of who Frank is and why they should be afraid.

Frank Castle heads back to the Big Apple in THE PUNISHER #13 by Becky Cloonan and Kris Anka on June 28!

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Look back at some classic adventures set in the Land of the Rising Sun!

CABLE #2—due out June 28—finds our hero traveling back in time to feudal Japan in pursuit of a mysterious adversary! Marvel heroes have a long history of traveling to Asia’s island nation, so take a look back at five other stories set in the land of the rising sun.

Wolverine (1982) #1

Wolverine (1982) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
WOLVERINE
Wolverine stories could easily dominate any list of the best comics set in Japan, so let’s start with the “best there is”—the original WOLVERINE #1-4, by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. One of Marvel’s first limited series redefined the character as he traveled to Japan to find his long-lost love, Mariko Yashida. Shingen, her crimelord father, forced her to marry one of his stooges, which did not set well with Logan. Miller and colorist Glynis Oliver provide ninja fights amidst the neon lights of Tokyo, making this not only the must-read Wolverine tale, but also one of the quintessential works within comics as a whole.

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan (2005) #1

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
FANTASTIC FOUR & IRON MAN
While action and drama typically drive Wolverine’s journeys to Japan, “fun” fueled this comic by Zeb Wells and the late Seth Fisher.  The Fantastic Four head abroad for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tokyo’s new Giant Monster Museum and Expo Center, when—you guessed it—giant monsters attack. Luckily Iron Man also had business in the area and joined the fray. Fisher created each monster as a dedicated work of art for an insanely delightful story that never lets up.

Big Hero 6 (2008) #1

Big Hero 6 (2008) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
BIG HERO SIX
Before jumping to the big screen, Hiro, Baymax and the rest of the team starred in two different series: one by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vasquez in 1998, and another by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama in 2008. When the Japanese government decides they need their own team of heroes, they recruit Silver Samurai, Honey Lemon, and the rest of the crew, who battle the likes of Everwraith and Yandroth.

5 Ronin (2010) #1

5 Ronin (2010) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
5 RONIN
The 2011 series 5 RONIN recast Hulk, Wolverine, Deadpool, Punisher, and Psylocke as master-less samurai living in 17th century Japan. Featuring the work of Peter Milligan and a variety of artists, including covers by David Aja, each issue told the story of one of the five characters, whose destines became interlinked as they sought revenge against the dreaded Damiyo.

Punisher War Journal (1988) #8

Punisher War Journal (1988) #8

  • Published: September 10, 1989
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 27, 2010
What is Marvel Unlimited?
THE PUNISHER
Back in 1989, Carl Potts and Jim Lee introduced The Punisher to a group called the Shadowmasters, who graduated from PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL into their own series. This ancient clan of martial arts masters protected the province of Iga, and Punisher came into contact with one of them, Kathryn Yakamoto, who helped him infiltrate a ninja camp run by a shady American corporation. Later Frank Castle and Black Widow teamed up with them again against the Sunrise Society, a Japanese business used as a cover for a crime syndicate.

Travel to Japan once more with CABLE #2 by James Robinson and Carlos Pacheco!

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Frank Castle and Wade Wilson match up against one another!

By Josh Weiss

Ladies, gentlemen, and kids old enough to see R-rated movies, step right up and witness one of the most epic pairings in Marvel comic book history: DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER!

No, you’re not crazy unlike like these two characters. You heard that correctly: Wade Wilson will square off with Frank Castle in a brand-new series from writer Fred Van Lente and artist Pere Perez kicking off April 12.

Who will be victorious and who will be forced to make the winner some chimichangas? Find out as these two antiheroes go toe-to-toe in—Hey, what are you doing in here? What are you doing with those? Put them down before someone gets hur—

Before we begin, Deadpool asked me nicely with his dual pistols pointed at my face to say that and I quote, “Frank Castle is a wimpy mama’s boy who wouldn’t know a corpse if it got up and smacked him in the face. Unless we’re talking Bernthal. He knows his way around a zombie or two, right? Is Bernthal reprising his role in this comic? Come at me, Shane!”

Frank could not be reached for comment.

(As if he’d say much.)

That’s enough outta you, Deadpool!

On that trash-talking note, read below as Fred Van Lente sizes up the two opponents in three key categories in anticipation of the upcoming series.

COMEDY

Punisher: “Punisher is without a doubt funnier than Deadpool. Anyone who’s read the dark, deadpan humor of [Garth] Ennis and [Steve] Dillon’s Marvel Knights run knows this.”

Deadpool: “[He] thinks he’s funny.”

Winner: “Punisher just is inherently hilarious, and that makes a big difference.”

COSTUMES

Punisher: “Punisher is a guy with a skull on his chest.”

Deadpool: “I’m not sure what the Deadpool’s outfit is supposed to be.”

Winner: “Both have become iconic looks, but I’m going to give Punisher the slight edge because of the skull logo you can separate out and slap onto anything.”

MODUS OPERANDI

Punisher: “In our series, Punisher makes quite a big deal of having contempt for Deadpool’s healing factor, because he thinks it makes the merc sloppy; if you don’t have to suffer any bad consequences for your mistakes, you never learn to not make mistakes.”

Deadpool: “But I don’t entirely believe Punisher on this one—Deadpool’s healing factor gives him a huge advantage over his foes, while if Frank makes one mis-step, he’s dead.

Winner: “I’m going with Deadpool.”

Who will ultimately come out on top? Find out on April 12 in DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER #1!

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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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