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The Punisher – a thin line between a Hero and Antihero

Injustice in whichever form can sometimes breed something very dangerous and beyond vengeance. Everyone feels like taking revenge for anything wrong that has been done to them, but when it becomes a part of your DNA it becomes The Punisher.

The Punisher is one of the most popular Marvel comic characters and has also been named as the 19th Greatest Comic Book Character of All Time by movie magazine Empire. Despite being violent, unnecessarily vengeful, bloodthirsty and slightly maniac, The Punisher has garnered much popularity. He is one of the most popular anti-heroes in the marvel comic world. Those who love action, violence, guerilla warfare and mind games find The Punisher the ultimate demigod of the underworld.

The Story of the Punisher

While some critics consider him as the alternate hero with shades of an antihero, the others see him as antihero but not a villain.

Circumstances can breed resentments in people and can create either a villain or a hero. His real name is Francis Castiglione and he was a former U.S Marine Captain. Previously he embarked on the journey of becoming a priest, but as he couldn’t bring himself to forgive those who did evil so he abandoned the plan. He was married to a woman named Maria and had children. During his time in United States Marine Corps (USMC), he went though several stages of combat training and was part of various defense wings including Basic Training, Infantry School, USMC's Reconnaissance, Force Reconnaissance, and Sniper Schools, U.S. Army Airborne School, and U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team training, Navy Seal (Sea, Air and Land).

Later he was a part of the Special Forces unit during the Vietnam War. It was then after returning from the war his life changed completely.

One day when he and his wife and children were spending time in New York's Central Park, they witnessed a murder, a mafia execution by one of the most powerful Mafia Families - Costa. The Mafia Gang in their quest to eliminate every witness kills Frank’s family. Frank survives. The police however refuse to help him even though he can recall each and every face in the gang. The police are tied too closely with the Costa Family.

Thus begins the journey of the Punisher – a transformation of a war hero into this vengeful person who goes out of his way to eliminate the Costa Family that so brutally wiped out his own family. But, he did not stop at that. He is now driven by a strange sense of vengeance and justice, and he is out there to kill every criminal or wrong doer.

A hero or not a hero

Using his extra ordinary combat skills he acquired during his ruthless military training, he hands out justice in the society. Or so he thinks. He uses violence to the extreme unapologetically.  He relies on murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats, violence, and torture in his conquest to eliminate crime. His obsession with violence has led many critics to believe that he is not exactly a hero. He cannot survive without killing. But that does not stop fans from becoming his fans. His skull insignia has inspired many t-shirt designs. And he is the kind of hero today’s youth look for in their video games avatar.

For some he is the hero with ruthless sense of justice while others believe him to be a mad killer.  But, there is no dearth in the number of his fans!


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