The Punisher (Frank Castle) is a fictional comic book character, an antihero in Marvel Comics' main shared universe. Created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr. and Ross Andru, the character first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974).
The Punisher is a vigilante who considers killing, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence and torture to be acceptable crime-fighting tactics. Driven by the deaths of his family, who were killed by the mob when they witnessed a gangland execution in New York City's Central Park, the Punisher wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of weaponry. His family's killers were the first to be slain. A war veteran, Castle is a master of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerilla warfare and a wide variety of weapons.
The Punisher's brutal nature and willingness to kill made him a novel character in mainstream American comic books in 1974. By the late 1980's, he was part of a wave of psychologically troubled antiheroes and was featured in several monthly publications, including The Punisher War Journal, The Punisher War Zone, and The Punisher Armory. Three movie adaptations have been released, one in 1989, which features Dolph Lundgren as the Punisher, another in 2004, with the character played by Thomas Jane and a third in 2008 with Ray Stevenson as the character.