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Frank Castle/The Punisher in a ripped and bloody costume, stands in front of a background of dozens of bladed weapons on the cover of Punisher #1 (2022). Image: Jesús Saiz/Marvel Comics

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Marvel Comics announces the ‘culmination’ of the Punisher’s journey

A new 13-issue series will make Frank Castle an assassin for the Hand

Avengers and Thor scribe Jason Aaron will write Marvel Comics’ next Punisher series, a “definitive culmination of Frank Castle’s journey in the Marvel Universe to date.” Punisher will run for 13 oversized issues, starting in March 2022, with art from Jesús Saiz (Checkmate, Doctor Strange) and Paul Azaceta (Amazing Spider-Man).

“After writing the Punisher over the years, I’ve always been fascinated by the character of Frank Castle,” said Aaron in Marvel’s news release. “What moments made him the Punisher, even before that fateful day in the park? And how far will he go to win the war that has consumed his life? Spoiler: as far as it damn well takes.”

Punisher will be Marvel’s first solo book for Frank Castle since Punisher (2018) concluded in late 2019, in a time during which the killer vigilante’s emblem has gained notoriety for its adoption by police and pro-police organizations. Aaron’s take will examine “the past, present, and future of Frank Castle’s character,” according to Marvel’s news release, as he becomes an assassin for the Hand, the shadowy crime organization that originated in the pages of Daredevil. Saiz will draw the story’s present-day scenes, while Azaceta will draw the flashbacks.

“This story is the destined next step in the dark and tragic evolution of Frank Castle,” Aaron said in the news release, “from troubled kid to heroic soldier to revenge-driven vigilante…to the duly anointed King of Killers. Believe me when I say, I am as excited about this story as anything I’ve ever written for Marvel.”

Check out Marvel’s official summary, two preview pages, and the complete cover from Punisher #1 below:

As the Punisher, Frank Castle has become the most accomplished killer the world has ever seen. After a shocking secret pushes him to become the warlord of the Hand, he now serves the Beast, a role he’s been fated to fulfill. Tragedy, war, and rage come together as he takes up his sword and his new armor with the most notorious clan of assassins in the Marvel Universe. Will it mean an end for the Punisher? Or a whole new bloody beginning?

Frank Castle steps out of a red helicopter flanked by red ninjas, and greets an old woman wearing red — the skull on his costume has wicked fangs and sharp horns. Unfinished page from Punisher #1 (2022). Image: Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz/Marvel Comics
Frank Castle walks through his gun-covered New York apartment in an unfinished page from Punisher #1 (2022). Image: Jason Aaron, Paul Azaceta/Marvel Comics
Frank Castle/The Punisher in a ripped and bloody costume, stands in front of a background of dozens of bladed weapons on the cover of Punisher #1 (2022). Image: Jesús Saiz/Marvel Comics
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