Marvel Is Changing Everything The Punisher Stands For

Warning! Spoilers for Punisher #1 by Marvel Comics

The Punisher has been reinvented by Marvel Comics, as the newest chapter for Frank Castle makes considerable changes to his life, logo, and motivation. In Punisher #1, it's revealed the Punisher is working alongside the Hand as they can provide him the one thing he's always desired: his family. The Hand has somehow brought Castle's wife back to life, leading the hero to kill for the organization in order to keep them in his life.

Marvel Comics revealed last year the Punisher would undergo dramatic changes after white nationalists and other hate groups adopted his skull logo in real-life. In response, the publisher is changing Frank Castle, giving the violent antihero a new Oni-inspired logo, a new mission with the Hand, and a new role in the Marvel Universe. However, for those who expected the new era of the Punisher to be watered-down, don't fret. His new series takes the character in a new direction without losing the hero's trademark violence. In fact, Punisher #1 is one of the bloodiest Punisher comics ever.

Related: Punisher's New Villains Hint He's Going to War with Marvel's Gods

In Punisher #1 by Jason Aaron, Paul Azaceta, Jesus Saiz, and Dave Stewart, Marvel doesn't avoid the Punisher's past, reminding readers of Frank Castle's tragic origin and loss of his wife and family. Fast-forwarding to the present day, Frank Castle works alongside the Hand, sporting a new logo as he murders a group of Apostles of War soldiers in a mission to learn who they're working for. Returning to the Hand's ancient home base, Punisher brutally kills a group of criminals the organization has captured in the name of their demonic deity, the Beast. The comic ends with the revelation the Hand somehow resurrected Castle's wife, motivating him to join the organization.

The final panel features Punisher lying in bed with his previously dead wife, Maria. While the bullet wound scars from her death are still present, Castle's wife is somehow alive. Her return changes the Punisher's entire motivation, as instead of seeking revenge for his fallen family, he seems to be killing to keep her alive. Doing the Hand's bidding with his new logo could be part of the promise he made to keep Maria alive - as the Hand tries to unlock the Beast within the Punisher at the same time.

The question remains: Is this really Frank Castle's wife? Are his kids also back? Or is their return being promised as long as he continues to kill with the Hand? Marvel has changed the Punisher into something different but still familiar with new motivation, logo, and mission. It's a bold reinvention for the antihero, but it should keep fans of the previous version of the Punisher happy, as the comic is uber-violent and continues to embrace the hero's darkest side - even if the reason he kills might have changed. Changing the Punisher was always going to be a challenge, but it seems Marvel has pulled it off. Punisher #1 by Marvel Comics is in stores now.

Next: Spider-Man's Sinister Six Fuse Into One Ultimate Villain

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