This week while I was watching Punisher TV series, my friend came to me and suddenly asked: “Why don’t Punisher wear a mask, isn’t he a vigilante?”. My friend never was a comic book fan but loved comic TV series and movies. He must have confused Punisher with other vigilantes and superheroes like Daredevil, Iron Fist, Flash and Supergirl.
Before moving further, let’s see who the Punisher really is. Punisher debuted in comics in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 as Francis Castiglione, created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru. He is a war veteran and a Marine. He is a one-man-war against those who employ murder, kidnapping, extortion and any other type of flagellant crime because his family, wife and two children, were killed in a mob hit.
Who needs a mask when you are the Punisher?
People sometimes confuse the Punisher as the moniker of Frank Castle, they are one and the same. Frank Castle is Punisher and Punisher is Frank Castle. He doesn’t wear a mask because he doesn’t need a mask. Masks are important for those who want to keep their personal life and loved ones safe. Punisher doesn’t have a day job nor does he have any loved ones to come back to. Punisher doesn’t want to hide his identity because it doesn’t matter to him. He wants crime lords and mobs to know who is killing them.
The other disadvantage of wearing a mask is that anyone can impersonate you. Frank Castle’s face can’t be copied by normal people, other than a shapeshifting super, which aren’t that common in Hell’s Kitchen. Being impersonated and framed like DareDevil, for example, is much tougher when trying to be the Punisher. The public doesn’t know Spider-Man’s real identity. Partially, why there are lots of Spider-Man clones and alternate dimensions Spidey’s. Nobody knows who he is in real life so any evil-doer can impersonate him and put dirt on his name by simply throwing on a mask. But there is only one Punisher and hell if anyone tries to impersonate him, they know what’s coming for them. The Punisher.
If you really want to see The Punisher punishing wearing a mask. Check out the All New All Different Punisher run (2014) where he puts on a mask to take on Los Angeles based gang Dos Soles and Electro.
Want this comic and/or other Punisher classic comics check out ComiXology here: