Frank Castle, The Punisher, was created by Gerry Conway, John Romita, Sr. and Ross Andru.
When he was created (February 1974), he was unique in comic book characters at the time, because he was REALLY a vigilante.
The Punisher didn't just tie the bad guys up so the cops would find them later, he would "punish" them by any means he saw fit.
Of course this was not as unique as some people thought.
For example, early in his career, Batman maimed and killed criminals, and even used guns.
And although I can't find any back up info, I believe the original Hangman from MLJ Comics played judge, jury and executioner as well.
But the Punisher brought this style of crime fighting back into vogue.
The Punisher has been the subject of three movies...
The Punisher (1989)
The first was the straight to video "The Punisher" (1989) starring Dolph Lundgren and Louis Gossett, Jr..
I have to admit, I rented this movie when it came out and watched it in a room full of comic book fans.
We made it about half way through it.
Now though, the film has gathered somewhat of a cult following and it actually may not be as bad as I remember.
I haven't tested that theory though.
The Punisher (2004)
The second movie was 2004's The Punisher.
This film had a higher budget and starred Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Will Patton and Rebecca Romijn.
The movie got mainly negative reviews from critics, but pulled in enough money for Marvel to start work on a sequel titled The Punisher 2, which later was changed to Punisher: War Zone.
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
In 2008, Punisher: War Zone, became the third reboot of the series, and Ray Stevenson became the third man to portray The Punisher.
Like the other films, critics were not in love with the movie, but fans seem to have embraced it even though on it's opening weekend, it only managed to place 8th at the box office.
Critics called it "joyless".
But the hero of the movie is The Punisher.
It's not gonna be a happy go lucky film.
The critics did seem to like Ray Stevenson's performance, but there are whispered rumors of another sequel from Marvel.
Does Mary Jane run past the Punisher in Spiderman 2?