The Punisher Kills a Major Marvel Villain

The Punisher may be out of the War Machine armor, but he’s still targeting the Marvel Universe’s deadliest supervillains. In today’s The Punisher #1, Frank Castle seemingly eliminated one such villain for good.

Spoilers for The Punisher #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, and Antonio Fabela follow.

Over the last year or so of Punisher stories, Frank Castle has gone through some changes. He was tricked by the evil Steve Rogers into working for Hydra. Nick Fury then convinced Castle to put on the War Machine armor after James Rhodes’ death and go after bigger targets, like despots and strongmen.

Frank then had the idea to use the armor to find and eliminate the evil Steve Rogers, aka the Supreme Commander, for good. He was stopped by Iron Man and some of the Avengers and Rhodey, now back from the dead, convinced Castle to give up the War Machine armor, even after the Punisher stopped Hydra from breaking the Supreme Commander out of prison.

But even though he no longer has the War Machine armor, Punisher has kept his taste for the bigger game. He’s done dealing with petty drug dealers and crime bosses and focused on big-time supervillains. Right now, he still has Hydra in his crosshairs.

Hydra is currently being led by Baron Zemo. The Punisher #1 reveals that Zemo has made some interesting alliances. One such alliance is with Dario Agger, the Minotaur and head of the Roxxon Corporation. Together they have been buying and coercing votes in an attempt to have Bagalia, a country controlled by Hydra, entered into the United Nations.

In order to make this work, Bagalia needs a public face on the floor of the general assembly. That face is the Mandarin, who is presenting himself as a reformed villain. Mandarin hasn’t been seen since Ezekiel Stane killed him in Invincible Iron Man in 2012, and no explanation is given about the villain’s return.

That’s probably fine because the return doesn’t last long. The Punisher raids Hydra and Roxxon shipments to add some powerful technology to his arsenal. As the Mandarin makes his speech at the United Nations, the Punisher fires a special bullet from afar. Despite the Mandarin’s use of his rings to try to shield himself and redirect the bullet, he can only slow it down until finally…

Punisher Kills Mandarin
(Photo: Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, Matthew Rosenberg, Marvel Entertainment)

And so ends the Mandarin yet again.

Such a brazen act has attracted the attention of several other significant members of the Marvel Universe, including Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Daredevil. As for Hydra, Baron Zemo now seems happy to give Frank Castle the war he’s been looking for.

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