Marvel Has Given The Punisher a Tank

Marvel's current run of The Punisher has put Frank Castle into one high-octane circumstance after another, and the series' most recent issue is no exception.

Spoilers for The Punisher #9 below!

The issue picks up on the tail end of Frank's elaborate prison break in Bagalia, just as things took a turn for the worst. After one of the prisoners reveals that he'd gotten second thoughts about the thing Frank tasked him to do, Frank is forced to improvise a little bit.

This is only complicated further by the arrival of Taskmaster, who had been hired by Baron Zemo to successfully finish off Frank. The two exchange verbal and physical jabs over the course of the issue, only for Taskmaster to be run over by a car driven by Sister Mercy.

(That's right, Taskmaster was defeated by a pretty badass nun.)

the punisher 9 tank 2
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Sister Mercy then gives Frank a Hydra uniform, which she had painted the Punisher symbol on top of. As she remarked, she wanted to make sure Frank gave a proper entrance when he implemented the next part of this plan.

The issue then cut to Zemo and Jigsaw, who were trying to figure out how to fix the prison break -- especially since they'd already created a fake video claiming that Frank had died.

As they tried to figure out how to stop Frank, the issue cut to a congested bit of traffic, which had been caused by him literally driving a tank through the scene.

the punisher 9 tank
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Granted, there are some questions raised by that ending -- namely, how Frank got the tank to begin with -- but it's safe to say that it takes his fight against Zemo into a pretty public, and gnarly, direction.

“The last year has changed Frank in some ways,” Punisher writer Matthew Rosenberg said in an interview shortly after the relaunch was announced. “He doesn't feel guilty for following Captain America to Hydra. I'm not sure guilt is something he really feels ever beyond not saving his family. But he does want to set things right. And that means he has big plans and big targets. And this time he's going after some of the biggest. His list has two names on it that folks might be excited about: Baron Zemo and the Mandarin. Legitimate Super Villains with whole armies behind them. And Frank isn't stopping until they are in the ground or he is."

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“Frank's coming war with Zemo and Mandarin is going to be unlike anything Punisher fans have seen before. And it's going to get ugly real fast,” Rosenberg added. “When I was a kid I remember being told once that when a bear kills a human that bear develops a taste for eating people and won't stop. As an adult I'm pretty positive that that isn't true at all, but it's a cool as hell idea. And it's true for the Punisher. Frank has his eyes on bigger prey. He took down a fascist army. He overthrew a government. And now he can't get that taste out of his mouth. He's not above killing his local crime boss or drug dealer, but he is on the hunt for the people behind the people. And that's where the Mandarin and Baron Zemo come in. They aren't just bad guys, they are the guys who control bad guys. And that is why Frank wants them.”

The Punisher #9 is in stores now.