WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #3. Marvel Comics is updating The Punisher's look for the new year. Frank Castle is known for his iconic skull logo, which has become a controversial image over the last several years after being co-opted for political means, with the symbol being branded on police uniforms, cars, and military garments. However, an update to the logo was revealed for a new volume of Punisher by writer Jason Aaron and artists Jesus Saiz and Paul Azaceta. Punisher will see Frank Castle join the ninja assassin organization known as The Hand, in what is being billed as the "definitive culmination of Frank Castle's journey in the Marvel Universe to date."
While Punisher #1 is scheduled to arrive on March 9th, Marvel gave fans a sneak peek at Frank Castle's transformation into the King of Killers for The Hand in Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #3 by Chip Zdarsky, Rafael De Latorre, Federico Blee, and VC's Clayton Cowles. The spinoff of the Daredevil event series Devil's Reign follows Elektra after she's taken on Matt Murdock's vigilante mantle. Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin of Crime and current Mayor of New York, has outlawed superheroes and deputized supervillains as his very own Thunderbolts. Kraven the Hunter, one of those Thunderbolts and an agent for The Hand, has been tasked with killing Elektra.
While Elektra is able to defeat Kraven, she runs into her old ally AKA, who works for The Hand. After being knocked unconscious, Elektra awakens to learn that Matt Murdock was killed, with Kingpin as the Number 1 suspect. Those events apparently take place in Devil's Reign #5 even though the issue hasn't come out yet. Enraged by Matt's death, Elektra vows to kill Kingpin. The story in Woman Without Fear #3 concludes, but an epilogue picks up two weeks later with the big reveal of Punisher working with The Hand.
AKA and Arch-Priestess have a conversation regarding Elektra, with the two women clearly holding different opinions on how she should be dealt with. AKA sees Elektra as The Hand's fiercest former warrior, while Arch-Priestess isn't impressed at all. Arch-Priestess' main goal is bringing back the Beast, which she sees The Punisher as a means to that goal. She refers to Frank as "My Lord," showing how he holds a lofty title in the shadowy organization.
Instead of equipping himself with guns and rifles, Punisher's weapons of choice nowadays consist of swords. The white skull logo on his chest is shaped in the image of a beast, with two crowns and fangs rising from its forehead and mouth, respectively.
"After writing the Punisher over the years, I've always been fascinated by the character of Frank Castle. What moments made him the Punisher, even before that fateful day in the park? And how far will he go to win the war that has consumed his life? Spoiler: as far as it damn well takes," said Aaron. "This story is the destined next step in the dark and tragic evolution of Frank Castle, from troubled kid to heroic soldier to revenge-driven vigilante...to the duly anointed King of Killers. Believe me when I say, I am as excited about this story as anything I've ever written for Marvel."
"A few years ago, Jason Aaron came into one of our creative summits with a pitch for Frank that made our collective jaws drop," said Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. "The story Jason is telling – a truly epic tale about darkness, violence, and choices – can only be told with the Punisher at its core. This series will build on Frank's legacy while introducing us to a side of him we've never seen before, setting the stage for an evolution that we'll find was inevitable."
Stay tuned to ComicBook.com where we'll have an interview with Jason Aaron for Punisher #1.