For some time now Frank Castle hasn’t been wearing his trademark skull logo, nor actively working as The Punisher, at least not in the way that fans have been used to for years. Acclaimed Punisher scribe Jason Aaron has reinvented Frank in a new way with his latest series, trading Frank’s skull logo and firearms for a new symbol and swords. Oh, and he’s also the acting leader of ninja death cult The Hand. In the latest issue of the series however Frank’s classic Punisher symbol makes a return to the pages of Marvel Comics, only it wasn’t Frank sporting it. Spoilers follow!
The latest Punisher series has positioned two major antagonists in the way of Frank, one being The Hand itself as he attempts to navigate their sordid underworld, but then also the Marvel version of the Greek god of war, Ares. Throughout the series Ares has been working with a new group he’s formed, The Apostles of War, a group dedicated to, naturally, keeping war and conflict brewing throughout the world. This group has found themselves at odds with Castle and The Hand throughout the series but their motives might have become more clear after the latest issue reveals Ares himself wearing Frank’s old logo.
Despite seemingly being at odds with each other throughout the series, this issue seems to plant the seed of what Ares’ actual endgame for the series is, getting Frank Castle to put his old suit back on and go back to war. In a chance encounter with The Archpriestess of The Hand, Ares vowed that he wouldn’t allow her to make Castle into the Fist of the Beast, the title she’s been aiming to give him since before this new series began.
Now it seems obvious, of course Ares would want Frank out there conducting his own wars and killing criminals, and this issue seems to make it clear that this is what Ares really wants to happen. Plus what better way to get Frank back into the game than by fighting him in his own suit? Seven issues remain in the series, so it’s unclear what the next step will be, or how this fight between Ares and Frank will play out. You can find the full cover and solicitation for the next issue below.
PUNISHER #6(W) Jason Aaron (A) Paul Azaceta (A/CA) Jesus SaizFrank Castle wants to end his war once and for all. But standing in his way is none other than the God of War himself, Ares, who sees the Punisher as his greatest disciple. A disciple who has forgotten his true self and must be reminded of the ways of war.In Shops: Sep 07, 2022SRP: $4.99