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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

“This war has bred a saying, oft-repeated: 'Payback is a motherfucker.' At Valley Forge, we have another. 'If you think payback's bad, you haven't met Frank Castle."

-- Stevie Goodwin, Punisher: Born #2


Frank Castle introduces a miscreant's face to his reflection.

(Click panels for larger images.) _________________________

Featured Characters:

  • Frank Castle
  • Stevie Goodwin

From the Inside Dustflap:

The year is 1971. With mounting casualties and a rising anti-war sentiment, America's time in Vietnam is coming to a close. Yet in the isolated Valley Forge Firebase on the Cambodian border, Captain Frank Castle is one of the few soldiers still committed to the fight against the enemy. With just twenty-nine Marines ready for action, Castle must stand against an impending Viet Cong attack that threatens to wipe out the entire American platoon. To survive the battle, what grim decision must Castle make that will forever alter the course of his life? The answer can only be found here...in Born.

Years before he became the Punisher, Frank Castle was a highly decorated soldier in the U.S. Military It was during this time that the seeds were planted in Castle that would later give rise to his unstoppable war on crime. In Born, Garth Ennis reveals the never-before-told story of the horrors Frank Castle was forced to face to come home from Vietnam alive, ending in a shocking twist that will forever change how readers see Marvel Comics' most famous urban vigilante.



Punisher: Born

Reprints: Punisher: Born #1-4

List price: $17.99 (US) • $29.00 (Canada)
ISBN: 0-7851-1231-6 • Original Release Date: 2/4/04

112 pages


Script: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Darick Robertson
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Russ Wooton

Cover Art: Wieslaw Walkuski

SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES: (15 pages total)

  • Cover sketches for Born #1
  • Cover sketch for Born #2
  • Cover sketches for Born #3
  • Cover sketch for Born #4
  • Unused cover sketches
  • 2 page proposal for Born by Garth Ennis
  • Thoughts About Born essay by Darick Robertson
  • Vietnam Photo Reference (2 pages)
  • Character Designs by Darick Robertson (2 pages)
  • Layouts for Born #2, page 15 and Born #1, page 2 with commentary by Darick Robertson (3 pages)

PUNISHER: BORN is now out of print.

Buy From:


Punisher: Born #1: The First Day
22 pages + cover • June 2003

In Vietnam, at Firebase Valley Forge, a platoon led by Capt. Frank Castle takes bets on an incoming C-4 receiving enemy fire. The plane's wing takes fire and the plane crashes. Stevie Goodwin is a soldier on short time, musing on Castle's command, when they come upon a VC supply convoy that they take out with gusto. Back at the base, Castle encourages the seemingly shiftless Col. Ottman into more aggressively patrolling the area; Ottman brushes Castle off, and tells him to host the incoming General Padden. Castle greets Padden, who blusters on about closing up Valley Forge because of its lazy, smack-addled soldiers and poor command. Not liking what he is hearing, Castle leads Padden to a spot on the base where he is sized up and shot to death by an enemy sniper.

* * *

Punisher: Born #2: The Second Day
22 pages + cover • September 2003

Goodwing enters the smack den to retrieve his friend Angel, who is about to get his fix. The hardasses who run the den don't look too kindly on Stevie until Castle walks up, at which time they are intimidated and leave the scene. Stevie and Angel join Castle and the platoon on another patrol. They come under fire from a group of well-hidden VC snipers, and for the first time, Castle's men take heavy casualties- several men are shot to death in quick order. Castle picks up a heavy machine gun and knocks all of the snipers from their trees, much to the amazement of his troops. One of the platoon, McDonald, spots a female sniper crawling away with a gunshot wound. He follows her and beats her down and then gathers together men for a gang rape. Castle walks up and shoots the woman in the head before too long. A stressed out Goodwin witnesses a scene later in which Castle sneaks up on McDonald, who is washing the blood off his face in a nearby stream, and drowns him. Later, Castle confronts Goodwin, who he knows witnessed the crime, and tells him not to be scared of him; he tells him all he wanted to do was "punish" McDonald.

* * *

Punisher: Born #3: The Third Day
22 pages + cover • September 2003

Col. Ottman continues to excercise no command over Valley Forge. Castle considers for a moment fragging him, but decides against it. Castle has an inner dialogue with a voice in his head trying to talk him into submitting to his dark desires. Now, the moment Castle has been warning about, the NVA is overrunning Valley Forge. Masses of men bombard the camp boundaries, taking US troops by surprise.

* * *

Punisher: Born #4: The Last Day
22 pages + cover • October 2003

Goodwin, Angel and Castle try to stop the oncoming hordes, but it's a bloodbath; Angel gets his head blown off. Retreating US troops unleash cannon fire on the VC, but it's no use to stem their advance. The US command starts to fold in on itself; some of the drugged out baddies start to work on grudges they've had with their fellow command, Ottman has committed suicide. Fighter planes respond to a call from Castle to lay waste to the area, the final resort; they drop cannisters of napalm, which burns the whole scene up and everyone in it, including Stevie. The only man standing when the mop-up crew arrives is Frank Castle. Back home, Castle meets his wife and children at the airport, and has a final conversation with the voices in his head promising that his time of idyll is short.

-- synopsis by Gormuu


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