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The Punisher Getting Old

The Punisher: Elderly?

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For the most part Frank Castle, The Punisher, is portrayed with a certain amount of realism.

No real superpowers, uses weapons to deal damage, self-taught and adaptive due to strict military discipline, gets injured frequently, isn’t invincible, psychological trauma among many other factors. Of course since he’s a comic book hero they stretch out his abilities and blur the lines between realistic and fantasy. That’s what comics are made for nobody wants to see a hero who dies and then never comes back whether through mystical or scientific means.

The Punisher’s blood is split all the time from bullet wounds, knives, claws, explosions, or whatever. The two closest things to superpowers that Frank Castle has are 1) His pain threshold, he can take almost any amount of pain without flinching, 2) The control of his mind, telepathic enemies have no effect on him he has total control of his mind. And it seems that Frank Castle was gifted with the power of eternal youth….right?

Wrong. The character’s fictional biography says that he was born in 1950, was a U.S. Marine, and veteran of the Vietnam War. A veteran of the Vietnam War. Yeah, twice, because it’s a central point of the character’s biography and history. In almost every incarnation Frank Castle was in Vietnam, traumatized, returned for his family, they get murdered then he snaps and murders every bad guy possible. Sure the 2004 and 2008 films take their liberties with the character but that’s expected. In the comics however it’s still a mainstay, for the most part.

For all intents and purposes the most recent story arches take place in 2014 (at least in the modern day), which would make Frank Castle a 64-year-old crime fighter still running around, gunning down bad guys, with the same zeal and robustness of the 30-year-old Frank Castle. Now that’s a bit fishy right there, I can believe that he’s still running around killing as a 64-year-old but with the same integrity and barely any aging? Come on. Even Batman, the poster-boy of heroes without powers, got older and slower and sloppier during what is arguably his most iconic series The Dark Knight Returns (1986).  There is one character that has aged in real-time with the aging of his comics and that is none-other than the mystical phenom himself John Constantine of the legendary Hellblazer comic series, the character is turning 61 this year.

Although we do get a glimpse of the semi elderly battle beaten Frank Castle during the Punisher: MAX (2004) series, where The Punisher is re-imagined and rebooted as a hulking badass of a character. Regardless it would be incredibly entertaining if we got a series of elderly Frank Castle, struggling to do as many pull-ups before or to break bones with a bit of difficulty, maybe even having to put in a hear-aid after years of gun shots and explosions have wrecked his ears.

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