This is a stretch, but what if thePunisher was a pacifist?
Of course he’s running around killing every villain he can find, but what if he wasn’t? Just change his origin a bit, make him a bit more religious, and perhaps we’d get a whole new Frank Castle.
His family still gets killed, he still kills bad guys, he’s still almost a villain, but he’s never the aggressor. He’ll walk through fire and right into a hornets nest but won’t make a move until they do. Not stinging until he’s stung first.
A stereotypical Western version of The Punisher I suppose, although that’s already been talked about. But let’s just look at the old West’s gun fighting laws, it had to be a fair fight, both parties had guns drawn. Whatever.
Frank Castle puts on his death’s head outfit, straps his guns to his belt, dawns his trench-coat, then just walks the streets. Nothing more nothing less. Sure he’s looking for trouble but he’s not running after it, just allowing himself to fall right into it.
I’d imagine the Punisher as being a bit more Buddhist, but the whole respecting life thing kind of goes out the window. Let’s just say he made a vow to his family, he came back from war and promised they would never see him in any light other than “loving father/husband.” He promised never to be the soldier at home, renouncing his ways of war. That is until they’re murdered.
Frank fights with lawyers, with the system and is still screwed over either way. The mob owns the system. What more can Frank do? He thinks back on his promise, and keeps it no matter what. He’s not waging a war, he’s picking a fight. Every night he ventures onto the streets in search of punks and mobsters but doesn’t shoot them, right away. Instead he goes to them, gets close, makes them nervous or confident enough to make a move, then he dispatches swiftly and without mercy. Brutal killings none the less, just a bit of a delay.