Unbeknownst to many, the Punisher made his first appearance in a Spiderman comic. In February of 1974, The Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1, Issue 129) cover depicted the Punisher taking aim at the famed web-slinger. The comic was also the first appearance of the Jackal. The Jackal had hired the Punisher to kill Spiderman for the murder of Norman Osborn. The Punisher misses his shot thanks to Spiderman’s spidey sense. The Jackal then comes out of the shadows and hits him with his claws. He disappears over the edge and manages to web sling to safety.
However, the Punisher is disgusted by the Jackal’s cowardly behavior. He runs into Spiderman again standing over his gun supplier’s corpse. After a brief fight, the Punisher is stuck to the wall and shown the Jackal’s trademark claw marks on the corpse. With the cops coming, Spiderman takes off and the Punisher vows to get revenge on the Jackal.
The character, now known as the Punisher, was created by Gerry Conway, the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man. However, his sketch of the character’s costume only had a small death’s head on one side of his chest. We can give thanks to Marvel art director, John Romita, Sr., who enlarged the death’s head to the size we all know and love today. Ross Andru, the penciller for The Amazing Spider-Man can take credit for being the first person to draw the Punisher for publication.
The prototype of the character was dubbed the Assassin. No less a legendary figure than the great Stan Lee, who was Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, decided that the name had too many negative connotations.He remembered that he had used the name the Punisher for one of Galactus’s robots and decided that this name would be better served for this new character. Thus the man, the vigilante, the legend, the Punisher was born!