In Punisher # 1, Frank Castle has taken on leadership of the deadly ninja cult known as the Hand, but all may not be as it appears.
Warning, the following article contains spoilers from Punisher # 1available now from Marvel Comics.
In the first issue of the new Punisher series (by Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta and Cory Petit) Frank Castle has started operating as an assassin working for deadly cult known as The Hand in the latest Punisher series. Led by a demonic being called The Beast, The Hand is a criminal organization that utilizes evil ninjas with mystical powers.
When Castle was last seen, he stole the armor of War Machine after being tricked into working for the terrorist group Hydra. The Punisher once again swore vengeance on the criminal underworld after the fiasco, making his latest venture as a member of the hand seem like something of a misstep. Of course, with this being the Punisher, there could also be more to what Frank is doing here than immediately meets the eye. It is very possible that the violent vigilante has not truly sworn allegiance to the villainous organization but is instead on a dangerous undercover mission.
Marvel’s Punisher Has Gone Undercover Before
The Punisher previously went undercover as an enforcer for the Geraci family. He did this in an effort to eliminate the crime family internally and infiltrate the criminal underworld. He later faked his death, effectively keeping himself out of prison for allegedly assisting the crime syndicate.
This operation was clearly in line with the origin of the Punisher. He initially undertook his crusade after his family was killed by mobsters, so it is entirely logical for him to have this degree of dedication when it comes to destroying mob families. He is a true anti-hero in every sense of the word, willing to go to murderous lengths to get the job done.
Is Marvel’s Punisher Really Working for The Hand?
There is a very strong possibility that the Punisher is not truly dedicated to working with the Hand. The more likely scenario is that he is once again working from the inside to ultimately take them down. This could possibly be a ploy to get close enough to The Beast to terminate the entity, and lead to a massive showdown between the two. However, considering that a betrayal like this is to be expected from the character, the Hand is sure to be prepared for such an occurrence, which does not bode well for Castle if this really is his long term plan.
However, there is one detail that greatly complicates this theory: the Beast used his power to bring Frank’s beloved wife back from the dead. This could explain his true motivations behind working with the organization, and Castle may have pledged his allegiance in hopes of being reunited with the rest of his family. This is also in line with the origin of the Punisher, and could make for an interesting dynamic between Castle and the Hand as this new series continues.
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