The Punisher is a superhero character appearing in Marvel comic books. Created in 1974 by Gerry Conway, the Punisher is a costumed vigilante—something of a comic-book answer to Death Wish. He is Frank Castle, a Vietnam veteran who embarks on a solemn war against crime after his family is murdered by gangsters. Clad in a black costume emblazoned with a skull-and-crossbones, he punishes the guilty whom the law is either unable or unwilling to convict. After a decade as a recurring character in various Marvel titles, the Punisher won his own series in 1985. The vigilante superhero found a large and receptive audience at the height of the Reagan-Rambo era, and became one of the most popular comic books of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Daniels, Les. Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1991.