Most of the time, superheroes in the Marvel and DC Comics Universe get along. While there are some heroes who don't really like each other too much, like Wolverine and Cyclops, they still work together as a team towards the same goal. While there have been events like Marvel's Civil War that saw heroes battling each other relentlessly or Avengers vs. X-Men, those are rare moments in comic book history and are usually launched due to a misunderstanding or disagreement of principle. However, there is one superhero who lives on such an extreme bubble of the Marvel Universe that he has just as many enemies on the superhero side of the universe as he does on the villain's side.
That man is Frank Castle -- The Punisher. He is not a superhero in the true sense of the word because he is a vigilante and even barely meets the definition of an antihero. Castle is not a man who wants to stop villains and take them to jail. He barely even cares about the super villains in the Marvel Universe. The Punisher is there to shut down the bad guys that the police can't seem to stop -- the mafia, mob, and cartels that spread evil on the streets. As a result of his actions, Punisher has built up a list of heroes that want to stop him from his vendetta to save lives as well as heroes that he sees as a danger that must be stopped as well, with very few friends in the superhero community.
20 FIGHT - WOLVERINE
Wolverine and The Punisher have a lot in common. Neither man has time to bother with fools and will take a person out without a second thought. However, there is one big difference between the two. While both men have no problem using lethal solutions to problems, that is the only form of fighting Castle cares about and at least Logan will pull back in order to seek justice over vengeance most of the time.
The two have also fought and what The Punisher did to Wolverine was something that the Canadian mutant will never forget -- or forgive. Castle shot him in the face and in the nether regions and then drove over him with a steamroller. Add in the fact that Logan's son later carved up Frank as a member of the Dark Avengers, and it shows that these are two men have very little to like about one another.
19 LIKE - CAPTAIN AMERICA
Honestly, when it comes to The Punisher and Captain America, it goes one way. Captain America has no problem beating Punisher to a pulp but Frank Castle refuses to fight Cap. As a matter of fact, Frank said at one time that he won't fight back against Captain America out of respect for the man in the red, white and blue.
This happened during the Civil War storyline when The Punisher saved Spider-Man's life and brought him back to Captain America's underground hideout. He asked to join up and then did the unthinkable in Cap's eyes. He took the lives of two villains who wanted to join them and Cap delivered some punishment before kicking him out. Punisher took the beating and refused to fight Captain America.
18 FIGHT - DEADPOOL
Deadpool and The Punisher are very similar. The main difference is that Deadpool is a mercenary and Punisher is a vigilante, but they both have the same end goal in mind when they set out to hunt down their enemies. Even when forgetting about the stories where each man takes out the entire Marvel Universe, there are still times these two men are too combustible to get along.
In Uncanny X-Force #29, the team did what all X-Men-styled mutant teams do many times over -- they traveled through time. They ended up in a future where Punisher tells Deadpool who all he should eliminate -- as kids -- when he returns to the past. Deadpool then tells Frank that he has always hated him and called him a Chuck Bronson rip-off.
17 LIKE - SPIDER-MAN
The Punisher made his first appearance in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man. He showed up first as a villain, but in reality, he was being manipulated by the true villain of the story. In The Amazing Spider-Man #129, the Jackal convinced The Punisher that Spider-Man was a villain and sent him after him to take him out.
In those pages, Frank Castle said that he only eliminates those who deserve it and Jackal convinces him that Spider-Man is deserving. He learns that Spidey is not a bad guy and the two end up as allies. Many years later, The Punisher saves Spider-Man during the Civil War storyline and more often than not, they are on the same side, although Spider-Man never approved of any of the lines that Frank crossed.
16 FIGHT - THE HULK
The Hulk brings an interesting problem for The Punisher. The entire focus of Frank Castle's life is to take out the bad guys that the police can't seem to touch or the bad guys who always just end up back on the streets. The Hulk is not a villain but he has always been a danger to society. Is he worth the time for The Punisher to hunt down?
Punisher used Hulk for his own purposes in The Punisher #37 and Garth Ennis once again showed his disdain for superheroes. Frank found Bruce Banner and fed him some stew laced with digestive suppressants and explosive material. He then sent Hulk out to fight Wolverine, Daredevil, and Spider-Man and then, after Hulk won, Castle blew him up from the inside out.
15 LIKE - DAREDEVIL
If The Punisher got his start in Spider-Man comic books, it was his appearances alongside Daredevil that really showed the difference between a true superhero and a vigilante. The two have an amazing rivalry, with Daredevil the one character in Marvel who really stands for truth and justice and Punisher believing himself above justice.
However, at the same time, there is a respect between the two men. Frank Castle knows that Daredevil is someone that he can trust and is someone he respects. On the other hand, Daredevil knows that Frank might be slightly psychotic but is someone who believes in what he is doing. The two have battled for over 30 years but they also know they can count on each other when the chips are down.
14 FIGHT - VENOM
The Punisher and Venom did meet up in the regular Marvel timeline in Venom: Funeral Pyre. It was when Eddie Brock was trying to save the innocents and homeless and found out that an undercover reporter had infiltrated a gang but learned he had to prove himself and wanted out. When a child brought him the call for help, Venom set out to save the guy.
Sadly, in this story, Punisher said no one who infiltrates a gang remains innocent and chose to fight Venom instead of helping him save the guy. By the time the story ended, Venom could not save him because The Punisher kept getting in his way. The story saw Venom and Punisher go their separate ways with both men claiming they would take the other out next time they met.
13 LIKE - NICK FURY JR
In the series Punisher: War Zone, Frank Castle was on a war of vengeance once again after he realized that the fascist Captain America had manipulated him to achieve his own goals. This sent Frank off on more endless vendettas, with a true hatred of Hydra. To this end, Punisher was contacted by Nick Fury Jr. to help him during a time of political turmoil. He made Frank even stronger than ever by giving him the War Machine armor to use.
The goal was to send Punisher into Chernaya in Europe when Fury's own S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were compromised. Frank would then stop taking out the smugglers and eliminate the dictator they all worked for at the top. Well, he fulfilled the mission and even though the chose to keep the armor, Fury still kept his word and helped him stay out of prison.
12 FIGHT - CYCLOPS
In the amazing alternate world comic book storyline where Frank Castle's family perished in the middle of a battle between superheroes and villains, it was Cyclops that was the first to fall to The Punisher's wrath. If anything, that made Scott's passing a lot less painful and more sudden than the nuclear bomb that Punisher dropped on the X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Heading back to the real Marvel Universe, The Punisher has one goal in mind -- the end the lives of the men and women who find themselves above the law. When Cyclops became a martyr for mutant kind, he became nothing more than a criminal and that made him someone that Frank Castle would never associate with. Whether in Elseworld stories or the real Marvel Universe, The Punisher has no time for Cyclops.
11 LIKE - BLACK WIDOW
It's not all about the comic books. The Marvel animated universe released a movie a few years back, an anime titled Avengers: Confidential. The two main characters in that movie were The Punisher and Black Widow. In that animated effort, Punisher was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. for interfering in a mission and was told they would free him if he helped Black Widow prevent criminals from selling stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. tech.
By the end of the mission, S.H.I.E.L.D. went back on their word but then Black Widow helped him escape after sharing a kiss. In the comics, there was also a similar moment where Black Widow helped him escape after the Punisher: War Zone storyline, but that was also when she worked with Winter Soldier and Nick Fury Jr. as well.
10 FIGHT - GHOST RIDER
Despite both Marvel heroes being around for years, it wasn't until the '90s that The Punisher and Ghost Rider faced off for the first time. This happened in Ghost Rider #5 where the two fought before they had to end up grudgingly teaming up to battle a criminal. That was the '90s so it was Danny Ketch that Frank Castle battled as both men assumed the other was the bad guy.
It was two decades later when The Punisher once again battled the Ghost Rider -- this time Johnny Blaze, the original host. The two men were members of The Thunderbolts under Red Hulk, but when Punisher quit, his house was bombed. That set Frank out to take out the team one by one and when he got to Ghost Rider, he had the perfect plan to finally eliminate the Spirit of Vengeance once and for all.
9 LIKE - PAINKILLER JANE
A character as popular as The Punisher is an easy choice for crossover events with other comic book companies. That happened in 2001 when Marvel Knights published The Punisher/Painkiller Jane. Painkiller Jane was created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada as an undercover cop who survived a bombing and ends up with regeneration powers. She set out to bring down the mafia.
Of course, that makes her a female superpowered version of The Punisher. So, what happened when they met? Painkiller Jane immediately fell in love, much to Frank Castle's disdain. Even when he was threatening her, Jane knew she had nothing to fear when she asked: "do you kill people for falling in love with you?" It was cringe-worthy but that was on brand, of course, for both Punisher and Painkiller Jane in that era.
8 FIGHT - RED HULK
The Punisher and Red Hulk have a very volatile relationship. As a matter of fact, that entire one-on-one came to a head when Punisher was in the Thunderbolts while Red Hulk was its leader. Tired of being told who he could and couldn't target, Punisher quit the group. When he got home, he found a bomb in his minifridge with a note that said he can't quit on them.
With that attempt on his life, Punisher targeted each of the Thunderbolts one at a time. After taking out Red Leader, Deadpool, Ghost Rider, and then dumping Elektra, Punisher then went after Red Hulk. The two tore it up, trying to end each other in that fight. The kicker is that Red Hulk had nothing to do with the bomb but refused to admit it because he was the leader and answered to no one.
7 LIKE - ELEKTRA
The Punisher and Elektra have a very interesting relationship, to say the least. The two ended up falling in love and Frank Castle even trained hard with her in order to improve and become a better fighter himself. This story was told in 2014 in the pages of Thunderbolts #30.
The two met when Punisher saw Elektra taking out one of her targets and then the spark was lit. It became so strong that Punisher even had a heart that Elektra cut out of a victim bronzed and gave it to her as a present. That made this specific issue of Thunderbolts so devastating. Believing the team targeted him, he set his sights on them all and that included Elektra. He wouldn't hurt her physically so instead he gave back that bronzed heart and said he never wanted to see her again.
6 FIGHT - IRON MAN
In The Punisher #218, Nick Fury Jr. sent some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into the European country of Chernaya but they went rogue and joined up with the genocidal leader of that nation. Fury knew he needed aid and helped The Punisher steal the War Machine armor from the government to go take the dictator out. However, when he finished, Castle refused to give back the armor and kept it to continue his battle against the underworld.
This brought a lot of heroes after him, especially those who knew how he got the armor. Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Falcon and the former War Machine himself, James Rhodes, came after Punisher to get it back. As anyone who has read comics for long knows, one person who does not allow his armor tech to be used by outsiders is Iron Man, and he ended up coming after Punisher himself.
5 LIKE - WINTER SOLDIER
Punisher and Winter Soldier have been on opposite ends of the spectrum in their individual careers. For many years, Bucky Barnes was a black ops agent for enemy forces, although he was programmed to serve them and did not do it of his own free will. However, the two men have the same mode of operation as heroes -- they usually take out their enemies with extreme prejudice.
Following the Punisher: War Machine storyline, Frank Castle was tearing through his enemies using the armor. Eventually, he learned that Baron Zemo was trying to break the fascist Steve Rogers out of the Shadow Pillar and Nick Fury Jr. sent Black Widow and Winter Solder to help Punisher stop this, as all three had a strong reason to want this Rogers kept locked up. Punisher ended up arrested after the fight, but Winter Soldier helped break Castle out after his arrest.
4 FIGHT - DAKEN
Frank Castle and Wolverine have never liked each other. As a matter of fact, they fight almost everytime they see each other. Unlike someone like Captain America or Iron Man, Wolverine doesn't hate Frank Castle because he represents something different. Honestly, Logan likely just can't stand Castle because the two men are so much alike. However, with the exception of a certain scene with a steamroller, the two at least respected each other as warriors.
The same can't be said for Wolverine's son Daken. In the Dark Avengers-era, Norman Osborn set up his own team with villains taking on the roles of heroes. With Wolverine, it was easy to bring in Logan's son. He then sent Daken after Punisher and Daken didn't just win, but he took apart Frank into little bitty pieces.
3 LIKE - WAR MACHINE
The Punisher respects very few people. Of those men that he respects, it is usually honorable soldiers like Captain America. However, the entire Punisher: War Machine storyline ended when he showed how much he respected another soldier -- this time the former War Machine, James Rhodes.
Rhodes had perished in Civil War II but Tony Stark was able to bring his friend back to life in Invincible Iron Man #600. When Rhodes came back he didn't want the War Machine armor anymore. It was Rhodes that finally stopped Frank when he told him the armor represents heroism and Castle surrendered himself to protect the legacy of James Rhodes. It was a rare case where The Punisher showed true utmost respect towards another hero because he knew that he was a truly good man.
2 FIGHT - BATMAN
For fans who might seem surprised at this, The Punisher and Batman have battled many times in Marvel/DC crossovers. It was an obvious pairing since Batman has the non-lethal rule in place for fighting and that is all Punisher wants to do. The two met once in 1994 in Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights and was slightly different as this was Jean-Paul Valley and was more Punisher than Batman at the time. Punisher beat him.
Then, Punisher met up later with the real Batman when the two teamed up to battle Jigsaw and the Joker. When Punisher finally got the chance to rid the world of Joker once and for all, Batman stopped him and let Joker escape. Punisher wasn't too happy and punched Batman in the face before leaving, saying Batman and Joker deserved each other. They met again in 2003 in JLA/Avengers when Batman beat up Punisher for 20 minutes to save the lives of some criminals.
1 LIKE - THE LEGION OF MONSTERS
In what has to be the strangest pairing, and possibly the second most polarizing Punisher storyline since he was an angel, the Legion of Monsters saved Punisher's life. This was after Daken of the Dark Avengers sliced Frank into little pieces. He was gathered up and patched back together and brought back to life as Franken-Castle.
Punisher then refused to help them in their war against a group that hunted down and took out monsters until he saw children monsters being taken down. These monsters included Morbius, the Living Mummy, Wolfman, and Man-Thing, with Castle helping them stop the group that was hunting them down. After this ended, Castle was reverted back into a human again, but not before gaining an understanding and appreciation that not all monsters are what they seem.