WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Savage Avengers #1, on sale now.
With a name like Savage Avengers, things were bound to get brutal. In the first issue of the series by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin and Travis Lanham, though, there's a vicious revelation that'll get comic book fans debating for a long time.
Savage Avengers #1 sets up the story as it introduces a cult that -- with the aid of the Hand -- fills a stone bowl with the blood of the finest human specimens (most notably warriors) in order to summon the god Jhoatun Lau. This sacrificial bowl is found in a temple in the mysterious City of Sickles, hidden deep in the Savage Land.
While the Savage Avengers aren't fully assembled just yet, the issue spends a lot of time on Conan the Barbarian and Wolverine, who find themselves in the Savage Land. The latter, in particular, comes to the attention of the head priest as Wolvie attempts to rescue Doctor Voodoo from his impending doom. It's at this point that the Hand carries in a host of coffins for the priest, who seems confused by their delivery of corpses since he seeks living human beings for the ritual.
One ninja says that it's bait for the Punisher. In the subsequent panels, it's revealed that Maria Castle's grave has been robbed, which will attract the vigilante's attention to the Savage Land. More importantly, the ninja declares that Frank is "a warrior who has shed more blood than almost any other man," hence the need for his sacrifice, since it'll be a powerful one.
Considering that Wolverine is in the same room and the ninja saw him, it's obvious that "almost any other man" doesn't refer to him, or else it would've been stated. It's a tad disappointing since the furball boasts he's the best at what he does and what he does isn't nice, but it's untrue. He's definitely not better than Frank or even others, according to Mr. Evil Ninja.
Of course, it's unlikely that the Punisher has a higher kill count than some of the villains in Marvel Comics, such as Jigsaw and Carnage, but it's still a remarkable feat to surpass the X-Men's resident berserker. Especially since Logan was around for decades before Frank and his father were born, therefore giving him a massive head start in the killing game.
Though when you think about it, it would make sense that Frank would be ahead by now. For many years now, Wolvie curbed his primal instincts in favor of doing things the X-Men's way, like not popping an adamantium claw in someone's brain, while Frank continues to rain hell on any criminals who cross his path on a daily basis. Plus, counting his stint as Cosmic Ghost Rider -- albeit in a different timeline -- it would likely add a few extra zeroes to the end of his tally.
The question still remains, though: Which character actually has the highest body count in the Marvel Universe? Perhaps Duggan and his collaborators will put this mystery to bed in future issues of Savage Avengers.