Perennial action star Dolph Lundgren -- who played the lead role of Frank Castle in 1989's The Punisher -- recently revisited the infamous Marvel Comics vigilante for a photoshoot paying homage to classic comic book covers. He even got to wear the character's iconic skull logo this time around.
Lundgren partook in the photoshoot as part of an appearance on The Launchpad Podcast. The first key image sees Lundgren recreating the cover of 1974's Amazing Spider-Man #129 -- the Punisher's very first appearance. In the second, the Rocky IV alum recreates a memorable splash page from 2004's Punisher #9, which was part of Frank Castle's character-defining run under Marvel's MAX imprint.
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Punisher Max no.9 with Dolph Lundgren himself as The Punisher! Listen to our interview on your favorite podcatcher! Big shout out to @erikrose for the assist on this pic. Check out erikrose.com for more! #launchpadpod #pulpculture #thepunisher #punisher #marvelcomics #marvelmax #comicart
Created by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and John Romita Sr., the Punisher debuted in the aforementioned Amazing Spider-Man #129. Fifteen years later, the character made his way to the world of live-action with Lundgren stepping up to play the role. Directed by Mark Goldblatt, The Punisher was released in West Germany in 1989 before making its way to the United States in 1991. Notably, however, the film changed many details regarding its titular character, including the fact that -- as alluded to before -- Lundgren's on-screen Punisher did not sport his comic book counterpart's iconography.
Nevertheless, Lundgren still holds the honor of being the very first actor to portray Frank Castle in live-action. He was succeeded by Thomas Jane, who played the character in the 2004 film The Punisher and the 2012 short film Dirty Laundry; Ray Stevenson, who played the character in the 2008 film Punisher: War Zone; and Jon Bernthal, who brought Frank Castle to life for the second season of Netflix's Daredevil and both seasons of the subsequent Punisher spinoff.