WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Punisher #3 by Matt Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela and Cory Petit, in stores now.
In the wake of his alliance with Hydra during Secret Empire, Frank Castle is looking to make amends in the Marvel Universe. As usual, that involves a hefty body count as he repents by killing off former Hydra associates, terrorists like the Mandarin, and of course, every gang that wants to run the streets of New York.
However, that attracted som unwanted attention, and after escaping the wrath of the Avengers recently, it's left to the Defenders to reel Frank in. With the city turned into a war-zone (again), a familiar face hunts Frank and finds him in a most vulnerable spot -- his longtime rival, Jigsaw.
In The Punisher #3, after Daredevil and Frank take out thugs who want the Punisher's head on a block, the protector of Hell's Kitchen fakes a heart problem, tricking Frank into fetching a medical kit. When Frank returns, he finds himself outnumbered by the NYPD and has no choice but to surrender. Imprisoned in a cell, Nick Fury Jr. and his riot squad show up to take him into their custody, as Fury believes only he could contain the murderous vigilante. As the details of the transfer are being ironed out, one of the squad members begins talking to Frank, revealing himself as Jigsaw, eager to resume their war.
Jigsaw and the Punisher have one of comics' most storied and deadly rivalries, which trails back to Frank's family being assassinated by the mob and Billy Russo being hired to finish off Frank. Billy couldn't get the job done and when Frank disfigured his face, he adopted the moniker, Jigsaw, beginning a feud which would run for decades. They last fought in Punisher: In The Blood, which saw Jigsaw trying to kill Frank for using his son, Henry, to help him in his war on crime. That series ended with Jigsaw falling into a burning building, with Punisher thinking he was dead and Henry moving onto a more peaceful life.
We don't know how he did it, but Jigsaw survived and would pop up in various pockets of New York's seedy underworld over the next few years. He was used as the Kingpin's muscle in 2016's Civil War II, and joined the Hood's gang in 2017's Defenders. Jigsaw also helped the Hood wage war on Doctor Doom when he turned a new leaf as the Invincible Iron Man, but somehow, he's stayed off Frank's radar.
It's actually a little shocking Frank didn't get word of his nemesis' survival, especially as so many other heroes knew Jigsaw was still around. He even appeared in broad daylight as a criminal in 2017's Star-Lord, which means he wasn't really hiding. Well, we'll chalk it up to Punisher just being a very busy man -- using War Machine's armor in his most recent escapades and whatnot. Be that as it may, they've now collided, although we don't know how Jigsaw intends on getting to Frank behind prison bars. It also doesn't seem like a smart choice to reveal his identity with Fury and his men around, so we're wondering about the villain's end-game.
With the element of surprise gone, it could be a full-scale attack come next issue, leaving Frank and Fury to defend the precinct. What fans also want to know is why Jigsaw has chosen now to come for Frank. There's a strong possibility he could be poised to use Henry, whom Frank viewed as a son, as leverage too, so either way, all the violence aside, expect a very cerebral battle to ensue between two men who've always preferred to use brawn over their brains.