Ask anyone who the coolest, toughest, meanest, and most kick-butt superhero of them all is, and they will probably say... the Incredible Hulk. Not a surprise, that guy is awesome. However, right up there with the enormous green rage monster is the equally as awesome Frank Castle aka the Punisher. There is only one problem, he's not really a superhero... or is he?
There are probably plenty of people out there that are going to question some of the abilities below as “superpowered.” However, how many non-superheroes do you know that can get shot a bajillion (actual number) times and live to kill another day?
Heck, if we can make lists on the superpowers you didn't know Iron Man or Captain America had, then doing the same for the Punisher should be a walk in the park... Coincidentally, this was where his family was shot by the mob, causing Frank to declare war on crime and become a one-man killing superhero machine. Since that fateful day he's trained himself with some crazy cool abilities, as well as been the recipient of the occasionally short-lived extraordinary skill now again and again.
Here are the 15 Superpowers You Never Knew The Punisher Had.
15 Superhuman Strength as Franken-Castle
Sometimes you get sliced into little pieces by the son of Wolverine and put back together by an underground commune of monsters so you can help in their war against a monster-hunting samurai. It's happened to the best of us. However, in the Punisher's case we also get some fun wordplay, hence Franken-Castle.
In Dark Reign: The List - Punisher #1, Norman Osborn orders Daken to kill Punisher, and boy does he ever. Literally slicing him to shreds it looks like it is finally the end of the road Castle. But then thanks to Morbious aka Marvel-Dracula picking up the remaining pieces and stitching them together with cybernetics, the Punisher is reborn as a monster.
In other words, Frank is turned into Frankenstein, if Frankenstein carried around a gatling gun and rode a giant dragon. As an added bonus, this version of the Punisher gains superhuman strength to an unknown degree. A deadly undead marksman with the physicality of Hulk? Now that's scary.
14 The Killing Powers of God
As we've noted from from Superman's mullet to Captain America's illogically massive chesticles, the '90s were a strange and bizarre time for superheroing. The muscles were bigger, the outfits skimpier, and the pouches... so many pouches. Not the Punisher though, he went through a far more ridiculous phase literally as the Angel of Vengeance.
In 1998 the character was in a bit of rut, so Marvel said screw it and turned Frank Castle into a hitman for heaven. As the story goes the Punisher has finally killed himself only to be brought back to life by his guardian angel and imbued with supernatural abilities, which mainly includes being able to materialize any weapon of his choosing from thin air, and getting a forehead tattoo.
He was also invincible on account of already being dead. If Punisher ever wanted to see his wife and kid again in the afterlife, he'd have to use these new superpowers to do the lord's work and kill a bunch of people. It's worse than it sounds, which ironically is also why it was so great.
13 Superhuman Durability
Fact: the Punisher has an unnatural ability to endure pain, suffering and getting shot in the head. While we're not talking Luke Cage durability, Frank Castle gets beaten within an inch of his life on the regular and always bounces back with in a way that can only be called super. A power drill through the foot? No problem. Being beat to a pulp by Barracuda? More please. Getting shot through the chest by Eminem? Just another day.
Sure, maybe the Punisher has merely conditioned himself to withstand extreme levels of pain. Normally when a human gets shot a bunch of times, they die, regardless of how many sit-ups they've done. Not the Punisher-- he seems to get off on it, and come back stronger than ever.
12 Invulnerability to the Penance Stare
Ghost Rider has some of the coolest superpowers, both known and unknown. By far his most powerful is the Penance Stare. By making eye contact the Rider can force someone to experience all the pain they've ever caused anyone while simultaneously reliving every painful memory they've ever had.
The end result is your eyeballs catching fire, insanity, death and, in some special cases, spontaneous combustion. To say the least it is not a pleasant experience. There are only a few in a existence immune to Ghost Rider's deadly glare, and Frank Castle is one of them.
You would think if anyone was to feel the repercussions of the Penance Stare it would be the Punisher. After all he has brutally killed millions of people in any number of excruciating ways. Remember, the time he shot Wolverine in the face and groin? You just know that had to hurt.
Yet amazingly the Punisher was unaffected when he locked eyes with Ghost Rider. Why? Because he feels no guilt for the suffering he's caused his victims. That's badass. Realize for a second that the Penance Stare once brought Galactus to his knees. It didn't even make the Punisher blink.
11 All of Captain America's Superpowers
Is Captain America a superhero? Of course he is, thanks to the super soldier serum running through his veins. What if Frank Castle was shot up with the same serum, would that also make him a superhero? You betcha, and then some.
In 1993's What If…? #51 the tables get turned, Steve Rogers becomes a cyborg and the mantle of Captain America gets bestowed upon Frank Castle for obvious reasons. This entails his being injected with the soldier serum and granted with all the superpowers that come with it.
Castle actually becomes Captain America a second time in another What If…? story (What If? Age of Ultron) and gets a modified more-powerful dose of the super soldier serum because why not. As expected, while in this role, he turns America even more awesome than it already is.
10 Super Hearing
Have you ever seen Punisher: War Zone? Hopefully not. It was awful. However, we have and just about the only thing we could make sense of from its blood bath of convolutedness was that Frank Castle can hear really well. Like really, really well. To call his sense of sound anything other than super-powered would be a straight up lie and give undue credit to a film that cannot possibly be any less discredited.
We're not saying that the Punisher has Daredevil-esque levels of ear power, but he is definitely very well prepared for whatever is coming around the corner, or on the other side of the door, or through that wall. Even the quietest of sneak attacks seem never to catch him off guard.
It's possible that he's so strung out that he's eternally in a state of readiness, but more than likely it's because his killer sense is tingling thanks to his super lobes picking up on nearby danger.
9 The Power to Spontaneously Grow Back Teeth
How many times can one man lose the same bicuspid? Ok, so this one isn't so much a superpower as it is an amazing ability that defies the laws of physiology. However, isn't that kind of the definition of a superpower? So yeah, spontaneously growing back teeth after they've been repeatedly punched out of your head does count.
Frank Castle has a reputation of surviving the worst of injuries. From broken bones, shots to the head, or sliced appendages, he has a knack for healing from it all. Call it luck. Call it a good healthcare plan. Whatever you call it, the dude's ability to survive is otherworldly. However, in Garth Ennis' Punisher Max series his regenerative skills reach a whole new level of super.
Practically every other issue the Punisher gets his teeth knocked out yet miraculously they seem to grow back every time. During the worst of beatings he is sometimes left with only one or two dangling from his head, then a few issues later he's got a mouth full of pristine pearly whites. If that's not super, we don't know what is. Who knew Punisher had a little Wolverine in him?
8 The Superpowers of Iron Man and War Machine
At one time or another it seems like the Punisher obtained the abilities of every Marvel superhero. In What If? #29 we yet again get another wonderful hypothetical on Captain America forming the original Avengers.
Obviously, he asked Frank Castle to be a part of it, and Frank Castle in turn wore an Iron Man suit. What's so great about this is that the writers don't even try to explain why the Punisher is now wearing a billion dollar mechanized armor that can fly and shoot laser beams. Reasons are overrated so why not just enjoy seeing Iron Punisher kill people.
You would think though that Castle would be better suited as War Machine. Marvel agreed, so that's why they also (in canon) gave the now deceased Colonel Rhodey's armor to Punisher. So now Frank has all of Iron Man's powers, two massive gatling guns on his shoulder and the ability to take down entire nations of bad guys. Seems about right.
7 Super Tech Care of All the Avengers
What happens when the Punisher gets ahold of the coolest gadgets and weaponry this side of Marvel? A super powerful killing extravaganza, that's what. In the first few issues of 2009's Punisher, Castle goes up against a mystical cloak-wearing sorcerer turned crime lord known as the Hood.
In order to defeat this supernatural foe and his goon squad, Punisher gets his hands on some old Avengers gear laying around a basement. In other words, Punisher Assemble!
Ant-Man's tech, Hawkeye's bow, Cap's shield, and what looks to be Iron Man's repulser gauntlet-- if you thought Earth's Mightiest Heroes were tough to beat, just imagine when all their super abilities are at the world's deadliest killer's disposal.
During one truly righteous moment from issue #5, Punisher sneaks into the bad guys hideout on a pizza. Shrunken down to size thanks to the Pym Particle, he gets eaten, chokes one goon from inside his throat and then while a second is trying to give the first mouth to mouth, blasts a hole through his head and materializes fully sized throwing out one liners like boss.
Anyone can kill, but it takes a truly prophetic artist to murder people with the panache of Punisher. He is basically the Leonardo Da Vinci of homicide, only instead of painting portraits of women smiling, he paints the walls, ceilings and ground with people's blood.
Whether he is sending you to the moon by blowing you up with a nuclear bomb, throwing you into the mouth of a Great White Shark, or smothering you to death with a really fat man, the Punisher gets the job done as creatively as possible.
When you can take anything and ingeniously make it into a deadly weapon so that even MacGyver says WTF, then you know you have reached the pinnacle of bloodshed.
5 All of Venom's Superpowers
What's the fun in having all these great superheroes if you can't come up with crazy scenarios for them to play in? That's why we love the What If? series so much. One of our favorites came from 1992's What If? #44 which posed the question what if Frank Castle were Venom. Villainerys worst nightmare, that's what.
Really, it's the perfect pairing. The one thing Venom had been missing all these years was guns. Superhuman strength, shapeshifting, telepathy, and all of Spider-Man's abilities were just some of the superpowers now at Punisher's disposal thanks to Venom.
As the black suited menace, Frank Castle became an even more violent, powerful, and lethal version, instantly going on a rampage killing both Tombstone and Kingpin. Not surprisingly, Frank Castle soon after strong-armed the symbiote into submission so he was in complete control. S
At first the likes of Spider-Man and Daredevil tried to separate Venom and Punisher, but then realized he was just too awesome and figured it would be nice to have a crazy murderer on their side for once.
4 Immortality and All the Other Superpowers of the Bloodstone
The Bloodstone fragment was a mystical remnant of the previous universe that bestowed superhuman strength, superhuman durability, regenerative healing factor, psionic powers, and immortality to its possessor. To all of our delight, one of those was the Punisher.
Eventually, the Punisher became so overtaken by the powers of the Bloodstone that he became a one man Minority Report, able to see those who might commit a crime in the future. It was also the reason why he survived his fight with Daken and was able to be turned into Franken-Castle.
On top of everything else, this gem amplified Frank's rage to a frightening degree, which was why he eventually ripped it from his chest, realizing that the world just couldn't handle a Punisher with too many superpowers.
3 All of Dr. Strange's Superpowers
A whole lot of cool and awesome stuff happened during 2015's Secret Wars, but by far the most extreme was when an alternate universe Frank Castle became the Sorcerer Supreme-- and here you thought the Punisher couldn't get any more kick-butt.
Then again who could have imagined arming the world's deadliest vigilante with the superpowers of the universe's most powerful sorcerer and then giving him a pair of magic guns just for fun? Comics, that's who.
Dr. Strange possesses Frank Castle and decides to go for a stroll through the Marvelverse. Wolverine, Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Spider-Man are dispatched to stop him. With a snap of his finger Punisher turns Hulk back into Bruce Banner and vaporizers him to dust. Spider-Man gets a gut full of astral lead. Wolverine gets blow to smithereens with the Weapon of Watomb (a mystical hand grenade).
He then just as easily freezes the hellfire of Ghost Rider and blows him up by conjuring a magical bazooka. Pretty much able to do anything he wants at any moment to anyone he desires, there has probably never been a more deadly being than the Sorcerer Extreme.
2 2099 Future Tech
In an alternate universe during the year 2099, Jacob Gallows becomes the Punisher after finding Frank Castle's diary and reading about all the cool and awesome things he did in the past. Inspired to do the same, Gallows goes out and follows his mentors bloody example. Howeer, this being the future, New Age Punisher gets a sweet upgrade.
For starters, there's his eco-muscular undersuit that enhances his strength and agility to metahuman levels, and allows him to mimic any known form of martial arts on the spot. Then there's his High Density Heat Sink Plasto Armor, which includes a face-scrambler and impressive shoulder pads.
Finally, just for good measure, he has a cybernetic arm. Of course Punisher 2099, taking a cue from Frank, doesn't really need any of this fancy superpowered equipment to get the job done.
You might not think hate is a superpower, but we beg to differ-- just look at the Punisher. Following the death of his family, he has subsisted entirely on hate for years. Think about, have you ever seen Frank Castle eat? No, he doesn't need to.
Remember that time he killed the entire Marvel universe? Alternate reality or not, no mere mortal could take down all those superpowered beings without being fueled by a bowl full of Frosted Hate.
Hate is the Punisher's super soldier serum. It runs through his veins, pumps up his muscles and lets him do extraordinary things no mere mortal could hope to achieve. Like we said in the beginning, most would pick the Hulk as the coolest, toughest, meanest, most kickass superhero around.
However, if we're really being honest, the Jade Giant doesn't come close to the ginormous rage monster that is Frank Castle. Seriously, the guy once punched a polar bear in the face. The bear was so in awe of the Punisher's anger that he became Castle's pet. When even the animal kingdom can sense the unbridled energy of your hate, and respect its awesome power, then you know you're dealing with someone super.
Know of any powers that the Punisher has used to kill? Let us know in the comments.