This was going to happen one day. When he first debuted in the late seventies, the Punisher was a Vietnam veteran turned violent vigilante, as the effects on that war on the American soldiers that came home was becoming clearer.
And that has always been the case. While the Marvel Universe has performed it’s continuity slippage on all manner of characters – Reed Richards and Ben Grimm moved from being World War II veterans to fighting alongside each other in Desert Storm. The X-Men never hung with beatnik poets. Dazzler was never part of the original disco scene. As the characters are not aging in real time, their dates of origin are affected. Indeed, as we have pointed out, Fantastic Four #1 must now have taken place post-9/11.
Well finally, as the age of the character portrayed would now have to be in his sixties, Frank Castle is no longer a veteran of the Vietnam War. A recent issue by Becky Cloonan and the late Steve Dillon moved his earlier military adventures to a more Middle Eastern setting. No specific war, country or date is given. But the way things are going, this origin looks like it won’t be straining against continuity any time soon.
And it will also sit with the upcoming Netflix Punisher series, which sees a similar origin for Frank Castle.
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