The following contains major spoilers for Punisher #2, available now from Marvel.
Frank Castle’s return to the spotlight took some unexpected turns, including the Punisher taking the reins of the Hand. Even more surprising is the fact that Frank becomes the literal embodiment of everything the evil organization of assassins has spent centuries working on. Frank’s lethal inclinations have not only made him the perfect killer, but the perfect vessel for the Beast, the dark god who is now lined up to take on another Marvel god.
Since taking over The Hand, Frank Castle’s life has become bloodier than ever. Besides the brutality of his continuous training, Frank also unleashed a gruesome crusade against a group of fanatical warriors. In Punisher #2 (by Jason Aaron, Jesus Saiz, Paul Azaceta, Dave Stewart and Cory Petit of VC), the anti-hero’s enemies bring him an offering in hopes of quenching his anger. Unfortunately for them, Frank is both unimpressed and violently offended. The Punisher then unleashes the physical gifts bestowed on him by the Beast, the demonic god the Hand serves. As terrifying as the implications of Frank’s impending transformation may be, it may also be the only hope he has of defeating Ares, the true leader of The Hand’s rivals.
It’s no secret that Frank is led to the dark fate of becoming the Beast’s living vessel. Resurrecting their dark god on Earth has been The Hand’s primary goal since their introduction, and now they seem closer than ever to achieving that goal thanks to Castle. While the Punisher isn’t the most heroic figure in the Marvel Universe (especially when acting in the service of the Beast), followers still have the potential to unleash great havoc across the world if they don’t. are not controlled. The God of War may have his own complicated, sometimes heroic story, but it seems his main concern at the moment is unleashing as much destruction as possible.
With all-out war between the two living gods on the horizon, Ares doesn’t care which side wins as long as there’s a lot of bloodshed, and the coming showdown between these two gods will likely prove detrimental. in the world. As the Fist of the Beast, Frank seems destined to usher in a new age of darkness and devastation. When it comes to Ares, there would be no greater conquest than bringing down another god, especially one whose dominion is murder. However, Frank Castle held his own against figures far larger than Ares, and it’s hard to imagine the Punisher being the loser of an encounter with the God of War, especially given the new power he has. inherited.
It’s only a matter of time before the conflict between the Punisher and Ares spills over to the rest of the Marvel Universe, sparking a war between the gods on Earth that’s sure to draw plenty of outside attention. However, this attention is also likely to attract the world’s heroes, who may be able to help Frank break free from the Beast’s influence.
There’s also the possibility that Frank has found contentment in his new role with the Hand. If so, then even the heroes of the Marvel Universe may find it difficult to quell the confrontation between the two powerful forces, and may in fact end up being little in the way of the Punisher and his deadly new goals.
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