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Archrivals: The Punisher vs Jigsaw

Explore the feud between Frank Castle and one of the few foes who has survived more than one encounter with him

By Jim Beard

Welcome, fight fans! In this corner, Billy “The Beaut” Russo, otherwise known as Jigsaw! Wearing a smile and a hideously mutilated face, this Maggia assassin weighs in as the Punisher’s most fiendish foe!

And in this corner, Frank Castle, also called the Punisher! Wearing a skull, a grim smile and a healthy arsenal, this street-level vigilante clocks in as a tireless soldier who wages a war against crime!

Before their latest matchup in PUNISHER: IN THE BLOOD #3—on sale January 26, 2011—thrill to the gruesome battles that make up these rivals’ hate-filled past!


A three-way misunderstanding placed Spider-Man and Nightcrawler square in the Punisher’s sights, but when Spidey and Frank finally hit the streets together Jigsaw waited in the wings to seek revenge. The patchwork perp fell before the combined expertise of the heroes and his scheme to frame his nemesis crumbled as he fell into the clutches of the cops.

PUNISHER #5 (1986)

The Punisher acted crazy—even for him—and the pieces of the puzzle added up to Jigsaw. Frank’s foe found defeat at the hands of the vigilante and even after brainwashing by the Trust, the scarred criminal still couldn’t shake the memories of his past with the Punisher and the events that led to his hatred of the hero.

PUNISHER #40 (1990)

The promise of a restored face led Jigsaw into the orbit of a strange “holy man” called the Rev. After much mayhem and murder, the Rev healed the assassin’s frightening features but the Punisher could not look the other way and planted his foe in the grave. Good villains never die, though, and Jigsaw found himself resurrected by a demon, his face once again shattered by his long-time enemy.

PUNISHER #4 (1996)

Listen, it’s a tried-and-true convention that a heinous criminal must, when his arch-enemy dies, dress up like said enemy and go nuts. That’s Jigsaw’s story at least and he wasted no time becoming a “Punisher” when the real one seemingly bit the dust in prison. Of course, Frank got better and with a bit of help from Daredevil once again met the assassin face-to-face in a desperate clash.


Jigsaw, now a kind of “reverse-Punisher,” brainwashed a neophyte police officer into becoming another Punisher. Frank Castle’s own options remained slim after being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. but a temporary alliance with the law-enforcement organization allowed the vigilante the edge he needed to confront his nemesis high atop the Brooklyn Bridge. What they both discover there clocks in as the ultimate irony: neither one can truly exist without the other.



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