This article contains mild spoilers for The Punisher.
As Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix opens, we find a Frank Castle who has tried to put his personal war on the underworld behind him. Bearded and haunted, Frank spends his days on a construction site, tirelessly wielding a sledgehammer, and his nights reading Moby Dick. But Punisher historians might find some significance in the alias he chooses to hide from the world: Castiglione.
Castiglione is an Italian name, which essentially means “castle.” That’s no surprise. But this isn’t the first time in the character’s history that name has been connected to The Punisher. The Castiglione name was revealed as a the pre-Americanized version of Castle in The Punisher: Circle of Blood #1 in 1985. This was expanded on in late 1990, when The Punisher: War Journal comic by Mike Baron and Mark Texeira ran a three-part story called “The Sicilian Saga.” In it, Frank has to lay low after killing the son of a corrupt politician (not coincidentally, it’s Senator Stan Ori, a minor character on the Netflix series), and he chooses to head to Sicily, since that’s where his father was from. Of course, while he’s there, he can’t help himself, and ends up in conflict with a local mob family, the Besucchos.
In any case, this is a pretty deep cut for the show to reference, and the inclusion of Senator Stan Ori shows it was no accident. What’s more, in a later episode, Frank talks about how his deceased wife’s grandmother was Sicilian. So while it’s never made clear if TV’s Frank Castle is Italian-American, his wife certainly was, and that could help explain why he took on an Italian version of his last name as a cover story. For a (somewhat) complete guide to Punisher easter eggs on the Netflix series, click here!
Note: Thanks to Bob Whyte for reminding me that the “Castiglione” name was first mentioned in Steven Grant, Mike Zeck, and John Beatty’s Circle of Blood story. This article has been corrected accordingly.
Mike Cecchini is a nice Italian boy who says horrible things on Twitter all day.