Real Name: Bruno Costa

Identity/Class: Human;
spirit possibly devolved into demon

Occupation: Professional criminal;
former enforcer for the Costa family

Group Membership: The Maggia

Affiliations: Luis Allegre, Byron Hannigan, Leon Kolsky, Billy Russo (later Jigsaw), & Matt Skinner;
possibly a member of the Stalkers under

Enemies: Audrey, Maria + Frank junior + Lisa Barbara Castle, Frank Costa, Maurice Howles, Forrest Hunt, Maggia, J.J. McTeer, Punisher (Castle);
    pawn of
Hector Montoya;
possibly Gadriel and other Angels

Known Relatives: Frank (brother, deceased), Rose (sister-in-law) unnamed son and daughter, unnamed wife, Ruffio Costa (unknown relation)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#2 (1975); (fully identified) Marvel Super-Action magazine#1 (January, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: No superhuman powers. Bruno has an unknown level of experience with street fighting and the use of ballistic weapons. He was second-in-command of a number of criminals--the second largest crime family on the East Coast--with varying levels of experience with the same.

History: Bruno Costa served as the enforcer for the Costa crime family. He had a pair of young kids, though his wife was an alcoholic and drifted in and out of mental hospitals.
(Punisher War Journal I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Costa mob family purchased drugs from Hector Montoya of San Lorenzo. These drugs were transported by Montoya's courier to the embassy in New York City, and Forrest Hunt (an american banker) exchanged the drugs for money with the Costa Mob Family.

(Punisher War Journal I#3 (fb) - BTS)- Behind Montoya's back, Forrest Hunt began to talk with the involved parties in the drug traffic, to cut Montoya out of the operation.

(Punisher War Journal I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Montoya left Forrest Hunt and the courier at his office at the embassy, but he had the office bugged. He learned that his suspicions were correct, that Hunt was to cut Montoya out of the operation. Montoya set up Hunt instead by giving him fake junk, which was discovered by the Costa family, who blamed Hunt for the betrayal.

(Punisher War Journal I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Bruno Costa and four of his subordinates--Allegre, Hannigan, Kolsky, and Skinner hung Hunt upside down from a tree in a secluded area of Central Park, and they shot him, execution style.

(Marvel Preview#2(fb)/Marvel Super-Action#1(fb)/countless others) - Seconds after Hunt had been shot, the Castle family--looking for a good spot for a picnic--wandered upon the scene. Costa gave the order and his men gunned the Castles down as well and then fled. In their haste, Costa and his men failed to confirm the deaths of their victims, and both Hunt and the father, Frank Castle, survived--though Hunt died in the hospital hours later.

(Punisher: Year One#2 - BTS) - Castle identified all five mobsters from the park from their police snapshots, and Detective John Laviano reported this to his superior, Captain Howard Furniss. However, the order came down from higher up--from those allied with the Costas--that Castle was unreliable as a witness and the investigation was to be discontinued immendiately.

(Punisher: Year One#3) - Bruno and Frank Costa discussed the problems that had steamrolled since the botched Hunt assassination. Frank sent his agent Billy Russo to assassinate Castle, the reporter J.J. McTeer, and Maurice Howles, who had tried and failed to kill the Punisher in his hospital bed, drawing even more attention to the case. The latter two kills were successful, but Castle suspected someone had been in his house due to the trampled flowerbed and avoided being killed by Russo's bomb.

(Punisher: Year One#4 - BTS) - As a warning to the Costas, Frank Castle took down Russo, killing everyone at his party. He hurled Russo himself facefirst through a plate glass window, leaving his face a virtual jigsaw puzzle of scars.

(Marvel Super-Action#1 (fb)) - Castle started out on the trail of the men who had killed his family. After the deaths of Allegre and Hannigan and the destruction of six other Syndicate operations, the heads of the Syndicate began to pressure Frank Costa to resolve this problem. He sent Bruno, Kolsky, and Skinner to their place in Florida to hide out until things quited down. However, the Punisher infiltrated the Punta Verde retreat and killed both Kolsky and Skinner.
Bruno, however, was already dead when Castle found him--victim of an icepick to the back of the neck from Syndicate assassin Audrey, who escaped unseen.

(BTS) - possibly - Bruno's soul may have passed into the realm of the demon Olivier, as one of his Stalkers.

(Punisher IV#3-4) - Olivier re-created Costa to serve as the leader of his Stalkers, who captured both Frank Castle and the angel Gadriel for Olivier. Later, Castle escaped and fought Costa and the Stalkers once again. The clash of forces between angels and demons opened a portal through which other demons sucked both Olivier and the Stalkers.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Tony DeZuniga.

The police's inability to bring his family's killers to justice was the impetus for Castle to take the law into his own hands, eventually as the Punisher.

The involvement of Hector Montoya and the motivations of Forest Hunt were ret-conned into the Punisher's origin in Punisher War Journal#2 and 3, in 1988, twelve years after his origin was first told.

In the Punisher 1998 series, the demon Olivier revealed that he had possessed and controlled the form of Frank Costa and had deliberately engineered the events that spawned the Punisher. There is no evidence to the contrary, though you can never take everything a demon says as gospel. See Olivier's profile for his version (it also contains further discussion of the Punisher's origins and the story of the Costas).
In addition, if those events are true, then Allegre and the others, including Audrey and every other person killed by the Punisher were sent to Olivier's realm of Hell, and were part of the Stalkers that Olivier sent against the Punisher.

Though refered to in the stories as the Syndicate, the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition's entry for the Punisher identified the Costas as members of the Maggia.

For the record, the Punisher recorded the mission to take down Bruno Costa as War Journal Entry#1-10 (which included the attack on Russo). His encounter with Audrey was not until War Journal Entry#374.

Skinner has no known connection to:

Skinner, of the Lilin, @ Spirits of Vengeance#2

Luis Allegre


One of the four agents of Bruno Costa present at the execution of Forrest Hunt and the Castle Family. He suffered from a stomach ulcer. The Punisher tracked down he and Hannigan at a pool at a resort as part of War Journal#7. The Punisher gave him a shot to the stomach that would kill him slowly, so that he would have time to warn Costa, Kolsky, and Skinner that they were next.


--Marvel Super-Action#1 (1(fb, dies)




A Syndicate assassin, she appeared to be just the generic bimbo (or a call-girl) sent to party with gangsters. She was sent by Frank Costa to kill his brother Bruno, which she did, escaping undetected by the Punisher. Higher-ups within the Syndicate sent her to kill Frank Costa, as well, and she also succeeded in taking him out before the Punisher could reach him. However, Castle eventually learned that Frank Costa had been entertaining a woman before his death, and he also remembered that there were party girls at the Punta Verde retreat. Castle obtained Audrey's name from an informer, Joey Charisma, and then arranged a date with Audrey. He told her his story and waited until she tried to stab him as he lay in bed, then pulled out the gun from under his pillow and killed her.


--Marvel Super-Action#1




Frank Costa

Brother of Bruno and the head of the alleged second largest crime family on the East Coast. His family dealt with Montoya, and he blamed Bruno for the problems that occurred as a result of the botched execution of Forrest Hunt. The Syndicate began to pressure him when the Punisher began busting up their operations in an effort to take those who had killed his family. He thus sent off Bruno and the remaining two--Kolsky and Skinner--to their Punta Verde retreat, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, allegedly to hide out, but really so he could have them taken care of. He then sent the Syndicate assassin known as Audrey after them, and she killed Bruno, though the Punisher reached the other two first.
However, higher ups within the Syndicate decided that Frank Costa had begun too much of a liability as well. By the time Castle reached Frank, Audrey had already killed him, too.

The demon Olivier claimed to have been controlling the body of Frank Costa and directing the events which spawned the creation of the Punisher. See Olivier's profile for his account.

--Marvel Super-Action#1 (Punisher: Year One#3, Marvel Super-Action#1(fb, dies)


Byron Hannigan


One of the four agents of Bruno Costa present at the execution of Forrest Hunt and the Castle Family. The Punisher shot him through the head as part of War Journal#7 as he and Allegre were relaxing by the pool at a resort.


--Marvel Super-Action#1 (1(fb, dies)



Leon Kolsky


One of the four agents of Bruno Costa present at the execution of Forrest Hunt and the Castle Family, he was the most skilled fighter of the bunch. He went with Bruno and Kolsky to the Punto Verde resort to hide out. He nearly managed to take out Castle, but as he enjoyed using dum-dums (bullets scored to open up on impact), he had to be close to his target. When he fired, Castle dodged, and the bullets shattered an aquarium, releasing a giant shark that slew him. This was part of War Journal entry#10.


--Marvel Super-Action#1 (1(fb, dies)


Matt Skinner


One of the four agents of Bruno Costa present at the execution of Forrest Hunt and the Castle Family. He went with Bruno and Kolsky to the Punto Verde resort to hide out. When Castle set the resort on fire, Skinner--having nearly died in a tenement fire as a kid--panicked and ran out, and Castle put a bullet through his head. This was part of War Journal entry#10.


--Marvel Super-Action#1 (1(fb, dies)



Marvel Preview#2 (1975) - Gerry Conway (writer), Tony DeZuniga (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Super-Action#1 (January, 1976) - Archie Goodwin (writer/editor), Tony DeZuniga (pencils), Rico Rival (inks)
Punisher War Journal I#3 (February, 1989) - Carl Potts (writer), Jim Lee (artist), Don Daley (editor)
Punisher: Year One#1-4 (December, 1994) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Dale Eaglesham (pencils), Scott Koblish (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Punisher IV#3-4 (January-February, 1999) - Christopher Golden & Tom Sniegoski (writer), Berni Wrightson (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks)

Last updated: 03/08/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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