Gunslingers are a very interesting lot. In today’s article, we have decided to compare two characters that are among the best gunslingers in modern popular culture. One of them is John Wick, the assassin and protagonist of the franchise that carries his name, while the other is Marvel’s Punisher, a skilled assassin and marksman. If you wanted to know who would win in a fight between John Wick and Punisher, keep reading our article.
John Wick and the Punisher are on equal terms in practically every aspect. Their skills are the same, their usage of weapons also, and that is why we cannot predict a clear winner here. The outcome is a draw.
Our comparison is going to be divided into three sections. The first is going to bring an overview of the two characters, after which we are going to compare their powers, including their signature weapons. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two characters to determine which one would win in a direct clash.
John Wick and his powers
Jonathan “John” Wick is a fictional character created by Derek Kolstad. He is played in the cinema by Keanu Reeves. John Wick appears as a long-retired assassin, until a gang invades his house, steals his car, and kills his dog, the last memory of his late wife. He will then take up arms again and take revenge
The story of John Wick is largely unknown. His real name Jardani Jovonovich, he was born in the former Soviet Union to parents of Ukrainian, Russian or even Koryo-saram origins. His parents die when he is very young. He is taken in by an old friend of his father, who becomes his mentor.
He was then hosted by the Belarusian organization Ruska Roma and raised by its leader, the Director, a young woman who raised Jardani as her son and trained him as an elite assassin. He then travels to New York for the organization. Under the supervision of the Director, Jardani is trained as an assassin.
He acquires many skills, including martial arts, firearms, bladed weapons, tactical driving, infiltration, evasion, where he is recognized as a formidable expert in each of the fields. At one point, Jardani takes the name John Wick for unknown reasons and leaves Ruska Roma. He becomes a feared and ruthless hitman his targets call Baba Yaga, in reference to a figure from Russian tales.
John Wick is often known for his focus and determination. His fighting prowess was such that he once killed three men in a bar with a simple pencil, for this anecdote has made him famous. Eventually, John met a woman named Helen and fell in love with her.
Hoping to leave his hired killer past behind and lead a normal life, John met the head of the judicial police, Viggo Tarasov, who agreed to grant him his wish if he was successful. The exact nature of the task is never specified, but it has always been described as “impossible” by many people. To accomplish this task, John needed the help of the Camorra ruler’s son, Santino D’Antonio.
Viggo Tarasov said the bodies Wick buried that day laid the foundation for what his criminal organization is today, implying that Wick took out all of his main rivals for him (a feat that Tarasov believed was likely impractical. and which would have led to the death of the assassin).
After completing his “Mission Impossible”, John Wick retires from an assassin and settles in with his wife Helen. He locks his weapons and his gold coins, currency in the underground environment of the killers, in a trunk under the concrete of his cellar.
The Punisher and his powers
Francis “Frank” Castle, better known as The Punisher, is a fictional and anti-hero character that appears in American comics published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru, with editor Stan Lee giving the name the green light. The Punisher made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974).
The character is an Italian-American vigilante who uses murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his campaign against crime. Fueled by the death of his wife and two children who were killed by the mob for witnessing a murder in New York City’s Central Park, the Punisher waged a one-man war on crime while employing the use of multiple weapons and firearms. His family’s killers were the first to be killed.
Frank Castle is a former Marine who had an ordinary life with his wife and children. He, his wife, and his children went for a walk to Central Park, where they witnessed a mob hit, therefore all four were killed by the mob and he was the only survivor. He miraculously escaped alive and vowed to punish those responsible.
From that moment on, Frank Castle decided to start an open war on crime, using methods that are not always within the law. Castle disappeared for several months, being insubordinate in the Marines. During the time he was missing, he amassed resources and weapons. When he resurfaced, he had adapted his fighting skills to wage a one-man war on crime.
Castle, as his first mission, murdered the criminals who had killed his wife and children. Frank has repeatedly met other costumed heroes from New York, such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, whom he considers a mixture of disorder and annoyance. According to his way of seeing it, he is the only one who makes the difference, definitively eradicating crime. He believes that others simply put bandages on the wounds.
Although Frank Castle has on occasion cooperated with them, Spider-Man and Daredevil are polar opposites in their respective views of crime and punishment, and he frequently fought both on various occasions that they meet. Some policemen do not stop him when they see him, preferring to deal with the real criminals before incarcerating, according to some, whoever cleans the city.
Even so, the Punisher has been imprisoned many times for his crimes, but he always finds some way to escape, either by his own means or with the help of guards who sympathize with the way he acts. Even in prison, Castle has continued to murder criminals.
Over the years, other people with similar feelings or who have lost a loved one in comparable circumstances have collaborated with the Punisher. Police officers and prosecutors, frustrated with the limitations of the legal system, have helped the Punisher by providing him with information about criminals or by turning a blind eye to his actions.
He prefers to keep these interactions to a minimum, even going as far as assassinating several of those copycat vigilantes. His mission and his philosophy are simple, so he is alone. Punisher is not looking for followers or companions. Having long expanded his mission from personal revenge to the extermination of all criminals, Castle fully understands that his crusade will never end until the day he dies.
He is as disciplined now as when he was a Marine: he collects information, sets goals, and plans his operations down to the smallest detail. It’s virtually impossible to catch Castle off guard. Although the authorities and the great gangster families of New York know of his existence, the Punisher continues surrounded by the mystique of an urban legend. For many criminals, he is the ultimate nightmare, obsessed with his quest to end crime and completely unstoppable.
On-screen, he has been played by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane, Ray Stevenson, and Jon Bernthal.
John Wick vs Punisher: Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Let us continue.
Based on most factors related to these two characters, the outcome is not quite clear. Both John Wick and the Punisher are great marksmen and they are great at hand-to-hand combat. Since neither of them has any inherent superpowers, it would all come down to pure skill.
As far as weapons are concerned, both of them are skilled in using a variety of different weapons. These include classic guns but also knives and every other common, household object they can use to their advantage as, for example, Wick’s famous use of the pencil as an attacking weapon.
As far as their body counts (the ones we know of, of course) are concerned, John Wick’s total amounts to 290 across three movies, while The Punisher has 164 victims on his tally. That said, the iteration of Punisher played by Dolph Lundgren is clearly confirmed to have killed 125 criminals before the movie starts, which would push it to 289 bodies, equalling Wick’s count.
Taking all of these facts into consideration, John Wick and the Punisher are, as far as we are concerned, on the same level. There is no clear winner and we know we’d have a bloody and brutal fight on our hands but we cannot predict the winner.
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