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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Maggia Crime Family Keys Part 2

Alright, when it comes to Part 2 of this Maggia Crime Family keys, this may appear like a Punisher key issues list because the Costa Family is deeply connected to the character's origin. So, first off, this isn't a Punisher's key issues list.

Even though I do list Punisher key notations, the focus of Part 2 is the Costa Family and the significance of how they connect to Frank Castle. Also, the Costa Family is sometimes sourced as an affiliate of the Maggia or one of the families of the Maggia depending on the source.

I'm including them as part of the Maggia, and they are a more traditional mafia-type organization as opposed to the Nefaria Family. That means they are more involved in gambling, drug trafficking, etc without the whole super power thing. More normal type organized criminals.

Well, at least, they started out that way. In later volumes of the Punisher comics, they start getting into some weird, occult stuff. I will not be getting into that or anything dealing with Frank Costa becoming a demon in the volume 3 series

Anyways, let's get this thing going. Click the Part 1 link if you missed it. If not, here's some key issues pertaining to the...


Origin of the Punisher
1st appearance of Bruno Costa
1st Maria, Frank Jr, & Lisa Castle
1st Costa Family?

I believe that this issue here not only has the origin of the Punisher, but may also have the 1st appearance of the Costa Crime Family as well. This bad boy tells the origin of how Frank Castle's family was massacred and Bruno Costa does have his first appearance in flashback.

Bruno Costa is called by his 1st name in this issue, but his men that kill Castle's family aren't. He is the brother of Frank Costa, who was leader of the Costa Crime Family at the time. I don't know if the Costa Family is ever named or referred to in this issue.

Although, I do believe that a Punisher origin being shown in a Netflix series is inevitable if they decide to further progress with the character. Bruno Costa's character may be short-lived in a Punisher TV series.

After all, in the comics, he is mostly, if not always, shown in flashback since the character does die quite early. However, the character is a recurring ghost of sorts in many of the Punisher's comics for certain.

We shall have to see what they do with the character on Netflix and where they even start him at. Is he just beginning to become the Punisher?

If so, they could start with him hunting down the Costa Family members who directly murdered his family and then hunt those indirectly involved such as Frank Costa. It would be interesting if they replaced Bruno Costa with Billy Russo (Jigsaw) as the main enforcer responsible for the death of Frank Castle's family.

Since the Netflix shows are going for a more darker and street-level tone, I think it would make more realistic sense to have the Costa Family in the series or a series than the Silvermane, Hammerhead, or, especially, the Nefaria crime families. Then again, who knows?

Either way, the Costa Family is deeply connected to the Punisher and his origin regardless. Marvel Preview #2 has the cover date of August, 1975.

1st appearance & death of Frank Costa
Bruno Costa fully identified (Death)
Origin retold

Once again, this comic here retells the Punisher's origin in flashback and expands on the origin. Bruno Costa is fully named or identified.

Frank Costa makes his 1st appearance in this issue as well and is revealed as the head of the 2nd largest family on the East Coast. Frank also dies in this issue as does his brother Bruno, but not by the Punisher.

The Costa Crime Family is called the Syndicate repeatedly, and the Punisher is referred to as Captain. He had yet to be identified as Frank Castle or given a civilian name. It wasn't until the first Punisher limited series when he was given the civilian name of Frank Castle.

When the Punisher starts hitting up mob operations to flush out those responsible for the deaths of his family, the other mob families (unidentified) put out a hit on Bruno Costa and his men. They hoped by eliminating them, the Punisher would stop attacking their operations.

So Frank Costa set up Bruno and those men in a compound that would be hard for the Punisher and the other mob families to reach them. Wrong!

The Punisher does end up reaching them and killing some of those responsible except for Bruno and Frank Costa. In the end, an assassin named Audrey is the one who killed Bruno and Frank. Frank was killed off-panel or mentioned dead. 

This issue is the basis for the Punisher Year One limited series that tells the origin story much more in-depth. The story in this issue sees the police telling the Punisher (mentioned only as Captain) there's nothing they can do to those responsible for the murder of his family.

Marvel Super Action #1 has the cover date of January, 1976.

1st appearance of Jigsaw

This story arc begins in the previous issue #161 in which Jigsaw in a mysterious sniper. He is not revealed until this issue here in Amazing Spider-Man #162.

I've mentioned Billy Russo quite a few times, and he is one of the Punisher's more fearsome or memorable foes that is tied to the character and the Costa Family. Before he was Jigsaw, he was Billy "The Beaut" Russo, a hired assassin for both the Costa Family and Maggia.

This issue doesn't show the origin of Jigsaw, but he does explain it in text about why he has such a hate on for the Punisher. Yes, Jigsaw was first seen in a lame yellow costume.

Not quite sure when his origin is first actually told, but his role in turning Frank Castle into the Punisher is told in Punisher Year One #3 & #4.

November, 1976 is the cover date to Amazing Spider-Man #162.

In-depth origin of the Punisher
Origin of Jigsaw

As mentioned earlier in this part 2 to the Maggia Crime Family keys, this limited series has the in-depth origin of the Punisher, and of course, the Costa Family is a prominent criminal organization in this series. Detective John Laviano shows up again in this series. He is first seen in Marvel Super Action #1 and is the one who tells the Punisher (before he becomes the Punisher) in that comic issue that he cannot touch Bruno and his men.

His role is virtually the same, but Detective Laviano shows up a bit more in this series. At least, he is in the first two issues of the Year One limited series.

Bruno Costa and Frank Costa return in their roles as well since this is a prequel story to the Punisher's origin. They are seen in issue #3.

What is interesting to this series is that issue #3 & #4 tells of the origin of Jigsaw and explains his role in the Punisher's origin. If you're looking for sleeper key issues, those two are definitely sleepers.

Issue #4 sees the Punisher shoving Billy Russo's face through the glass window, the act that would eventually spawn the character of Jigsaw. Funny thing is - The Punisher doesn't even remember him in his first appearance as Jigsaw in Amazing Spider-Man #162.

Speaking of Amazing Spider-Man #162, it's still a 1st appearance key issue that's over-looked and under-valued in my opinion. But back to the series in question.

If origin is played out in the Netflix series, that story may take a lot from the Punisher Year One comic series.

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When it comes to the different Maggia families, it's often not a clear cut case of how all they all tie together. They're kind of all over the map regarding that especially during their earlier appearances.

They're also a loose group of independent families and not really a solidified unit. To be honest, I'm not even sure when or in what issue identifies the Costa Family as an associate or a family of the Maggia. Furthermore, I don't even know who took over the family after Frank Costa's death.

The Costa Family first started out in the world of the Punisher and was more of a traditional Italian mafia-like crime group unlike the Nefaria Family, which were obviously more super villain in nature. The Hammerhead Family is another confusing Maggia family that is definitely in the super-villain vein.

You'll see what I mean in Part 3 to this key issues series.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mayhem,

    thanks for doing this one so lightning fast! I think you' ve done comics history again, cause I wouldn' t know anyone doing such a Maggia Special before.