Let’s start with the fact that many, many characters will appear in The Punisher: War Zone, most of whom are enemies of the protagonist. The film opens with a real bloodbath, featuring Don Gaitano Cesare, a crippled old mafia boss represented by John Dunn-Hill. He comes to the family dinner and decapitates him with a hunting knife, then runs off to slaughter his entire family. Cesare is only important because he is the boss of Billy Russotti, who then takes his place, but in the comics the two are not related at all, and the wild dog of his pack is someone completely different. By the way, his name is actually Massimo. Let’s look at this together ….Keep in mind that everything you read here takes place not on the “normal” Earth 616, but on the parallel Earth 2001, the Marvel MAX footprint.
Massimo Cesare was born somewhere in Italy in 1904. Raised in a family historically linked to the Mafia, Cesare emigrated to the United States in his youth, not only in search of fortune like many others, but also to develop the family business in the New World. He moved to New York, where he abandoned the Cesare family and began to build a criminal empire. He exported organized crime to the United States, as it was called in Italy, but in a country where the authorities were not at all prepared for it. Cesare conducted his business with ruthlessness but also with honor, always seeking a balance between combatants and allies, never denigrating his enemies but trying to make them trading partners. He also married and expanded his family and thus his legacy: he had a son John and several grandsons and granddaughters, including Annabella and Jennifer, and even great-grandchildren and great-great-granddaughters such as Sean and Peter. Despite his aging, he always retained incredible strength and vitality. In 1989, at the age of 85, he was still sleeping with a different prostitute every night to “stay in shape.” That same year, however, he began to lose control of his growing empire.
In 1989, Cesare was the undisputed Don, and anyone in New York who wanted to do business with him had to make a deal with him. Because the head of the Chinese mafia, David Cai, had become too arrogant for his taste, Cesare sent one of his lieutenants, Nicky Cavella, to talk to him and get him to resign from his ill-chosen post. Apparently Cavella misunderstood his boss’s methods and not only killed Kai’s youngest son, but had him cook and serve at his father’s business dinner. Naturally, Kai lost interest in doing business with Cesare’s family, and a long and bloody war broke out between the two factions. Knowing who was responsible, Cesare exiled Cavella, forbade him to report to New York, and withdrew his protection from the psychopath. The years passed, and Don Massimo slowly sunk into dementia: he was a man of long standing, and when he finally turned 100 in 2004, he was still Don, if only in name, a drooling vegetable, in a wheelchair, able only to get dirty. But his birthday was not forgotten, and his entire family and all the other extended families came to pay tribute to him. Unfortunately, an uninvited guest also arrived: a vigilante named “The Punisher” who infiltrated the party and shot Don Cesare through the head, ending his long, long life. Not exactly the birthday present he was expecting, all things considered.
Don Massimo Cesare is a ruthless man who considers even the worst crimes as part of his “business” and has no respect for human lives. As the head of all the mafia families in New York, he is extremely powerful, so powerful that he can easily influence national politics; he is incredibly wealthy and controls an army of thugs and gangsters. Cesare is a strong leader who rules with an iron fist and makes everyone obey his orders, but he is also bound by an ancient code of honor of his homeland and conducts his activities according to certain principles that, although far from ordinary morality, give his operation the appearance of order.
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