Frank Castle’s new ally in Punisher is Mickey Duke, the petty criminal represented by Eddie Jamison. In the movie, he is the subordinate of Howard the Saint, but teams up with Castle to kill the entire Holy Family after they disrespect him (and after Castle tortures him a bit). He is the one who manipulates Howard into thinking that his wife Livia is cheating on him with his best friend Quentin Glass. In the comics, Mickey’s name is Fondozzi, and he shares with his living counterpart the unquestionable privilege of being one of the few criminals the Punisher has left alive – assuming, of course, that he improves his life. Let’s look at it together.
Little is known about Mickey Fondozzi’s early career, even though that was not his real name. He was the son of an Albanian immigrant, but posed as an Italian to join one of the Italian-American mafia families in New York as an enforcer. The plan really worked, as he was hired by Julian Carbone, the infamous head of the Carbone family. Mickey managed to acquire a good position in the family and became one of Julian’s lieutenants. He had been ordered to lead four men against the Triads by robbing one of their banks, but the group was intercepted by The Punisher: the vigilante killed four thugs, but kidnapped Mickey and left him alive. The Punisher actually wanted to infiltrate the Carbon family and convinced Mickey to help him by torturing him with a burning torch… Which turned out to be just enough ice to scare Mickey into cooperating. Fondozzi introduced Julian to the Punisher as his Kansas City cousin, Johnny Tower, and by speaking highly of him, he convinced the Carbones to let him work with him. Mickey and Johnny were sent on several missions together, quietly killing several other family members, until someone in prison told Julian that Johnny Tower was in fact the Punisher. With the lid ripped off, Mickey was apparently considered a willing accomplice, and the duo nearly died until he was rescued by the mercenary Shotgun, who not only saved them from the armed thugs pursuing them, but also brought them to the isolated island of Shark, where the heads of their families were reunited and where the Punisher was finally able to decapitate the Serpent to kill Julian Carbone and his most loyal generals in one fell swoop. It could have been the end of Mickey Fondozzi’s association with the Punisher, but the family was taken over by Julian’s daughter Rosalie, and she clearly wanted revenge on both the vigilante she flirted with when he was still Johnny Tower, and on Mickey’s traitor.
While trying to start a new life, Mickey Fondozzi was kidnapped by Rosalie’s assassins, who tortured him to get information about the Punisher’s whereabouts: Mickey forced them to give up an address that was a Triad hideout, and was miraculously saved when the car he was locked in was stolen. Another family member, Julian’s brother Sal Carbone, tried to use him to get to the Punisher, but he too failed, being intercepted by a vigilante before ambushing him. Mickey also helped the Punisher when he decided to take control of the Secret Empire. He and Microchip even pretended to visit mafia bosses to get information for their ally. Tired of the mafia (and the violent vigilantes who used him as an informant) Mickey opened his own car dealership, Saving Mickey, but ‘s old methods were hard to accept, so most of his stock still consisted of stolen cars. But luck was never his strong suit, and it turns out that one of the cars he stole and resold belonged to the Black Widow, who wanted it back. The widow went to Mickey’s Salvation and wanted to know who had bought her car, but Mickey never revealed the names of his customers…. until the widow’s friend, Dagger, used one of his light daggers on him and cleansed his soul. At that moment Mickey told the nice ladies everything they wanted to know, thanked them for their intervention and promised to continue. When the Punisher went back some time later to look for him, he found Mickey in the church, which was a bit strange at first. As the two men talked, Mickey told the vigilante everything that had happened and assured him that from now on he would always be honest and stay away from any crime. The Punisher, realizing that he had just lost his best informant, walked away and severed all ties with Fondozzi: another valuable asset lost to too many good deeds in the spandex around New York.
Mickey Fondozzi is an intelligent and astute man who is always paying attention and finds a way to make a profit even in desperate situations. A professional criminal, he is an excellent marksman and has some experience in street fighting, all skills gained in the field. Being honest was never part of the plan, but now, thanks to supernatural intervention, Mickey Fondozzi is a new man, desperate to make amends and never hurt anyone again… again. Quite a change, but perhaps the best chance for peace he’ll ever have.
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