The Character: Vietnam vet Frank Castle has killed more than 4,000 people during his tour of duty in his own personal war against crime.
He started out killing crooks to avenge his family, who were gunned down by gangsters, but we reckon he carried on because he enjoys the smell of shotgun smoke.
Most Violent Moment: So many to choose from, but his epic Marvel Max scrap with psycho hitman Barracuda is up there.
Pit Frank against a villain so deranged he hums and sings after having his eye gouged out and his fingers cut off and there will be blood.
If It Was Filmed: To be fair, Punisher War Zone is one of the most violent films ever made. Sadly, it’s also one of the shittest.
But if Barracuda had been thrown into the mix, we probably would never have to suffer through it, as the censors would go into so many apoplectic seizures, the thing would never have made it out of the certification booth.
Conan The Barbarian
The Character: He’s called a barbarian for a reason. In the Conan comics, decapitations are more common than coughs in December.
Most Violent Moment: Even the earliest Conan short stories were drenched in blood – The Scarlet Citidel saw more than five thousand Aquilonian knights meet their doom during one of Conan’s quests.
If It Was Filmed: It would need a bigger budget than all of the previous Conan films combined. And it would probably need to be directed by Peter Jackson and James Cameron.
The Character: Lobo is the baddest bastich in the universe, riding through the stars on the back of a spaceship shaped like a Hell’s Angels motorbike.
Most Violent Moment: Lobo’s only been killed once; and when he accidentally ended up in heaven, he proceeded to kill every single deity in the place to convince the men upstairs they should reincarnate him back into the fight that cost him his life.
It’s INSANELY brutal. At one point, Lobo kicks someone in the nuts so hard his spine flies out in a shower of grue. It probably goes without saying that it’s one of our favourite comics ever.
If It Was Filmed: Everyone involved would probably get arrested.
The Character: Perma-grin loony tune with a love for chaos and making Batman’s life a misery. Some men just love to watch the world burn.
Most Violent Moment: This guy doesn’t need guns to get his dirty work done – no, The Joker’s far more hands-on when it comes to violence.
Take the way he murders Robin (aka Jason Todd). He beats him to a bloody pulp with a crowbar, then blows him up.
If It Was Filmed: It’d be even harder to stomach than the head-bashing elevator bit from Drive .
The Character: Damn near indestructible thanks to a self-healing mutant gene, Wolverine aka Logan is the baddest of the X-Men, with his extendable claws and seriously short temper. Bad. Ass.
Most Violent Moment: Wolvie’s got a thing for violence (something about having claws for fists), but surely sinking those razors into Sabretooth’s head is one of his most out-and-out goriest.
If It Was Filmed: It’d be the first X-Men film to receive an 18 rating.
The Character: Walking Dead ’s most ball-busting babe, Michonne is a mysterious survivor whom Rick and his company discover as they seek out help in a world overrun with zombies.
She has a katana, which is pretty much everything you need to know about her.
Most Violent Moment: Though she’s played the victim more than once (having been both assaulted and raped), Michonne knows how to deal the pain, too.
She’s killed at least 12 people (and countless zombies). Most violent was her massacre of the contestants in a gladiator competition overseen by the mad Governor.
If It Was Filmed: It’d blow Ridley Scott’s Gladiator out of the water in terms of jaw-dropping levels of violence.
The Character: Son to an abusive prostitute, Rorschach began fighting crime after despairing over the lack of empathy he witnessed in the world.
Most Violent Moment: Banged up in prison, Rorschach is confronted by a hoard of criminals he himself was responsible for banging up.
When one of the inmates attacks Rorschach with a screwdriver, our funny-faced hero retaliates by hurling the boiling hot contents of a deep-fat fryer in his attacker’s face.
If It Was Filmed: Jackie Earle Haley would be the perfect Rorschach. Oh wait...
The Character: A foul-mouthed gonzo journo, Spider is a drug addict best known for his ability to come up with sick but hilarious insults. Which he does a lot, because he has a rotten temper.
Most Violent Moment: Spider is at his sickest and most violent when he’s using his deadliest weapon: the bowel disruptor.
A multi-setting gadget, it causes his victims to lose control of their bowels, with various side effects including diarrhoea and rectal prolapse. Nice.
If It Was Filmed: It’d be even messier than that episode of South Park where everybody dies and soils themselves.
The Character: Having previously worked as a Shogun's executioner, Ogami was forced to become an assassin when his name was disgraced by the Yagy clan.
Now he and his three-year-old son are out for revenge against the evil clan.
Most Violent Moment: More violent-minded than violence enacted. Itto gives his one-year-old son Daigor a choice between playing with a ball or a sword.
If he chooses the ball, Itto will kill him. Luckily, the little fella goes for the blade. Close one.
If It Was Filmed: It has been, several times. Check out the insanely violent Lone Wolf & Cub film series, or the awesome America remix Shogun Assassin.
The Character: A futuristic law enforcer, Dredd runs Mega-City One with a constant grimace and a massive flipping gun.
According to creator John Wagner, the fact that we never see Dredd’s face represents the “facelessness of justice”.
Most Violent Moment: Dredd has battled aliens and mutants with bucket-loads of grit.
If It Was Filmed: Karl Urban is cinema’s new Dredd (it’s out next year). Let’s hope he can erase the memory of Sly’s Dreddful movie adap from our minds.
The Character: A member of rogue superhero team The Authority, Midnighter is married to other Authority member Apollo.
But even superheroes in the most loving of families can be prone to violent tendencies, and Midnighter is no different – his aggressive instincts are matched only by his near indestructibility.
Most Violent Moment: Midnighter is pivotal in taking out autocratic dictator Kaizen Gamorra – he drops a 50 foot long carrier onto Gamorra’s base. POW.
And that's just the violent punishment we can discuss on a family website.
If It Was Filmed: It would cost a fortune.
The Character: Starr’s never had much luck. As a boy, he was blinded when bullies sliced a star into his right eye – an event that caused him so much distress that all of his hair fell out.
Joining and then leaving the German anti-terrorism unit GSG 9, Starr winds up as the sacred executioner of The Grail.
Most Violent Moment: In order to secure the position of Allfather, Starr murders the Grail Council using Chlorine gas. Wicked.
If It Was Filmed: You’d have to cast somebody with a good evil cackle to play Starr.
The Character: Also known as Steel Serpent. Power-hungry and ill-tempered, Davos has a vendetta against Iron Fist, who he’s stolen power from before – but he has never been able to keep a hold of it.
Most Violent Moment: Davos took his rage out on HYDRA after they failed to contain the renegade Iron Fist Orson Randall.
Davos destroyed hoards of HYDRA agents in a bloodbath before doing away with a Mechagorgon.
If It Was Filmed: You’d need buckets of corn syrup.
The Character: Consumed with hatred for Daredevil, mega-villain Bullseye is that most dangerous of cocktails – an assassin who’s also stark raving mad.
He may have no discernable superpowers, but put this guy behind a trigger, and he’s deadly as deadly can be.
Most Violent Moment: Bullseye gets two birds with one stone when he kills Elektra. She’s been hired by Bullseye’s previous employer Kingpin, and she also happens to be Daredevil’s new beau.
“You're good... but me, I'm magic,” he snarls in her ear after skewering her on her own sai. Shiver.
If It Was Filmed: It was filmed. We don’t want to talk about it.
The Character: “What if Batman was a total c*nt?” That basically sums up Nemesis, an unstoppable force of nature who’s got a vendetta against the police force. Next to nothing is known about his background.
Most Violent Moment: Nemesis makes his grand entrance by hijacking Air Force One, kidnapping the president and crash-landing the plane, killing everybody else onboard. Talk about a bloodbath.
If It Was Filmed: Tony Scott’s turning this comic into a movie. We’re sure he’ll find a way to retain all that violence.
The Character: Subjected to the Weapon X experiment that gave Wolverine his adamantium claws, Sabretooth has an ongoing rivalry with the mullet-chopped X-Man.
Unlike Wolvie, he has fangs.
Most Violent Moment: Having joined the Marauders – a posse of mean-spirited mutants – Sabretooth helps his brethren slaughter hundreds of Morlocks.
If It Was Filmed: It’d get into the Guinness Book Of Records for most deaths in one scene.
The Character: Psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes infected with the Venom symbiote and transforms into a horrific mutated monster.
Most Violent Moment: As a kid, orphan boy Kasady lived at the St. Estes Home for Boys. He wasn’t happy there, and was bullied by the other orphans.
Kasady got his revenge, though, by murdering the disciplinarian administration, pushing a girl in front of a bus and burning the orphanage into ash.
If It Was Filmed: It’d get banned as a video nasty – that's how mean Kasady is.
The Character: A spiteful juggernaut of a mutant, who victimised Wolverine during both World Wars.
Most Violent Moment: Wolverine bears the brunt of Cyber’s most violent tendencies when the villainous, uh, villain gouges out one of Wolvie’s eyes and then breaks his claws.
Then there was that time he set fire to a schoolhouse stuffed full of children…
If It Was Filmed: Hugh Jackman better get ready for the pain.
The Character: One of the most powerful mutants ever to have existed, Phoenix possesses both telekinetic and telepathic abilities which makes her a serious force to be reckoned with.
Most Violent Moment: Transformed into the Dark Phoenix after healing the M'Kraan Crystal, Phoenix is influenced by the Hellfire Club and snuffs out of the lives of 5bn people on a distant planet.
If It Was Filmed: It’d make Melancholia look like a walk in the park.
The Character: A Native American who served his time busting chops in the Second World War, Scalphunter’s shot dead after murdering his fellow officers.
Except Scalphunter isn’t really dead, and is nurtured into a truly vicious villain by Mister Sinister.
Most Violent Moment: With a name like that, you’d pretty much expect this guy to bring the pain. Which he does when he shoots Annalee’s children in the head at point blank range. What is it with these guys and kids?
If It Was Filmed: You couldn’t film that. You just couldn’t. Unless you’re Michael Haneke and you’re making Funny Games. But otherwise no. Just no.
Got your suggestion for violent comic-book characters? Drop ‘em below…