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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Jigsaw from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Jigsaw (Marvel).


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Me and you, Frankie... We're the same.
~ Billy to Frank during the final showdown.
Trust me when I tell you that if Frank doesn't come after my guy today, nobody will be more relieved than me. That's the nature of the lives we chose, I guess. Make tough decisions. Live or die by it.
~ Jigsaw to Dinah.
The Punisher? What a crock of shit.
~ Billy to Frank during the final showdown.

William "Billy" Russo is one of the two main antagonists (along with Agent Orange) of the first season of 2017 Marvel TV series The Punisher, and is set to return in the second season in an unknown role.

He was the best friend and squad mate of Frank Castle during their time in the U.S. Special Forces. He also leads Anvil, a private military contractor in New York City. Despite their friendship, Billy would be revealed to have betrayed Frank to his boss Agent Orange during an operation overseas called Cerberus, which results in Frank not only losing his family but also setting him on the path to become the vigilante known as Punisher. By doing so, he becomes one of Castle’s main targets. Russo also sets out to kill Castle before Castle can do the same to him.

He was portrayed by Ben Barnes, who also portrayed Dorian Gray.

History

Marvel's The Punisher (Season 1)

Russo had a difficult childhood in New York City. Growing up, he was very poor. His mother was a meth addict who emotionally neglected her children.

Later, he was put in foster care and lived in a group home. Russo was also a victim of attempted child molestation; luckily, he was able to defend himself, but not without being severely injured by the perpetrator.

Billy became a lieutenant in the U.S. Special Forces and befriended Frank Castle. During one mission, Russo and Castle became trapped in house in Basra and saved each other's lives multiple times.

Russo and Castle joined several other soldiers for a briefing by Agent Orange, who explained they were helping to end the war, as Major Ray Schoonover explained they had joined Operation Cerberus, although Russo continued joking.

Cornered by Frank Castle at the carousel where Frank’s family was killed, a plot that Billy (who had been Frank’s closest friend in the military) knew about, the suave former special-ops soldier pleads for Frank to kill him, only to be denied an easy way out. Instead, Frank smashes Billy’s face into a mirror, scraping it against shards that slice his face apart, leaving him alive but mangled beyond recognition.

Personality

While initially appearing to be an arrogant (but still caring) comrade and friend, Billy is in fact a selfish, manipulative and ruthless businessman. Billy felt unwanted and unloved most of his life, and desired a sense of self-worth. However, this led to him becoming narcissistic and self-preserved, caring only for himself as he has only had himself to rely on his whole life. Frank Castle became the first real friend and form of family in Billy’s life, but despite not participating in the murder of Frank and his family, Billy’s loyalty was not strong enough to risk everything for them, even though Frank would have done anything to protect Billy. Frank points out that Billy may have been arrogant but he had honor, and did not develop his narcissistic personality until after his time with Cerberus. In the heat of battle, Billy can be very brutal and vicious as well as reckless, as he loved to taunt his opponents before killing them.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the comics, Billy Russo was a ruthless gangster nicknamed "The Beaut" for his good looks, not for being a war veteran or a businessman. After his initial altercation with Punisher, his face was horrifically disfigured and henceforth went by the alias of Jigsaw.
  • This incarnation of Billy Russo shares many similarities with fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe villain Grant Ward. Both are protagonists revealed as villains in the first season of their respected shows; both had a tragic backstory relating to their families; both had sex with major female protagonists in order to manipulate them; both of them had genuine feelings for one of the lead protagonists; both of them were friends to the lead protagonists before later betraying them; both of their leading partners are Pure Evil (John Garrett and Agent Orange); and both of them were brutally defeated in their shows' season finales.
    • The only differences are that while Ward was an original character, Russo was not; while Ward only helped Garrett because he felt he owed him his life, Russo only did it for fame, fortune and success; and while Ward was only revealed as the secondary antagonist, Russo was revealed as the season's other main antagonist alongside Orange.
  • Even though Russo and Agent Orange served as the Big Bad Duumvirate, Russo was a more personal antagonist for Frank because, even though he didn't participate in the murder of Frank's family, he knew that Orange was planning the murder and did nothing. After Frank killed Agent Orange, Russo became the final antaognist of the season.
  • Billy claimed that he was named after the most famous outlaw Billy the Kid. In a sense of irony his relationship with Frank Castle mirror’s to the story of Billy the Kid, except the role of Billy is played by Frank and his partner who betrayed Billy the Kid is played by Billy Russo.

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