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Molly von Richthofen

Contributed by Ronald Byrd

Molly von Richthofen is a New York police officer who makes lieutenant at an early age by “hard work [and] being better than most of the people around [her]”; however, she becomes the department’s “biggest embarrassment” when she rejects the police commissioner’s sexual advances at a press conference, unaware that she was in range of a microphone. In retribution, the commissioner assigns her as “a task force of one” to take down the powerful Gnucci crime family, which has influence within city government and the police department but is also the target of the killer vigilante known as the Punisher. One of the few members of the force genuinely interested in ending the Punisher’s killing sprees, Molly teams up with Detective Martin Soap, the luckless officer in charge of an equally perfunctory anti-Punisher “task force” (the only other member of which committed suicide due to a perceived “rejection” from Soap), hoping to take down both of their enemies at once. Soap’s crush on Molly is shot down when she reveals she is a lesbian, but the two nevertheless remain friends.

Although Molly and Soap make little progress in their efforts, once he’s decimated the Gnuccis, the Punisher convinces the two officers to give him information on three copycat vigilantes in exchange for incriminating photographs of the police commissioner and the mayor. Within a month, Soap has blackmailed his way into the commissioner’s office, while Molly, a mayoral candidate, is enjoying a beach vacation with a shapely blonde.

Created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Molly first appeared in Punisher #4 (volume 3, a 12 part series) and is confirmed as lesbian in #8.

Art by Steve Dillon, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chris Sotomayor.

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July 26, 2021
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