No. Not every character has to be a hero or likable.
I like the Punisher because he is... well... awful.
And he does not care. He is the last court of non-appeal, the nightmare that never stops, the one thing that goes through the back of the head of every little pissant with a gun: a garage door suddenly opens, a shadowy man-shape stands behind it and for the briefest instant you see a white skull on his chest and all you manage is a stifled 'mommy' before a hail of red-hot bullets tear you straight to Hell.
Of course he SHOULD be dead. He should not even have lasted a WEEK. He should have been a corpse in a drawer with a surprised look frozen on his face and the Rhino's oblivious footprint in his chest.
This is better. No logic, no explanation. He is simply the death that stalks, who does not believes in gods, demons or ghosts, but only in the harshest form of justice.
Cates was wrong: he could never be the Ghost Rider because he would ultimately never make a deal with anyone. 'Alone' defines the character. Nobody gets his attention for longer than is necessary for the kill. For he is the living death that walks, the embodiment of 'Be sure your sins will find you out'.
If you want you can make up some bullshit that he is the bastard child of Zarathos and Death or something.