Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Punisher Stories Ever Told!
As you might imagine, a certain writer dominated this list…
10. Punisher Max “Mother Russia”
This storyline set into play plotlines that would reverberate all the way to the end of Ennis’ run. Doug Braithwaite penciled this arc.
It involves Punisher getting involved in a game of international intrigue. This story introduces a number of major characters in the series.
9. Punisher “Circle of Blood”
This was the mini-series that got Punisher his own series! Steven Grant, Mike Zeck and John Beatty were the creative team (with some assists on art towards the end).
8. Punisher Max “Up is Down, Black is White”
This story shows what happens when a bad guy decides to REALLY mess with Frank Castle (think digging up his buried family and defiling their corpses).
Hilarity, as you might imagine, ensues.
Leandro Fernandez and Scott Hanna drew this arc.
7. Punisher Max “Valley Forge, Valley Forge”
This was the conclusion to Ennis’ run on Punisher, and it is a brilliant look at the interrelation between fellow soldiers.
Goran Parlov drew this arc.
6. Punisher Max “Man of Stone”
One of the main bad guys from Mother Russia returns for his revenge – this resolves a number of major plots from the series. Leandro Fernandez drew this arc.
5. Punisher Max “Long, Cold Dark”
Popular villain Barracuda returns for a no hold’s barred battle to the death with the Punisher, with the life of an innocent child at stake! Howard Chaykin and Goran Parlov drew this arc.
4. Punisher Max “In the Beginning”
Punisher’s old friend Micro returns alongside the CIA, who want Frank Castle to kill for the government! However, when the Mafia get involved, things go pear-shaped quickly. Lewis LaRosa and Tom Palmer drew this arc.
3. Punisher Marvel Knights “Welcome Back Frank”
This is the maxi-series that saw the return of Frank Castle to being an ordinary killing machine after a couple of years as a literal angel of death. Drawn by Steve Dillon and Jimmy Palmiotti, this series is filled with dark humor.
In the beginning of the Punisher Max series (titled, naturally, In the Beginning) there is a reference to the notion that the Punisher must have first touched the “darkness” that later drove him after his family’s death earlier in his life – perhaps during the Vietnam War.
Well, Born shows us the Punisher during Vietnam and we SEE him meet the darkness.
Darick Robertson and Tom Palmer handle the art duties.
1. Punisher Max “The Slavers”
In this arc, the Punisher is up against the first criminal organization in some time that actually made him actively ANGRY (rather than almost mechanically taking them down) as he comes up against a white slavery ring.
Mixed in to the story are a couple of cops caught up in the mix when a crooked detective tries to take the Punisher down with the power of bad publicity.
Some of the darkest acts of violence but also some of the best pieces of character development make this a very memorable story arc.
Leandro Fernandez and Scott Koblish drew this arc.
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!