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In honor of the Punisher debuting on Daredevil’s Netflix series tomorrow, we’re counting down your picks for the forty greatest Punisher stories.
You all voted, now here are the latest results of what you chose as the 40 Greatest Punisher Stories!
WARNING: Some of these comics spotlighted were originally rated “explicit content,” so there is some “explicit content” here. Occasional profanity mostly.
Here’s #15-6! Enjoy!
15. “In the Beginning” (The Punisher Vol.6 #1-6)
This was the first arc in Garth Ennis’ revamped Punisher MAX series. This was one of the very rare occasions where the then-current writer on the series, Garth Ennis, was the one to reboot/revamp the series to take it dramatically away from what the then-current writer was doing. The previous series had gotten too comedic, so Ennis stopped and rebooted with this violent, yet studied, look at the Punisher. He also began to tie the Punisher in with military and CIA operations. The opening story finds the Punisher captured by the CIA and finds out his old friend, Microchip, is part of the group that wants to recruit Frank as an assassin for the government. It gets pretty rough between the two old friends…
Lewis Larosa and Tom Palmer did the artwork.
The problem is that the mob wants Punisher dead (more so than even normal) for an attack he made early in the storyline, so it is the mob versus the CIA over Frank Castle’s life. This springboarded into plots that would reverberate throughout the series.
14. “War Zone” Punisher War Zone #1-6
I have no idea what to call this storyline. The gist is that Chuck Dixon, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson put together this opening storyline in the Punisher’s THIRD ongoing title at the time, to show the Punisher infiltrating the mob as a mob enforcer who wipes out the opposition and then does “friendly fire” to slowly tear down the mob he is currently working for, as well. Of course, there’s always a catch. Here, there are two – one, Punisher might be falling for the daughter of the main boss and two, there’s this nutjob mercenary named Shotgun (brought over from Romita’s time on Daredevil) who is getting involved, as well.
The whole thing ends up with Punisher and Outlaw killing an entire island.
13. “Return to Big Nothing” (Punisher: Return to Big Nothing)
The creative team of the original Punisher mini-series, Steven Grant, Mike Zeck and John Beatty reunite for this story of the Punisher taking on an old comrade of his from Vietnam, a jerky guy who referred to Frank as “Big Nothing.” Now this guy is involved in all sorts of illegal activities and Punisher is here to take him down. He takes down some of his men at a brothel (after first enjoying a night with a prostitute)…
Go to the next page for #12-9!