The Punisher (2004 series)
The Punisher #1 (March 2004)
Cover art by Tim Bradstreet.
|Publication date||March 2004 – October 2009|
|No. of issues||75
1 annual (2007)
|Main character(s)||The Punisher|
|Creative team as of October 2008|
|Created by||Garth Ennis|
|Written by||Garth Ennis
The Punisher (retitled Frank Castle: The Punisher after issue #66, sometimes referred to as The Punisher MAX) was a comic book ongoing series published under the MAX imprint of Marvel Comics, featuring vigilante anti-hero, the Punisher.
Garth Ennis, also writer of the 2000 and 2001 Punisher series, wrote issues #1-60 of the series. Also like the earlier series, Tim Bradstreet provided the covers for those issues. Continuing his run on the character, Ennis used the freedom of the MAX imprint to write more graphic and hard-edged stories than had previously been seen. Ennis also wrote two miniseries accompanying the main series, The Punisher Presents: Barracuda and The Punisher: Born. Several one-shots were also produced, some written by Ennis and some by other writers.
With issue #61, Gregg Hurwitz replaced Ennis as writer joining artist Laurence Campbell to do a five-issue story arc. With issue #66 released on January 21, 2009, the series was retitled Punisher: Frank Castle, with writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Michel Lacombe coming to the series. Victor Gischler came on board for the storyline "Welcome to the Bayou" in issues #71-74 before the title finished with issue #75, a double-length issue with stories by Thomas Piccirilli, Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Peter Milligan, and Charlie Huston.
Differences with mainstream Punisher
The series explicitly does not use a floating timeline like the Marvel Universe, instead presenting a Punisher who ages in real time. Gravestones and other references indicate that his family was killed in 1976. The Punisher has been active for almost 30 years at the time presented in most stories, with issue #19 specifying that he has killed approximately 2,000 people. The Punisher: Born also establishes that the Punisher's service in the Vietnam War is still in MAX continuity.
Promotional art for the cover of Punisher #44 (March 2007), gives Frank Castle's birth date as February 16, 1950, but that was removed for the published issues. The story Valley Forge, Valley Forge corroborates this date, referring to Castle as "a twenty one year old Captain" in April 1971.
Another major difference is the complete lack of superheroes and supervillains in the series, although non-superpowered characters from the Punisher's past, most notably Microchip, do make appearances. Nick Fury also makes several notable appearances, with his characterization echoing Ennis's MAX-imprint Fury stories. However, the character Jen Cooke, a social worker, appeared in the Marvel Knights storyline "Hidden". She then appeared in the MAX storyline "Slavers". The character Yorkie Mitchell made appearances in both the Marvel Knights and the MAX Punisher comics.
- "Captain Frank Castle, sole survivor of the Firebase Valley Forge massacre."
- "Although recently Castle has escalated his war on crime even further, with record-breaking body counts, he is paradoxically now rarely encountered in the field by any super hero save Daredevil."
- "It's almost like he inhabits two worlds, one where heroes can capture him and one where they can't, and he can slip from one to the other with ease."
The MAX Punisher often focus on current events, ranging from corporate fraud to sexual slavery, and the War on Terror. Many characters are past or current intelligence and military operatives from governmental agencies like the CIA, KGB, Secret Intelligence Service, SAS, militaries and militias from the Balkans and Middle East, also including the IRA, all with agendas rooted in past conflicts like the Cold War or the Yugoslav wars.
|No.||Title||Cover date||Comic Book Roundup rating||Estimated sales (first month)||Rated|
|#1||In The Beginning Part One||March 2004||9.0 by two professional critics.||56,350, ranked 20th in North America||PAL/EC|
|#2||In The Beginning Part Two||March 2004||6.5 by one professional critic.||49,197, ranked 24th in North America||PAL/EC|
|#3||In The Beginning Part 3|
|#4||In The Beginning Part 4|
|#5||In The Beginning Part 5|
|#6||In The Beginning Part 6: Conclusion|
|#7||Kitchen Irish Part One|
|#8||Kitchen Irish Part Two|
|#9||Kitchen Irish Part Three|
|#10||Kitchen Irish Part Four|
|#11||Kitchen Irish Part Five|
|#12||Kitchen Irish Part Six|
|#13||Mother Russia Part One|
|#14||Mother Russia Part Two|
|#15||Mother Russia Part Three|
|#16||Mother Russia Part Four|
|#17||Mother Russia Part Five|
|#18||Mother Russia Part Six|
|#19||Up is Down and Black is White Part One|
|#20||Up is Down and Black is White Part Two|
|#21||Up is Down and Black is White Part Three|
|#22||Up is Down and Black is White Part Four|
|#23||Up is Down and Black is White Part Five|
|#24||Up is Down and Black is White Conclusion|
|#25||The Slavers Part 1|
|#26||The Slavers Part 2|
|#27||The Slavers Part 3|
|#28||The Slavers Part 4|
|#29||The Slavers Part 5|
|#30||The Slavers Conclusion|
|#31||Barracuda Part One|
|#32||Barracuda Part Two|
|#33||Barracuda Part Three|
|#34||Barracuda Part 4|
|#35||Barracuda Part 5|
|#36||Barracuda Part 6|
|#37||Man of Stone Part One|
|#38||Man of Stone Part Two|
|#39||Man of Stone Part Three|
|#40||Man of Stone Part Four|
|#41||Man of Stone Part Five|
|#42||Man of Stone Conclusion|
|#43||Widowmaker Part 1|
|#44||Widowmaker Part Two|
|#45||Widowmaker Part Three|
|#46||Widowmaker Part Four|
|#47||Widowmaker Part Five|
|#48||Widowmaker Part Six|
|#50||Long Cold Dark Part One|
|#51||Long Cold Dark Part Two|
|#52||Long Cold Dark Part Three|
|#53||Long Cold Dark Part Four|
|#54||Long Cold Dark Conclusion|
|#55||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part One|
|#56||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part Two|
|#57||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part Three|
|#58||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part Four|
|#59||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part Five|
|#60||Valley Forge, Valley Forge Part Conclusion|
|#61||Girls in White Dresses Part One: Quinceañera|
|#62||Girls in White Dresses Part 2: Another Day in Paradise|
|#63||Girls in White Dresses Part 3: She is Dead|
|#64||Girls in White Dresses Part 4: Satan Dust|
|#65||Girls in White Dresses Part 5: Jigsaw|
As of issue 66 the series was officially retitled Frank Castle: The Punisher.
|No.||Title||Cover date||Comic Book Roundup rating||Estimated sales (first month)|
|#66||Six Hours to Kill Chapter One: The Weak End|
|#67||Six Hours to Kill Chapter Two: Field Day|
|#68||Six Hours to Kill Chapter Three: Hour Game|
|#69||Six Hours to Kill Chapter Four: Minute Men|
|#70||Six Hours to Kill Chapter Five: No More Second Chances|
|#71||Welcome to the Bayou|
|#72||Welcome to the Bayou Part 2|
|#73||Welcome to the Bayou Part 3|
|#74||Welcome to the Bayou Conclusion|
- Trade paperbacks
|Vol. 01: In the Beginning||The Punisher MAX #1-6||Garth Ennis||Lewis Larosa||2004||978-0785113911|
|Vol. 02: Kitchen Irish||The Punisher MAX #7-12||Garth Ennis||Leandro Fernandez||2005||978-0785115397|
|Vol. 03: Mother Russia||The Punisher MAX #13-18||Garth Ennis||Dougie Braithwaite||2005||978-0785116035|
|Vol. 04: Up Is Down and Black Is White||The Punisher MAX #19-24||Garth Ennis||Leandro Fernandez||2005||978-0785117315|
|Vol. 05: The Slavers||The Punisher MAX #25-30||Garth Ennis||Leandro Fernandez||2004||978-0785118992|
|Vol. 06: Barracuda||The Punisher MAX #31-36||Garth Ennis||Goran Parlov||2006||978-0785120230|
|Vol. 07: Man of Stone||The Punisher MAX #37-42||Garth Ennis||Leandro Fernandez||2007||978-0785121657|
|Vol. 08: Widowmaker||The Punisher MAX #43-49||Garth Ennis||Lan Medina||2007||978-0785124542|
|Vol. 09: Long Cold Dark||The Punisher MAX #50-54||Garth Ennis||Howard Chaykin (50), Goran Parlov (51-54)||2008||978-0785128144|
|Vol. 10: Valley Forge, Valley Forge||The Punisher MAX #55-60||Garth Ennis||Goran Parlov||2008||978-0785127550|
|Vol. 11: Girls in White Dresses||The Punisher MAX #61-65||Gregg Hurwitz||Laurence Campbell||2009||978-0785125204|
|Vol. 12: Six Hours To Kill||The Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #66-70||Duane Swierczynski||Michael Lacombe||2009||978-0785131823|
|Vol. 13: Welcome to the Bayou||The Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #71-74||Victor Gischler||Goran Parlov||2009||978-0785133780|
|Volume 1||The Punisher MAX #1-12||2005||978-0785118404|
|Volume 2||The Punisher MAX #13-24||2006||978-0785120223|
|Volume 3||The Punisher MAX #25-36||2007||978-0785119814|
|Volume 4||The Punisher MAX #37-49||2007||978-0785114178|
|Volume 5||The Punisher MAX #50-60||2009||978-0785137825|
|Volume 6||The Punisher MAX #61-74||2011||978-0785156567|
- Complete Collection
|Volume 1||Born (#1-4)
In the Beginning (Punisher #1-6)
Kitchen Irish (Punisher #7-12)
|Volume 2||Mother Russia (Punisher #13-18)
Up Is Down and Black Is White (Punisher #19-24)
The Slavers (Punisher #25-30)
|Volume 3||Barracuda (Punisher #31-36)
Man of Stone (Punisher #37-42)
Widowmaker (Punisher #43-49)
|Volume 4||Punisher Presents: Barracuda MAX
Long Cold Dark (Punisher #50-54)
Valley Forge, Valley Forge (Punisher #55-60)
Punisher: The Tyger
Punisher: The Cell
Punisher: The End
|Volume 5||Punisher MAX Annual 2007
Punisher: Force of Nature
Punisher MAX Special: Little Black Book
Girls in White Dresses (Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #61-65)
Six Hours To Kill (Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #66-70)
Welcome to the Bayou (Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #71-74)
Punisher #75 (Dolls, Gateway, Ghoul, Father's Day, Smallest Bit of This)
|Volume 6||Punisher MAX: X-Mas Special
Punisher MAX: Naked Kill
Punisher MAX: Get Castle
Punisher MAX: Butterfly
Punisher MAX: Happy Ending
Punisher MAX: Hot Rods of Death
Punisher MAX: Tiny Ugly World
Untold Tales of the Punisher MAX (#1-5)
- Brady, Matt (July 11, 2007). "Max'ing Out the Future: Axel Alonso Talks Marvel MAX". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009.
- "Punisher War Journal #4 Review". ComiXtreme.
- Punisher #61 (October 2008) at the Comic Book DB
- "Exclusive Preview: Punisher: Frank Castle #66". Newsarama.
- Richards, Dave (January 16, 2009). "Swierczynski On Frank Castle: Punisher". Comic Book Resources.
- Richards, Dave (April 29, 2009). "Swamp Things: Gischler Talks Punisher MAX". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Rogers, Vaneta (June 9, 2009). "Welcome to the Bayou, Frank: Victor Gischler on Punisher MAX". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- Quesada, Joe (July 14, 2009). "Cup O' Joe: Thor, X-Factor, Punisher MAX". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Civil War Files #1 (September 2006)". Marvel.com.
- "PUNISHER MAX #1". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "January 2004 Comic Book Sales Figures". comichron.com. The Comics Chronicles. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "PUNISHER (2004) #1". Marvel.com. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "PUNISHER MAX #2". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "January 2004 Comic Book Sales Figures". comichron.com. The Comics Chronicles. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "PUNISHER (2004) #2". Marvel.com. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "The Punisher Gets Road Rage in 'Punisher Max'"
- "PUNISHER MAX". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved 2017-12-12.