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The Best Punisher Storylines To Get To Know Frank Castle

List RulesVote up the Punisher comic book story arcs every fan must read

Ever since Frank Castle stormed the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1974, he's grown to become one of the most popular superheroes in comic book history. He's been everything from a villain to a hero, and even a cosmic Ghost Rider, but if there's any word that best described the man, it's vigilante. After his family was brutally slain, he swore to return the same level of punishment to anyone he came across who fit the definition of a bad guy. This has put him at odds with Spider-Man, Captain America, and many more characters in the Marvel Universe, yet Castle continues his mission to punish the wicked with the many skills and weapons available to him. He even gets to wear the War Machine armor at one point.

Over the 40+ years he's been fighting bad guys (and some good) in the Marvel Universe, there have been tons of comic books, great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shot books about Punisher, making it hard to determine which is the best of Punisher's greatest adventures. This list attempts the impossible by narrowing the best down to the top 20. You can also use this list as a Punisher reading guide.

Check out the stories listed below, and if you see your favorites, vote them up. Then check back to see which of these comics is the best Punisher story ever told!


  • 1

    In The Beginning

    Story Found In: Punisher MAX #1-6

    Details: Writer Garth Ennis and artist Lewis LaRosa hopped on the Frank Castle train to steer him in a new MAX direction with as much explicit content as the Punisher deserves.

    The Punisher, a hunter more than anything else, has gone on the run as he's the latest target in the crime-riddled city. Of course, it's not who you think it might be, but Micro is back in town, and he's got an offer for Frank he'd be foolish to refuse.

    The latest MAX series explodes with adult content for the mature reader, and Ennis's words take the reader straight to the heart of what makes Frank Castle the Punisher we all live in fear of pissing off!

    A great storyline?
  • 2

    The Slavers

    Story Found In: Punisher #25-30

    Details: Frank Castle has no tolerance for evil people, so when he takes out a group of Albanian thugs threatening a young woman, it's barely a blip on his radar. That is, of course, until she tells him her story.

    The young woman is Viorica, and she's from Moldavia. She tells Frank a story about the men he dispatched, and more importantly, the people that employ them. Before long, the killing really begins, and Frank takes the fight to some truly despicable people.

    A great storyline?
  • 3


    Story Found In: Born #1-4

    Details: Towards the close of the Vietnam War, the Punisher was born. The year was 1971, and mounting casualties alongside a growing anti-war sentiment isn't making the combat easier for the boots on the ground.

    One pair of those boots belong to Captain Frank Castle, as he's assigned to the isolated Valley Forge Fire Base on the Cambodian Border. See the combat and the casualties that engrained the training and temperament Castle would use years later to become the Punisher in this incredible story written by Garth Ennis.

    A great storyline?
  • 4

    Up Is Down, Black Is White

    Story Found In: Punisher #19-24

    Details: One of the most notorious gangsters in America has returned, and this time, he's coming for Frank Castle, where he least expects Nicky Cavella to turn up.

    Nicky rebrands himself with a nasty and notoriously unspeakable act that puts him right on the top of Frank's "To-Do" list, which is to say, the Punisher is gunning for nobody but Nicky. You can bet he's going to be prepared for whatever the Punisher brings his way.

    A great storyline?