The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank

The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank

by Garth Ennis

The Punisher, aka Frank Castle, returns to Manhattan to take on Ma Gnucchi and her crime family, and on the way he battles The Russian and encounters a vigilante squad composed of Elite, Mr. Payback, and The Holy.

What People Think about "The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank"

Frank Castle aka The Punisher returned to the Big Apple and the worms are starting to run away. The Punisher hates criminals and he plans to eliminate them so beginning with the Gnucci Crime Family is as good point to begin as anyone else, so nothing personal, no sworn vendetta, no secret motives. The Gnucci Crime Family just got the short straw in The Punishers War on Crime. Even Daredevil will mess into Punishers blood path, but maybe the Man without Fear would prefer to stay in Hells Kitchen since Frank isnt in the mood to deal with him. However, wherever The Punisher goes, mayhem follows him, so the apartment building may turn into a war zone, more than once, but dont worry for good ol Frank, since his pals are there to back him up not, really! WHAT PSYCHO SEE, PSYCHO DO Maybe The Punisher wasnt actually the role model for certain outlaw abiding citizens but you cant blame the media if they think that Frank Castles work was the inspiration for a sudden vigilante viral spree where three different individuals started to show their own particular hate against specific kind of criminals The Holy: A priest in the Spanish Harlem who is killing with an axe (yep) to any schmuck dumb enough to go to his church to tell him their crimes and expecting an absolution.

I was never a fan of the Punisher but I read this series in single issues as it came out because I was a huge fan of Preacher, and consequently, the tag team of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. The Punisher disposes of the Gnucci family in some creative ways, such as using piranhas and polar bears. Soap and Molly, and all the Punisher's neighbors are a lot more fleshed out than I'd expect in a comic that's primarily about criminals getting mowed down by a vigilante.

Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank was my first exposure to the wonderfully twisted and violently deranged mind of Garth Ennis. I thought I had forever labeled Frank Castle as a B-list character with sporadic glimmers of potential greatness. This was the seed that ultimately blossomed into Enniss defining run on Punisher Max. While this book, much like Garths work on Preacher, has more of a dark comedic feel to it than the Max series, Castles inner voice clearly started out here. Many of whom continue to appear throughout his Marvel Knights Punisher run. I really appreciated the way that Garth resisted using Marvel heroes extensively throughout his run on this title. Welcome Back Frank is what started this fan-boy on his pilgrimage towards seeking out all of Garths extensive catalog of work. This is the place where Garth started to cut out his own little corner of the Marvel Universe. As for Welcome Back Frank, its deliciously violent ridiculousness and the start of something really, really special.

Garth Ennis literally brings the Punisher back to life after the godawful previous Marvel Knights Punisher books made him some sort of avenging angel with ethereal guns that glowed after he committed suicide.

Ennis and Dillon have a great time making books like this, what with weirdo asides like Spacker Dave to keep the story from getting too grim. A simple mess-around with a mob guy who wanted to use Murdock's love of the law in his favour, Ennis tarts it up with a great treatise on the fundamental difference between the Punisher and Daredevil's way of achieving justice. This guy knows more gruesome ways to kill people than I'd ever imagined - all sorts of tricks with military weaponry, simple extreme torments, ugly fantasies of taking out people who really aren't that likeable. In a way, this book reads like a sicko's version of the Three Stooges. In a way this is a clear, simple book. I'm taking my original rating down a peg, but this is still a great Ennis book.

The Gnucci gangster family, the taskforce created to take down the Punisher, 3 copycat vigilantes, and a mad Russian make up this excellent comic book and continually set Frank up with a number of entertaining challenges to take out in increasingly entertaining ways (death by fat guy is the funniest). Engaging, entertaining, fantastic action, compelling story, Ennis deserves all the credit for reinstating a fantastic character to his glory.

My second Punisher read, as he embarks on a one-man mission to take down the Gnucci crime family! And the wonderful issue "The Devil by the Horns", which pairs him against Daredevil in a riveting scene known as "The Choice" and which was adapted pitch-perfectly to the Netflix series: (Also, other small touches that made it into the TV show: Frank hiding in plain sight in a crappy diner, baseball cap pulled low over his face.) I'm not a huge fan of Steve Dillon's art here -- I felt like his cartoony style worked a bit better in Hellblazer because John Constantine is a nonstop wisecracking troll, unlike the more grim straight-man that is Frank Castle -- but it's fine.

Ennis' landmark work to date is the 66-issue epic Preacher, which he co-created with artist Steve Dillon. While Preacher was running, Ennis began a series set in the DC universe called Hitman. Other comics Ennis has written include War Story (with various artists) for DC; The Pro for Image Comics; The Authority for Wildstorm; Just a Pilgrim for Black Bull Press, and 303, Chronicles of Wormwood (a six issue mini-series about the Antichrist), and a western comic book, Streets of Glory for Avatar Press. In June 2008, at Wizard World, Philadelphia, Ennis announced several new projects, including a metaseries of war comics called Battlefields from Dynamite made up of mini-series including Night Witches, Dear Billy and Tankies, another Chronicles of Wormwood mini-series and Crossed both at Avatar, a six-issue miniseries about Butcher (from The Boys) and a Punisher project reuniting him with artist Steve Dillon (subsequently specified to be a weekly mini-series entitled Punisher: War Zone, to be released concurrently with the film of the same name).