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The Punisher MAX, Vol. 1 (The Punisher MAX #1-2)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  1,408 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Prepare to be punished! For the first time ever, Marvel's one-man-army takes center stage in a no-holds-barred Mature Readers series! Writer Garth Ennis and artist Lewis LaRosa take Punisher to the MAX - literally - as the hunter becomes the hunted! Frank Castle's old associate Micro is back, and he's after Frank. But first, he's got an offer for Frank that he'd better not ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 15th 2007 by Marvel (first published 2004)
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The PUNISHER is one of my favorites from comicdom. Who else could EVER get away with shooting WOLVERINE in the marble sack like this…?

I like that Frank Castle is more willing to “fight fire with napalm” in dealing with the scum of the criminal underworld. So when Garth Ennis, writer god of the all things comic, took over the title and created the Definitive Punisher character, I was brimming with happy. His The Punisher: Born was the best origin story since the Book of Genesis and is among the
Quentin Wallace
When Garth Ennis first started writing the Punisher, he did it with some humor. I think the idea of writing about such a violent character in a PG environment seemed a little silly to him, and it came through in the storylines. Not that it wasn't good, but it just had a bit of a different vibe to it.

However, when he started writing the MAX series, which is for mature readers, he changed his tone. This is dark, violent and gritty, just the way the character should be written! The Punisher doesn't
I haven't read a lot of the punisher's various series but this grim, nasty Garth Ennis work just might be the penultimate punisher series. I think what really clicks, aside from the excellent art work, is that it pulls no punches in depicting how cold blooded and steadfastly resolute Frank Castle is in punishing criminals. And Ennis is not sanctimonious in this depiction or moralizing or trying psychoanalyse the man. He's starkly and very satisfyingly depicting the Punisher's ruthless war of att ...more
Ismael Galvan
This is the Punisher. He's a killing machine whose only purpose in life is to take it away. In the first couple of pages he's already wasting bad guys. Heads are blowing apart in detail. Guts are flinging through the air like confetti. God bless him.

I don't want some sissy rendition like the first Marvel movie (not the 80's one which is cool). Under no circumstances should the Punisher ever talk about his feeling. First off, the man has none whatsoever. This collection portrayed him truthfully a
Really really good. Will certainly continue with this.
Graphic and expletive laden the MAX run of The Punisher is definitely one of my favorites. I dunno what it is about Garth Ennis but I love his stuff.His level of ultra violence is so graphic and at times hilarious i found this one hard to put down. Love the older super dark and gritty take on Frank Castle.This book makes The Punisher killing machine truly made from the stuff of nightmares. The supporting characters were entertaining and down right offensive at points.I dug what they did with the ...more
Serial  Saudi_00
" Fighting for the people who run the world gets you stabbed in the back , you fight the wars they start and feed , you kill the monster they create , you die handling depleted uranium while they get rich on oil "

Really this book amazed me (not the media sheep I expected it to be) . Not to forget all the action that is packed here , the opening sequence were frank blow up the mansion was so mind dead unforgettable . Other than that there is a nice story here combined with awesome visuals and bl
Steven Matview
Garth Ennis reinvigorated the Punisher character with his Marvel Knights run, bringing him back from a brief stint as an angel (don’t ask) as bringing him back to his 70s action hero roots. The Knights run came right after Ennis’ creator-owned Preacher series and kept the same over the top action and humor that can be described a juvenile (in the best way possible).

That run was fun, but the MAX Punisher issues is where Ennis really shines.

John Wayne was an actor best known for portraying cowboys
This...THIS is how it's done. After a lot of BS about graphic novels being for adults for the past thirty years, finally one that delivers. Rock on, Frank Castle, and keep your powder dry!
Arron Tierney
A work colleague suggested I pick this up after I mentioned I'd read the Punisher Bullseye line back in 2006 and was curious to read more about the character. I was not disappointed. Punisher MAX lives up to its reputation as a brutal series that I'm shocked Marvel even allowed to be published with their name on it. It's shocking, gory, unadulterated escapism at it's best. Don't let that put you off if you're after a good story though - there's a depth of character and morality struggle at play ...more
Murf Reeves
Holy crap is this some serious graphic novel reading. What is so interesting about his character is his moral code, so represented by ultra violence, yet coming from a dark place of love for his lost family. The grief has rotted and become his inspiration for ridding the world of crime by violent means. And as he uses violence it inevitably leads him to violent situations, and characters. The intertwining of his soldier past, also links a military loyalty to his cause and the ideal of completing ...more
Jonathan Schildbach
Too Damn Much. With each of two storylines containing severed genitals and women who freely speak in the most vulgar terms about their sexual preferences and/or history of molestation (and speak of little else) as well as constant explicit violence, this volume leaves a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. It is almost as if Garth Ennis, rather than being told that he was free to use more "adult" language and to include more graphic violence, was told instead that he was REQUIRED to use more "adult" ...more
Warning: this is ultra-violent gutter noir focusing on the lowest of lowlifes. This is the dark underbelly of the world, as gritty as ground glass rubbed into road rash. If that's not your cup of tea, then you shouldn't be reading something called "The Punisher."

I just got this book yesterday and I burned through it in two sittings, one for each story arc. Forget that this is The Punisher, who is part of the Marvel Universe of superheroes, sorcerers and supervillains, these two stories are extre
Damn, Garth Ennis was born to write the Punisher.
This is what the MAX imprint is there for, to take a comic like this and make it extreme, like it would be, with no worries about censorship.
This consists of the first 2 stories: In the Beginning (1-6) and Kitchen Irish (7-12).

In the Beginning concerns the origins in some ways of the Punisher, and shows Frank taking out a large chunk of Mafioso family, and the chaos that results...lots of bodies, lots of mayhem and carnage, and we see just how bad
Jake Thomas
Jun 25, 2007 Jake Thomas rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Ass Kicking
Shelves: comicbooks
I love Garth Ennis. I love Punisher. I love Garth Ennis writing Punisher. Ennis is a king of creating large, outlandish characters, putting them in a pot and boiling them until he creates a delicious stew of madness. Just look at the second story arc of this collection, "Kitchen Irish." First of all, you've got Ennis, Irish himself, writing about Irish politics and the mindset that has kept some of the more self-destructive elements alive all these years in a way that is uniquely Ennis. The cast ...more
So begins Garth Ennis' darkest take on the Punisher. Ditching his comedic elements completely, Ennis starts a complex examination of a sociopath, a man who's stated goal is to avenge the mob killings of his family by waging a one-man war against crime. However, Ennis paints a darkly sadistic picture instead, showing that something happened to Frank Castle in Vietnam that made his transformation into the Punisher inevitable. Electrifying reading for non-Marvel fans as well as current ones and the ...more
A fantastic read, a very noir-feel in the first 6-issue arc, and Ennis starts to shine in the last six issues - the Kitchen Irish arc. As a huge fan of preacher I was given all the fan service I needed from Garth Ennis, it's always nice to see him writing Irish characters. I didn't give this book a five however because the Kitchen Irish arc could have ended a little better. It felt shorter than it should have been, a bunch of interesting characters were introduced and (view spoiler) ...more
Coming off of the first four Preacher volumes, I knew Garth Ennis and The Punisher were a match made in comic book heaven, and this did not disappoint. This book jumps late into Frank Castle's career. He's an old and broken man, driven by his rage to end violence in the greater New York area. Ennis managed to create an absolutely brutal tale, mixed with his hilarious black humor that made Preacher so great. This marks the first time I've read a Marvel story so dark and brutal.

My only complaint i
Cory Rathbun
I haven't read much of The Punisher previously, mostly during crossovers with other things, but the avenging angel version of Castle always intrigued me. It's just so different from most other stories. I like the art, I like the writing, will be reading more.
Jun 05, 2008 Vivek rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Punisher fans, of course
Shelves: comic-books
Not bad, but could have been much better, especially since after his superb work on the "Preacher" series, The Punisher line seems a perfect fit.

Fans will find enough here to please them in the two stories collected in this hardcover edition - plenty of violence and action, as well as passable plots and some glimmers of Frank Castle - but again, I couldn't help noticing how much better it could have been. It could have surely benefited from diverting some time from violence (and still had plenty
Apr 15, 2008 Adam rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
This was really disappointing. Garth Ennis writing The Punisher for Marvel's MAX imprint (the "mature readers"--a.k.a. boobs and blood--line) seems like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, freed from the restriction of not being able to use curse words or show heads blowing up, Ennis came up with two six-issue story arcs that were nothing but curse words and heads blowing up. And when I say "nothing but," I mean literally, "nothing but." Sure, it's fun for a few pages, but after the thrill of ...more
The Punisher's always fascinated me as a character - insane, brutal, a murderer, and yet he's been on the "good side" for decades, one of the "heroes" that's lost it all... I've read some random Punisher comics in the mid 90s, later I've seen him appearing in other Marvel comis where it's been fun to see how none of the other Marvel characters would really feel comfortable around that guy, now with my newly discovered addiction for graphic novels and comics I've decided to pick one of the Punish ...more
Angus Stirling
Ugly, senseless, over-the-top brutality for idiots.
I've never liked Punisher as a character and never really appreciated Garth Ennis as a writer, so when this was recommended by a friend I didn't have high hopes, but somehow, out of nowhere a Three Dimensional character emerged and the stories were gritty and grimy and...perfect. This turned out to be a series I couldn't put down. Ennis sets Punisher in a world we can identify with, makes his villains hard-ass bastards and makes Punisher rise to the challenges in a believable way. The series is ...more
Pretty darn well done.
This book collects the first twelve issues of the series The Punisher, published by Marvel under its MAX line.

The MAX line, which is designed to the graphic violence, swearing, and sex in an explicit fashion, lends itself nicely to The Punisher, one of the most violent Marvel figures.

I really enjoyed this book. The character of the Punisher comes through very well; you get his emotions and his motives.

This story is a great way for new people to get into the character.

I look forward to reading Vo
Mar 20, 2011 Tom rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
So the Punisher is a bad ass in the normal marvel universe. In this one, people can swear, talk about sex and be mutilated beyond recognition. I just reread this book and had the same impression I did before. It just isn't interesting. Ennis does well with his usual violence and the art is typical of more lifelike drawings with thick outlines and shading. In general, Frank Castle is cool, but the stories he is involved in here just don't thrill me. Unless you're a hardcore Punisher fan, skip thi ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garth Ennis likes violence and twisted tales, so who better to tell the tales of the Punisher than him? Frank's former partner Linus (Microchip) Liberman is back, and trying to get Frank to work for the government. Seeing as Frank enjoys his freedom - and hates anyone trying to screw him over - the bloody battle over the Punisher begins!
More gorey for gore's sake rather than put something across to the reader. It felt like looking at a wall from Doom or Quake to be honest. Some of the characters would be fit better in badly written cop shows than in a Punisher issue. However this is only volume 1 and the series does get much better
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Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting ch ...more
More about Garth Ennis...

Other Books in the Series

The Punisher MAX (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 1: In the Beginning
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 2: Kitchen Irish
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 3: Mother Russia
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 4: Up is Down and Black is White
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 5: The Slavers
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 6: Barracuda
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 7: Man of Stone
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 8: Widowmaker
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 9: Long Cold Dark
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 10: Valley Forge, Valley Forge
Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World Preacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans Preacher, Volume 9: Alamo Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun

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