Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank” as Want to Read:
The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank (The Punisher 2000 #1)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  2,657 ratings  ·  61 reviews
A white skull on a field of black.

In the Marvel Universe, no symbol inspires fear in the hearts of criminals like the stark calling card of the Punisher. His wife and children killed in a mob shootout, former serviceman Frank Castle wages a one-man war on crime, and he won't stop until he's won no matter how many bullets it takes.

Originally a character who rose to popu

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Marvel Comics (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Punisher, Vol. 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Punisher, Vol. 1

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The BOOK was BETTER than the MOVIE
391st out of 1,215 books — 16,901 voters
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
249th out of 1,824 books — 4,185 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
'kris Pung
This was just nuts and the ending was totally unexpected. I swear I've picked this up about 5 times thumbed through it and set it back on the library shelf. Really glad I gave it a chance this time.
Puerile, brutal, entirely to the point with the scum. Narration feels a little off compared to the silent feral animal that we've seen before and later, but I'll let it pass since it's so to the point.

The violence at the beginning is pretty over the top with some cheesy Ahnold-style one-liners, so it takes a little time to get past Ennis' contract with the reader. And it's a bit hard to have to look at Frank's face by Steve Dillon and not think, "Who pissed in Frank's cereal, shat in his shoes
Sam Quixote
Garth Ennis is rightly credited with bringing the Punisher series back to life with his interpretation of the character and writing his best work and some of the Punisher's best books. "Welcome Back, Frank" is Ennis' first book that takes Frank Castle from bizarre and frankly boring stories about angels and Heaven, and putting Frank back on the streets with a gun in his hand pointed at gangsters, where he belongs.

Ennis writes in his "mission statement" that he wanted to simplify the Punisher's
Moving into the new millenium, the Marvel Comics character Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher, was not in a good place. Part of his problem was that he didn’t really fit with the rest of the Marvel pantheon of heroes and villains–he wore the standard-issue spandex, but that take on the character seemed just a little… For the unitiated, Frank Castle was one of the last American troops out of Vietnam when we jumped ship, finally returning home for good at the end of his third tour of duty. Soon ...more
João  Cardeira Jorge
Aug 09, 2013 João Cardeira Jorge rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Punisher or Ennis fans!
Shelves: comic, super-heroes
“Welcome Back, Frank” is a funny and entertaining Punisher story. Written by the wacky Garth Ennis, this is like an 80´s action flick, with one liners and loads of cartoonish violence. In fact what I found was that the whole volume was far too cartoonish, from the cheery art and colors to the lack of significant gore or any truly shocking moments. Everything here was written and drawn to look cool and I guess that´s okay. The comic is very light on plot and there is no attempt to touch anything ...more
Bram Ryckaert
Welcome Back Frank is one of the funniest comics I've read full stop. No one does this type of hardcore action comedy better than Garth Ennis. If you liked Preacher, you have to try out his Punisher.
Garth Ennis applies his mix of Horror and Humour to Frank Castle.

The story focuses on The Punisher generally being a bad ass and doing his usual of eliminating those he considers to be evil, in this case it's Ma Gnucci and her family. Conversely, copycat vigilantes have come into existence with a murdering priest who kills those confessing to him, an upper class individual calling himself Elite who 'cleanses' his neighbourhood of anyone he deems undesirable (which is anyone from drug dealers to
This had been marked as one of the best punisher comics of all time but i felt the story was weak the subplots with soap and the three vigilantes were completely a waste of a time and should of never been in the story there is no character development for frank castle it just shows him killing criminals with violence that you cant take seriously and i was disappointed any of the war journal stories from the 80s are more enjoyable then this like wolverine vs punisher or final countdown both those ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heath Lowrance
It's a fact that writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon made the Punisher interesting for the first time in the character's career. Frank Castle and his stories were derivative and predictable from the beginning, and his popularity with comic readers in the '80's died off quickly in the '90's. Every attempt to bring him back in a new series ended with failure.

Until Ennis and Dillon. This was the Punisher we all wanted, and didn't even know it. What they gave us: ultra-violence, the blackest
Sergei Moska
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This one is an esnetial classic in the Punisher series. It's the kind of definitive reboot that reimagines and reinvigorates a series like The Dark Knight Returns did for Batman. That said there were no more capable hands for a reboot of this nature than those of Garth Ennis. Dillon and Palmotti (who have worked on the excellent Jonah Hex revamped series) are also in top form. I think the best aspect of this work is that we get all the hard R rated mayhem we'd expect from Ennis, but with the add ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Garth Ennis is pretty explicit in his somewhat wussed-out "In Defence of... the Punisher" preface here, saying nobody takes the politics or the body count seriously, it's all entertainment. ("Not a complex analysis of the causes of crime, not a portrait of one man's tragic descent into murderous psychosis..." etc., I think he's fibbing) So he plays it for laughs: crazy feats of throwing humans off a skyscraper, Frank's nemesis mauled by a bear and turned into a torso, comical obese neighbor can' ...more
Serial  Saudi_00
Not a big fan of Garth Eniss , saying that , i got to point out , that i usually try to avoid his books from time to time .just because of how offending and violent it gets . but i got to say that i couldn't help it , for having an only exception with his punisher books . that for whatever disgusting character he create we always know that frank is going to blow the hell out of it in the end .

Reaching welcome back frank , I cant believe why i never heard of this book in the first place , it got
Nov 17, 2007 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cool dudes, Charles Bronson
I think this is the first great Punisher graphic novel. I always loved Punisher comics, Punisher Armory, Punisher Invades the Nam, and so on, but most of those books were utter crap with guns. Okay, there were great lines, such as "The elbow is a simple joint, meant to move on a specific plane. I changed that," as he snaps some dude's arm. Usually, his best appearances were in other comic books, where he and the superhero in question would have the same damn argument about the morality of his vi ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Jack rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jack by: My ten-year-old self, who loved this crap.
Shelves: comics
I was a huge fan of the Punisher when I was a kid, and I checked this book out from the library to try to remember why. It was written by Garth Ennis with art by Steve Dillon, the kick-ass creative team behind the Preacher series, so I thought it might be fun.

The thing is, Punisher's not fun. He's sadistic and twisted and motivated purely by hate. This makes spending 12 issues of a comic book series (or even one issue) really disturbing to me now (after making a Punisher Halloween costume when I
Sean Kennedy
I have never read a Punisher title before, as the concept didn't really appeal to me. But I have to say I was surprised with this title at how much I enjoyed it. It is probably the dark humour within it that cinches the deal - after all, besides numerous guns there's also death by polar bears. I also enjoyed the more 'human' side of the story where Frank Castle unwittingly gets involved with the tenants of his building.
I didn't expect to enjoy reading a Punisher story this much. Especially having just finished reading Grant Morrison's "Skrull Kill Krew," which also portrays with mindlessly violent vigilantism. I've always found Morrison's insight and humility to make for far superior comics compared to Ennis (For example, Ennis writes his own foreward to this particular volume, and fills it with more flattery than is expected in most comic book forewards written by third parties.), but this simple story of a m ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Nicholas added it
Shelves: modern-marvel
Would love to read. Unfortunately, Marvel Unlimited is missing huge chunks from several volumes of the Punisher title. I think the only volume that's complete is the one that begins in 2008. That's worse than the Spiderman collection.
Another one of my all-time favourites, this book still manages to make me laugh out loud, even though I've lost count of how many times I've read it. Something that people should know about this book is that it's almost as funny as it is violent. Garth Ennis has found the perfect combination of these two usually mutually exclusive elements. It also has what most Punisher books don't have, which is a feel-good moment (near the end, for Joan, Dave, and Mr.Bumpo).

Ennis & Dillon re-teamed years
I take a perverse pleasure in watching Garth Ennis apply his twisted comedy and grotesquery to superheroes. The Punisher for me, however, has always been something of a one-note character, and it takes Ennis & Dillon's approach here to change that for me. There are more hilarious death scenes than I can ever imagine. Frank punching a polar bear to piss it off enough to eat the mobsters on his tail? Priceless. To say nothing of Ennis's new addition, Detective Soap, a cop so unlucky to have be ...more
This book is why the Punisher is my favorite comic book character. Garth Ennis turned him from a one-dimensional vigilante who likes to rib Daredevil and Spiderman from time to time, into a complex, bitter man who is a joy to watch, both pulling the punches and taking them. It's a DAMNED shame what happened with the Punisher movie. How can you have such outstanding source material and then change the main baddie from an unholy bitch of a Granny boss into John Fucking Travolta. It's not right.
If you've read Ennis and Dillon's earlier collaboration Preacher, you know what to expect. Certain scenes have transported me to my first reading of the Preacher. NEvertheless, this duo is perfectly suited for the brutal and relentless nature of the Punisher and Ennis's perverse nature shows as the Punisher is thrown in unusual scenarios.

Ennis, Dillion, and Palmiotti's now "Classic" first 12 issues of the Punisher (hard-bound in a lovely Marvel reprint fashion) make just as good reading the second time and years later.
i.e. I already read this years ago and I am still giving it 5 stars.

Amongst all the artists teamed up with the wonderfully twisted Garth Ennis, no-one else captures both the Horror AND the Comedy quite so well as Dillon and Palmiotti!

Sick FUN!
Welcome Back, Frank is a return to Punisher as he was intended to be. Marvel tried to pull some stupid bullshit with making The Punisher some mystical, avenging angel. This brings him back as what he was intended to be. A methodical serial killer who goes after only criminals.

Merged review:

Ennis on the Punisher is fantastic. I absolutely love this series and he started it out very strong with the first several issues.
This was my first Punisher experience. For a while there it didn't appear to have too much plot other than some guy going around killing baddies, which is fine, but it did evolve into some classic hero/villain storylines. This has great art and some pretty funny violence such as throwing a guy in a tank of piranhas and drop kicking a woman with no arms or legs. Brainless and good.
Brian Hodges
I kind of expected more considering this was penned by the guy who did "Preacher." But Preacher actually had a deeper plot going on amidst all the carnage. This was pretty much carnage for carnage's sake. Sure some of the carnage was fun as hell, but after awhile it just got tiresome with characters you really couldn't care less about. Still, bonus star for pretty kickass artwork.
This is The Punisher as it should be - dark, gritty, violent. Frank is not a superhero wannabe KISS look-alike like the Frank Castle I was introduced to in the 90s. He's a believable vigilante bent on finding and killing the people who murdered his family. A real Punisher for a new millenium. (And no white knee hight boots!!)
Imma be honest, this is the first Punisher anything I've consumed with my eyeballs, so I have nothing to compare it to. But I like the premise, enjoyed the hell out of this graphic novel, & look forward to getting into more of it (movies included, even if Marvel can be hit or miss with film adaptations).
Emmanuel Reyes
I love this book because of its amazing action if you read it carefully and if you like this type of action it will coe so vivid in your mind it is amazing to read a book that makes you say " oohh " it shows me how i can write what i want with more feel to it like more than just reading. 5/5
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Daredevil, Vol. 1: Guardian Devil
  • PunisherMAX, Vol. 1: Kingpin
  • Daredevil Legends, Vol. 2: Born Again
  • Daredevil Legends, Vol. 1: Yellow
  • The Punisher, Vol. 1
  • Daredevil, Vol. 5: Out
  • The Immortal Iron Fist, Vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story
  • Daredevil, Vol. 2: Parts of a Hole
  • Animal Man, Vol. 3: Deus ex Machina
  • Marvel Universe Vs. the Punisher
  • The Ultimates
  • Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt
  • Wolverine: Weapon X (Marvel Premiere Classic)
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
  • The Authority, Vol. 1: Relentless
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...
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

Share This Book