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

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  3,644 Ratings  ·  113 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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Jul 15, 2016 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
The Punisher is back from the dead and ready to take out the Gnucci family. Meanwhile, the unluckiest cop in NYC is on his trail and several copycat vigilantes have arisen.

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.

It's not Preacher set in the Marvel Universe but it has some of the same flavor. There's a lot of humor for a Punisher book and the usual
Sep 26, 2015 Lono rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank was my first exposure to the wonderfully twisted and violently deranged mind of Garth Ennis. The Punisher was always a character I wanted to like, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. All I could picture forever was Dolph Lundgren’s corny ass. That monosyllabic version of Frank still gives me the shits. Frank always fell at least a little short of the hardcore killer I wanted him to be. Dirty Harry wouldn’t use rubber bullets. Rubber bullets are for pussys. I thoug ...more
May 13, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
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
Oct 16, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
My second Punisher read, as he embarks on a one-man mission to take down the Gnucci crime family! It's a bit of a mixed bag, in that it doesn't seem as good as the later MAX series, but there's still some good stuff here: Frank's cautious relationship with the other residents of his apartment building, his connection to them despite his intent to remain a brooding loner. The Punisher accidentally inspiring a wave of over-the-top vigilantes who want to emulate him in cleaning up their neighbourho ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 08, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
'kris Pung
Oct 31, 2014 'kris Pung rated it really liked it
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.
Brenda Burns
Jul 12, 2015 Brenda Burns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cool-comics
I really like Garth Ennis, he has some kind of brutality to him.
Punisher is back, not sure where he went but he's back and after the Gnucci family. While he is running through Ma Gnucci's men there are 3 wannabees out killing who they think to be bad guys, and they are, corporate scum bags and drug dealers.
Well when Ma Gnucci calls in the Russian to deal with the vigilante and when the Russian finds him, it takes hot pizza and a really fat guy to kill the monster Russian. The supporting charac
Rituraj Kashyap
Sep 23, 2016 Rituraj Kashyap rated it really liked it

An enjoyable read. I could see that the 2004 movie took some inspiration from this one, and even the scene in Season 2 of Daredevil in which Frank ties up Daredevil and gives him a choice has been taken from this story.

After Preacher and this one, Ennis is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. Took me some time to get used to Dillon's art in Preacher, but did not face any such problem in this book.

There were some pretty badass moments, but sometimes it felt like the character is a bit ove
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
Paul Mirek
"He kills criminals because he hates them. It's not exactly brain surgery."

In a genre often criticized for its slavish dedication to the status quo, the Punisher may be the worst offender. There's only one story to tell when you put a gun in the hands of an idealist, and Frank Castle's been running through the same narrative paces for decades.
But Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon share a "secret" in this opening arc of their multi-year run that was all but neglected previously: Frank Castle doesn't
João  Cardeira Jorge
Aug 09, 2013 João Cardeira Jorge rated it liked it  ·  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 80s 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 thats okay. The comic is very light on plot and there is no attempt to touch anything re ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Marcela rated it it was amazing
Ennis is one of my favorite comic book writers, and it's not for his insane shock value, though that can be fun also. He's one of the industry's best at telling a story that perfectly merges art and writing; his books strike a perfect balance between showing and telling, the holy grail of comic book creation. Not once did I feel lost in following along (which I sometimes have problems with in big organized crime storylines), and even the more exposition-heavy panels were there for a purpose. As ...more
Christian Smith
Feb 25, 2016 Christian Smith rated it really liked it
Now this is a Punisher comic. though the story line was a bit lacking, over all it was very entertaining.
-very entertaining
-finally the real Punisher we all know and love
-the art makes everyone look really ugly
-story line was a bit lacking of substance
-the Punisher kill Marvel Universe story at the end was way to short. they should have turned it into a big event.
Jul 24, 2012 Martin rated it it was amazing
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
Bram Ryckaert
Nov 13, 2014 Bram Ryckaert rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 08, 2016 Tomás rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Garth Ennis en su mejor momento, escribiendo, quizás, al único personaje de Marvel con el cual se siente cómodo. Un comic muy entretenido, repleto de acción y un humor negro tan visceral que te sentís un poco mala persona mientras te reís a más no poder.

Vale aclarar que Ennis crea una especie de comedia de tiros y mafiosos que no aburre nunca ni baja el listón en ninguno de sus 12 números. Si lo que estás buscando es el lado más serio de este autor a cargo de Punisher, lo mejor sería leer la ser
Nick Veldey
I can't claim impartiality when it comes to Garth Ennis' work, specifically his work on The Punisher. I own all but one volume of his work on the MAX imprint for The Punisher and love his work on the character. To my surprise, I recently discovered that one of the first comic books I ever owned actually came from this arc (issue #10, if you were curious). I say this to inform the reader that despite my best efforts to remain impartial that I probably failed over the course of this review. You've ...more
May 05, 2016 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Welcome Back, Frank is one of those stories that I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone who enjoys movies like The Expendables. Both exist largely to give audiences all the mayhem and violence that they could possibly want with some cheesy humor thrown in there for good measure. What makes this Punisher story stand out however is Ennis’ and Dillon’s understanding of both sides of the character: the hard boiled but still human part that is Frank Castle and the one man army of vengeance that i ...more
Apr 02, 2016 Stanley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, comics
This was a fantastic read that would make for a perfect summer blockbuster. You could see where it probably influenced Season 2 of Daredevil on Netflix, but could also be its own thing.

It is so bombastically over-the-top and a whole lotta fun. You see Frank taking people down with a variety of guns and knives, a flame thrower, and even the residents of the central park zoo.

The main focus of the story is Frank zeroing in on one of the many crime families and deciding to wipe them out. Meanwhile t
Nov 02, 2011 Sonic rated it it was amazing
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!
Jimmy Briggs
Jun 28, 2015 Jimmy Briggs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-comic
Garth Ennis crack me up. The characters he comes up with and the situations he puts them in, not to forget their names. A obese man named Mr. Bumpo, who is too big to fit out his door so Frank has to pull him out as he walks past, the guy ends up breaking a toilet and also a heart attack and they have to carry him out the side of the appt complex where the NYFD have made a large hole.
Spaker Dave is a kid who is looking to be so different that he pierces his face, a lot. Talk about overkill, as a
Jordan Lahn
Jun 30, 2016 Jordan Lahn rated it it was amazing
OK, I see why Garth Ennis's run is considered the ultimate Punisher. This is a really good Punisher story. Maybe a little cartoony towards the end when The Russian enters the picture, but really captures the unstoppable force of nature that Frank Castle embodies.
Alain Burrese
Jul 12, 2015 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I brought home a couple of Punisher graphic novels from the library for some fun escapism reading. They both delivered. This one, Welcome Back Frank, is a collection of The Punisher vol 3, issues 1-12, and was a fun read with a good story line and excellent art work. I hadn't read any Punisher comics for some time, and really enjoyed reading this.

It in great having the complete story in one book, and it's a good story. The most noticeable thing is how it weaves in the characters and a few thing
Alex Firer
Aug 15, 2015 Alex Firer rated it it was amazing
It's unbelievable how ambitious these corporate comics were for a hot minute in the early aughts, and just as odd that they've reverted to their original mode of fast food escapism. Ah well. This was grotesque, terrible, and lovely. Ennis makes no bones about the Punisher being a repulsive concept for garbage fascists. Is he the first to do so? His repulsiveness makes him so unique-- it's so much more complex and contemporary than any other superhero on the stands-- as if Marvel dug through its ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Shaw
Aug 28, 2016 John Shaw rated it it was amazing
This amazing story arc is
from one of the
greatest creative teams
in comics Ennis & Dillon
These are the same brilliant maniacs
behind the Preacher.
Frank Castle lost his family to
stray bullets from a mob hit
overcome with rage he
becomes the PUNISHER
exacting a bloody path of revenge
across the streets
killing criminals.
In this series Castle goes after
a mob family piece by piece
Showcasing many iconic
Punisher moments
many that even made it into the
Punisher movie
And the New Daredevil series

Shannon Appelcline
Mar 30, 2013 Shannon Appelcline rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-marvel
Offensive, over the top, and a lot of fun. Especially once Ennis really hits his strides halfway through this book, it's top rate.
Sep 03, 2010 Stephen rated it really liked it
The gauntlet has been thrown down and now all graphic novels must compete at this level or be reduced to pulp in a landfill.
Aug 30, 2015 Lila rated it it was amazing

I read somewhere that this the story that got "Frank Castle his balls back."

Totally agreed.
After dreadful attempt to push Frank into flashier, pulpier supernatural storylines, Ennis brough him back to original premise:


Welcome back, Frank is pure Ennis- dark humor, not pulling punches heroes and crazy plot works perfectly for Punisher which is why his stories are the best in run.
This is also a great place to start for those who are thinking about giving Frank a chance- continuity isn't problem
Andrew Pixton
Jan 25, 2015 Andrew Pixton rated it did not like it
Ennis wrote a forward for this book that ruined it for me. It's titled: In Defence of the Punisher. Not sure what the one misspell was supposed to accomplish but he goes on to say that there is no defense of the Punisher, he's a cold blooded killer/murderer. An accusation I've grown sick of because I flatly disagree. Now I'm not as extreme as Frank but murder is what happened to innocent and defenseless family which is vastly different from what he does to the criminals he encounters. He then sa ...more
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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 2000 (6 books)
  • The Punisher, Vol. 2: Army of One
  • The Punisher, Vol. 3: Business as Usual
  • The Punisher, Vol. 4: Full Auto
  • The Punisher, Vol. 5: Streets of Laredo
  • The Punisher, Vol. 6: Confederacy of Dunces

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