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

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,013 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In the first story "In the Beginning," Frank Castle's old associate Microchip is back, and he's after the Punisher. But first, he's got an offer for Frank that he'd better not refuse. Get ready for blazing bullets, bloodbaths, and bold beginnings! In "Kitchen Irish," Frank embarks on a deadly mission that pits him against two rival gangs when a bomb explodes in a Hell's Ki ...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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people with strong stomachs
I really regret reading this. It was stomach-churningly violent and full of visual imagery I wish I hadn't seen. I definitely had a sick feeling in my stomach with the over the top violence. Not that most of the people who met bad ends weren't bad guys, but I'm not a big fan of that kind of gratuitous violence, which is why I usually avoid Tarantino and Verhoeven movies, not to mention most modern horror movies.

I won't say that Ennis doesn't get The Punisher. He probably does. I just don't like
Quentin Wallace
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Guillermo Galvan
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jonathan Schildbach
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Really really good. Will certainly continue with this.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
The more Ennis I read, the less I like him. Though he seems to understand the Punisher, he fills the landscape of the story with a lot of garbage. This book is a painting of a landfill.

It's funny how in comics we use that term: understand. When a new writer takes a character in a new direction that has them making moves and decisions that are outside of their character we say that writer "doesn't understand" the character. When the character exists in an established universe (in this case the Ma
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
We are following main protagonist, Frank Castle, as he fights for USA in Vietnam War where he takes justice in his hands from time to time. With his full unit slaughtered he is transported back home but war has made scars in him that won't heal. With his wife and kid killed by mafia he decided to take justice in his hands but in a weird unjust way. A mafia member or a civilian, it is no different to him if the person stands in his way.

One day in New York he gets caught in an attack between diff
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
" 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
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jay Rox
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
this is a great read about Frank Castle fighting the mob & dealing with the government as usual very action packed. the second half features less punisher & more about rival gangs fighting over a hidden treasure witch I found a lot more intertaining with plot twist that made the second story less predictable
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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!
Garth Ennis. Brilliant as always.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like 3.75 or something. It was pretty brutal in parts, so be warned.

Frank Castle is crazy. I enjoyed seeing it. I also liked the art and the fact that the story didn't try to hold anything back. But still...
There's so much unnecessary swearing and dirty talk. I sometimes had a hard time taking it seriously. I'm fine with swearing, but not to this level. It seemed like the author was trying to be edgy, but ended up making his characters look fucking stupid. Sometimes I was just like, CHILL. I ge
May 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Don't believe the hype! There is really almost nothing I liked about this Garth Ennis run. And I loved every page of Jason Aarons Punisher MAX KINGPIN. Aaron really knows how to write a good story.
This is just sad violence and gore with a punisher that plays almost a supporting role.

A Garth Ennis Punisher Story I did like was "Punisher Born". Now that is a good story!
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Incredibly overrated. Starts off with an excellent first chapter then immediately sets off on a fast paced downward spiral into generic run of the mill territory void of any originality. Frustratingly boring.
Superb artwork, very silly story line, even by comic book standards. Still and all, it is The Punisher, and how can you go below three stars for that?
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Distilled id-fellatio.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book truly captures the essence of the punisher
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
It is okay. Nothing compared to Welcome back Frank or Born.

Most of these Punisher stories juat seem like more of the same.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, comic, superheroes
Too much violence. Not for me.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
In the beginning was awesome. Kitchen Irish didn't keep my interest quite as much. Overall I still enjoyed it.
Tri Nguyen
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jake Thomas
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Steven Matview
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Garth Ennis reinvigorated the Punisher character with his Marvel Knights series, bringing him back to his 70s action movie roots after a brief stint as an angel (don’t ask).

The MAX series, though? Well, the MAX series kicks the Knights run’s ass.

In the first arc collected here, Frank is betrayed by a once trusted ally. In the second, he goes toe to toe with a gang of Irish thugs.

The juvenile humor that populated the Knights series is drastically toned down. Punisher is now a grizzled vet of Vie
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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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, Volume VI: MAX (1 - 10 of 22 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