Punisher #1
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Punisher #1

Writer: Becky Cloonan Artist: Steve Dillon Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: May 4, 2016 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 33 User Reviews: 32
7.6Critic Rating
7.4User Rating

A by-the-numbers drug bust is about to take Frank Castle by surprise...and he HATES surprises. The horrible fallout threatens to send The Punisher into the heart of darkness, but Castle won't make that journey alone: A DEA agent is on his trail and attempting to get into his head...but what horrors will she find there, and will she survive the experience? First-time Punisher writer Becky Cloonan and quintessential Punisher artist Steve Dillon are forcing Frank Castle out of his comfort zone and taking him to the edge of the world he thought he knew!
Parental Advisory

  • 9.1
    Black Nerd Problems - Jordan Calhoun May 4, 2016

    Dillon's artwork paces well and captures the intensity of Punisher's bloody action scenes. They're appropriately frantic yet easy to follow, which can be a difficult balance to strike. In this entire opening issue Frank doesn't speak a single word" and he doesn't have to. By building the characters around Frank Castle, the hook is set; we already wanted to see more of the Punisher, now we want to know about the people around him too. And the villain on the other side of Frank's justice seems to be a sadistically worthy adversary for our leading vigilante. This is going to be a gruesome showdown with a high body count. I'm in. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    GWW - Mopeymac May 4, 2016

    To close this out I'll say the Punisher is one of my favorite Marvel characters and it's great to see him handled well. Moving forward I can't wait to see what this creative team puts out. As always, do yourself a favor and buy this book. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    AIPT - Patrick Ross May 3, 2016

    Frank Castle is back, baby, and he's in good hands. Becky Cloonan has a great handle on the character, and Steve Dillon's artwork truly brings him to life in exciting ways. Keep this one in your pull list"it's gonna be a wild ride. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Justin Partridge May 5, 2016

    I was excited about this new debut issue, but now, I'm just straight-up terrified of Cloonan, Dillon and Martin's Punisher. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck May 5, 2016

    So it's a strong start for the series, loaded with potential and lots of blood and guts. Not to mention brutal death and destruction. And terrific art. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    GWW - Casey Walsh May 4, 2016

    To close this out I'll say the Punisher is one of my favorite Marvel characters and it's great to see him handled well. Moving forward I can't wait to see what this creative team puts out. As always, do yourself a favor and buy this book. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    We The Nerdy - John Newby May 4, 2016

    This new version ofThe Punisheris off to a solid start, thanks to Becky Cloonan's story and Steve Dillon's art. The focus seems to be on a darker and more mature audience, but it completely makes sense based on the character. Plus, this version of Frank Castle actually works well as an extension ofDaredevil'sversion on Netflix. While the story isn't exactly made for kids or teenagers,The Punisher #1is still a comic worth checking out, especially if you grew up a fan of the vigilante. Just remember that it might be best to read this issue before eating. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Comicsverse - Robert Franco May 8, 2016

    4.3 Slayed Thugs. There is no Frank Castle. There is only The Punisher, and The Punisher doesn't play pattie-cake; he smashes you with a cinder block. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Flickering Myth - Zeb Larson May 6, 2016

    Matt Dillon's art is strong for this book. Overall, Becky Cloonan has pulled off a considerable feat in giving an interesting angle for the Punisher, as well as dragging me back to Marvel. I'm looking forward to what comes next. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    PopOptiq - Ben Howard May 6, 2016

    Punisher #1 is a promising start. While simple in plot, the action and characters are strong, and the exploration into Frank Castle's humanity could make an interesting theme if explored properly. It's a solid read and highly recommended for fans of the character and new readers alike. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Heroes Direct - Adam Fitch Jun 20, 2016

    After a few months away, Frank Castle returns wonderfully. Don't go into this comic expecting anything drastically different, but if you're already a fan of the character then this story will definitely have you gripped. This could well be a memorable run for The Punisher. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    The Lost Lighthouse - thelostlighthouse May 5, 2016

    This was a great return forThe Punisher, with a tight and intriguing opening issue with great action. As forces rally themselves against Frank Castle that action is only going to intensify, and I can't wait to see how far the book pushes or where Cloonan takes him. Pick this up at your local comic book shop or digitally. Read Full Review

  • 8.2
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen May 3, 2016

    Frank Castle is in fine form after taking a few months away from the spotlight. This new series doesn't do anything dramatically different with the franchise (not yet, at least), but it does feature a hands-off approach to the lead character and introduce some intriguing new villains to the mix. The series also proves that Steve Dillon isn't simply content to rest on his laurels after so many Punisher projects. This is a solid start to what may become a very memorable Punisher run. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Punisher Central - Ivo Santos May 9, 2016

    Anyway this doesn't take away the entertainment of this comic, which was great and delightful seeing Frank getting rid of crooks with his own brutality. But Punisher fans like perfection to the "minor" details. That's what separate him from the super guys. He has to protect himself because he is flesh and bone and with one bullet could be the end of him. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    PopMatters - Matthew Fay Jun 1, 2016

    The Punisher #1 is a faithful and refreshing return for the Marvel Universe's most violent crusader. Cloonan's smooth and characteristic dialogue captures the essence of the most well-respected Punisher stories, and Dillon's art is as dour and brutally satisfying as ever. Despite the frustrations of the issue's censorship, it's not enough to detract from what is clearly a promising new direction for Frank Castle. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Jul 16, 2018

    If you haven't checked in on Matthew Rosenberg's run on Punisher, you're definitely missing out. The book has evolved from its initial "Punisher plus War Machine armor" pitch by placing Frank Castle in the crosshairs of the Marvel Universe as he seeks some sort of reconciliation for his role in Secret Empire. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi May 11, 2016

    The creative team definitely shows a lot of talent and imagination. Although this issue has a few inconsistencies, it is definitely well-done. The issue re-introduces the Punisher without changing him, but putting him in some new circumstances. Any The Punisher fan should definitely check this out. I think this series is going to be well worth the read. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Source by SuperHeroStuff - Marc Buxton May 5, 2016

    Punisher #1 is a fast paced, pull no punches, cordite-fueled heart-punch that will make Frank Castle fans very happy. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comicosity - Doug Zawisza May 4, 2016

    Overall, The Punisher #1 is solid, but not amazing. Like Jaws, it has enough to catch your attention and keep you locked in during the initial phase of the story, but so much more is lurking under the water, teasing fans to stay tuned. I cannot wait for Cloonan and Dillon to deliver. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - Lan Pitts May 4, 2016

    There's absolutely room to grow and improve here. While you have to admire some of the dialog, as cliche it might be in some places, it might go over the head of some readers who are uninitiated with what exactly a Walsh Trophy is (it's a Marine Pistol Championship badge), even though it's that level of attention to Castle's other life that makes this feel so tangible. Cloonan, Dillon and Martin have given Castle another day to punish those who have it coming. It will be interesting to see how long Punisher is treated as this silent killer. A man void of heavy narration or guilt, but calculating and precise in how he chooses to end his victims. It's a bold choice that I'm sure the art team will get a lot of milage out of. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring May 4, 2016

    The Punisher has had some amazing runs in the history of the character and some stinkers. This first issue is intriguing, fun, and brutal. It has an immense amount of potential just by how Cloonan writes Punisher and everything being introduced here. The book is straightforward, and there's no funny-business, and that's what you want from a series like this. The opening of the book was a bit slow, but it's a double-edged sword as it's important information and character introduction. This was a very solid opening issue and I'm pumped to see what Cloonan, Dillon, and Martin have in store next. Read Full Review

  • 7.6
    Outright Geekery - Eli Funaro May 17, 2016

    All in all, this new Punisher arc seems promising. It didn't have much Punisher in it, but when he did show up, he was effective and recognizable and didn't waste time with unnecessary origins or exposition. Steve Dillon's art will keep fans of his classic Punisher MAX run satisfied and introduce newbs to his signature bloody style. This is a strong first entry that seems to be just the beginning of a complex mystery with compelling new characters and villains. Like all great Punisher tales, the streets are watching and the block is hot. Welcome back, Frank. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas May 16, 2016

    Cloonan and Dillon's Punisher isn't all about the violence, even though there's a LOT of violence. Cloonan introduces a character from Frank's past that looks as though he'll play an important role in the overall story, but remains a mystery so far. A certain D.E.A agent looks to also have a big role in the book so hopefully the supporting cast will pick up some of the lack of depth in Frank Castle's character as seen in this issue. I'm definitely a fan of this type of Punisher so I'll be back for more, but at the same time I was hoping Becky Cloonan's take on the character would have a unique twist on the character that I haven't seen before. We're only one issue in so I'm not giving up yet, I just hope she's able to hook me with her Punisher before this first arc is over. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills May 7, 2016

    Cloonan's Punisher is off to an OK start. But so far she's given us a generic conflict and an unnecessarily removed protagonist. I would like more to sink my teeth into. Read Full Review

  • 6.8
    Graphic Policy - Brett May 3, 2016

    I think what we're seeing in this first issue is a classic Punisher, and that's my issue. I expected something more. Instead, we got something we've seen before many times. Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    SnapPow.com - John McCubbin May 6, 2016

    The Punisher #1 is a questionable start for the new series, but one that I can quickly see myself falling in love with. Giving us an unique take on the character, the creative team have definitely given us something worth returning for more, even if it's not quite what I want from a Punisher comic. Read Full Review

  • 6.4
    Multiversity Comics - Ken Godberson III May 5, 2016

    All that said though, I have to admit — and maybe it's because Dillon is on this book and so synonymous with the character — this felt like a very safe issue. The basics are all here with just little tidbits of story to come. If you are a Punisher fan, you'll get your fix. And while I am going to keep going for a bit to see where it goes, I was hoping for a bit more to push the concept a little bit. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Following The Nerd - Irwin Fletcher May 5, 2016

    Overall, I'd say I need few issues to really dig into this arc, but the setup is gonna keep me around until then! Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Following The Nerd - Space Chief May 5, 2016

    Overall, I'd say I need few issues to really dig into this arc, but the setup is gonna keep me around until then! Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    The Beat - Alexander Jones May 5, 2016

    There is nothing inherently with Cloonan's narrative in The Punisher #1, but I worry that this comic has nothing new to say about Frank Castle or The Punisher. It feels like the book is drowning in its influences. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Book Resources - Jim Johnson May 4, 2016

    Cloonan and Dillon's "The Punisher" #1 doesn't raise the bar much, but -- for a character not really known for pushing storytelling boundaries -- that's just fine for anyone needing their Frank Castle fix. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    All-Comic - Derek Baker May 4, 2016

    If you can get past the ‘playing it safe' approach tothis first issue, it can actually be a fun read. The creative team is wonderful, so well need to keep an eye on this title. Perhaps future issues will turn things upside down and give us something from Frank that we didnt even know that we needed. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    CourtOfNerds - Kevin Carley May 4, 2016

    The only real good thing I have to say is that at least Frank isn't a resurrected angelic agent again. While the trench coat with access to celestial weapons was cool, it wasn't what The Punisher is all about. This comic does capture, in the briefest glimpse, of how brutal Frank Castle should be... it just can't cover up the bad story telling. Read Full Review

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