PUNISHER #1-2 (1995)

We start with this book with Frank Castle behind bars under a headline that he has been sentenced to death for killing Nick Fury. Through flashbacks, we see him waive trial and plead guilty.

He actually gets electrocuted. And dies.

But of course he’s not dead. A powerful mobster paid off the system, smuggled Frank out of prison in a morgue truck, and then asked him to take over as crime kingpin.

He goes on a killing spree against crime bosses, until he comes up against Bullseye.

The Bullseye appearance isn’t promoted on the cover or anything. It’s not important. I think it’s just here to anchor us in the Marvel Universe–to tell us that, unlike so many prior Punisher stories, this one will take place firmly in the 616 and will interact with character we know.

Frank accepts the mob lord’s offer, calls the heads of the families together, and beats up every single one of them who refuses to work for him.

Meanwhile, a copycat Punisher kills the judge who sentenced Frank Castle to death.

That’s just two issues. This is the first great Punisher series in a while.

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