I’ve never been a Punisher fan. He’s a killer, not a hero. Maybe I could get behind him if he was on a redemption arc, kind of like how Wolverine strives to tame his inner animal and be a better man. But no, the Punisher strikes me as simply an unhinged murderer who thinks he’s doing the right thing…which makes him a great antagonist for vigilantes who are actually heroic, such as Daredevil.
Daredevil and Punisher come into conflict in Daredevil #183 and 184, near the end of Frank Miller’s series-redefining run. Matt Murdock’s mature ethics are on full display as he defends a criminal in court because he believes the man to be innocent of the current charges. Meanwhile, Punisher just wants to shoot up all them bad guys. And Daredevil’s not having it.
The Daredevil/Punisher conflict was the strongest part of Daredevil season two on Netflix, and these comics give us a very early version of it. It’s more streamlined in comic book form, but still greatly compelling.
Though I continue to have zero interest in a solo Punisher series.
Writers: Frank Miller and Roger McKenzie
Artists: Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller vol. 3 (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up