Top 5 Punisher’s Lowest Print Runs

hot5newThe Punisher holds a special place in the Marvel universe: it's considered a well beloved character, but it seems that his comics don't sell all that well. Marvel has literally tried everything, but the market doesn't seem willing to support a character that at a time had 3 regular series. Since then he died, became an angel, came back, punched a polar bear, laughed at super-heroes, left the Marvel Universe, came back, left again and came back to stay, dying a couple of times on the way.

Yesterday, we got a first glimpse of him on Daredevil's trailer for his second season, so are we looking at a possible return to the public eye for this character? Just in case, it's time to look at some undersellers …



Space Punisher #4

Print run: 11,348

With a cover that would probably feel more at home in a What The issue, the last issue of this over-the-top mini had the smallest print run of any Punisher comic in recent history. I didn't even read one of those “it's so bad it's good” opinions on this, it just seemed to come out and disappear. Weird!



Untold Tales of Punisher MAX #5

Print run: 11,968

Even though I reserved a spot on the honorable mentions for MAX titles, I just wanted to include this one here to underscore the size of our number one's print run. There are actually less copies of that than of the last issue of a MAX mini with not very popular creators. Watch people fight over copies of Space Punisher #4 the moment it becomes a kitsch classic!!!



Punisher: In the Blood #5

Print run: 14,468

More evidence that people are not happy with Punisher comics … Written by Remender and his final arc (resetting the character after his, in my opinion, great Frankencastle run), this mini started at 20K and dropped down to 14K over its 5 issues. Remender did some good stuff with the character, the whole arc where he fights the Hood, and especially its resolution, is chilling.



Punisher: Nightmare #5

Print run: 15,381

Another mini while Marvel was, I am guessing here, trying to find a creative team for a regular series, another failure in sales numbers. The series started under 18K, proving that people are either sick of the character or his lack of direction.


PUNISHER (2014) #16

Punisher (2014) #16

Print run: 19,526

Something a bit more worrying here, issue #16 of the last regular series went under 20K in little more than a year. While the last few issues picked up a few readers to end with around 22K, the series was canceled with #20. Another attempt at giving Castle a new direction, this time at the hands of on the rise indie writer Nathan Edmonson.


Daredevil vs Punisher #6

Print run: 22,811

The trailer hit yesterday and it seems like the Punisher is going to be a big part of Daredevil's 2nd season, possibly making people pay attention to their crossovers in comics. The last issue has the lowest print run of the bunch, and almost half of the first issue's (38,310).


Punisher Max

Print run: all over the place

Joining the aforementioned Untold Tales of Punisher Max, the MAX imprint gave us a lot of other underselling one-shots: Tiny Ugly World (15,071), Hot Rods Of Death (16,113), Butterfly (16,164) or Get Castle (18,195) are the ones with the lowest selling numbers, as Marvel burnt through their fill-in inventory.

On the head-scratching department, Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's series started low (29,106) and sunk even lower by the end (17,738). If those two names can't make the Punisher sell, who can?


  • Avatar

    That Punisher Max series was pretty good too.

    Thanks for the info!

  • kaif the mad

    To be fair to the 2014 Punisher run, it wasn’t exactly canceled. The Marvel-verse ended with Secret Wars so every title was canceled. You could say the same thing about Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers.

    What’s more telling is that Punisher hasn’t yet turned up (to my knowledge), but I’m sure he’ll be around somewhere soon.

    • Iñigo

      That was exactly the point, kaif, most of the characters are back, not the Punisher though, so I would still it a cancelation. I mean yes, they stopped all series but if this had been selling any better, I am sure it would be back already … And as far as I know, no announcements have been made, right?

      In other news, I ended up buying Space Punisher #4 and it’s a wonderful mess, might go back and pick up the rest of the series. It’s not Rise & Fall of Arsenal, but it’s pretty insane.

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