GM Recommended Reading: The Trial of the Punisher

Frank Castle has been punishing criminals for decades in his comics, but this comic puts Frank in the position of the enemies he faces as he goes through the criminal justice system. The Trial of The Punisher is a short and sweet read that puts readers in the mind of this famous Marvel character. 

Basic Plot

As unpredictable as The Punisher is, he does something that no one expects. He walks into a police station, turns himself in, and confesses to murder. This deed sets Frank on a path that leads him to the trial of the century, The People vs Frank Castle. Frank struggles to develop his defense, while also explaining to others how his views of right and wrong work. 


Leinil Francis Yu has a talent for establishing plot details and tone within the art of this comic. The realistic facial drawings and dark aesthetics create a truly noir tone that perfectly fits into the world of The Punisher. For a comic that isn’t action-oriented, Yu really nails the few moments of action with expanding and colliding panels that really bring the pages together. 


Marc Guggenheim gives an immensely intense story throughout this two-issue series. It not only gives a gripping Punisher adventure, but also a deep look at what makes The Punisher so unique. Guggenheim shows Frank Castle’s ideals from the view of everyday citizens and from Castle’s personal perspective at the same time. He also uses this story to pursue a question that every Marvel fan has asked at some point, “Is Frank Castle insane?” 


The Trial of The Punisher may be a short read, but it does a phenomenal job at providing a fast-paced story with twists and turns, while also serving as a great character study of Frank Castle. 


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