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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Top Punisher Key Issue Comics

Since this month and year marks the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of the Punisher, I thought I'd do a quick list of Punisher key issues to honor this character that I've been a fan of for quite some time.

However, when it concerns Punisher comics there's a lot of keys, but not a lot of notable investment comics within the various Punisher titles. For this reason this top Punisher key issue comics list will go outside and within the Punisher titles and focus on only the top key issues to acquire.

The Amazing Spider-Man #129
First appearance of The Punisher/Frank Castle

No doubt that this comic will top this list of Punisher key comics to get. I've mentioned this issue countless times on Total Comic Mayhem and for good reason. The Punisher a.k.a Frank Castle is one of the most important and iconic characters to come out of the bronze age, and this issue is one of the most valuable and sought after Marvel first appearances from that era.

It's no surprise that the Punisher would be introduced in the Amazing Spider-Man series since a lot of Marvel characters made their first appearances in this titled series. As we all know Frank Castle started out as a bad buy for the Webhead.

Amazing Spider-Man #129 also has the first appearance of the Jackal, and this is no sleeper comic by any account. It's highly sought out, not a cheap buy at higher grades, but definitely one of the best comics to invest in. 

eBay - No problem finding this key issue comic slabbed and unslabbed on eBay. There are a few high grade copies as well. The only real problem is affording a high grade copy, but the first appearance of the Punisher is a solid comic investment. Very good copies and below, however, aren't so ideal. 

mycomicshop - A few copies here. CGC 8.5 is already up for auction, and PGX 8.0 is going up for auction in March. There's also another CGC 8.0 VF for sale, but not auction. Two unslabbed copies in the lower grade are also available.

The Amazing Spider-Man #135 

2nd appearance of The Punisher/Frank Castle

Because many of the Marvel first appearances have gotten out of reach for most average collectors, 2nd appearances have been widely sought out in recent times. However, this 2nd appearance of the Punisher has been highly sought out for quite some time by Punisher comic fans, so it's no longer a sleeper and will cost you some ducats in the higher graded ranges. 

eBay - No hard find for the 2nd appearance of The Punisher on eBay. A few CGC copies. One 9.8 I saw, but highly over-priced in my opinion. Unslabbed copies are a lot cheaper if you want to take the risk.  

mycomicshop - One CGC copy at a 9.6. Others are unslabbed lower grade copies but more affordable.

NewKadia - One copy at a low FINE here. Super affordable, and under $30 bucks. You'll have to scroll near the bottom after clicking the link.

3rd appearance of Punisher
1st appearance of Moses Magnum
1st appearance of Punisher battle van

This is a triple whammy key issue. Not only does this comic hold the 3rd appearance of the Punisher, it holds the 1st appearance of Moses Magnum and the first appearance of the Punisher's battle van.

The early Punisher appearances have always been hot, and with the character making his way into the 2nd Season of Daredevil's Netflix series, things will only get hotter for early Punisher appearances. April, 1975 was when this comic was published and it's a must-have for any fan of the Punisher.

Marvel Preview #2 
First origin of the Punisher
First solo story

It wouldn't be long after that the Punisher would have his origin story told to explain his ruthless war on crime, and we first see it here in Marvel Preview #2. This famous origin of Frank Castle's family being slaughtered by the mob has been retold several times, and is indeed important to the character.

Marvel Preview was a series that was printed in magazine form and in black and white, and this is the first Punisher solo story in the world of comics as well. Not to mention that this issue also hold the first appearance of Domenic Fortune. This issue was published in August 1975.   

eBay - Quite a few unslabbed, but lower grade copies. Only one CGC copy. It's a 9.4 solid NM. 

mycomicshop - Only one VG+ copy available here. It's unslabbed, but more affordable for those who are on a tighter budget.

Newkadia - Two copies available here for this issue. Highest is a VF- (low very fine). Other is a solid VG. Both are pretty affordable.

Amazing Spider-Man #162 
First appearance of Jigsaw

Although The Punisher has many iconic enemies, many of them are shared with other heroes. Bullseye is also a Daredevil villain, and the Kingpin is both an important villain to both Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Jigsaw may have made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man, but the villain became deeply linked to the Punisher more than any other hero in the Marvel Universe.

eBay - No problem finding the first appearance of Jigsaw. Lot's of unslabbed copies and quite a few CGC graded copies as well. I saw at least two 9.6 CGC copies, and a 9.8 also. There is a 9.4 for under a hundred bucks, not including shipping.

mycomicshop - Quite a few CGC and unslabbed copies for Amazing Spider-Man #162. Highest is a CGC 9.8 and a better deal than the one on eBay. Two 9.6s there as well. Worth taking a look. If the 9.8 is gone, it's probably me who snagged it.

NewKadia - Two copies in the VF range. Highest is VF+ and the other is a low very fine. The VF+ is under $40 bucks.

Ready for Part 2? Just click the blue Next link below to your right. 


  1. Thank you again for this key issues list. I'm always at my local shop looking at your key issues shifting through their back issues.

    1. Awesome and thank you for reading. Did you find anything good in back issue bins?

  2. What about Giant Size Spider-Man 4?? 3rd appearance.

  3. Hey,

    great list!

    What about Savage Action 2?

    It is the UK version of Marvel Preview, albeit printer later.

  4. Giant Size Spiderman #4 is also the first time the Punisher makes his first kill.

  5. Would you have any opinions on some of the Punisher keys relating to his Max series?

  6. ASM #134 should be the true punisher 2nd appearance

    1. He only has a cameo in ASM #134. His 2nd appearance is still considered #135. How about you write CGC and Overstreet and make a claim about it and see what they say?

    2. never know...they could cave in and start labeling ASM #134 Punisher's 2nd cameo appearance.