10. VALLEY FORGE, VALLEY FORGE (2008)
This story officially wrapped up Garth Ennis’ time as the main Punisher writer and drew upon everything he had written in the previous eight years, especially Punisher: Born. With Pun facing off against members of the U.S. Marines, Valley Forge, Valley Forge is a look into Castle's relationship with the U.S. Military and the begrudging respect he still has for it.
At the very heart of the story, Castle is still a soldier; still a member of the U.S. Military, and he’s intensely driven to protect that code of honor. But now he must face off against men that he would have called his "brothers" at one point in his life. Ennis uses this story to point out the differences between a run-of-the-mill grunt soldier and a man as driven as Frank Castle.
Ennis has always gone to great lengths to recognize Castle as more than just a nut with a gun, and he expertly drives that point home in Valley Forge, Valley Forge. It’s a fitting and concise end to one of the best comic book runs of all time, but to truly appreciate this story, Ennis’s whole run must be read in order.