I've been a fan of this particular Punisher series since I bought the second issue of it when I was 7 years old. I can still remember seeing Frank on the cover with his machine gun and thinking to myself, "Whoah he looks just like Rambo!".
Now, all of these years later, I consider this work to be the single finest Marvel mini-series; yes, even better than anything involving Wolverine, X-Men, or my beloved Spider-Man.
Circle of Blood is a complete story within itself, and would be the perfect comic to turn into a movie. The artwork is fantastic, and the dialogue is less cheesy than you normally find in 80's comics. There are none of the annoying references to every other comic book in the Marvel Universe (I was one of those kids that really hated that), and there are -- thankfully -- no appearances by other Marvel characters. These factors, combined with the story's grittiness and adult nature, make it one of the more original and realistic of anything Marvel's done. Frank's enemies in this book are not flamboyant villains, but just the kind of thugs you would expect in a mob movie. Frank's not out to save the world, but to get revenge upon and eliminate those who caused him so much grief. Oh, and did I mention? Frank isn't afraid to kill.
The story follows Frank from his family's murder, through prison, war with the mob, and ultimately to one of the most satisfying endings you could possibly imagine finding in a Marvel mini-series. I must stress again how delightful it is to be able to read this story over and over and not be made to feel like a goof because you missed a particular issue of this or that comic, or to have the entire credibility of a scene shot down by an appearance of a wise-cracking super-hero in tights. Not that there is anything wrong with wise-cracking super-heroes in tights, but you get my point.
Apparently this graphic novel has (...) been re-issued. I'll be ordering it immediately. I lost my copy years ago and I long to read it again.