Tag Archives: Punisher

The Punisher #218

The popularity of The Punisher seemed to have peaked during the gritty anti-hero 90’s, in a forgettable era of comic book vigilantes that lost the plot, turning Golden Age ideology on its head and forcing us to examine what heroism really means. The Punisher began his comic book career as a villain, plan and simple, a foil for Spider-Man intended to underscore the fact that revenge and justice are not the same thing. But the character took on a life of his own, and for good reason — it’s a helluva concept and a brilliantly iconic design — and this week’s issue, the first under the Legacy imprint, hits shelves a few days before The Punisher stars in his own thirteen-episode series on Netflix.

The Punisher #218, by Matthew Rosenberg, Guiu Vilanova, and Lee Loughridge, has lofty aims. On the one hand, there’s the appeal of a Garth Ennis run, more at home in this Call of Duty era among espionage or crime comics like Queen & Country or Criminal. On the other hand, there’s this notion of Legacy, and, in Week 7 of the initiative, we’d still like to think that Marvel’s storied legacy is populated with more light than shadow.

Rosenberg, an up-and-coming writer who has already tackled Marvel’s underworld with his Kingpin series, looks poised to make good on both goals. There are lots of gangsters’ heads getting blowed up, and several sadistic grins from a Frank Castle who, of course, looks a lot like Jon Bernthal. He’s the same ruthless badass that he’s always been, and we are never asked for a minute to consider the humanity of his victims. But there’s also the matter of a certain piece of ordinance that Frank steals in the opening to this arc, and a wider scope to the story than we’d come to expect.

We gave him the War Machine armor, but he’s not becoming War Machine. He could never. War Machine is James Rhodes, a hero, an Avenger, something to aspire to. Frank is simply The Punisher, nothing more and nothing less. These characters we all love aren’t their suits or their weapons, they are the people inside that we care about. Hopefully, by having Frank steal the iconic armor, we can shine a light on not just Frank’s legacy, but Rhodey’s as well. – Matthew Rosenberg

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Ranking Marvel NOW! 56 – 41

56
Slapstick

Fred Van Lente & Reilly Brown

There is a lengthy dinner table discussion where Slapstick talks to his entire family about how he lost his dingus. Also he lights his fart on fire. These things happen, and don’t even make me laugh. – MeanOldPig

I can’t think of a more appropriate title for the collected edition. – MMDG

First collection: Slapstick, Vol. 1: That’s Not Funny (August)

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55
Solo

Gerry Duggan, Geoffrey Thorne & Paco Diaz

This is really dumb. Why does Marvel like this Thorne guy so much? The writing is so juvenile, and I couldn’t possibly give a lesser shit about Solo. I think we’re going to see a steady decline on all the SHIELD/spy-type garbage over the next year. – MMDG

Did not enjoy this. One or two amusing puppy panels is all I can say were good about Solo. What is Marvel thinking with this one? – IP

Collection: Solo: The One-Man War on Terror (June)

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New Comics: The Punisher

Fuck me, it’s Frank Castle.

A few days after Marvel announced that Jon Bernthal would be reprising his role as The Punisher in a new Netflix series, Frank makes his All New All Different Marvel debut in the pages of Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon’s The Punisher #1. He gets right to work doing what he does best, killing fools and blowing shit up. And he does it without saying a single damn word.

Becky Cloonan is a badass. Already well known for her artwork, collaborating on books like Demo with Brian Wood and American Virgin with Steven Seagle, this time she gets bloody with the typewriter (I like to imagine her scripting this book on a cranky Smith Corona, filling up an ashtray and smashing down on the carriage release with the bottom of her whiskey glass). She’s got Frank chasing the distributors of a dangerous new street drug, while the DEA tries to keep above the tide of dropping bad guy bodies.

The DD/Punisher Infinite comic gets a physical re-package
The DD/Punisher Infinite comic gets a physical re-package

Steve Dillon is a professional. You loved his brutal realism on Vertigo books like Hellblazer and Preacher, and you were happy to see him dip his toes into Marvel’s capes-n-tights pool over the last decade. Then you were thrilled when he teamed up with Jason Aaron on The Punisher. He hasn’t half-assed a spray pattern since, and there will be plenty of eyes rolling back into victims’ skulls. Nobody does it better.

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