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John Waterman

Punisher: MAX Discussion

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I'm kinda lukewarm on the current Punisher arc. I can't decide if it's Garth Ennis on autopilot, or if the character's limitations are holding him back.

 

The most annoying thing about the MAX series has been its "written for the trade" feel. Every issue so far has been a piece of a six-part story. As far as I know, the next arc is too. On top of that, each arc has started out with a bang, and fizzled towards the middle and end.

 

"In The Beginning" had Frank chained to a chair for most of the arc. The concluding issue was sweet, but the story bogged down heavily after the first. In one scene, Castle refuses to help the CIA hunt Bin Laden. While I personally agree with his reasoning, it seems FAR out of character for Frank.

 

"Kitchen Irish," despite having some solid action sequences focused too heavy on uninteresting side characters. The British SAS vet was cool, but the rest blurred together after awhile. And it feels like Ennis crammed Cassidy and Arseface into a blender in order to come up with the main villain.

 

"Mother Russia" has been the best storyline so far, with it's Castle/Fury collaboration. I love the way Ennis writes Nick Fury as the burned out, hard-drinking, whoremongering veteran. The sideplot about American agents training private Middle-Eastern terrorist cells is fairly ballsy to run with in this day and age, so I have to give it props even though I don't think it has any basis in reality.

 

I've picked up every issue off the newsstand. It's entertaining, but it's a sub-par effort for Ennis. I think this is because his strongest points as a writer--bullshitting at the bar, friendship, and complex, well-rounded characters--are absent from this title due to the nature of Frank Castle. All that's really here is extreme violence and angst.

 

I still want to see how "Mother Russia" turns out, and the solicitations for the next arc "Up Is Down and Black is White" look promising, but if things don't pick up, I'll probably drop the title.

 

Agree? Disagree?

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I really liked the first story-arc of Ennis' "Punisher", but a series like that can only keep me attention for about 6 issues. I got bored with it. Some aspects of that first story I really loved, while other aspects were things I try to avoid in comic books (all the gore you can take because it's Ennis and Punisher! HEY!).

And, I really loved the scene where he refuses to help the CIA! I'm not sure what the Punisher would do, because I don't give a damn about a character with a big gun....but it read like something Garth Ennis would do, and that's what's important!

Personally, I thought it was very much in character though. He would go hunt down Bin Laden on his own, torture him to death, and take out the CIA agents in the bargain!

 

As for your comments about America not training fanatic Islamic terrorists, most of the terrorist organizations operating in the world today were armed, trained, and financed by America during the Soviet/Afghan conflict....including Bin Laden and what became the Al-Qaeda.

I haven't read the issue in question, and if it's set in the present day, it's probably not based on reality. It's probably Ennis commentating on the situation in the late-70s, early-80s. But, elements within the U.S. govt. could conceivably still be training Islamic terrorists (as the govt. is supplying the regime in Pakistan with weaponry right now, for example!).

 

"Punisher: The End" was so good! That's one of my favourite non-Hellblazer comics by Ennis! One of the my favourite comics from Marvel.

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Loved the "Welcome Back, Frank" storyline when Ennis first took on the Punisher. After that, I wanted the character to not have a series of his own. The Punisher works best in very small doses, showing up in other characters' titles every so often.

 

That said, I thought the jump to the MAX line made the character a thousand times more interesting, though the "Kitchen Irish" arc really dragged.

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MAX Punisher is the type of Punisher series I have wanted all my life. I do believe you're right, tho. I feel the character himself is limited and there's only so many shoot-'em-ups you can have. But I dig it anyways, love the graphic violence and the cussin' which is what MAX was designed for in the first place, I guess.

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....Too bad it couldn't have been meant to compete with DC's Vertigo line though.....

 

"Punisher" is the only book left in the MAX line, isn't it?!

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Yeah, except for the occasional one shot or two from various characters.

 

Marvel seems to be focused on their MARVEL KNIGHTS 2099 line at the moment, which seems to be an improvement on the old line.

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Just read Welcome Back Frank TPB...

 

 

...and it was pure mindless carnage. dunno if i liked it or not quite yet.

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Was that the first Marvel Knights one ?

 

Not a bad story but Garth pretty much hit all his usual tricks...and then spent another couple of years doing so again in the ongoing series.

 

I tried the first Punisher Max trade and it just did nowt for me - by all rights it should be right up my street, but again all the good stuff was drowned out by SHIT Ennis comedy characters (the woman, in particular, was annoying as fuck).

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started reading Punisher : Army of One, but other than giggling at the slapstick of it, i can't find anything worthy of my time in there...

 

 

...on the other hand, I've read the first two Stormwatch trades, and i can now see where Ellis was coming from. It's not without major flaws, but a fun read nonetheless...

 

 

...back to punisher - Army of One trade has one of the BEST Bradstreet covers EVER

 

x2122.jpg

 

and Palmiotti's inks manage to salvage some of Dillon's efforts on the artwork (he IS trying his best here, and it shows, but it's still not great comics artwork, merely acceptable)

 

 

the whole Spidey "team-up" and The Russian with the boobage and a Britney top... i mean, how did Ennis get away with it? Don't they have editors at marvel?

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Marvel Knights Punisher was over the top. But really Ennis's best work was "Welcome Back,Frank" havent read Army of One, But heard after that Mk Punisher kinda went down in quality.

 

Punisher Max is basically Marvel telling Ennis he can use as much gore,violence,nudity,and cuss words as his mind can come up with.

 

It's really good right now.

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Yeah, I could never fault the cover art, but it was kind of a letdown during the Marvel Knights run when the covers would be so badass and gritty...and you'd flip the book open and find a story about ghost mafiosi and a giant squid.

 

Actually, though, I liked a good bit of the Marvel Knights punisher. "Welcome Back, Frank" was entertaining, and "Do Not Fall in New York City" was chilling, which was a nice change from the usual silliness. "Brotherhood" and "Streets of Laredo" were also decent stories, and the scene where Frank asks Elektra out in another one-shot was amusing.

 

Oh, and "Born" was excellent. Probably the best Punisher story ever written, for my money. I think it's tied with "Unknown Soldier" for being the blackest, darkest, most unsentimental thing Ennis has written.

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Punisher : Born was good, except one huge flaw - it tries to set up the fact that Punisher was nutty/himself before seeing his wife and kiddies killed.

 

 

"Do Not Fall In New York City" was the only redeeming issue of Punisher i've read by Ennis so far - that silent one was crap too....

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Punisher : Born was good, except one huge flaw - it tries to set up the fact that Punisher was nutty/himself before seeing his wife and kiddies killed.

 

 

"Do Not Fall In New York City" was the only redeeming issue of Punisher i've read by Ennis so far - that silent one was crap too....

 

Also Born hinted that maybe either Frank was nutty, or was doing the devils dirty work.

 

If you want to read a GOOD Punisher story before Ennis wrote him. You can read War Journel and Warzone. From what people tell me, is that Frank wasnt a killing machine and his character was portrayed really good.

 

Oh and what Trade is "Do Not Fall in New York City" collected in?

 

Ennis tends to think Frank ENJOYS killing people, because he's done it for so many years. But really He doesnt. Frank kills Thug's, and mobsters and other people. Because he doesnt want them to suffer the same fate his family did.

 

And infact I'v had this idea for a Punisher story or two in my head for awhile. Where he comes back to new York, and instead of chasing mobsters. He takes a day off to recouperate,reload ammo,etc etc. And as he is walking through the park, or the streets he sees a little girl an her Mom get gunned down by stray bullets from a Drive by shooting. And decides to go after street gangs for awhile. But I know it sounds lame an half assed.

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Oh and what Trade is "Do Not Fall in New York City" collected in?

 

 

Army of One.

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Oh ok. I still need to get the rest of the trades. Up till "In the Beganing" And the first couple of Kicthen Irsh issues.

 

I didnt quite like Confederacy of Dunces for the mere fact that Spider-man's spider-sense went off on some fake landmines, Then wehn frank offered the 3 of them a hamburger they were like "Well what Can it hurt? Frank seems to be a genuin caring guy." After he blew wolverine up,and nearly killed Daredevil an Spider-man. Seriously, if someone was trying to kill me, I wouldnt all of sudden accept a Hamburger from them.. it's just silly.

 

Though I have to say. Midget mobsters are the best thing I'v heard of. EVER

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You dont remember that arc? It was the one with Wolverine getting shot in the nuts with a uzi and blasted in the face with a shock gun.

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I dont remember exactly. Because I think it's collected in Confederacy of Dunces.

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Punisher : Born was good, except one huge flaw - it tries to set up the fact that Punisher was nutty/himself before seeing his wife and kiddies killed.

 

Me, I love that idea, and always thought it myself before Ennis even put it to page.

 

The Punisher, quite frankly, is an unspeakably dull character. I like the idea that he was always a bit nuts, essentially a barely controlled serial killer whose history in the military allowed him to get the killing "out of his system" and keep it in check by being a government-sanctioned killer. Then the death of his family unleashes everything. and his madness is wrought upon criminals far and wide...a source of murder that will never dry up.

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meh. robs the character o what little humanity it had left, and i don't care about what happens to him or any of his adversaries... and the joke supporting cast is also paper-thin.

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