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John Waterman

Punisher: MAX Discussion

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Yeah, Ennis has been on this book forever now....I can't see it being too much longer before he gets bored and moves on.

Then, it'll be a year or two before Marvel dig the character back up and attempt to give him another series.

Personally, I've never seen the character work as a star of a series until Ennis started writing him. He's too one-dimensional of a character to carry his own series unless a truly great writer is on the book.

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Yeah, Ennis has been on this book forever now....I can't see it being too much longer before he gets bored and moves on.

Then, it'll be a year or two before Marvel dig the character back up and attempt to give him another series.

Personally, I've never seen the character work as a star of a series until Ennis started writing him. He's too one-dimensional of a character to carry his own series unless a truly great writer is on the book.

 

Chuck Dixon, Ed brubaker, and maybe thats it.

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Yeah, life after Ennis is gonna suck. I'm not sure how many stories Garf has left in him. I'd like to see him do a recreation of sorts of the old "Survival" mini series. Frank gets stranded in the mountains and has to rely on his survival skills to stay alive.

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Ed Brubaker would be wasted on the Punisher. I have no love for Chuck Dixon.

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Where does the time go, I could swear it's not been 3 years since we were discussing this.

 

Just finished Vol 10 Valley Forge, Valley Forge.

 

Amazing, truly amazing. Ennis has taken this ridiculous cartoon character thought up as a Spider-Man villain and given him a darkness and depth that the 'best' of Hollywood could only dream of. As a long time Ennis reader I saw the 'twist' of this book coming a mile off but that didn't diminish it for me at all, it was so perfectly reminiscent of the end of the Usual Suspects without being too much of a pastiche. The excerpts from the novel written by the brother of Stevie Goodwin from Punisher: Born adds a level of heart and soul that you'd expect from an Oliver Stone movie, not the bloke who wrote Dicks.

 

For me I'm going to now regard Punisher: Max as Ennis' opus. What makes it so good is because we've seen Ennis at his best and at his worst, in Preacher and The Boys, but for Punisher he brought nothing but the best, no stupid gross out humour and no characters with body parts for names or comedy tits. It's been a dark tale about one old man and his never ending vendetta, a bottomless pit of punishment, relentless and unrepentant. No one's going to be able to follow this with anything close to the passion and commitment that was required to produce 60 of consistently the best comics ever published.

 

If there was ever anything that should be a series on HBO it's this, of course it's not The Wire or the Sopranos, but it maybe could come close once in a while. Say at 3 issues to an episode you've got your first season and then some sitting right here.

 

The shame of it all though is that Marvel are going to be mining the work done here in future kiddies Punisher stories or movies or animated things and Ennis wont get the credit he deserves for it. So for all that I can't help but agree with Kirkman about creator owned work.

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I don't think so. I think Brubaker is, almost without exception, far better when writing his own creations than when working on other peoples. His Captain America is something of an exception, but even then, if it were commercially viable I'd probably still rather see him doing more stuff like Criminal and Sleeper instead.

 

 

Edit: Also - 2005? Huh.

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I don't think so. I think Brubaker is, almost without exception, far better when writing his own creations than when working on other peoples. His Captain America is something of an exception, but even then, if it were commercially viable I'd probably still rather see him doing more stuff like Criminal and Sleeper instead.

 

 

Edit: Also - 2005? Huh.

That's more fleshed out and fair enough.

 

But it's not like he'd be slumming it on the exploits of Frank Castle at all.

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I don't think so. I think Brubaker is, almost without exception, far better when writing his own creations than when working on other peoples. His Captain America is something of an exception, but even then, if it were commercially viable I'd probably still rather see him doing more stuff like Criminal and Sleeper instead.

 

Gotham Central!?!

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I downloaded issue #61 to see what the new guy Gregg Hurwitz is like, the story peaked my interest although it's a bit hard to swallow that a Mexican guy could track down Frank after he managed to best a delta team the issue before. Anyway it's easy to do a first issue, I'm downloading #62 to see what that's like, if it's any good I'll get the trade.

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But it's not like he'd be slumming it on the exploits of Frank Castle at all.

 

 

I think you find the Punisher a far more intrinsically interesting character than I do. Aside from a few guest appearances as a sort-of villain in other characters' books, I don't think I'd particularly enjoyed anything I'd seen of the character pre-Ennis, and even Ennis' work with the character isn't exactly unalloyed brilliance from start to finish (most of the 'comedy' Marvel Knights stories bored the arse off me, 'Kitchen Irish' was pretty by-the-numbers stuff, and Barracuda was a shit character who Garth seemed to find a lot more interesting than me, for a start).

 

I'm just not sure there's much to be said with/about the character that Ennis hasn't already covered, and there are any number of things I'd rather see Brubaker doing instead. YMM,&ACD,V.

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A restrained Brian Azzarello would peak my interest.

 

Can you imagine a mini with Azzarello and Eduardo Risso? I could dig that!

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Ennis Punisher started off "OK" but then got a tad better has the series went on. Kitchen Irish was pretty much a story that just involved the Irish Mob and had The Punisher has a cameo.

 

The Barracuda was pretty much the black ghetto version of The Russian.

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But it's not like he'd be slumming it on the exploits of Frank Castle at all.

 

 

I think you find the Punisher a far more intrinsically interesting character than I do. Aside from a few guest appearances as a sort-of villain in other characters' books, I don't think I'd particularly enjoyed anything I'd seen of the character pre-Ennis, and even Ennis' work with the character isn't exactly unalloyed brilliance from start to finish (most of the 'comedy' Marvel Knights stories bored the arse off me, 'Kitchen Irish' was pretty by-the-numbers stuff, and Barracuda was a shit character who Garth seemed to find a lot more interesting than me, for a start).

 

I'm just not sure there's much to be said with/about the character that Ennis hasn't already covered, and there are any number of things I'd rather see Brubaker doing instead. YMM,&ACD,V.

Conceptually the Punisher has always been interesting to me, but was generally unimaginatively written and downright abused.

Modern superhero comics have finally caught up with his death wish First Blood rambo premise.

 

It's his Ennis' Max run alone that does it for me (I completely agree with you on the comedy MK run and Barracuda although he only served a narrative point to me, and I outrightly avoided the Barracuda mini altogether so that says it all.)

But I join Kejoxen on The Max Punisher being the Ennis masterpiece.

 

But back to your original statement, personally Brubaker is "wasted" on something like Uncanny X-Men.

The Punisher atleast would be far more tonally apt and noirish by Brubaker standards.

 

I'm sure nobody thought that there was any life left in the character before Ennis got hold of him in the first place, so I wouldn't suppose that again.

And I don't think that Ennis has inadvertantly killed or expired The Punisher like say Alan Moore did to the Swamp Thing (Oh no I sound like John Byrne!)

I'd more than trust Brubaker enough to find those additional interests.

 

But holding us to a hyperbolic Criminal or else is bit unfair.

Beside the odd shaky (By Brubaker standards) fill in issue Daredevil has been damn good too and we all agree on Cap.

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But I join Kejoxen on The Max Punisher being the Ennis masterpiece.

 

It's still Hitman for me, by a comfortable margin. Punisher is great, no doubt about it, but it's just too one-note to capture everything I like about Ennis' writing. At his best, he's brilliant at blending of light/shade, comedy/tragedy, and vulgarity/profundity in a way which the Punisher run, by its very nature, is entirely incapable of providing.

 

That said, the near-total absence of dick or fart jokes is a definite point in the Punisher's favour.

 

But back to your original statement, personally Brubaker is "wasted" on something like Uncanny X-Men.

The Punisher atleast would be far more tonally apt and noirish by Brubaker standards.

 

I certainly wouldn't argue with that (I've got no interest in reading his X-Men, so I can't say for sure, but on principle I feel much the same way). I'm sure Brubaker would be able to do decent work with the character. I just think, based on his track record, that he'd be more likely to produce outstanding work with something of his own creation.

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I thought I would try Punisher: Max after having dismissed it years ago. I picked up the first trade In the Beginning. My goddness is that violent!! And very bloody!! I really enjoyed the exiled mobsters being called in to take out the Punisher. They are some sick SOBs.

However, the whole story seemed too stretched out and could have been done in fewer issues. And there was just something lacking that I can't put my finger on.

 

Please don't hate me; does it get better?

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Yes. It remains just a little bit padded throughout, but I figure that whole big-pictures, "widescreen" thing is an acceptable part of that kind of comic.

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I thought I would try Punisher: Max after having dismissed it years ago. I picked up the first trade In the Beginning. My goddness is that violent!! And very bloody!! I really enjoyed the exiled mobsters being called in to take out the Punisher. They are some sick SOBs.

However, the whole story seemed too stretched out and could have been done in fewer issues. And there was just something lacking that I can't put my finger on.

 

Please don't hate me; does it get better?

 

I'd say it does.

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I don't want to sound as if it is horrible. It was good enough to justify me picking the 2nd trade Kitchen Irish. Should the trend continue I may end up reading the whole series.

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