Posts tagged ‘Punisher’



In 2009, Marvel turned it’s “Marvel Universe” version of Punisher over to relative newcomer Rick Remender.  He’d been writing comics for Image and Dark Horse, and was best known for Fear Agent and Strange Girl, but he’d never handled a major character for the big two before.

He started working with Frank Castle as a co-writer, with Matt Fraction. of Punisher War Journal.  When Fraction moved on, they gave Remender his own Punisher book–right at the start of Dark Reign–and he wasnted no time enmeshing the character in the Marvel Universe.

punisher assassinates norman osborn

Right after that, Castle broke into a SHIELD hideout and got himself some contraband weapons from many major Marvel players.

Genius.  Let Marvel’s most morally obscure hero play with some of its most powerful toys.  It immediately made readers sit up and take note.

ant man punisher

frankencastle man thingNo one had thought to do this before.

Of course, what Remender’s run is best known for is letting Punisher get hacked to bits by Dark Wolverine, and having the Legion of Monsters sew him back together as a badass Frankenstein character.

Nobody ever thought to do that before, either.

It was instantly polarizing.  I called it one of the best Punisher stories of all time.  In defense of the concept, it’s a frikkin’ comic book.  A super-hero comic book.  It’s supposed to be wild and crazy.  Christ, Garth Ennis’ Marvel Universe Punisher (as opposed to his grittier, adult-oriented Punisher MAX) ran over Wolverine with a steamroller and fought a polar bear.  Was FrankenCastle that much sillier?

On re-reading the book for this post, I did find it dragged a bit.  That’s a major flaw in all of Rick Remender’s writing.  He’s too heavy on internal thought and exposition (see, e.g., his work on Venom), and he doesn’t have a great sense of pacing (see Uncanny X-Force).  But his ideas are creative and fresh, and his sense of his characters is deep.  Punisher “made sense.”

And when he went after Dakken to get his revenge, the result was four-issues of nonstop combat.

punisher runs over dakken


After this, Remender went on to write a gritty epilogue miniseries called “In the Blood,” which was radically different from his Punisher saga in that it focused on street-level crime and didn’t incorporate the super/larger-than-life elements of his Punisher run.  I recommend that one, too.

You can get it all in an oversized Omnibus for $70, which is a great showcase for the artwork by Jerome Opena, Tony Moore, John Romita, Jr., and others.


And, I might add, a highly underrated piece of experimental corporate art.


go go punisher female
The best part of this is that she decided to go with go-go boots/gloves Punisher. The original and the classic.

PUNISHER by Dexter Soy


More fun from the Pun!

AVENGERS #131-132: The Legion of the Unliving

legion of the undead

The Legion of the Unliving was basically the first version of the Legion of Monsters…Way back in 1942, Marvel Mystery Comics featured the Legion of the Dead/Legion of the Undead, which was basically a team of gravediggers who used zombies to protect themselves/fight crime.

The Legion of Monsters came about in 1976, with an entirely different lineup than what we saw in Avengers #131.

I loved these guys.  But then, I also loved their most controversial iteration….

I’m one of the few comics bloggers who speak out in defense of Frankencastle every chance I can.  These are comic books.  If you can’t take risks with the genre, and blow shit up, you’re not doing it right.

Here’s what I said about it last year, on my other site:

I know that the idea of Punisher becoming a monster was ridiculous but Frankencastle is one of the unsung heroes of 2010 in my book.  The fantasy of the story was no more fanciful than the pseudorealistic over-the-top violence of Garth Ennis’ run on the character, which is widely regarded as the best Pun-run of all time.  It’s comic books people.  It’s supposed to be fantastic, fanciful, and unrealistic.  That’s what makes Jonathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. so cool.  You can’t tell me you can’t accept Frankenpunisher but you can accept a radioactive spider?  I hope superhero books stay super and take risks, like Rick Remender did with Frankencastle.  If anything, he might have stayed at the party too long (the story arc could have been abbreviated by a few issues, and the drawn out Dakken arc didn’t amount to much of anything) but that’s the execution, not the idea.  The idea—to revive the legion of monsters and to make Frank Castle do something other than take pot shots at drug dealers—was fanfrickintastic.  Same thing with Red Hulk, by the way.  The first 7-10 issues of that book were incredible, ridiculous, glorious violence.  It deteriorated as it went on, but again—that’s execution, not concept.  I want more of that.  More super stories, less attempts to make superheroes “real.”  If I want “real” I’ll stare at my dwindling bank account.

Now then, I still need a pic to represent Avengers #132.  It’s at right.



I can’t wait until I add Punisher into my “every panel” rotation….So I can school you all on why Frankenpunisher was one of the best Punisher arcs of all time.

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