Silent Night, holy night. All is calm, all is... violence and death.
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Brace yourself. the ''luls Punisher is way cooler than those good goody superheroes'' comments are coming.
Dear God, this was a rough way to start the Christmas season. Even worse, this Punisher comic was written by Andy Diggle. I'm hoping that this was some mandatory assignment he had to and not a glimpse of what Andy thinks of the holiday season.Here's hoping next week's episode will be more holly-jolly and less stabby-stabby.
Anon, Wasn't that the entire point of Garth Ennis' run?
At the end you used I kill it poetic irony, when I'm pretty sure it was suppose to be I call it poetic irony. Then again I can see how you could make that mistake when this comic is so pointlessly violent and psychotic. Seriously those orphans will be lucky if they can even sleep for a full night ever again.
Wow, I don't think Garth Ennis and Quentin Tarantino together would be able to create something as joyless or unnecessarily violent as this comic.
Best typo ever in the credits:"I'd kill it poetic justice"
Well, that was certainly a happy, jolly comic. I feel the spirit of the season, what with the violence, and death, and all around brutality. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And wow, I think I broke my sarcasm button. I love Blackadder's Christmas Carol so much. You've got Hagrid as the Ghost of Christmas, for one. For another, seeing Blackadder being a kindly gent in the beginning is hilarious if you know the show. "Baldrick, you wouldn't notice a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing 'Subtle plans are here again.' " Is your tree real?
Uh, maybe it's called Silent Night because it's about snitches and how they get stitches and it's supposed to be ironic... I think.I don't know, I only know I hate stories that decide they want to be all cynical and grouchy. Basically they tell the audience "This holiday sucks and you suck too! I'm living in the real world!"Arkham Origins had more Christmas Cheer than this story, and that game stars a brooding loner Batman. He learns a lesson and even lightens up a little more, becomes more accepting of having other people in his life, allies and friends.Punisher goes around killing people, beating up Santa in front of kids and forcing Orphans to build Snowmen before locking them up in a cold stone building. It's stories like this that make me not want to be a Punisher fan, because I do like the character. Just not when he's acting all "Super-Duper Awesome" and "Better than all other Heroes." Castle, I get you're a crazy vigilante who fucks bad guys up, but that doesn't make you a better hero. It just makes you a violent male revenge fantasy. Stay in that corner and don't try to act like that somehow makes you better than friggin Captain America or Spider-Man. It's easy to win with a gun and no rules, a real bad ass wins the day without loss of life. That's what police men try to do and that's what real heroes do.Enough rambling from me, this story just got under my skin. I hate people who like to make joyless gritty "mature" Christmas stories because it worked for movies liek Die Hard. You know why? Because that was a Christmas story about getting home for the holidays, reuniting with family and John McCain wasn't a total asshat who actually recognized when he was a dick and felt sorry for it.Christmas is a time of fun, not cynical bullcrap. You can set aside the "everything sucks" sthick for one day I think. Stop ruining it for everyone because you hate it. Glad to see we're on the same page with that Mr. Lovhaug and great review.
Since he's on a roof, I'd guess those white dots are supposed to be stars.
I wonder if they just called the comic Silent Night and not the more appropriate Silent Night, Deadly Night. I guess they didn't want to confuse the comic with that film. Still, it needs more Garbage Day.Though I preferred Christmas At Ground Zero, The Night Santa Went Crazy by Weird Al is still fitting. When I get my own Christmas tree one day, I must find that I'm A Man ornament. It would look awesome!
I just read FNGLHR's synopsis of the issue, and it made me laugh. I can't wait until I am caught up with the videos. I would watch this ahead of time, but I don't want to, due to the story arc. I know that the arc won't return until February, but I still feel slightly wary. Still, I'm just three years and one month away! I think I'll be caught up by approximately summer. Have an excellent day, Linkara, commenters, and everyone!
I don't like to make over critism of the back ground. But the lamp reflection was a bit destracting I'd suggect moving it to where the refelction would be block by the Tree
Great review. My favorite part is "Frank" interrogating the "corpse". If it wasn't for the fact that this is supposed to be a Christmas comic, I would call that part with the priest looking at the shotgun pretty powerful. The ending is just... why? Merry Christmas, kids. Here's a corpse. Wonderful. Oy.
I hate it when a story is written as dark and violent just for the sake of being dark and violent. There seems to be a mentality that "dark" is equivalent to "interesting". No, exploring complex and unique ideas that happen to be dark is interesting; darkness for darkness's sake only gives us pointlessly violent and depressing stories like this one. Darkness has to add up to something other than a body count in order to be interesting.
Classic Atop the Forth Wall ^^Question: Are you holding a real gun there Lewis? Not to start a gun debate here but one those things can go off buy accident you know. Also You look great in sunglasses.Yeah I really can't get behind the Punisher either (except the pretty good Thomas Jane film). It seems his whole shtick is "Wow look how cool he is, he kills people"So? If I want to see superheroes killing I'd go read classic Judge Dredd or The Darkness (Both comics I recommend, and I highly recommend the Karl Urban Dredd film). Heck My favourite comic series ever, Mouse Guard has killing in it. Only cooler because the killing is done by mice with swords! (Read Mouse Guard please :3)Actually seeing how cartoonishly scummy the gangsters in this comic are it made me wish I was reading The Darkness. There gangsters are more than just meatbags.So yeah I'm with you 100% here. The dead interrogation seen was particularly funny. actually, think about this. If here always kills his informants how has word not spread that squealing does you no good with him? And yeah how has he not murdered every last criminal in NY over the last 40 years?
Gabriel Godinho: Um...Quentin Tarantino might create VERY bloody and violent movies, but they're NOT joyless, like this was. Eli Roth might be a bit more appropriate.
I'm not even bothered by the violence so much as the fact that the Punisher went out of his way to make it worse than it had to be. Murdering the bad guy is par for the course, but taking the time to put a Santa suit on him, and leaving his corpse where the kids can see? Wow, screw you, dude.
Honestly, I think this comic was pretty awesome. Note, that while the Punisher does have a rule against killing innocents, he actually does not give a rats-ass about traumatizing them or causing any other damage I do actually love that about the character He's utterly dedicated and single-minded in his mission. Purge evil, don't let innocents die. Everything else is irrelevant. It's like watching a surgeon at work - you have to cut the healthy flesh to remove the tumor. I do think the white dots at the start were meant to be stars. And let's be fair here, I think the bit with Frank telling the kids to built snowmen was funny as hell By the way, Marvel is launching a second wave of Marvel Now, and it includes a new Punisher title, which is going to be set in L.A. I'm getting it along with the new Fantastic Four, Loki, and She-Hulk
"actually, think about this. If here always kills his informants how has word not spread that squealing does you no good with him?"That's actually very simple You'r death will be allot less painful if you co-operate A bullet to the head is preferable to being skinned alive, don't you think
Wow. That...was the most depressing Christmas comic you've ever reviewed. I was never really a fan of The Punisher to begin with but there were a few issues I read where Frank had some ounce of compassion, especially when it comes to kids.But this? Why even bother when all Frank cares about is killing criminals? There's no soul there. Hopefully your next review will be more uplifting...
What saddens me about this story is the fact that it had potential to be really good. This could have easily been a heartwarming tale about redemption that shows the Punisher that a man can change for the better. This could have been a sweet and hopeful character study. Instead, we got a joyless gore-fest that scars a ton of innocent children for life and leaves the reader depressed.
"No such thing as cold weather - only cold clothing" is a misquote of a Scandinavian proverb "There's no such thing as bad weather - only inappropriate clothing."Interesting comment about people getting out of jail due to being rehabilitated. Reminds me of a Judge Dredd story where a serial small-time perp is paroled and makes an honest attempt to go straight, even joining a support group to keep honest. However, Dredd refuses to believe he can change and keeps hounding him, insisting he'll slip up, so eventually the guy gets frustrated and pulls some minor vandalism, thus immediately gets chucked back in the cubes.
@6:11 - All I can think of is a very mad Snowflame...Can we have a Snowflame Christmas Special??? Please??? I can help write the music!"It's starting to look a like Snowflame,Is coming to our town.There's white dust everywhere,and ponies with his flare,Singing mares around!"-M4A
Punisher and christmas just don't go together but for some reason still makes these specials every once in a while. I mean back in early 90s he had several of them. This was just one of couple that came in last few years. Next week Santa Samurai. Ugh. I thought Santa The Barbarian was weird.
....Well at least he didn't rape Santa.
"Note, that while the Punisher does have a rule against killing innocents, he actually does not give a rats-ass about traumatizing them or causing any other damage I do actually love that about the character He's utterly dedicated and single-minded in his mission. Purge evil, don't let innocents die. Everything else is irrelevant. It's like watching a surgeon at work - you have to cut the healthy flesh to remove the tumor."There's a character that does a way better job at portraying that. His name Rorscach and the comic doesn't pretend he's a good person because of it.I'm sorry, but those aren't things to like about Punisher. Those are character flaws, grevious, terrible character flaws. And this comic decides not to address them. Castle is right, everyone else is wrong, it's okay to be a joyless asshole douchebag who kills people randomly in a giant macho man revenge fantasy.Do you know why none of the heroes in the Marvel Universe like the Punisher? Because he's a dick! He's a terrible lonely jackass who has no real friends and treats the world like a shithole. He's a murderer and a jerk who seriously needs mental councilling. He's not someone to aspire to. He's not a hero, he's a vigilante, and even he admits that.Your argument towards liking this kind of character seems to suggest you want him to remain a two-dimensional piece of wood that has no personality other than mindless bad guy murder.That's not appealing. A Punisher story, like any of these violent crime fighter stories, requires a sense of humanity. A stone cold, single minded dipshit with a gun hard-on is not a compelling character.The recent movie "Dredd" did this right. Judge Dredd is a seemingly cold jerk, numb to everything around him and seems to feel he's just doing a job at this point. However, there are hints of humanity. He doesn't kill the stupid kids that try to take him down, he doesn't kill an unarmed prisoner, even when he's told he's lmore than likely guilty of a crime and in the end he allows his rookie partner to pass her exam believing she's got what it takes, despite not being as hard or cynical as he has become.THAT is a fully realised character! The Frank Castle here is an indefensible jerk who traumatizes orphans and doesn't care. Why would I want to cheer on this asshole? I felt more of a connection with the thugs he was murdering! I usually despise the bad guys and want to seem them die horribly! Here, I want someone to punch Frank for being a total D-bag.and I'm not saying Castle can't be presented like that, there are plenty of stories where he actually has some humanity and isn't a cardboard boring ass cutout of an 90s action movie. But here... not so much.If you like him, fine. But that wasn't much of a defence of this comic. You basically listed every reason that turns people off from him without offering any sense of counterweight as to why these traits are in some way likable.Also, yes, the scene with the snowmen is funny... if you forget he's forcing orphans to lay down booby traps for him like they're slave workers. It's just another reason to hate him. He uses orphans for slave labour, that's not funny. That just makes him, again, a jerk.
The 1993 Marvel Holiday Special had a 10-page Punisher story called "Spirit of the Season." I highly recommend it.
It's funny. For all the flack Hitman got, Tommy was funny and had friends. He had morals. He gave the best speech ever about why Superman rocks. The modern characterization of Punisher is Hitman without any of the interesting characters or black humor or anything that made him a good character. He's an irredeemable murderer who is trotted out by Garth Ennis and friends to go "Superheros suck because they don't kill and why can't America have more genres for comics like Europe and Japan?". His books tend to be joyless, depressing reads. Any warmth or good intention from the character died years ago.That being said, I really want to know what is up with FrankenCastle.
Okay,this could have been better. I agree with a comment someone made. The whole, redemption take and a reformed ex-con character could have been utilize better .I am not surprise by the violence. It could have ended bitter sweetly and closed with a scene where The Punisher visits the grave of his family and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Just not with Children and a priest witnessing a Dead corpse on Christmas Day in a Santa Jacket. Pardon, my language, but the ending is fucked up.
I agree with Lostshadows about the dots being stars; that would demonstrate that the sky is clear, i.e. it's not snowing because there aren't any clouds.The comic said "There's no such thing as cold weather, only cold clothing." I've often heard a variant of that: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." It's a common phrase amongst cyclists: the idea is that if you dress appropriately then you can still go out when it's cold or wet.When he said "I'll catch them with X and Y" (whatever the gun manufacturer was called) I think he meant that the bullets would travel faster than the car.As for the guy who fell into the water at the end, cold water swimming is harder than you might think. I've swum in 0.1°C water (just above freezing point) and it really does drain your energy: I struggled to lift my arms out of the water. Swimming with clothes on is also a lot harder than a swimsuit, because of the extra drag. So, I can well believe that someone who's never done it before (and may not do any regular exercise) would drown before he could reach the side.
Well one thing can be said about this comic: its at least better than "Warrior Christmas"...then again nearly anything is better than that.Seriously, why did this comic need to exist? Sure the Punisher can probably be used for an intersting, grim Christmas tale but this wasn't it. It was just "let's just have the Punisher kill people in the midst of Chirstmas." And with the way he was distributing 'snow' around, I almost expected Snowflame to start sniffing the ground for the rest of the comic, which actually would have been way more entertaining. Oh and the bit with the snowmen was unintentionally hilarious...why, dunno but it's the Punisher forcing kids to make snowmen while in a santa outfit so of course its funny.
Nice Christmas tree.This comic was disturbing. No other way I can really describe it. I'll take weirder over whatever the hell this was.
Well... that was a Christmas comic? Then again I've read and watched Lobo's Paramilitary Christmas Special so this wasn't as bad as I originally thought it was going to be.
Ever heard of the term ''dark comedy''? Because this was really dark and funny, just like I would expect from a Cristmas Punisher story. Is just a fun ride, you don't have to think about, ohhh, the children in a ultra violent story. The comic had some fun moments and it had some really nice artwork too.I guess that this kind of humor is not for everybody. Some would say that a comic like The Boys are garbage, some would say that are the best comics that anyone can read. As long as we keep reading!
Wow....what a happy and joyous comic...I'm just filled with the Christmas Spirit now. If by Christmas Spirit I mean depression and horror. What the hell was this?The only bright spots were your additions, like the Christmas set by the way, because that is where joy could be found. Is that an "I Am a Man" ornament on your tree?Maybe the fact that the Punisher could pull off all of this crap was because of the "Magic of the Christmas Season."You could even tell the comic was starting to get to you when you used the word "kill" when you said "I'd kill it poetic irony but somehow I doubt it was deliberate."Oh well, I'm going to go order your DVD now and wonder how you get Q-like powers at Christmas time.Dark Patrician
It could actually have been a great comic. Themes of family, loyalty, starting over again (Tiny Tim), ideals versus reality (the priest and the gun and the priest rationalizing accepting charity from a criminal), the horrors the children see opposed to the need to stop crime etc.The problem is that it's pretty clear this isn't remotely competent enough to do it. That's actually even worse than just plain bad stories where it's clear it was doomed to failure from the start. Here you can see how much potential it had and what could have been a great tale.
Its like "Rise Of Arsenal" if it were a Christmas special.Happy holiday, Linkara.
There is one problem with this review, and in fact most of you'r reviews You are applying real-world morality and values to a setting where they clearly don't work In real life, criminals stay in prison when you put them there, and people can actually turn a new leaf if they try These things DO NOT exist in the Marvel universe. It's a miracle if you'r villains stay in prison for a full week, and a villain who did his full sentence is as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster And NOBODY is EVER redeemed. Just look at Magneto, Venom, Loki, Sandman, Dr. Doom, or Morbius. They all may have tried to change their ways and be heroes at some point, but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM reverted back to their villainous ways. You can NEVER change. Once evil, FOREVER EVIL!In a way, it seems like Frank Castle is the only sane person in the entire Marvel universe Or at least the only one who's not in denial about how hopeless everything is.
There was a slightly better version of the concept "Punisher and Christmas",a Punisher War Journal issue: Punisher plans to kill a bunch of guy that got their hand on Stilt Mans old gadgets, rhino of all people manage to talk him out of killing them, except one, that of course was an unrepentant copkiller... Still better than this comic
"It's the equivalent of someone saying Happy Holidays and then getting the finger at the end."What did you expect? It's the Punisher. Now you do this story with Deadpool, then you're bound to get at least a little joy out of it.
It seems to me the Punisher is better as a back-up character than he is in his own book at least I feel that way. I don't mind seeing him in stories that feature other ultra-violent killer heroes like Wolverine and Elektra or alongside more idealistic heroes like Spider-man or Captain America he always seems to play off them well... on his own he's just too gritty and too one dimensional, at least in the books I've read.This book had some definite moments, what I think it needed was some humor to provide a bit of relief and it could have been great.
What are you talking about, Linky boy? This was a perfectly festive comic! Especially with the right soundtrack http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9pzChni6H4
There's only one problem with your comment Anonymous: you didn't realize how utterly stupid it was and refrain from posting it.You're essentially saying that because hack writers have removed all character development from certain villains, that Linkara has to sit there and accept bad writing, which is ridiculous.Especially ridiculous since you use Venom as one of your examples, since Eddie Brock DID reform and the symbiote passed on to somebody else, the Venom killing people in Dark Reign wasn't even the same person and currently in Marvel comics, Venom is a good guy.Plus, there are quite a few Spider-Man villains who've reformed and not gone back to evil.
You pronounced Koch in Heckler and Koch wrong. It's basically said like coke, just with a little more of the grinding sort of ch at the end.
Wow... what a horribly depressing comic.While I am pretty okay with dark humor and believe that kids have a little more grit than what people give them credit for, the actions of the Punisher was just appalling.
It seemed to have some interesting ideas, but it had too much emphasis on the "dark" part and not enough on the "humor." He also seemed like too much of a two-dimentional jerk.
That's a nice tree you've got there, good sir! Very festive!This comic didn't seem very Christmas-y to me. Granted, my knowledge of the Punisher is quite limited at best, but the story seemed like one that could have worked just as well had it taken place at any other time of year. And it made the Punisher seem like the kind of guy who would kill somebody just because they had a bench warrant out for them for having too many unpaid traffic tickets. Not exactly the best intro to the character, from what I understand.
Ouch, that was bad, but you're right. It can't have been the silliest. So far, not sillier than the Silver Age.Also, I think this comic makes -far- less sense than the finger in response to "Happy Holidays" because many people, myself included, find the phrase genuinely offensive unless accompanied by the word "Christmas." Still, the correct response is not to give someone the finger, but to wish them a Merry Christmas, and hope they take the hint.On a slightly more related note, I wonder if the reverend actually thought about using the gun, or if he just thought the Punisher was a big jerk for expecting him to compromise his principles. Priests have a long history of facing persecution with boldness, and -not gunning people down,- but I wonder what -his- reaction would have been. The latter, I'd like to think.
I think it would have been better if it was a comic that focused on the Punisher being alone, and seeing how his family being gone, how would it effect him during the time of the year, were the society he exists in puts emphasis on having family around.Wait a second the comics getting reviewed are going to get worse?Should have known.Also Linkara, for those of us interested in the hat of power/the Ferdora,How does one determine which type or style is right for them? Like what led you into choosing yours? For example.
You know why you don't like this, it's because you don't understand what the Punisher is all about. Also don't spoil the joke by telling people why it's funny, that's for the audience to do.
@Tantum Ergo 2:You find "Happy Holidays" offensive? Give me a break!You do realize that New Year's is right around the corner or a few days after Christmas, right?So usually people are wishing you "Happy Holidays" as a short form of "Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year's!".Also, if they don't know you very well or not at all: How do they know if you celebrate Christmas, some other holiday during that time, or not at all? People aren't mind-readers, you know. And people do follow other religions besides Christianity. Not to mention there are sects of Christianity that do not celebrate Christmas at all.The early Puritans even banned Christmas in America for quite some time.Plus Christmas, technically, is a stolen holiday (Yuletide). Just like Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's Day are. It was a way of getting people in Europe to convert to Christianity by having the co-opted holiday.Plus hints are given out that Jesus was born during the Spring and not "Dec. 25th".From, a Pedantic.
Does make one wonder what would've happened if they'd let Garth Ennis write this. Knowing him, I somewhat doubt it would be much better.Also, I think I'm going to put "Say 'No such thing as bad weather' to a Minnesotan" on my list of ways to look like a real idiot.
"You know why you don't like this, it's because you don't understand what the Punisher is all about. Also don't spoil the joke by telling people why it's funny, that's for the audience to do."I get what the Punisher is all about.I also get what a good story is all about, which is why this comic sucks.And what are you talking about "spoiling the joke?" If you mean the Heckler and Koch remark, it's a joke that:1. 99% of the readers wouldn't understand to begin with because chances are they don't know the names of weapons manufacturers.2. Doesn't make any sense to begin with, since Tiny Tim was talking about catching up to the guy and bringing up his guns doesn't mean he'll catch up - it just means he's going to shoot at him, which is not how he caught up to him, just how he shot out his tires. He already managed to catch up to him on the sleigh without the assistance of the guns.
so Lewis, whatever happened to Fat Grandma?
If you're interested in a good christmas comic involving the Punisher, I'd recommend you try hunting down the Punisher Holiday Special #1 published in 1992. The plot's about a trap being set up for the Punisher on christmas eve, on behalf of a vengeful mob boss. The punisher gets trapped inside a mall, and must survive the entire night while being wounded and weaponless, in a pretty decent game of cat and mouse between Frank and the bad guys. It even ends on a somewhat optimistic note (for a Punisher comic, at least).
He said in an old blog that it's a toy gun he spray painted
I'm sorry Ciaron, but telling someone who dislikes a story that they "just don't get it" doesn't actually do anything to defend the story. All it says is that you like the story and are angry that someone else didn't, not that there is something about the story that is defensible.For more details, see SFDebris' review of the Doctor Who episode "Fear Her" and his response to the maker's argument that it wasn't an episode meant for people who didn't like it.
The Punisher is not the first character I would associate with Christmas. And dumping cocaine into the water isn't exactly the most environmentally friendly thing to do.As Mr. Luvhaug points out with Punisher's heelish behavior, Frank Castle is no hero. Origincally, he was a villain who would fight heroes like Spider-Man and Captain America, and he's still the same character. Which makes a Christmas story with the Punisher even more strange.One new thing they could do with the Punisher is have him murder an innocent person or persons. We know a number of people have been falsely convicted, in some cases because of prosecutorial misconduct - withholding exculpatory evidence etc.This would be a good opportunity for the Punisher to reconsider his ways. What if the person he "knows" is guilty is actually not guilty?######################################The Justice Society had a really cool Christmas issue some years ago. Hawkman was admittedly a little emo in that but it was fun anyway and re-introduced Ma Hunkel to the supporting cast.*Sigh*I really miss the Justice Society. That's the worst thing about the New 52 for me.
Why is it so hard to write the Punisher in a way that doesn't make him a total douche? I have seen him done so much better. They did better in the Spiderman animated series that was on when I was little, for crying out loud, and that was for kids. We get it, he's a hardass killing machine, that doesn't mean he has to be written with no humanity at all. Or if you do go that route you can make it really sad and tragic and not try so hard to make it "Dur hur hur Punisher is so awesome because he kills people and he's not like those goody two-shoes superheroes."
I'm not a fan of the Punisher, but in the right hands he could be an interesting character if one wanted to write about mental illness. Punisher is a villain. He may be motivated by what occurs to him as a noble mission. He's a villain. If one wrote about how he sees his own villainy and begins to feel regret and remorse, then you might have a good story. Revenge and uber-macho vigilante power fantasies are not the same thing as justice.
Jesus Christ, this is one of the worst Christmas-themed comics. I know The Punisher tends to go for ultra-violent and grim, but Good heavens, this is horrible! It just sucks the joy out of Christmas and leaves you wondering how humankind can produce such miserable works.
The Punisher is not a hero. Neither is Rorschach or other characters like that. They are serial killers with societally convenient targets. At least Dexter on Showtime doesn't pretend otherwise.
@Laughing HyenaI could address some of your points, but I don't really think it would help. It especially wouldn't help me, as my feelings about this phrase are just that; feelings. This means that they cannot simply be dispelled through adequate logic.Yes, I know that the phrase is not inherently offensive. Yes, I know that most people don't mean any harm when they say it. My emotional reaction to it is a psychological one (grounded in the historical and modern abuse of the phrase by department stores, for the purpose of making a buck off of Christmas without actually saying "Christmas,") and not a logical statement of fact, or anything else that can be defended or refuted.
meet the new comic same as the old comic.
I read the entire run of Punisher comics from the time of Garth Ennis' reboot up until about 2010. I read Marvel Knights and Marvel Max Punisher. In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to make The Punisher so dark. Garth Ennis' Marvel Knights run did have humor in it, and it was funny to see Wolverine get trapped underneath a steam roller while the Punisher fought a mafia of little people. The Punisher was more of a human being during the 1980s and even into the early '90s. I think Jim Lee drew the character best and Frank Castle could still pass for a normal man. The character is also better when he's a part of the regular Marvel Universe rather than on his own like in the hateful Marvel Max series. The only story from the past 10 years that I still like him in is his small part in Marvel's Civil War. There was a nice little "full circle" story in which he saves Spider-Man's life, being that the character was first introduced as trying to kill Spider-Man.
You REALLY should have flipped the picture when doing the "Shoot first, ask later" gag. The fact that text would be reversed would be less distracting than pulling a "Schrodinger's Linkara."
Some of these comments are really missing the point of The Punisher comics. He's not a character you're supposed to treat him as a hero. It's not meant to be a macho power-fantasy. A Punisher comic is like a slasher movie, only where the victims are also bad people. Generally in a Punisher comic, it's more about the people around him (the cop characters, Microchip, etc.). Having Frank's character develop would defeat his purpose. If there are any Punisher comics where Frank is treated like a saint, I have't read it. Every time Frank appears alongside another Marvel hero, he's always given a lecture, even from people like Moon Knight.I get that the MAX Punisher series isn't going to appeal to everyone, but the (relatively) tamer, more mainstream Marvel Universe Punisher comics have been pretty good recently, particularly Rucka's run, and I also liked Remender's run previously.
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