I guess it's Punisher Week over at CBR, what with all the ads and the press for the "War Zone" film. I didn't know that was going to happen, but I knew the Punisher was in my brain this week, after spending the Thanksgiving weekend cuddling up with the new Omnibus edition.
So you get me writing about Steven Grant and Mike Zeck. You get me writing about the highs and lows of the Punisher. And you get me writing about what Ennis and Dillon brought to the party. All this and more in this week's WWC: "Being Frank Castle."
Stuff I left out of the column:
1) I think Punisher works best in contrast with costumed superheroes. His style of vigilante justice works to play off the more "noble" moral codes of other heroes, but shows the cracks in their philosophies.
2) Ultimately, I like Fraction's work on Punisher War Journal more than Ennis's work on Punisher Max, mostly because of reason #1 but also because Ennis's five-issue arcs seem too long by half. (And there's a sameness in tone and an interchangeability in the bad guys.)
3) At San Diego, Ryan and I saw the world's sweetest-looking Punisher. Not "sweet" as in "cool," but "sweet" as in wholesome and nice. Not very Frank Castle-esque.
4) My dad once picked up one of the Mike Baron-written Punisher issues from early in the ongoing series. It was laying on the coffee table in the living room, and he started flipping through it, and then read the entire thing. He seemed to like it. It was the first comic book he'd ever read -- or the first one since he was a child. He asked, "are all comics like this now?" I said, "not really. Just this series." And then he never read another issue, or any other comic, again.