Tag: The Punisher

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    The Unstoppable Will vs. The Unstoppable Mouth

    The main difference between The Punisher and Deadpool is motivation. Both appear to be sociopaths. But Frank Castle is driven by vengeance and Wade Wilson’s main concern is his paycheck. Neither wants to admit how deeply they are actually driven by emotion.

    In Deadpool vs. Punisher #1, Fred Van Lente serves up a script that puts these two on opposite sides of an ambiguous moral scenario.

    Wilson and Castle are very familiar with each other’s work. Wilson thinks Castle is a “self-righteous, sociopathic, shoot-first-ask-questions-never, humorless, fascist hard-ass.” Castle views Wilson as a “motor-mouthed, muddle-headed, arrested adolescent with delusions of competence.”

    See the World. Fill it Full of Bullets

    Deadpool vs. Punisher #1 opens with Punisher working undercover at an underground illegal gambling club. “VS.” is a place where degenerates gather to place wagers on superheroes. Some names on the board include Spider-Man (original, probably), Captain American Falcon, and Guy who thinks he’s Hercules.

    After Punisher violently shuts down the club, he gets the information he’s been after. That’s when the desperate club manager gives up details on The Bank in order to save his own life. The Bank is Castle’s true target. But he’s also Wade Wilson’s accountant, money launderer, client, and close friend.

    Pere Perez’ artwork suits the script perfectly. And there are plenty of background details, but not so many as to distract from well-planned action sequences. In addition, he nails the expressions on the unmasked characters. Perez brilliantly telegraphs nuanced expression through Pool’s mask and body language.

    Van Lente sets up an interesting “best of five rounds” scenario. With a clear winner in each of the planned five chapters, Deadpool is playing with a loaded deck. With his regenerative abilities, he can afford to lose four of five battles and still come back for the next installment. Punisher doesn’t have the same luxury.


    Deadpool vs. Punisher #1, Marvel Comics, April 12, 2017, Written by Fred Van Lente, Art by Pere Perez, Color by Ruth Redmond, Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino, Cover by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, $3.99

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    Best of Marvel MAX

    Comics aren’t just for kids, is a refrain you’ll often hear from fans and it’s true. Marvel took things to a new level though with their mature content imprint MAX. Created in 2001, Marvel MAX focuses on darker heroes from the Marvel universe or creating new more morally complex characters. MAX’s R-rated comic content gives adult readers a more grown up reading experience.

    Here are some of MAX’s best titles:


    Blade Max
    Blade Max

    He’s a half-vampire, half-human vampire hunter. And he uses an arsenal of extreme weaponry to slay the undead. The MAX line gave creators the opportunity to tell the scary and violent stories Blade fans had been waiting years for.



    Deadpool has long been a fan of four letter words and extreme violence. So, his MAX book allows him to really cut loose and be the best mercenary he could. This version retains the humor that made the character so popular. But it also frees the creative team of the limitations of a mainstream book. The result is one of Deadpool’s craziest adventures.


    Wolverine Max
    Wolverine Max

    Wolverine’s berserker rage is on full display in this series. He’s been freed of the X-Men continuity and content restrictions. Now Wolverine is turned loose in a more gritty and noirish story. The violent and brooding world of Wolverine fit perfectly with the darker, more grown up tone of the MAX books.


    The Punisher
    The Punisher

    If any character was made for a MAX book, it’s Frank Castle. And he’s finally able to deliver the bloody retribution he had been talking about for decades. Writer Garth Ennis was able to dig deeper into the psyche of The Punisher than ever before. Yet the book still delivers some of the finest action sequences in the character’s history.


    Alias Max
    Alias Max

    If we can thank the MAX line for anything it’s the creation of Jessica Jones. She’s now a mainstay of the Marvel universe. Jessica was introduced in the Alias gritty detective series. Writer Brian Michael Bendis gives is a beautifully flawed and compelling protagonist. But he also shines a light on the more human side of superheroes.


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    Mystic Punishment

    Doctor Strange and The Punisher are two fan favorite Marvel characters that have little to nothing in common, making them perfect for a team-up. And Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 delivers the best of both characters in a kinetic and incredibly fun story.

    It opens on Frank Castle and Stephen Strange going about their normal routines. Frank is killing gangsters and Stephen is confronting a demon from another dimension. So, what leads the Punisher to the door of the Sanctum Santorum? And why does he need Doctor Strange’s help?

    As it turns out one of New York’s restaurants is a front for the mob and that in turn is a front for occult activity. When The Punisher stumbles onto the establishment filled with evil spirits he has no choice but to turn to the Sorcerer Supreme. Doctor Strange being first and foremost a healer does not exactly jump at the chance to team up with the violent vigilante.

    The Odd Coupling

    It’s the mismatched moral codes of these characters that makes the book so engaging. The Punisher is a shoot first, second, and third kind of guy. And Doctor Strange is, well, a doctor. Seeing Frank try to give Strange a gun or Strange creating an energy shield to protect them both from an explosion is a thrill.

    The first issue does a great job establishing the basis for their working relationship. And the ebb and flow of their relationship should continue to evolve over the course of the series. Those following Doctor Strange’s solo book know he’s been significantly depowered following The Last Days of Magic arc. That means he must defer to The Punisher in most combat scenarios–even though he abhors Frank’s brutal tactics.

    It’ll be fun to see this odd couple continue to work together through this mini series and fans of both characters will get plenty of great moments.


    Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1, Marvel Comics, Released December 14, 2016, Written by John Barber, Art by Andrea Broccardo,  $4.99

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