Suggested Reading: Punisher: War Zone - Bloodshed With Frank!
by Roman Chavez
December 3, 2008
Hello again comic book fans and cinephiles! It's Roman, your comic book guide to the stars, back again for the holiday season. We've had a bit of a slump in the comic book movie genre, but with a full stomach and a season's greeting, I hope to lead us back home. And what better way to start off the Christmas month than with a bit of bloodshed - Punisher: War Zone! I am with you all. I too have this nagging feeling towards this movie. Marvel puts out two really kick ass movies this summer and then the Punisher: War Zone trailer rears its ugly head. I want it to be awesome, but can't ignore its seemingly numerous flaws.
For me those flaws include what appeared to be the Punisher running around and jumping off walls while fighting, hanging and spinning from a chandelier while killing thugs, and finally one of the worst lines I have ever heard: "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." I hope I am not alone in those feelings. Though, on the positive side, it looks like all of the Punisher fans will get a much needed violence increase from previous Punisher movie that starred Thomas Jane. Also, I'm glad to see Ray Stevenson playing Frank Castle this time around, because I think he looks a lot more like the comic book version of the character.
There might be a few Punisher naysayers among us who do not see why he is so damn cool. I have a few select stories that I believe will point them in the right direction. I may not be thrilled about the film, but the Punisher himself is a very interesting Marvel character and definitely worth taking a look at.
The Punisher: Born
Written by Garth Ennis, Penciled by Darick Robertson
This four issue mini-series gives the fans a glimpse of Frank Castle in his last tour of Vietnam. This was interesting because you always hear of Frank being a vet but you never saw anything about it. The story is told through the eyes of a marine that talks about his hard Captain and shows us a little bit more of what makes Frank Castle tick. Buy from Amazon.com.
Written by Garth Ennis
Writer Garth Ennis takes us on a more current journey of our vigilante this time. This is an ongoing series published under the Marvel MAX label, which allows for more adult oriented situations and content. There are over 60 issues of this series right now, but sadly it's rumored to be coming to an end quite soon. If you want awesome violence with complex storytelling, this is the series for you. My favorite story arc is entitled Kitchen Irish. Buy from Amazon.com.
The Punisher: The End
Written by Garth Ennis, Penciled by Richard Corben
This bitter tale takes place in the not too distant future. The third world war has erupted and numerous countries take the nuclear route. Frank Castle, having been arrested years before, survives in the prison's fall-out shelter. Frank knows that the more powerful figures may have survived and seeks to stop them from further ruining the world. Buy from Amazon.com.
As you can certainly see, I am a huge Garth Ennis fan and really recommend his work. As always, feel free to suggest other stories that you like and please suggest some with Jigsaw in them. I know he is the main villain in the movie, but for the life of me I have not read a story with him in it that I really liked. Anyone help me out? Punisher: War Zone hits theaters on December 5th, this upcoming weekend. I will try to keep an open mind if you do, too. So long from Roman's Land and we'll see you at the movies.