|Just wet myself a bit...|
|Slow motion gun pose, trenchcoat flapping in the wind - thanks John Woo!|
We all died a little inside, not knowing if "foreseeable future" meant until Greg Rucka stabbed his editor in the eye with a biro, or if "foreseeable future" was Marvel office monkey terminology for "HAHAHAHA…NEVER!!!" That sort of uncertainty really irks the Punisher fans across the world something terrible—the last fans on Earth you want to piss off being Punisher fans—so this new series is really awesome news. In fact, I don't know about any of you, but I'm just going to willfully wet myself some more. Just completely change the tone of my trousers, then sit here and smile to myself for a little bit.
Problems in the War Zone
Fans of Frank have been divided for a good few years now over some pretty mild liberties taken by Punisher writers, and then some massively courageous or possibly stupid ones. We have the moment Daken killed Punisher…*COUGH* yeah, right *COUGH*…only for him to come back as a freakin' half-robot Frankenstein's monster (although I do think Tony Moore's artwork greatly complemented Rick Remender's comical moments—PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!). Remender brought the character back to his rightful old self eventually, but that was when he too was cancelled from the gig. It pissed fans off that so many "Easter eggs"—so many problems that had the potential to be put right—were left unattended to. Daken may have had his comeuppance at the hands of Franken-Castle and Wolverine, but why did Frank go after Jigsaw instead of Osborn and The Hood? That's what the English call a cop-out, and it's not Frank's style to let bygones be bygones.
|"How…in the name of Zeus's BUTTHOLE…did you get out of your cell?"|
So, What Changes?
Following Frank's most recent Marvel Now! reboot, he's more lethal than ever, a lot more intelligent, and oddly enough, a lot more socially adept than he has been for the past 20 years. This can only be a good thing, and it can only set the tone for his new outing with the fantastic creative team-up of Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads, who are responsible for works such as The Activity.
|Is it just me that keeps thinking 'Syphon Filter'?|
Who cares, it sounds badass. The fact that this new creative team under editor Steve Wacker is looking to give Marvel readers more of what they want from a Punisher series (hopefully a permanent one) and give us more of what Rucka did right—the mystery thriller elements of the likes of the Bourne movies and more "Frank time" away from his missions, essentially giving us an in-depth character as well as some serious action. This IS what Punisher fans want, am I right?
Why is it then that I get the feeling Punisher is coming back on a slightly parodied GTA San Andreas slant? Punisher is typically hardcore action, stunts, and dark, gritty psycho-drama. It's why the fans love the Punisher but it's also why non-fans don't like him. Putting Frank in a warmer, sunnier, more tropical climate full of street crime, gunplay, and comedy is surely going to take him down that route, especially if Marvel wants to capitalise on what is currently popular domestically and internationally (GTA V, the highest grossing media product of all time). I can most definitely get behind something styled that way, as some of Punisher's most politically incorrect hilarity of the past, featured in Ennis' Marvel Knights and MAX era, was not far off. Edmondson also spilled the beans on wanting a touch of The Fast and the Furious in there too, which only further confirms my expectations.
Edmondson was also excited enough to tell everybody that he also wanted more comedy time with Frank, and the funny side of Edmondson's own personality shines through as he jokes about so many possibilities. The idea of Frank being a fan of Rizzoli and Isles makes me chuckle without even knowing why that is supposed to be funny, but Edmondson's energy and enthusiasm are a great sign, as is the fact that Gerads' artwork is never anything less than lush.