The Punisher Returns in 2014... San Andreas-Style? | Fanboys Anonymous

The Punisher Returns in 2014... San Andreas-Style?

Posted by Dan Ashley Friday, October 25, 2013
I am VERY excited to announce the news that a new ongoing Punisher series is in the works. From acclaimed writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mitch Gerads, who spilled their guts on the project at the recent NYCC, this up and coming series is set to be a long-term gig for everybody's favourite skull-wearing, gun-toting, terrible-tempered vigilante and also promises some refreshing changes!

Download Punisher CBR Torrent by Nathan Edmondson & Mitch Gerads
Just wet myself a bit...
It was only broken to Punisher fans a short while ago that there would be no more Punisher solo outings for the "foreseeable future" after Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto's brilliant John Woo techno thriller-styled Punisher/Omega Effect/War Zone run impressed fans old and new yet failed to meet sales targets last year.

Punisher #1 under Marvel Now banner by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto features styles and conventions similar to classic John Woo cinema
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.

Greg Rucka Punisher Roland Boschi Artwork Francesco Mattina
Uh-huh... reboot!
Then we have Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon killing off Garth Ennis' legendary Punisher MAX run, as that was also to be cancelled. Sorry, but to me, that came across as highly disrespectful to everything Ennis ever achieved, not to mention all the brilliant artists that worked with him. Dillon may have worked with Ennis on Marvel Knights, but his artwork was so lazy in comparison. I'd have even preferred it had ended with the artist that thought it a good idea that the Punisher look like Nicolas Cage, for cryin' out loud!

Nicolas Cage Punisher Funny
"How…in the name of Zeus's BUTTHOLE…did you get out of your cell?"
Then Rucka and Checcheto made everything all right. In fact, they gained fans in people that used to hate the Punisher, and that's a massive achievement. So then we're told "no more Punisher," and instead he goes to Thunderbolts, but that turns out to be a good thing, because that series is going from strength to strength right now, and it's made an unlikely leader out of Frank, not to mention quite the ladykiller.

Punisher and Elektra Sex Scene
"PUNISH MEEEEEEE!"

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.

Download Activity CBR Online Read Comics Free
Is it just me that keeps thinking 'Syphon Filter'?
From reactions I've read, Nathan and Mitch's The Activity is as much a vital qualification, to make a new Punisher series the absolute mutt's nuts, as we need to see, and this series has come highly recommended to me. Yet Punisher really needs to be going from strength to strength with his recent rise in popularity, along with the return of some previously disenfranchised fans. So a change of scenery, rather than a change of personality or physicality, is the way forward. The new Punisher #1

New York Comic Con 2014 Punisher #1 Announcement
Heeeheeeheeeheee
…takes place in none other than the West coast's City of Angels, Los Angeles, and will do so for a long time, for reasons we do not yet know. Looking to "cut off the snake's head," a new mission he has taken upon himself, he has friends and allies indigenous to Marvel's U.S. West coast (including an "animal friend," perhaps Wolverine?), but is being hunted by a recognizable deadly foe. That is as much as we know so far, but what could all of this mean?

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.

San Francisco Punisher artwork new series
Punisher #1 is set for release in early 2014, which is not so far away, but please stay posted for further news and feel free to comment. Does the news of Frank's return to solo format tickle your pickle? Do you look at that title picture and see

GTA: FRANK CASTLE STORIES?
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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