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Friday, April 09, 2004

Castle. 

(I could not think of a clever title.)

If, for whatever reason, you want a fun and irreverent summary of the Punisher's career from his inception in 1994 to the present day, you could do a lot worse than this humorous timeline that lays out, almost issue-by-issue, Big Frank's genocidal spree.

On The Punisher: Year One:

The new Punisher movie reportedly took a huge chunk out of this four-part mini-series, so keep an eye out. It's foreseeable that this book might be rewritten sometime in the future, but for now, we'll accept this as the origin of The Punisher. Told in four issues, this is actually more like a "Month One," but why be assholes about it?

The Punisher: Ghosts of Innocents:

So, here's some crap. Written by Jim Starlin, it's basically like this: Frank hanglides into a drug deal, uzis a'blazin, and chases the main thug, Snake, onto a school bus. The two are fighting when he knocks the thug's gunhand in the direction of the driver. The gun sprays bullets into the driver, who crashes into a train at a railroad crossing. Talk about "OOPS!" All aboard are killed, save for The Punisher and the thug! Ha ha! Now, The Punisher sees the ghosts of the children! Stop! Stop it, I can't take it! I'm laughing too hard!

Batman/Punisher: Deadly Knights:

This is The Punisher vs. the real Batman, as opposed to that blonde poser in the techno armor crap or whatever. This, in a sense, is also the real Punisher, as opposed to Denny O'Neal's old-school asshat who wouldn't know tough if he tried eating burnt steak without teeth. No, this is written by Chuck "Knows How It's Done" Dixon, who's written tons of great tales for both The Punisher and Batman. The art is provided by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson, who've both done some time with The Punisher.

Welcome Back, Frank:

Previous to this collection, The Punisher had become a supernatural demon-killer with magical guns, working for angels…I'll let that sit with you for a minute…Ok, so Ennis gets that out of the way in the first issue, getting back to basics, both in plot and character.

[...]

Frank is back. No demons. No angels. No Micro. Just Frank and his guns. Right off the bat, you can't believe this is a Marvel comic, let alone a popular one. Heads turned around backwards? Morgue gunfights? The list of violent acts gets longer and longer as we go, and I love Ennis, Dillon, and Marvel for it. What'll probably surprise you most is the level of cruelty. This is one mean-ass comic book.

In this issue, The Punisher kills a lot of people. Get ready, cause that's going to be the basic summary for every issue. In this issue, we also meet Frank's neighbors. Joan is a mouse of a woman, afraid of her own shadow. Spacker Dave is a good kid with a face full of metal. Mr. Bumpo is a fat dude who has heart bypasses every other month. All in all, good people.


In his thanks and acknowledgements:

(Special Shout-Out to ThePunisher.com, a great, great site that gives me all the Punishment I need…Man, I am a BADASS with the puns…the Puns! Oh, God, USA Today, here I come!)

Goddammit I love the Punisher.

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