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Monday, December 27, 2010

Comic Book Review: Punisher MAX (Punisher: Frank Castle)

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artists:  Various
 Issues: 75 issues (on going series format)
Published by Marvel Comics (under their MAX imprint)

Yes guys, I'm still readin' some comic books and this time its the adventures of the one and only Frank Castle aka The Punisher under Marvel's MAX imprint.

The MAX imprint basically equal to DC's Vertigo line of graphic novels and essentially enables writers to create stories with a lot of explicit content. So you are right if you are thinking about a lot of foul language and sexual innuendos, because this is what this book contains together with a lot of good 'ol violence. Oh yes, The Punisher is as bad as ever before.

Take note that this Punisher comic book is set in a different timeline, apart from the mainstream Punisher novels. Here, Frank Castle , has been a vigilante for 30 years since his family's  massacre by the mob, and is responsible for over 2000 murders approximately - mafioso bosses, gangstas, KGBs, members of the Taliban, Russian secret agents, and even the small time rapists, drug dealers etc, name it. He's wasted  and punished them all.  He also ages in real time, unlike the Marvel Universe version who doesn't age a bit because of the floating timeline. 


Written by Garth Ennis, Punisher MAX deals with a lot of different story arcs with different themes that we see in the real world. Social topics like organized crime, child pornography, sexual slavery, abuse on women, human trafficking, illegal drug trade, war on terrorism, and politics within the police and military are just some of the real-world stories that are told in the book. It also mentions real organizations like the KGB, Taliban, Secret Intelligence Service and SAS, and are established to have connections with past conflicts like the Vietnam War, Cold War and 9-11.  And by the way, no superpowered heroes fly and swing their way in the pages, though Nick Fury makes some cameos as a burnt-out war veteran.

Ennis also explores the mind of the Punisher, his emotions and what drives him to do what he does: Is he still doing this for revenge or is he doing it because he has already turned into a heartless, violent psycho who just enjoys to see blood? Something to ponder on as you read.

And because the plot devices and emotions are real, the whole novel itself is totally engaging and enjoyable. Nice dialogues and non-stop action with the big guns will just keep you flipping the pages till you finish one story arc. I  actually found myself reading 6 issues at the beginning and got hooked for a full 3 hours and I just can't stop!  I'm about to finish the whole 75 issue series and I have just started reading it for 4 days.That's how good this comic book is, and if you haven't read a single issue yet, I highly suggest that you do because this is one of the best ongoing comic book series that has ever been released. It is The Punisher vs the real world at its finest.

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