Thursday, June 5, 2008
Punisher: Return To Big Nothing
There was a period of a year or so where the Punisher was my favorite character. I even got my stepfather to customize my skateboard with a Punisher skull and logo, which you just know got stolen. Thing is though, I grew out of my enjoyment pretty quick. I think a major turning point was when I saved a couple weeks' allowance to buy my first ever original graphic novel, "Assassin's Guild," by Jo Duffy and Jorge Zaffino. Not only did it suck, but I could see no reason for employing an extravagant format for such middling material. Little did I know that was about par for Marvel at the time, but I stayed on guard regardless.
All this is meant to explain why I waited nearly twenty years to finally read "Return To Big Nothing." It isn't that I hadn't enjoyed the same creative team on "Circle of Blood," either. For some reason that escapes me, between then and now, I acquired some unreasonable prejudice against Steven Grant's writing. Too many books about guys with guns I suppose, but seeing as how I hadn't read many of then, that's no excuse. I certainly loved the Mike Zeck/John Beatty art team as well, and this was during their peak period. Ultimately, I blame the book's being somewhat elusive (currently and for some time out of print,) and that damned "Assassin's Guild."
"Return To Big Nothing" reminded me of why I liked the character in the first place, and made me wonder why fans of Garth Ennis' work haven't revisited it. Grant seems to share the same view of the Punisher as functional sociopath, though his slightly shady moral code is more palatable than most. Knowing full well the limitations of Frank's personality, Grant focuses on the little details and clever bits that make or break a Punisher tale. Things like showing a 19-year-old punk Frank Castle getting his ass handled, or describing the smell of a Nevada whorehouse. All Punisher stories are essentially the same, so it's all up to how well you can finesse the material, and this creative team has their mojo working. Pick it up if you get the chance. Maybe someday Marvel will have sense enough to combine this with a "Circle of Blood," if only to make up for that tacked-on sixth issue by a separate creative team (Jo Duffy again, right?")
- A Frank Review of Film/TV/Performance/Arts (214)
- Anecdotal (16)
- Bantam-Blog (4)
- Comic Box Trot (54)
- Delanopinions (36)
- Dirty Trader: Book/Graphic Novel Reviews (92)
- Emmanu-Wednesday (38)
- Indexes (8)
- Linkypeux (75)
- Meme-O-Scope (39)
- nurghophonic jukebox (72)
- Obscure Character Handbook (17)
- Pepsi Maximum Challenge (4)
- Scripture (3)
- Smelly Brown Paper (Scans of Yore) (171)
- Super-Hero Feast (33)
- The Bedazzler: Arts and Crafts (17)
- The Super-Hero Books (29)
- The Trouble With Super-Heroes (10)
- Toys (1)
- Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care (Comic Reviews) (181)
- ► 2012 (102)
- ► 2011 (111)
- ► 2010 (136)
- ► 2009 (350)
- Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows
- The New Fantastic Four (2008)
- The Dirty Trader- Martian Manhunter: American Secr...
- Canadian Prevent-It.ca Ads
- The Yellow Peril & the Yellow Claw!
- Censored Home Front Calgary Domestic Abuse Ads
- The Great Comic Book Heroes (2003 Edition) by Jule...
- Martian Manhunter: American Secrets. Book three. (...
- Martian Manhunter: American Secrets. Book two. (10...
- Martian Manhunter: American Secrets. Book one. (9/...
- Random Videos From An Impaired Computer
- 1966 Christmas In January from AMT ad (1937 Kord K...
- Audio Neurotic Fixation: Students of the Unusual G...
- Comic Review: Students of the Unusual Giant-Sized ...
- Blue Devil #5 (10/84)
- Blue Devil #4 (9/84)
- Whatever Happened to the Negro League?
- 1966 Teen Titans Debut Subscription Ad
- 1962 100 Toy Soldiers $1.25 Ad
- Wed. Is Any Day For All I Care #6
- Angel and the Ape (2001)
- JLA: Welcome To The Working Week
- 1964 Batman Silly Putty Ad
- Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare
- Smoking Is For Squares! (1964 DC Comics PSA)
- Punisher: Return To Big Nothing
- Wed. Is Any Day For All I Care #5
- Your Free Trip Around the World! (DC Comics PSA, 1...
- Secret Origins Matter (or How Hawkman Got His Wing...
- The Batman... You Only Think You Know Him Ad (1986...
- ▼ June (30)