One Mad Dog

[Punisher MAX, Vol. 4 – HC] – (Garth Ennis, Lan Medina)
April 6, 2010, 2:53 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Garth Ennis, Lan Medina, Punisher
This hardback collects the two stories “Man of Stone” and “Widowmaker”. The quality of the paper in this collection is excellent and the images really jump off the page. “Man of Stone” is a compelling story with strong dialogue and great artwork. The main focus of the story is the punisher vs a barbaric Russian general. This is one of the best books I have read this year. The second story “Widowmaker” took me a while to get into but it had a satisfying conclusion. This was a very violent story of female revenge and featured a female punisher. Definitely not as good as “Man of Stone”. Artwork was very good. *Man of Stone is a 9+. (ISBN-13: 978-0785128670). 8/10.

[Punisher MAX, Vol. 3 – HC] – (Garth Ennis, Leandro Fernandez, Goran Parlov)
April 6, 2010, 2:48 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Garth Ennis, Goran Parlov, Leandro Fernandez, Punisher
This deluxe hardcover collects Punisher MAX Vol. 5: The Slavers and Punisher MAX Vol. 6: Barracuda, plus extras.
The first story “the Slavers” is a superb story based on human trafficking and prostitution and Frank Castle trying to put things right. It is an often overused quote but I really could not put this book down once I started it. I ended up getting to bed an hour later than I should have. The whole tale is very realistically portrayed and there is a lot of truth behind the back story. Fantastic story and good artwork too.
Punisher Max Barracuda is a really good punisher story that turns up the gore and violence another notch. In this story Frank fights the evil that is corporate America rather than some drug lord, government or crime boss. Barracuda makes an excellent adversary for Frank and their battle is simply brutal. A well paced story line that has a very satisfying ending. Yet another punisher story that I struggled to put down once I started reading. (ISBN-13: 978-0785119814). 9/10

[Punisher MAX, Vol. 2 – HC] – (Garth Ennis, Dougie Braithwaite, Leandro Fernandez)
April 6, 2010, 2:43 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Dougie Braithwaite, Garth Ennis, Leandro Fernandez, Punisher
Collects Punisher Max Vol. 3: Mother Russia and Punisher Max Vol. 4: Up Is Down And Black Is White.
In Mother Russia, The punisher is forced into a suicide mission deep inside Russia with the goal to retrieve a deadly retrovirus.  This story is full of the graphic violence and action the punisher series is famous for but this time with a slightly more military bent.  The artwork is pretty good and really stands out on the premium paper. Fantastic tale with many subplots and twists to keep the reader hooked.  The dialogue and level of violence are off the scale and quite a few scenes have jaw dropping politically incorrect references. I really enjoyed this story. It is probably my favorite Punisher book to date.
Up is down and Black is White is a mafia based tale based around evil mafia mobster Nicky Cavella who finally figures out what is required to send Frank Castle over the edge (he desecrates his family’s grave). The violence that ensues is even shocking for the Punisher and it is an absolute bloodfest. The language and situations are very adult orientated and some of the flashbacks to fill in the background on main characters such as Nicky Cavella are particularly shocking. Highly recommended read for adult audiences only. Artwork is not bad but nothing really special. Collects Punisher #13-24. (ISBN-13: 978-0785120223 ) . 8/10.

[Punisher MAX, Vol. 1 – HC] – ( Garth Ennis,Lewis Larosa)
April 6, 2010, 2:38 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Garth Ennis, Lewis Larosa, Punisher
The hardcover version of this book is printed on very high quality paper and as a result of this the exploding body parts really jump off the page. The book contains two story arcs, “In the Beginning” and “Kitchen Irish”. I found both stories very engaging and would find it hard to choose a favorite. The quality of illustration is very good and the violence is off the scale. I don’t think I have ever seen so many brutal killings in one book. It is all done with a subtle dark sense of humor and references to real world events. The dialogue is also very well done but definitely not for children. This book is highly recommended if you can stomach the violence. (ISBN-13: 978-0785118404). 8/10

[Punisher Max : Born] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
April 6, 2010, 2:34 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, Punisher
A great prequel to the Punisher series where Garth Ennis explores Frank Castles Vietnam war history and gives a big hint as to why The Punisher is such a killing machine. Extremely well written and illustrated TPB collecting 4 issues of Punisher Born with some nice extras too. Its message might be a lttle bit uncomfortable for some but I found it to be a great read and easily on Par with the rest of the Punisher Max series. In my childhood I was a big fan of the war comic “Warlord” and I still have a very soft spot for war stories. I think Garth Ennis handles this subject very well. (ISBN-13: 978-0785110255). 8/10

[Punisher Max, Vol. 5 – Hardcover] – (Garth Ennis, Howard Chaykin, Goran Parlov)
April 5, 2010, 1:05 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Garth Ennis, Goran Parlov, Howard Chaykin, Punisher

Two fantastic books make up this hardbound volume, “Long Cold Dark” and “Valley Forge”. In “Long Cold Dark” we see the return of the ultra violent killing machine  Barracuda and it’s a battle that the punisher barely comes out of alive. I found the artwork to be a little inconsistent in this story but things settled down as the story progressed. The story itself is fantastic.  “Valley Forge” is also an excellent Punisher story with an unusual amount of prose thrown in. The prose sections are good and thought provoking but they do tend to break up the action a little bit. The artwork in this collection is definitely less colorful than the earlier volumes and it resorts to classic comic style palettes (must have been costing too much to make). Great ending to Garth Ennis’s stint on the Punisher. [ISBN-13: 978-0785137825]. 9/10

[Punisher By Garth Ennis Omnibus HC] – (Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Darick Robertson, Tom Mandrake, Cam Kennedy, John McCrea, Dougie Braithwaite, Joe Quesada)

Fantastic collection of punisher stories by Garth Ennis in an absolutely humungous hard cover book. Not as hard edged as the MAX series but no worse for this. Garth really is the master of the Punisher. The artwork is also very good.  The only slightly weak area in this collection was where Superheroes were included. I think Garth really struggles with superheroes and I thought the final superhero showdown was pretty week. Garth’s take on Wolverine was also horrible. This book is an amazing collection and it collects the following:

  • PUNISHER (2000) #1-12
  • PUNISHER (2001) #1-7 and #13-37.

(ISBN-10: 0785133836). 8/10