The Punisher Vol. 3
Garth Ennis' Marvel Knights Punisher run resumes and grows!
This book marks the 3rd collection of Ennis' run as writer of the Punisher's renaissance under the Marvel Knights banner.After the initial 12 part first volume, an amazingly fun run, pulp as hell and dark at heart, the series had somewhat left me
This book marks the 3rd collection of Ennis' run as writer of the Punisher's renaissance under the Marvel Knights banner.
After the initial 12 part first volume, an amazingly fun run, pulp as hell and dark at heart, the series had somewhat left me down, as the second collection went into way too bizarre grounds to be put into the same category of excellence as the first one. This one, though, is another step in the right direction, as well as the beginning of Ennis' total repel of traditional superheroes.
One one hand we have the opening two parter and the concluding single issue story, with unparalleled artist Steve Dillon, grounding the Punisher a bit more in "realistic" pulp crime territory. Still bizarre, still over the top, but without openly fantastic elements. The former is the tale of the Punisher's rescue of a kidnapped mafia don, apparently to get him to stop an all-out New York mafia war... But what the Punisher ultimately has in mind may not be what you expect at all! The latter self-contained issue is a violent, morbid story about the eternal low-key civil war in Ulster, its degeneration into turf war, its loss of any pretence of being about politics and not ere hate. Brilliant, classic Ennis work.
In-between are: A self-contained story of a journalist blackmailing the Punisher into riding along with him to get a story... and receiving far more than he thought he would! A 2-parter about, huh, mafia soldiers being mysteriously kidnapped after having their legs cut off... with a motor-mouthed self-talking Wolverine picking up their trail ending up fighting the Punisher, and basically making himself ridiculous while getting his ass constantly kicked by the Punisher. An entertaining little senseless tale, but a bit too bizarre again an too unfair side, as far as satyrs go. I imagine Ennis was enjoying a bit too much free reign, which he used to vent some frustration towards the dominant genre of US comics and, most of all, its general trademark bad writing. Not enough to put off comic geeks, though, and quite enough to win non-comic fans over, while reminding them exactly that superheroes are merely the flashy, baroque façade of the comics world, but that there's so much more underneath. I am actually looking forward to the hunt for the rest of this series' collections once again!