Thursday, December 27, 2012

"The End" Week: PunisherMAX #22!

We said before, there's only one way Frank Castle's story ends: here's another. From earlier this year, PunisherMAX #22, "War's End" Written by Jason Aaron, art by Steve Dillon.

Wilson Fisk is dead, and after a shootout, so are a number of his employees...and Frank Castle, the Punisher. Nick Fury ID's the body, and while the detectives at the morgue claim Frank had gone crazy--tortured a cop, killed the "respected businessman" Fisk--Fury calls that the crap it is. Next, Fury visits the Castle home: Frank had been forced to hole up in the abandoned house he lived in with his family, before they were murdered. A stack of Frank's war journals is found; Nick clears the building before examining one:
Finding a flame-thrower, Nick torches the house. An underling (either one of Fury's men, or a cop or fed) protests that was a crime scene; Nick points out anyone dead there had been so for years.
After a few pages to check on Vanessa "Madame Kingpin" Fisk and the paralyzed Elektra, we check in on the Punisher's funeral. The press questions Fury on his way out, but he's got nothing to say to them. While he kills Vanessa, Fury muses that Frank didn't really accomplish anything: all the murdering and suffering, for nothing. Later, in a bar, as Nick begins his labor-intensive drinking, a news report catches his eye: across the city, vigilantes are rising up against gang members, ponzi schemers, and so on. Nick figures Frank got his eulogy after all...
I hadn't been reading Punisher regularly since Garth Ennis finished his run; I may not have been the only one, since I don't think sales ever recovered. Still, this was a solid finish to the series; although I wonder how long it would be before the Punisher-inspired vigilantes abused the authority they retook. After all, we saw Steve Dillon draw bad vigilantes the Holy, Mr. Payback, and Elite back in the Garth Ennis/Marvel Knights Punisher series!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

For a quick minute there I was expecting Frank to pop out of the coffin, having faked his death DKR-style. No go, and he's really dead. Wow.