Friday, July 07, 2017


This was a surprise: I thought I had read all of Garth Ennis's Punisher, except for maybe the Barracuda mini-series. But I'm not sure I recall this one: from 2005, Punisher: the Cell, written by Garth Ennis, pencils by Lewis LaRosa, inks by Scott Koblish.

Actually, there's something here that occasionally bugged me in books with the same situation, like Batman...or old Punisher comics. We've mentioned before I didn't think Ennis was strictly bound by continuity, but here Frank mentions confessing, then being thrown in Riker's "six months later," which seems like a long stretch of time to tie up the character. I want to say an old Question comic did the same thing; drives me nuts for some reason.

Anyway, this issue Frank's going to the big house, all part of his plan to get five mobsters at the top of the prison food chain. Two of the five have a secret, but Frank knows their legacy isn't what they would expect. This is the Punisher as an unstoppable force: everything that happens is planned; but he doesn't just kill the mobsters, he sets them up where one would suggest one might need to confess to save the others...and no way that was going to end well.

I had to go out of my way to try to avoid any scans with swears; but rest assured, they're in there. Although this is a relatively modern comic, it feels like a throwback to 70's vigilante movies, to an age of comics that maybe never really existed. It predates Disney buying Marvel as well, so it also feels like an age that's never going to come around again. It's also available in trade as Punisher MAX: From First to Last, with the Tyger (young Frank Castle sees terrible crap, art by John Severin!) and the staggeringly recommended Punisher: the End with Richard Corben art. Now have I read all of Ennis's Punisher? Maybe. But I wouldn't mind being surprised again.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Oooh, I need to get this even though I know what happens and why the secret one of the Mob bosses knows. Good, good stuff. I need to read the Barracuda stuff, Punisher: The End, and any chapters of Fury: My War Goes By I might've missed.