Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Punisher, Volume 3: Business as Usual Review (Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon)

Garth Ennis is without question the finest writer The Punisher has ever had. His Punisher MAX series was glorious as were his other non-MAX Punisher volumes like the classic Welcome Back, Frank, The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci, and Born. 

So imagine my surprise when I discovered a whole raft of other Punisher volumes – 6 in total – written by Garth Ennis that I’d never read before! Then imagine my crushing disappointment when I realised 5 out of 6 were out of print!! The only copies available were on Amazon and eBay going for extortionate prices. Why, WHY, Marvel, are these out of print?! These are Garth Ennis/Punisher books – perfection itself!! You’re leaving money on the table by not publishing these! 

What’s worse is that this book is seriously awesome. It’s Ennis at his funniest, most inventive with art from his regular Punisher artists, the incredible Steve Dillon and Darick Robertson, tag-teaming the issues. It’s like Marvel are taunting fans by dangling this great book in front of us and saying “Liked this one? Well, you can’t have the others! AHAHAHA!” Is this Marvel’s idea of a joke – “punishing” fans by withholding these brilliant Punisher books?

(Red mist descends)

Ok… I’m calm now. Was that fist-sized hole always in my wall? 

The stories are loosely connected and see Frank save hostages in South America, go on a night on the town with a journalist intent on telling Frank’s story, take on the midget mafia(!) AND Wolverine, and visit Belfast, post-Good Friday agreement. How good do those stories sound? They’re even better! 

(Start of A-Team music starts playing) 

(Voiceover)These forgotten Punisher books were taken out of print for reasons nobody knows. Two volumes (the other is Welcome Back, Frank) promptly escaped from the out of print prison and made a break for the printing press. Today, still wanted by readers, they survive as comics of fortune. 

If you want this lost Punisher series back if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team then we can only hope that Marvel see sense and republish them in new editions!

Duh duh duuuuuh, duhduhduh!

The Punisher, Volume 3: Business as Usual

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