12/06/2008

The Punisher



The Punisher is, without a shadow of a doubt, my absolute fav superhero, or comic-book hero for those who say he is not a superhero. I been reading Punisher comics since I was kid, along with Spider-Man, they pretty much rule in my humble opinion.

Frank Castle, had his family killed by the mob, after witnessing a mob rub out. He was left for dead, but when he returned he came back as the Punisher! Unlike, other heroes in the Marvel Universe, meeting up with him, means you will more than likely die! Justice is permanent with him.

His first appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #129. He was set up by the Jackal into thinking Spidey was a bad guy, but he soon saw that that was not the case. The character was an immediate success. Along with Wolverine he helped usher in a new breed of costumed hero, the one that kills his foes.

He would clash with Spider-Man many times , and they formed uneasy alliances. These encounters with heroes would be something Punny would have to endure over his career. Anywho, he eventually got his own mini-series, then his own series. That would, at one point in time, lead to a total of three books being published, the other two being: Punisher War Journel and Punisher War Zone.

Plus, he guest starred in just about every superhero book. Shit he was even in the awesome 90s Spider-Man toon . Unfortunately he and other dark characters, like Morbuis, Ghost Rider, and Blade, had to be dumbed down for toon land. Overexposure eventually hurt the character, and an ill fitted attempt to make him a supernatural hero did even worse. He came back, eventually, thanks to Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's amazing Welcome Back Frank, which led another series, and eventually an adult MAX series.

Marvel would bring him back to normal Marvel Universe in Punisher War Journal, where he killed various useless villains like the Stilt-Man. really fun stuff!

Now he is back on the big screen. This is the third attempt. The first was a crappy low budget film that had Dolph Lundgren. While, violent and Lundgren was OK in the role, it is marred by a bad script, laughable villains, a travesty of his origin, and WORST of all no Punisher skull on his clothing. Lame. But, hey that Japanese chick and her blonde daughter who play the villains are hot... That one scores a *and 1/2 out of **** in my book.

The next version was in 2004. This is one of my fav superhero films, but I just wish that it had been in New York, as opposed to Florida. That said, Thomas Jane remains the best actor to take on the role. I've discussed this film before here, so I will just give you my rating: ****

So, yesterday, I saw the latest version of the Punisher on film: Punisher War Zone . I know some stuff has been said on the net regarding preproduction of this film, but ignore that. This is a great, truly fun film! In fact, the ONLY complaint is that Jane is not in it. That said Ray Stevenson does a good role as Frank Castle.

First and foremost, this is the first time anyone has EVER gotten his origin right in a movie. He is in New York, too! Also, comic-book characters Soap and fucking Microchip are in it! Microchip, bro! But, the best part? Jigsaw is in it! Jigsaw was one of the only returning villains Punny has, mostly cause the rest end up dead. He is done perfectly in the film. And, looks fucking cool, too!

You cannot imagine my joy of seeing one of my fav villains step out of the comics and collectibles and into the big screen. Jigsaw kick ass!

This is also the single most violent American made action since this year's excellent Rambo. Heads and bodies explode, decapitation, impaling, neck breaking, cannibalism, head shots, gory squibs, fist through the head, and other acts of mayhem splatter across the screen. The use of colors and over-the-top violence makes the movie look like a comic-book, which I loved! The action is fast and furious and the film is never boring or overlong, a problem with some comic-book films. The acting is solid from all involved. And, may I add, that Julie (Dexter) Benz looks EVEN hotter as brunette?

Critics, who are lame and pussies, will bitch about the gore, but fuck 'em. They don't know shit about comics or the Punisher. This is one of the year's most outrageous and fun movies. In a year full of excellent comic-book films, this one does not have the depth of The Dark Knight or the wonderment of Iron Man, but it is so enjoyable, that you can help but have a GREAT time with it. Go get your ass to the movies, NOW! Or at least after you leave work or whatever the fuck it is you are doing right now. **** out of ****

I really hope we finally get a Punisher film series. I leave you with some cool Punisher art, to make you all happy and whatnot.


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