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Reviews Comments: Quality Writing & Catharsis in Spades The Punisher MAX whole series review by Xilinoc

The Punisher MAX is a unique beast among the comics I\'ve read. Not only does it forgo supers and their crazy adventures in favor of far more realistic and reality-based conflicts, it also (across several different series) puts surprising detail and thought into how someone like the Punisher could come to be, with Frank\'s character stemming not solely from his family being murdered, but from much of his life before that fateful day as well, such as his tours in Vietnam and his growing up in Mafia territory. The result is a main character who, while not incredibly deep and dynamic, is someone whose actions you can understand even if you don\'t necessarily condone them.

Speaking of which, this series is *incredibly* cathartic. It\'s not always easy, but Frank spends much of his time giving complete monsters exactly what they deserve and sometimes just a bit more for good measure. I\'m not sure how anyone can look at any arc other than Mother Russia and not root for Frank to prevail because holy shit, he\'s up against real scum almost all the time. And while the man himself is no paragon of virtue, there are enough moments of humanity from him to remind you that he\'s ultimately a force for good even if he himself is not the nicest guy around.

Oh, and Ennis is a fantastic writer, as always. Not much more to say there without spoiling stuff, but he really shines here.

10/10, would recommend reading with Alice in Chains/Stone Temple Pilots/Soundgarden/similarly grungy bands playing in the background. Really enhances the experience.


  • Elmo3000
  • 5th Jun 18

It\'s difficult to think of how to phrase a respectful disagreement when Punisher MAX is, uh... it\'s the comic where Nick Fury celebrates good news by hiring six prostitutes, and I\'m pretty sure it used to be on the Awesome Moments page that he was SUCH A BADASS that he FUCKED ALL OF THEM and it was REALLY GOOD. \"He\'s up against real scum almost all the time\" - yeah, he is, and that\'s why it\'s so boring. Frank VS The Racists. Frank VS The Terrorists. Frank VS The Sex Criminals. Frank VS The Racist Terrorist Sex Criminals. The story is never compelling because Garth Ennis has never written an interesting villain (or story) is his life and they all (with the exception of Barracuda, who I believe survives for a whopping two or three volumes) die at the end of their first storyline because that\'s what Frank does.

It\'s... I am happy that you enjoy this series, but my go-to image of a Punisher MAX fan is a 12 year old boy who snuck into his big brother\'s bedroom so he could steal the comic where the guy in the skull shirt says \'Fuck\' a lot.
  • Xilinoc
  • 11th Jun 18
You\'re free to feel that way, clearly we look for/value different things in the stories we consume.
  • matthewmannn
  • 12th Jun 18
Good writing!
  • matthewmannn
  • 12th Jun 18
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