The Punisher 1: Discussion

by Ryan Desaulniers and Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ryan: We all know Frank Castle’s deal: a veteran whose family was unceremoniously gunned down takes to arms in a one-man war against crime or for whatever cause he sees fit to fight for. In the numerous Punisher stories since his inception in 1974, and particularly since the seminal Garth Ennis PunisherMAX run with the character, writers have been trying to find ways to connect a man who commits so many reprehensible acts of cruelty and murder with an audience. Castle sports the label of “anti-hero” to an audience that consumes his stories in various mediums, but writers keep pushing to see how far his character can go and still elicit sympathy from the readers, using different tactics to do so. The Punisher 1 by Matt Rosenberg and Szymon Kudranski, however, leaves all of these devices behind, giving us a Frank Castle title that is bereft of almost any means of identifying and excusing Frank’s actions, save for the fact that Castle fights against even more villainous figures. Continue reading

Anti-Hero 1

anti-hero 1Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Anti-Hero 1, originally released June 26th, 2013. 

Spencer: Superhero comics have been around for over 70 years now. In that time, they’ve amassed quite a pile of tropes that writers return to time after time. One thing I’ve always admired about Jay Faerber’s writing is the way he takes these tropes and plays with them, using our intimate knowledge of them as a kind of shorthand to effortlessly familiarize us with a situation or character. In Faerber’s new series, Anti-Hero, he combines superhero and crime tropes to create a world that shares the best—and worst—of both genres, all while creating a hero who might just be lost in either world.

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