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

Multiple Multiple Men in Multiple Man 1

by Drew Baumgartner

Multiple Man 1

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

The X-Men represent a particularly confusing corner of the Marvel Universe. It would be hard enough to keep the ever-growing list of characters straight even without all of the time travel, shape-shifting, and body-doubling shenanigans. I suppose mileage varies depending on how familiar one is with all of those characters and timelines, but for me, the most readable X-Men stories tend to strip things down: a few characters, a specific problem, and clearly defined parameters that limit the solutions. Unfortunately, Multiple Man 1 doesn’t do a great job of laying out any of those components. Continue reading