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With you describing him as not even a character, it is clear you also did not like the Punisher and thus makes sense why you would like a volume in which I say it seems like Aaron doesn't like the character lol. But framing the character this way seems like a bias that often exists against the Punisher: that because he is violent then the violence must be the point. It is like saying what Captain America comics are about is confronting your political foes, those fascists, and imagining with peak human abilities you could hurl a metal slab into their skulls; Cap comics are actually about glorifying the solving of political disputes with violence! I don't think either of these conceptions is true.
I’ve read Remender’s run, the follow up by Rucka, and the A Man Named Frank graphic novel (where he’s a cowboy).
But this is WHERE the nuance comes in! When you have 40 years of murder under your belt, my perception of Frank as a wounded warrior and father fades to him being a psychopath. Frank plans his murders with a cold, calculating mind not because it is right, but because “doing right” is an excuse to murder. This is absolutely my personal view on the Punisher is - and it feels like where Aaron is starting from.Cable wrote: ↑29 Mar 2023, 11:45Fleshed out with his military background, Punisher has also been used to examine the nature of war and trauma through PTSD (see also his own Punisher tv show). Aaron chooses to toss all that in the garbage because there is no moral question or war trauma: Frank Castle has been a prophesied superkiller by the Hand since he first started burning people to death as a kid and was never motivated by his wife dying because he didn't love her nearly as much as he loves jerking off in the backrow of state executions. This bastardization throws out much of the previous nuanced arguments around the character for the safer conclusion that he is a crazed, possibly even supernatural, anomaly.
That's partially the problem of the sliding timescale. Frank has not really been murdering people for decades, that is just the experience of the reader (although ironically with Aaron's run he now HAS been murdering people for decades...). But ultimately it doesn't really matter because Castle doesn't just seek retributive justice for himself. He has the understanding that what happened to him happens to other people. It is the same as anyone who in real life experiences a traumatic event and then dedicates their life to advocacy around that issue. You expect them to get over it and move on? Though in the next argument you make clear the real problem is the way he goes about it:grief wrote: ↑29 Mar 2023, 12:42I’ve read Remender’s run, the follow up by Rucka, and the A Man Named Frank graphic novel (where he’s a cowboy).
The problem I have with describing Frank as “well written” because of his grief is that Frank’s grief is over 40 years old at this point. It’s one thing to watch Bernthal act that life in two seasons of a tv show, when his family just died and the loss is fresh. But in the comics, Frank has been killing people for decades. Those deaths are so far away. Frank has spent time isolated, in jail, he’s been coached by other super-heroes who have suffered loss - and he still CHOOSES to kill people. Every day. That isn’t compelling anymore, for me, that’s madness.
I agree it feels like where Aaron is coming from and again it is a starting point of dislike for the character. No such person should write a Punisher book, because there is no reason to view the Punisher in that way. It is a negative bias. I wouldn't give a Wolverine title to a writer who thinks Wolverine kills so often because he gets off on it, that isn't what the character really is to his fans. It is totally reasonable to not like these kinds of characters who engage in extreme fantasy violence. Don't watch movies like Taken or John Wick, or quite frankly probably a majority of action movies, where the protagonist chooses extrajudicial killing of the bad guys as a solution. But certainly don't write for properties like this lol
as if it is introduced in this run, but Punisher only killing bad guys has been an integral part of his character from literally the first issue. In Amazing Spider-Man #129 where he debuts "as a villain", he only is after Spider-Man because the Jackal has convinced him that Spider-Man killed Gwen Stacy. In fact after the Jackal hits Spider-Man from behind the Punisher scolds him for winning in a "dishonorable" way! The Punisher later realizes Jackal is in fact the villain and no longer is interested in Spider-Man (why not kill Spider-Man anyway if Punisher just likes killing? Because that isn't really what it is about for him and never has been).
I would agree that for better or worse it is more fun as a fan to have runs that drive discussion rather than by-the-numbers portrayals. Sometimes you will be on the pro side and sometimes on the con though lol.grief wrote: ↑01 Apr 2023, 12:10I didn’t expect either of us to win the other over, I just wanted to put forth my argument why this run is good and worth exploring. After all, it’s gotten Marvel a new regular buyer if the Punisher - me - who wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Plus, when this volume ends, it’s very likely that everything will be returned to status quo - Maria dead, the Hand decimated, and Frank restored to a normal guy hunting bad guys. So for now, I’m down to enjoy it, knowing full well that it won’t last.
I have enjoyed the discussion though and I love your passionate defense of Classic Punisher.