Sunday, November 24, 2013

PC POST #180: -PUNISHER- How to... make a solid and long run.

posted by @Ivo

Hi everyone, i'm doing this article because i felt the need to share some thoughts that i think it's important for the character and his comicbooks.

I'm no guru of comics, i'm just a long time fan of the Punisher for 15 years and i've follow his comic books for a long time

To elaborate these points i got help from a long time fan of the character Blackstone ( which make almost every point) and he's got his take on the character. He's written a dozen fanfics of the Punisher, feel free to read them.

These points are what we think that will make a solid and long Punisher run:

  • A writer and artist and editors who respect/know/understand the character;

  • Three dimensional portrayal of the character;

  • Straight forward, action packed, high body count stories;

  • Despicable villains:  They have to be really mean and bad to give an "extra" meaning to the Punisher methods; 

  • He needs to be an active part of the Marvel U and interact with it sometimes with  Hydra, Aim, guys like that...or do an occasional job for SHIELD see Mack Bolan. Crossovers with some of the espionage/crime themed titles. Not Daredevil, Spidey or Wolverine, try other characters. And those crossovers bring numbers up. Sad but true;

  •  He needs to be able to kill someone significant, something that will have some repercussion in the Marvel U (No-one big: Owl, Tombstone, etc.) or at least mess up someone's organisation like a Wilson Fisk or someone like that and THAT becomes canon;

  • Interesting supporting cast: They don't need to be permanent in the book, but Frank must have someone who can give him intel, weapons and most important some "depth" to the comic book to catch the most comic book fans as possible, not only Punisher fans;

  • Make him travel: From time to time, he can do some missions outside LA. it could be in U.S or outside the country, for example Africa, middle east, Europe, etc. There are tons of stuff he can do in many countries all over the world;

  •  Details on the Punisher's methods (how he collects info);

  • Solid rogue's gallery: It's very hard to keep a rogue's gallery in a Punisher book since he kills them, but it's possible to make the most extraordinary villains survive for at least 2 arcs.

  • BIGGER PICTURE: There should be a family of titles within Marvel. Street level/crime/espionage characters. DD, Moon Knight, Heroes For Hire, Widow, Elektra, Shang Chi...And Castle should interact with those characters. Which means Frank should appear in those titles as well. He needs exposure. Tighten up continuity between these titles. Make it the shadow world of Marvel.

  • BIGGER PICTURE(2): Take Frank outside of his box. Maybe once or twice, he faces vampires or werewolves and works with Blade or someone like that.

  • Big arcs, but conclusions. Like Punisher MAX was. Six issues and move one but all of it is connected;




  1. Wow, well written and excellent points. The first run of the punisher from 1987 to 1995 was my favorite until Garth Ennis did Max Punisher from 2004 to 2009. I liked the arc concept and marvel universe interaction.
    My question is, can marvel really get away with having a vigilante character being owned by Disney? Also, I don't know if the Punisher can capture new fans without more marvel universe interaction. Maybe Marvel needs to develop an overseas market as well with countries that have more kids and are younger since the US market is aging unless they capitalize on the growing Latin Market here. I think it is all about capturing new readers or having older die-hard fans like myself advertise how great the Punisher is through word of mouth. My wife's friends now ask me about the Punisher and why I like it and they seem to identify with the revenge theme although they think comics are for kids only. That is a separate issue that would take time to resolve! Thanks again for the recommendations on the new upcoming Punisher series.

  2. Sorry for the late reply Derek. Yes, i can think Disney can handle violent content, they don't have to brand it "Disney" they will keep the Marvel brand. Just like their movie studios, Disney owns a lot of studios that develops violent movies.

    I believe the Punisher can capture more fans than the usual "niche" ( die hard fans), Rucka did it with his run so i think if this new creative team did it right, they will be succeed.

    The Marketing of Marvel could be better though, i agree with you! My Punisher page on facebook ( HQ) got many fans from latin america, the majority are americans but right next to them is brazilians.

    Other thing is, in my country (Portugal), we unfortunately don't have a regular habit to buy comics and just to show you that i have to buy my comics online. Here i don't know any place that sells the Punisher. So i think Marvel and even DC should bet in more countries besides USA, England, Canada, etc...

  3. Your so-called list to make a solid and long run is shit

    "Three dimensional portrayal of the character"

    It's not the 1980s or 90s anymore, that type of Punisher is gone. Are we forgetting that during those years, a three dimensional Punisher would actually smile (as if he's really happy), fall in love with the first tough woman he comes into contact with like Angela (Back to the War) and Conchita Ortiz (Computer War)? At least these days, it's just sex like with Elektra and nothing more.

    "Straight forward, action packed, high body count stories"

    Action and a high body count doesn't make a Punisher story good. Can't just have action just for the sake of it. The people behind the War Zone film thought that if they put in more action and blood, it would make a better Punisher film... they were wrong.

    "He needs to be an active part of the Marvel U"

    SHIELD fights terrorist and super villains, Frank should not be turned into Rambo, as if he's the only human being on the planet that do the job. Are we forgetting the fact the Punisher fights gangs and the Mafia???? The Max Punisher knew better and didn't want to get involved in such things, otherwise he would have said "yes" to Microchip's offer.

    "Interesting supporting cast"

    The Punisher doesn't need someone to get such things like weapons, getting such things has never been hard to get. Not even in countries where it's illegal for any citizen to own a gun like in Mexico... and look what goes on there. Half the time he gets them from the criminals he kills. He gets intel from the bad guys he beats up half the time.

    "Make him travel"

    He has, don't make it seem as if he's never been outside New York city.


    So we can see him getting into the same team-ups and arguments that we've seen a dozen times??? And see him get his ass kicked since he can't really hold his own against any of those characters. Because no writer, other than Garth Ennis, is going to have him win. He made too many appearances throughout the 80s and 90s and that lead to an overexpose character and his titles getting cancelled.

    "those crossovers bring numbers up. Sad but true"

    So it's the numbers that matter? And not trying to tell a good solid story?? ... See what I mean when I say your list is shit.

    Rucka only did it because he rip-off from a lot popular films and video games so that teens and 20 years old would like it. It got to the point where people were calling him Big Boss (from Metal Gear) and not the Punisher or Frank. Stealing another character's look just to get new readers is pretty sad.

  4. Also, Blackstone has written a lot of inaccurate stories of the character. One of his stories has the Punisher saying something like, "I just need to break something". Also, fan fiction is the lowest form of entertainment due to the fact that most fanfics have

    1.General lack of plot
    2.Inaccurate storylines
    3.OCs (which end up becoming Mary Sues).
    4.Changing a characters sexual orientation.
    5.Making a character a horribly emotional crying wreck.
    6.Fart jokes.

  5. Who are you to judge anything? You are always here being critical about everything. Do you have any ideas to make a good Punisher? Because i haven't seen nothing.

  6. My list is shorter. Have Chuck Dixon write it!

    BTW- I think that Rendemer's run pretty much hit everything in the list, and I didn't care for it. Maybe that's just personal taste- just saying.

  7. I agree with IS about 1290ad, since I've started reading this blog you've have not explained what the prefect Punisher run or the best way to portray him. Instead you rant about how bad it is and then hide until the next Punisher related news comes out.

    Also if Fan Fiction is the lowest form of Entertainment, Why are you reading it in the first place. I know why, because you are a troll

  8. He just wants some attention. Let him cry in own corner.

    1. Amen to that IS, I've dealt with these people at, constantly ranting about how we don't know how to right the Punisher, yet they haven't wrote one single story.