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Thursday, March 26, 2009

What I’m Reading Now: The Big Ole Book Of Violence

The Punisher Omnibus

Written By: Garth Ennis

Art By: Steve Dillon, Darick Robertson, Tom Mandrake, Cam Kennedy, John McCrea, Joe Quesada, Doug Braithwaite

“And get a haircut.” These four words were the beginning of what would be an eight-year run for Garth Ennis on The Punisher. My relationship with Punisher begins with The Punisher MAX series issue #37, part 1 of the “Man of Stone” story arc. I followed Ennis’ run all the way until his unfortunate departure in 2008 with “Valley Forge, Valley Forge.” The first time I saw Punisher in his original costume was in 2008 with Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Punisher: War Zone - a six issue mini-series concluding Ennis and Dillon’s 46 (ish) issue Marvel Knights series (including “Welcome Back Frank”). Now I know that reading the last six issues of a series doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and believe me, it didn’t. I had no idea who the characters were (besides Frank obviously) and what was going on. It was a well-crafted story and enjoyable but I wish I had some background information. Several months ago, I saw that a Punisher Omnibus, collecting all of Garth Ennis’ Marvel Knights (#1-12, #1-7, #13-37, and Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe). Recently, I was able to require this big book of violence in all its 10 lbs glory (yea, I weighted it. Wanna fight about it?) Don’t worry though, it doesn’t put your leg to sleep while you read it. This series so far has everything I want: violence, comedy, and Frank Castle. The experience is kind of like watching Star Wars Episode 4-6 and then discovering how Darth Vader came to be. This creative team is meant to work together and their work, including Preacher, is some of the best in comics. The omnibus contains 56 issues and will set you back about 100 bones. But think about it, 56 issues for 100 dollars? I say yes. It’s a fast, fun, and entertaining read and is worth every penny. Plus the books sheer size could do some punishing itself. So relive Ennis’ epic Punisher run or read it for the first time, either way, THERE WILL BE BLOOD!!

There's the man himself, Garth Ennis!

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