The Many Deaths of Frank Castle

February 14th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Last week, we lost one hell of an ongoing series with Punisher MAX #22 by Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon. A lot of the time, when a series is canceled, the writer will claim that it isn’t true and that they insisted it end at this point. Sometimes it smells like bullshit, but here it’s legit as Aaron takes the MAX incarnation of the character to the logical conclusion. Frank Castle of Earth-200111 (yes, I looked it up), is dead. After taking on MAX incarnations of some of his usual punching bags, Frank’s body has finally given out and he collapses after being the last man standing one last time.

But so what? So he’s dead. Big deal. Frank Castle dies all the time, doesn’t he? Sure. I’ve seen it so many times I decided to take a trip down memory lane. As far as I can tell, here is the master list of all the times Frank has kicked the bucket. Now, of course, I’m not counting any “Earth blows up” scenarios because that goes without saying. I don’t need to mention every single time the Phoenix devours the universe. It has to be specifically about Frank buying the farm. I’ll also pass on the really vague mentions, like how he died somewhere along the line prior to Punisher 2099.

Despite debuting in 1974, it would take 17 years for any version of Frank to die. Not only did he die in 1991, but he died a lot. In the second volume of Marvel’s What If, Frank died three issues in a row! Let’s begin with that.

Comic: What If #24 (What If Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires?)
Year: 1991
Writer: Roy Thomas and R.J.M. Lofficier
Artist: Tom Morgan
Background: The world of this issue is based on the time the X-Men fought Dracula. Rather than be defeated, Dracula turns the team to his side. Wolverine, being so awesome, has enough willpower to challenge Dracula. He ends up killing the Count and takes over his throne. While these days, a supernatural outbreak needs to take over the entire world to show that shit’s gotten real, Wolverine is happy enough taking over Manhattan and using it as his vampire nest. With no real reason given, some heroes and villains are turned to slaves while others are ordered by Wolverine to be killed completely. I feel the need to mention that artist Tom Morgan decided to include Frog-Man of all people into that latter group. Anyway, the whole city is in chaos and in that chaos is Frank Castle with a headband and a whole lot of silver bullets.

In regular continuity, Dr. Strange would read a spell that would wipe out all vampires. Vampire Wolverine gets wind of this and has Vampire Juggernaut take down Strange. Strange possesses the bitching cape and the Eye of Agamotto, then joins it with the Punisher to make the ultimate vampire-killing machine. Because nobody cared about Blade back then.

Punisher killing superhero vampires is a thing to see. He melts Colossus with holy water and fries Juggernaut with the Eye of Agamotto. That leads him to a one-on-one fight with Wolverine.

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How Kick-Ass Ran Out of Gas

March 16th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For a couple days, my neck of the woods has been victim of a pretty bad rainstorm. The kind that has people calling into where you work just to ask if you have power because they don’t and they need some place to be. The kind that has you find new routes getting home because there are trees littering the streets and, in one case, crashed into a house. The kind where you lose your cable, but are fortune enough to still have electricity and water, unlike half of the town.

So without any internet during this time, I decided it was finally time to get to reading Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass.

I picked up the hardcover last week because the movie trailer makes it look fun and the JRJR art is really nice. Unlike my associate hermanos, I don’t normally hate on Millar. A lot of the time, I enjoy his work. I even didn’t mind anything about the infamous Red Skull flashback in Ultimate Avengers #5 until Millar pussied out about how even though Skull forced a woman to horrifically murder her husband and then tossed a baby out the window, he would NOT be committing any rape, no sir. Such an idea is unbefitting of a reimagining of a proud Nazi war criminal. No, dead children plus horrific murder plus ordered rape is only good enough for a reimagining of the Kingpin these days.

It’s that inability to commit that leads to my problem with Kick-Ass. I feel that the comic is really, really good… up to a point. Then the lynchpin is pulled out and the entire thing seems to implode. I’m going to be getting into some major spoilers, so if you’re waiting for the movie, this isn’t the article for you.

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