Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon - The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank (4 stars)

(Marvel)

CRIME

There couldn’t be a better marriage of writer and character than Irish bad boy Garth Ennis and lone vigilante Frank Castle, teaming up with regular artistic partner Steve Dillon for an often irreverent but always brutal and bloody reboot. This 12-part mini-series soon led to a Marvel Knights ongoing series followed by the Punisher joining the MAX imprint (Marvel’s adult orientated comics line) with Ennis still at the helm.

Ennis has an exceedingly dark take on the Punisher, writing him as a grizzled and cynical protagonist with an ever thinner line between hero and mass murderer. It was an approach that suited Frank Castle perfectly, some of the comedy might verge on the juvenile but through the years Ennis’ take on the Punisher has perhaps become the definitive version of the character. Well worth going for the hardback version which includes Ennis’ infamous ‘The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe’ one-shot.

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