2016 was the year that the Punisher made his small screen debut! And it was pretty great!
And this brings us to the focus of TEX'S Back-Issue Quest for today.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that Jon Bernthal is the latest actor to take on the role of the Punisher. He took on Daredevil in the much-awaited season 2 of Netflix's series of the same name.
Bernthal is reportedly using "Born" and "Punisher MAX" as inspiration for his portrayal on the Punisher. This is good news for fans of the Punisher, as Garth Ennis headed up both series, a writer who, arguably, penned the best Punisher stories ever.
To mark this exciting occasion, I thought I'd roll out some of The Punisher keys from my collection, for your eyes to see. Sound good? Sweet. Let's boogie:
It's Captain America #241, published in 1980. This features the first meeting between Captain America and the Punisher...And boy do they get the fisticuffs done! Frank Miller is on the cover and Frank Springer is on the interiors.
FUN FACT: Mike Barr screwed the pooch when he wrote this one. While trying to convince the Punisher of the error of his ways, Cap waxes a bit holier-than-thou, telling Castle that he's "never willingly taken a life." Cap's a WWII war-hero. That was the bloodiest war the world has ever seen - you don't get that title without spilling some. Just sayin'.
This is Marvel Preview Presents #2, published in 1975. In this B&W, non-Comics-Code compliant magazine, The Punisher tries to stop the murder of a politician that will be giving a speech on Wall Street; also, we get the very first telling of the Punisher's origin story showing the horrific murder of his family. While out for a day in the park, the Castle Family stumbles across a mob hit, and are mercilessly gunned down. Only Frank Castle survives.
Here are a couple of pages for you:
Gerry Conway writes and Tony DeZuniga rocks those pencils!
FUN FACT 1: The Punisher didn't exactly catch fire when he was created. He appeared in only 2 solo B&W stories, and was basically a guest character in other books until he got his own series in 1986.
FUN FACT 2: This magazine also features the 1st app of Dominic Fortune!
Here we have The Amazing Spider-Man #135 - the second ever full appearance of the Punisher (he had a cameo in #134), and the origin of the Tarantula! Isn't that cover just all kinds of swell?
And of course, I have the most important of them all:
It's Amazing Spider-Man #129, published in 1974, featuring the very 1st appearance of the Punisher and the first appearance of Miles Warren as the Jackal!! This swell cover was done by the hands of greats John Romita and Gil Kane!!
Hey, Gil. My copy is nowhere near as pretty as yours, but I sure love having it all the same. :)
Here is The Punisher #1, published in 1986. Written by Steven Grant, and drawn wonderfully by Mike Zeck, this series was in limbo since the early 80s when Grant and Zeck first asked to do it. Marvel wasn't sure about giving a hero that killed in cold blood his own title. What would the kids think? Eventually Marvel published the title, but didn't put much effort in promoting it, and it is no small wonder. This series is hard-boiled. You will see things in this series that Marvel hadn't even dreamed of in that era: suicide, death of a child, and even a sex scene. Yikes!
FUN FACT 3: Issues 1, 3, and 4 had banners above the title stating that this was a four-issue limited series; however, issues 2, and 5 clearly state that this is actually a five-issue limited series. Which was correct?
FUN FACT 4: It was actually a five-issue limited series. Hurray for production errors.
That's all for today. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do posting!