Current Reviews


Punisher #35

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2003
By: Michael Wilson

“Confederacy of Dunces Part 3”

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artists: John McCrea & Crimelab Studios

Publisher: Marvel Comics

The auction was blown apart last issue and the high priced item everyone was bidding on turned out to be Dr. Bruce Banner, the Hulk. Banner can’t remember anything, but Castle’s confident that he’ll get what he needs from Banner, a way to stop the three superheroes on his tail. Daredevil, Spiderman, and Wolverine, who foolishly allowed Castle to escape last issue are lured into a trap by him. They almost thought it would be a piece of cake.

Garth Ennis has my respect as one of the industry’s most talented writers; one who has “matured” the comics industry into something adults would like. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t measure up to his past stories. Ordinarily, Ennis would never have written this, but because he has to make the transition of the Punisher into Marvel MAX, he has to bring Castle down somehow. The no-brainer way to do this would be to team up Wolverine, Spiderman, and Daredevil. This confrontation, of course, must span six or seven issues so that one last trade paperback of the title can be published: TPB Punisher Vol. 6: Confederacy of Dunces.

Everyone who knows anything about Garth Ennis knows that he despises superheroes. He thinks they get the credit for creating all the stereotypes of the industry. He’s right, but I don’t like how he completely abuses them whenever they guest star. Most of his anger is taken out of Wolverine. He makes Wolverine talk too much, act without thinking, turns off his animal senses(so he can walk into traps), and turns up his healing factor so he can survive whatever disgusting punishment Castle throws at him.

Spiderman loses all his wits that everyone knows him for, and Daredevil, who just finished up the “Hardcore” storyline in his own title, turns totally softcore. Banner has amnesia again. Ennis’ portrayal of superheroes is so distorted that it’s silly and can’t fit into continuity. If I had my way, continuity would be priority #1 for Marvel Comics, but you can’t tell that to Garth Ennis. I honestly think the editor is too afraid to tell Ennis anything because Ennis will probably get an attitude and leave saying something like “Marvel doesn’t give me the creative license a writer like me deserves”.

Final Word:
If you’re like me and you can’t stand how he picks on his guest stars, then maybe this isn’t for you. Regular Punisher fans won’t like this story much because it’s not about the one man war on street crime. It’s about making superheroes look stupid, except it isn’t funny. Most will read it to see how this title will end.

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