When it comes to Christmas comics, you can't really get around the fact that some characters lend themselves to holiday stories a little easier than others. Superman is essentially built around peace on Earth and goodwill to men anyway, Batman's themes of family and sacrifice are perfectly suited for a bittersweet Christmas tale, and Spider-Man shopping for presents is almost always a good recipe for seasonal comedy.
And then there are the characters that don't quite fit. Like, say, the Punisher, whose tendency to run around brutally slaughtering murderers and other criminals doesn't exactly fit well with good cheer and eggnog.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're taking a look at the House of Ideas and the people who dedicate their superheroic careers to battling against the supernatural as we bring you Marvel's Top Five Horror Heroes!
If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he sits in his living room under a framed portrait of Destro, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing his opinion on comic books.
This week, Chris dives into the series of events and storylines that led the Punisher to go from a hard-nosed killer vigilante to a (literal) avenging angel with a magical coat full of heaven guns who found out he'd been committing human sacrifices for years when a viewer requests an explanation of Punisher v.4, better known as "Angel Punisher." And believe us, he's not any happier about it than you are.
Shortly after Greg Rucka was informed that he would no longer be continuing his absorbing run on The Punisher, he gave a scathing interview to Mark Millar's CLiNT magazine, in which he lamented the "Hollywoodization of the two main companies." In the case of Marvel's number one sociopath, that statement might turn out to be eerily accurate. The All-New Marvel NOW Punisher series from writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mitch Geradsrelocates Frank Castle from the grimy streets and cluttered skylines of New York City to balmy, colon-cleansed Los Angeles. Does the setting make for an interesting new beginning for the Punisher, or is it bad location scouting?
The Marvel Movie Universe is getting another entry in its straight-to-video animated film arm, this time teaming up one of its mightiest Avengers heroes, Black Widow, with The Punisher.
The new movie, titled Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher, brings the Japanese animation studio Madhouse back after its work on Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore last year. Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter stars as Black Widow while seasoned voice actor Brian Bloom takes on the role of The Punisher. And all the rest of the Avengers are there, too. Check out the first teaser after the cut!
Marvel's final panel at New York Comic-Con this year was billed as “Superior Spider-Man & Friends," which does not mean Iceman and Firestar, but rather all the books coming out of the Spider-office led by line editor Steve Wacker – which include the last new "teased" titles to be unveiled at the show.
Wacker was on hand to lead the panel, joined by writers Dan Slott, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Nick Spencer, editors Sana Amanat, Ellie Pyle, Jake Thomas and Tom Brennan, and artist Humberto Ramos.
Q: Does it ever bug you that comics characters don't age in any significant manner? --@sackobooks
A: I'm not gonna lie to you, Sacko: The first time I looked at this question, I dismissed it almost immediately, because to me, the answer seems pretty obvious. I mean, I am a guy whose career is defined by being super into a guy who's been in his early thirties for the past 74 years, so it's clearly not that big an issue. But then I got to talking to Matt Wilson about it, and he made me realize that there's actually a lot there to talk about.
After all, some characters do age. But do they need to?
If recent revelations can teach us anything, it's that Americans will always have a shadow behind us. Since the end of World War II, we have invested so much money and power and authority in our military-industrial complex and clandestine forces that it's categorically absurd to believe that our privacy has been anything but compromised, our national innocence -- if it ever existed -- anything but forfeit. For at least the last twelve years, American soldiers have been engaged in seemingly perpetual wars across the world, while potentially every electronic conversation we've had has been stolen and scrutinized, and the lie we've been told is that it's all been in the name of American freedom.
The truth is much worse. Like the titular character in Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov's just-concluded Fury MAX series, we simply love war, and we cannot stop ourselves from waging it.
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
A few weeks ago at HeroesCon, I was going through quarter boxes when I found a run of Punisher 2099. I bought the whole thing as soon as I saw it, and while that might just sound like a normal comic-con impulse buy, keep in mind that I was so excited that I forgot I already owned a full run of Punisher 2099. Admittedly, that might say more about me than it does about these comics, but I don't really mind having extras, because Punisher 2099 is amazing. Seriously.
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