There might be writers more talented than Garth Ennis, but none are as bafflingly talented as Garth Ennis. Nobody else has such an immense capacity for complex human drama hidden beneath a surface so utterly drenched with puke jokes.
An unabashed lover of scatological humor, extreme violence, and vicious satire, the Northern Ireland-born writer, born 46 years ago tomorrow on January 16 1970, is something of an acquired taste. One might even go so far as to call him polarizing. For everyone who dismisses Ennis as juvenile, vulgar, and vile, you'll find at least one more who will tell you that Garth Ennis is a special kind of brilliant.
It's always a pleasure when a comic like this one comes along, and it's been a while, too. With the two big superhero comics publishers doubling down on their attempts to transform the ramshackle issue-by-issue chronicles of costumed mystery men and their bizarre adventures into slick franchise-ready "IP," it's becoming harder and harder to invest oneself as a reader in the Marvel and DC universes if you aren't interested in following along with the books' overarching master narrative...
Ever since Garth Ennis's landmark run on "The Punisher" ended, the Marvel MAX version of Frank Castle has found himself in an interesting position. A series of writers have done quick runs or delivered punchy one-shots featuring The Punisher in his mature readers incarnation, sometimes to great effect...
Peter Milligan has been bouncing in and out of superhero comics for years, whether in long runs like the fan-favorite "X-Statix" or brief one-shots like "Moon Knight: Silent Night." in this week's "Punisher MAX: Happy Ending" one-shot, he's bringing his particular brand of identity-focused writing to bear on Frank Castle, featuring art by Avatar Press staple and relative newcomer to Marvel, Juan José Ryp.
Many of Marvel's greatest hits are going back to press as part of a new initiative to put gateway stories in the hands of new readers under the not-so-subtle banner of "Marvel's Greatest Comics." Judging from the lineup, the name isn't really off-base...
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