After this week's hectic news of multiple Marvel cancelations, the publisher issued a press release making it absolutely plain that PunisherMAX, the acclaimed mature readers series by Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon, has not been axed. The book is ending, however, with February's PunisherMAX #22, and in the way Aaron says was always intended: with what Marvel is strongly suggesting is Frank Castle's death.

Read on for Marvel's characteristically cryptic remarks about the "Homeless" storyline, described as "the Punisher story you never thought you would read."ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims wrote about PunisherMAX earlier this year, saying, "I don't think it's overselling things one bit to say that Punisher MAX -- a more violent, adult-oriented take on the character than the one running around the mainstream Marvel Universe --is one of the best comics coming out today."

"It's been a big sick bloody thrill working on this series and a right honor following in the footsteps of Garth Ennis," explained Aaron in a press release. "I must say, I'm as proud of this series as anything I've ever done at Marvel, in large part because of the amazing art team of Dave Johnson, Matt Hollingsworth and of course Steve Dillon. This was always intended to be one big story, with a very specific beginning, middle and a slam-bang mother of an end. I'm afraid I can't say any more about the ending than that....other than that it gave me chills, just getting to write it."

"I've drawn a lot of Frank Castle over the last dozen or so years and I've been lucky enough to work with some really good writers while doing so," said Dillon. "Jason has really delivered on this one, so much so that I wait for the script to arrive in my inbox like a fan waiting for the book to hit the shelves in the store. He's taken some great characters, like the Kingpin and Bullseye, and given them his own MAX twist. He's also taken Frank on a tortuous, personal journey and it's all been great fun to draw."

"The day has come. You always knew the Punisher's one-man war against organized crime would end bad, but you never knew how bad," added Marvel Editor In Chief, Axel Alonso. "With PunisherMAX #22 Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon bring the tragedy of Frank Castle's life to a boil and their epic run to a bloody climax that will haunt readers for years to come."

Marvel has gone back to print on the recently released PunisherMAX #17 and #18 to make sure those who wish to check out this concluding storyline will be able to do so without missing a beat. Those second printing covers by Steve Dillon go on sale December 28, and issue #19 is on sale now. Check out all the remaining PunisherMAX cover art by Dillon and Dave Johnson below: