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Woo hoo! This is exciting news! Ennis and Dillon! I adore Dillon's art on Preacher. It's hard to imagine how they're going to resurrect Ma Gnucci, though. When last seen, she seemed pretty dead to me. Done to a crisp, you might say!

 

Nomad

 

Ma's Home! Ennis talks "Punisher: War Zone"

by Dave Richards, Staff Writer

Category: Comic Books

Tue, September 9th, 2008 at 6:02AM PST

 

Updated: Tue, September 9th, 2008 at 8:29AM PST

Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon return to Frank Castle in December's "Punisher War Zone"

 

For almost a decade, the name Garth Ennis has been synonymous with Marvel Comics' The Punisher. Ennis began his popular and acclaimed association with the character in 2000 with "The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank," a Steve Dillon-illustrated story from the Marvel Knights imprint that blended over-the-top action with similarly outlandish black humor, which the writer followed up with 31 issues of an ongoing series in the same tone. In 2004, Ennis wrapped up the Marvel Knights series and began a new title, also called "The Punisher," from Marvel's mature readers imprint, MAX, which used a much darker and starker lens to examine the Punisher's tremendously grim and ultra-violent war on crime.

 

After 60 issues and a number of specials, Ennis's run on the MAX "Punisher " series came to an end last month, but this December things comes full circle for the writer when he launches "The Punisher: War Zone," a new six-issue weekly-shipping miniseries from Marvel Knights. CBR News spoke with Ennis about the project, which reunites him with long time collaborator Steve Dillon, and features the return of a fan-favorite villain.

 

The matriarch of a mafia family who first crossed swords with Frank Castle in "Welcome Back, Frank," Ma Gnucci is a force to be reckoned with. Over the course of the story, Ma lost both her arms and legs and was last seen being tossed by the Punisher into a raging inferno. But it's hard to keep a good comic book villain down. "She's a good visual," Ennis told CBR News. "A mad, squawking old bitch with her limbs hacked off."

 

Naturally, Ennis has to keep the nature of Ma Gnucci's return in "War Zone" as well as her agenda under wraps for fear of spoiling any plot points. "You'll see what I mean by the end of the story," he promised.

 

Pages from "Punisher War Zone" #1

 

Ma Gnucci isn't the only antagonist from the Punisher's Marvel Knights days resurfacing in "War Zone." "You'll see Elite, one of the idiot Vigilantes from the old story, and- my favorite- Molly Von Richtofen, long-suffering NYPD detective and ex-partner of the wretched Soap. Molly seems to have inherited her former partner's luck." Sadly, Ennis confirmed the Russian will not be making an appearance in "War Zone."

 

Nevertheless, in addition to many familiar faces, "War Zone" tells a story that should please Ennis's legion of Punisher fans "It's a crime story with a lot of crazy *beep* in it," the writer explained. "It's very much like the old Marvel Knights book, perhaps with the more outrageous elements toned down a bit. Bit darker, bit slyer."

 

Steve Dillon, Ennis's collaborator on the hugely popular Vertigo series "Preacher," provided the art for the original Marvel Knights Punisher stories, and Ennis is happy to have worked with him again on "Punisher: War Zone." "It's always a pleasure, particularly with the addition of 'Preacher' colorist Matt Hollingsworth," Ennis remarked. "Steve is simply the best storyteller working in comics."

 

"Punisher War Zone" is the first new Frank Castle story from Ennis since he left "The Punisher," but the writer actually completed "War Zone" long before he finished his sixty-issue stint on the mature readers title. "Joe Quesada asked me to do it about three-and-a-half years ago," Ennis confirmed. "He reckoned people would want to see Ma Gnucci and all the crazy stuff again. I was reluctant, having little interest in the characters, but my brain has a habit of serving me stories regardless. If you want to date it more specifically, there's 'Brokeback Mountain' gags in it."

 

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=17971

 

 

 

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Guest FADoss

Here's a little Ennis Punisher quote from you on Frank and "mistakes" I just read:

 

"And you--does the name Maria Lopez mean anything to you? Maria Lopez was a cleaner at the Worldwide Investment building. She died when one of your bullets went through the wall of the boardroom. She's one of four innocent people who've been cut down in the crossfire of your little crusade, JUST BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T BE BOTHERED TO PLAN PROPERLY."

 

So, under Dillon, the Punisher owes Mr. Payback a HUGE apology for KILLING HIM for the same thing he just did. Whoops. Sucks to shit on continuity.

 

Fred

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Looks like the new title for the MAX series is Punisher: Frank Castle. What is it with dropping 'The' from the titles? First it was the movie, now all the comics seem to be doing it.

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Here's a message and pic from Tom! :D :

 

"This was a pic shot right before I dropped out of P2 - just found it in an

old file. This was right before the 'cutting' stage where I'd drop the

excess fat. What could have been..." TJ

 

 

TJPrePunisher2.jpg

 

 

Jen

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Here's a message and pic from Tom! :D :

 

"This was a pic shot right before I dropped out of P2 - just found it in an

old file. This was right before the 'cutting' stage where I'd drop the

excess fat. What could have been..." TJ

 

 

TJPrePunisher2.jpg

 

 

Jen

 

The guy had good size.

 

Ray Stevenson is half his size and 6 inches taller.

 

-TL

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The guy had good size.

 

Ray Stevenson is half his size and 6 inches taller.

 

-TL

 

Ray Stevenson is heavier but a lot of that is because of his beer gut...Good thing it looks like they covered all that up pretty well because he sure isnt a muscular cat but he's huge nonetheless.

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Yea he didnt get the amount of time to work out and train for WarZone that Jane did for 'The Punisher'...Makes me think more and more that WarZone is a "quick buck" type of movie.

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Here's a message and pic from Tom! :D :

 

"This was a pic shot right before I dropped out of P2 - just found it in an

old file. This was right before the 'cutting' stage where I'd drop the

excess fat. What could have been..." TJ

 

 

TJPrePunisher2.jpg

 

 

Jen

 

Now that's Frank Castle.

 

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Here's a message and pic from Tom! :D :

 

"This was a pic shot right before I dropped out of P2 - just found it in an

old file. This was right before the 'cutting' stage where I'd drop the

excess fat. What could have been..." TJ

 

 

TJPrePunisher2.jpg

 

Jen

 

Thanks, Jen!

 

That's a great photo and very inspiring, really - it just makes me want to get off my duff and get on with it, just BE physically fit. I know what he means about the "cutting stage" and getting ripped, but really my first reaction is WHAT "excess fat?" you know? :lol:

 

When I heard about Tom's training for both The Punisher and P2, months and years of his life - I had never before heard about anybody working so da*n hard, and committing so much of himself, mind, body, and spirit. Really, what could have been, indeed ...

 

But I'm looking forward to Tom possibly creating his own iconic character and carrying forward a mythology of his own making. How exciting would that be, don't you think?

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Reposting this from the War Zone thread:

 

I decided to check the preview for The Punisher MAX's issue #64 today. If this is too out of topic then I apologize.

 

Am I the only one who hasn't bothered reading this since Ennis left? I read issue #61 and some of the previews that came after that, but the IGN review of #64 said it best "The book's true sense of maturity - emotional maturity, not situational - departed along with Garth Ennis."

 

I can't help but feel that I'm reading some sort of comic book aimed at 13 year olds who love violence. Ennis wrote about things that happen in real life like the Slavers story arc, BORN was amazing as well. Yet after he left all we've been getting is a generic Punisher kills the bad guys plot.

This wouldn't be a bad thing since Welcome Back, Frank was amazing. However, WBF kept things fresh by having many characters and various plots going on at the same time. Girls in White Dresses just feels... generic. The plot boils down to a group of people killing girls, am I supposed to feel angry and go "Oh god I hope Frank kills them!"? Because making antagonists kill children to show how evil they are is the most unoriginal thing you can do (it was already bad enough in Man of Stone).

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Reposting this from the War Zone thread:

 

I decided to check the preview for The Punisher MAX's issue #64 today. If this is too out of topic then I apologize.

 

Am I the only one who hasn't bothered reading this since Ennis left? I read issue #61 and some of the previews that came after that, but the IGN review of #64 said it best "The book's true sense of maturity - emotional maturity, not situational - departed along with Garth Ennis."

 

I can't help but feel that I'm reading some sort of comic book aimed at 13 year olds who love violence. Ennis wrote about things that happen in real life like the Slavers story arc, BORN was amazing as well. Yet after he left all we've been getting is a generic Punisher kills the bad guys plot.

This wouldn't be a bad thing since Welcome Back, Frank was amazing. However, WBF kept things fresh by having many characters and various plots going on at the same time. Girls in White Dresses just feels... generic. The plot boils down to a group of people killing girls, am I supposed to feel angry and go "Oh god I hope Frank kills them!"? Because making antagonists kill children to show how evil they are is the most unoriginal thing you can do (it was already bad enough in Man of Stone).

 

The recent story has been disapointing hopefully the the writer for the next arc might be able to turn it around

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I personally think that this new one is just okay. I'd say lets wait for the next storyline and judge from there.

 

Ennis casts a HUGE shadow for Punisher writers and it's gonna take a lot to get up there. We might be judging too soon because Garth was just soo fuckin great that it's hard for us to accept something else you know?

The Punisher has had it's ups and down for over 30 years. It happens. We'll see whether or not it continues to stay up.

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Ennis does cast a huge shadow. I think that for the first time for a lot of fans, they finally recived the Punisher they have always wanted to see, compleatly unleashed.

 

As for the new writers, I agree with you Raf, it's only okay. The premis for the next arch with the new team seems pretty wild, but I'm teetering on weather it's a good crazy or a bad crazy. I think the new writers, esspesially if they did there homework, know what they're up against and might be trying to hard to either please fans or at least leave a mark. I don't wish them bad, I just want to see Frank ripping through the bad guys in good stories.

 

Besides Tim's legendary work on the covers, none of the art really blew me away in the MAX series. There was good art, but nothing that really knocked it home. As for now it's all about the stories for me.

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My favorite art done for the MAX series aside from Streets covers of course, was the artwork for the Widowmaker. I believe it was Medina who did it? Bad ass work. I loved the way Frank looked.

 

The new art is okay. I gotta tell you though, the one Punisher art I am very disappointed with is Howard Chakin's War Journal art. Not a fan. He seems to draw MOST of the characters well but not Castle. My opinion though.

 

-Raffi

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I personally think that this new one is just okay. I'd say lets wait for the next storyline and judge from there.

 

Ennis casts a HUGE shadow for Punisher writers and it's gonna take a lot to get up there. We might be judging too soon because Garth was just soo fuckin great that it's hard for us to accept something else you know?

The Punisher has had it's ups and down for over 30 years. It happens. We'll see whether or not it continues to stay up.

 

I like what the new writer did with the foolkiller series but i felt his take on the max series was a little bit repetitive and it brought nothing new to the character

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Here's my latest Punisher cover, for the French magazine Comic Box.

Hope you dig.

 

CB56cvr.jpg

 

- TB

 

 

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First thoughts: Bring on the mayhem! As excited as I get seeing your Punisher on another cover, it makes me sad knowing that the next issue of Punisher MAX I pick up will not have your art on it.

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Yeah, y'know, I've been missing it lately.

I have a piece I've been wanting to do for a long time.

Sometime soon I'll knock it out just for fun.

Might send it along to Axel too in case they want an inventory cover or something.

 

Thanks JWeb.

 

- TB

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Dude Tim you can't come back and show us another beautiful piece you did after we have the new dude doing the covers. You're a cock tease!

 

 

 

 

You need to come back. I'll pay you. ;)

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I just read War Journal #26 today and it was pretty bad.

 

"I only kill the guilty not the stupid." Yes, Frank, let the guy in the Stilt-man suit walk around through all of NYC and possibly kill someone, what a genius idea.

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Yeah I'm not too happy about that myself. I don't mind a PG-13 Punisher but they made #26 quick and silly. I kinda thought it was funny how Rhino included himself assuming it was fate that brought them 2 together but I still think it was too fast and lacked Frank Castle.

 

I'm not against Castle letting the dumbasses go though. He capped the only murder of the group.

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