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The Punisher MAX, Vol. 2 (The Punisher MAX #3-4)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  338 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Including bonus material, this book collects 'Punisher Max Vol. 3 - Mother Russia' and 'Punisher Max Vol. 4 - Up is Down and Black is White'.
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published January 27th 2006 by Marvel
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I think my edition was missing the first book and a half of the Mother Russia storyline, and yet...I think I got the gist of it lol.
Frank as the Dirty Dozen. In Siberia. In a Nuclear Missle Silo. Something so right about that...and yet in the midst of this utterly insane violence and gore, there's just that sliver of humanity with his interactions with a little girl that give Frank just that little bit of something inside.
It's the little things like that that I enjoy about Ennis' writing. He doe
Damn near flawless.
Continuing Ennis' superb run, this collection is especially good. The first story arc, "Mother Russia", really turns the insanity up to 11. It is brutally bloody and the depiction of Castle is matched by the Machiavellian machinations of Nick Fury (v1.0). There are betrayals, double-crosses and triple-crosses, and hands-down the ballsiest solution to the Butch-and-Sundance last stand I've ever read. I won't give it away, but it is completely over-the-top yet somehow works.

The second arc is more
Okay, you're going to ask me why I read this when I knew I wouldn't like it. The answer is I like to know whereof I speak, so that when I say something is a piece of shit, it's because I know it's a piece of shit. This is a piece of shit. This is racist, misogynist, homophobic shit, aimed at knuckledraggers who find reading The Sun a stretch. It's so bad, it seems redundant to list in every way it's bad, so I will give it the briefest of overviews.

The writing is dreadful. I know you'd expect me
May 18, 2008 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
This hardcover edition contains two six-issue story arcs, Mother Russia (originally published in The Punisher MAX, issues 13-18) and Up Is Down and Black Is White (originally published in The Punisher MAX, issues 19-24).

Mother Russia completely restored my faith in Garth Ennis's Punisher series. The first 12 issues of the new Marvel MAX series were really lame, and completely abandoned the humor and clever plotting of Ennis's work on The Punisher for Marvel's regular line, instead focusing solel
The two stories in this volume are probably my favorite so far in the Punisher MAX series. And goddamn they are DARK. Ennis' character examination of Frank Castle's sociopathy continues unabated, counterpointed in the second story by O'Brien, a similar CIA-trained killer who finds herself sexually charged by Frank's uncompromising, monstrous brutality.

The first story is a lot of fun with the introduction of MAX Nick Fury. He is very similar to Ennis' older Nick Fury miniseries: disrespectful of
Highly enjoyable, truly nasty, great fun, unexpectedly touching at times. I'm going to cheat and point you to Trike's review because whatever I try to write doesn't come out half as well. What he said, for both stories. Loved the appearance of Nick Fury - a beautiful counterpoint to the somewhat schoolgirly and hysterical military-industrial straw men, and a great complement to Frank. Grotesque, unpredictable, great fun, and the moody artwork in "Mother Russia" was lovely. Slightly less keen on ...more
Mark Trenier
Almost too much to bear--if you think regular Frank Castle is bad, wait until he gets mad--he's off the hook.
Jun 06, 2008 Vivek rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Punisher fans, of course
Shelves: comic-books
The first of the two arcs collected in this book, "Mother Russia," is probably the best Punisher tale I've ever read, easily worthy of four stars. Its got just the right mix of everything. Not only is it suspenseful and clever, but its also touching.

The best word I can think of to describe the second, "Up is Down and Black is White," is gratuitous. Its an interesting plot, but there is just too much sex and violence for my tastes.

The artwork in both is great throughout.
Ennis really boils the Punisher down to his very essence. Unfortunately, I don't think I like the essence of the Punisher very much. It's brutal and nasty, and Ennis definitely takes the character seriously, but ultimately everyone seems so unredeemable that it turns me off. I want to at least pretend that there's a little humanity left in the Punisher, despite his over-the-top actions. But these stories make me think there's not.
Even for Punisher this was a little gratuitous. Some of it I can justify as being likely/necessary for the content it's dealing with, and other stuff was the writers seeing what they could get away with...Overall I enjoyed both stories in this edition of Punisher. It was well written over all and worth it if you're a Punisher fan.
Garth Ennis' Punisher run under the MAX imprint continues with two pretty good stories about Frank Castle aka The Punisher and the very few feelings the man's got left, his dead family, and protecting children in a way he couldn't protect his own...
Seizure Romero
Best quote:
"I was a little concerned when your infallible super-hobbit fucked things up and left the terrorists still in control of the silo." (unpaginated-- from issue #17, Mother Russia, part five)
Review to be continued.
This is contains a storyline that has the best portrayal of Nick Fury I've seen. Sure, you can't see it anywhere except the Max line, but it is worth checking for that. The storyline itself is no slouch.
Jacob Hess
the 'mother russia' story arch was phenomenal. easily one of my favorite story archs of all time.
Rathan Krueger
Violence is awesome.
Joel marked it as to-read
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Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting ch ...more
More about Garth Ennis...

Other Books in the Series

The Punisher MAX (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 1: In the Beginning
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 2: Kitchen Irish
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 3: Mother Russia
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 4: Up is Down and Black is White
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 5: The Slavers
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 6: Barracuda
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 7: Man of Stone
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 8: Widowmaker
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 9: Long Cold Dark
  • The Punisher MAX, Vol. 10: Valley Forge, Valley Forge
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