An Essay about explicit comic books, the merits of Hong Kong cinema and the dishonesty of comic book covers; along with scant mention of the Punisher...moreAn Essay about explicit comic books, the merits of Hong Kong cinema and the dishonesty of comic book covers; along with scant mention of the Punisher himself in particular and The Punisher the comic book series in general; but wherein a new phrase is coined, which you will all be using one day soon, and a new word is created that no-one will ever really use, but which will one day make the author a footnote in the annals of lexicographic history.
I never thought I'd see the day when there are pretty explicit blow job references and uncovered boobies in a Marvel comic book. What a far stretch from the corny 1950's quips Peter Parker constantly made. This probably isn't the first time this has happened, but it's the first time I've read one of this MAX titles of Marvel. I was a little surprised at first at the visual violence, but it made the Punisher read better than I remember him reading in the 1980's the last time I read anything of him where he wasn't just a psycho trying to kill whatever superhero he happened to be guest staring in a comic with. That psycho Punisher was kind of boring and cliche, sort of like what happened to Wolverine when he used to always show up on the covers of other comic books trying to attack and kill them. Comic book fans can probably tell me I'm wrong about how often these things actually happened, and what I'm remembering were very infrequent, but they stick into my head, and honestly my window of fair knowledge of comic books are for about five years in the 1980's with a smattering of periods in earlier times for the series' I really enjoyed.
The storyline in this book would have made an excellent action movie, it had that cooler than cool kind of feel that the really awesome Asian gangster movies have, sort of like John Woo before he started to suck and make American movies, or anything starring Chow Yun-Fat. I had some doubts about the book when Alfonso handed it to me at work and I saw the Punisher fighting a whale on the back-cover but rest assured he does not really do battle with large mammals living in the sea; it's just one of those kind of stupid covers that comic books come up with, sort of like every year for a long time there was at least one X-Men cover where all the X-Men were laying dead on the cover, and of course in the issue they didn't die. Now of course if you saw all of the super heroes dead on a cover then they might die, but it doesn't really matter because some negative universe or alternate universe is probably to blame and they are still alive and well, just waiting for something deus ex machina to bring them all back, after ample time for the New York Times to run an obituary and sales to skyrocket for a brief moment.
Speaking of movies and the Punisher, it would seem based on this comic and the idea of him that he would be the perfect character to make a movie out of. Sadly this isn't the case. Hollywood seems to be able to fuck up any attempt; but this is mostly hearsay, I've only seen the first two movie attempts. The first, starring Dolph Lundgren (spelling?), might be the dumbest fucking movie I've ever seen, which is saying quite a bit since I've seen some real shit. The second one was just boring, and I heard the third one wasn't much better, but maybe I'm hallucinating the existence of film number three.
God, I wish there were some easy way to verify the facts about things like this and the spelling of Dolph L.'s name while typing this up on the computer. How lazy can I be that I find moving the touch pad a little bit, typing a few extra words into a search screen after hitting command-T to open up a new tab seems like too much effort. But yet typing this paragraph isn't? It's inefficient and stupid things like are the reason I will never breed, my lazy gene's will die in me. Apparently nature doesn't like it when things like this happen; or so I extrapolate from the smattering of popular evolutionary theory I read on break today.
I should write about the book. I said I really liked it. As far as comic books that are superhero like, but which don't star Daredevil or Batman, this is just about as good as any I've ever read. If I wasn't still within a week or so of having read Proust this might have been five-stars, but Proust just makes everything else seem a little pale, especially when the latest Proust novel only got four stars from me. I don't know if I'd be able to live with myself knowing in the same month that I rated Proust with four stars I gave the Punisher five, even though comparing them is like comparing acorns and hand grenades (I just made that one up just now, pretty witty huh? Especially if you knew how tired feeling I am, how my eyes feel like they are about to shut, and how I'm going on like some Beckett character because there is nothing else that I can do (what the fuck am I even talking about here (this is where I get to the point that tomorrow I will be embarrassed by some of the shit that I wrote, vow never to write another review on Goodreads.com, but within a day or so break that vow, and once again write something that I vaguely hate myself for writing))).
On that quadriparenthetical (I just made this word up too, it means in four parentheses, I must remember to email the editors of the OED with this citation so that I may be included in the next update. To help make this possible try to use the word quadriparenthetical as often as possible in everyday conversation. (I just thought that maybe Math has a term for something like this, an equation nested within a nest of a nest, but I'm not a fucking math nerd, so how would I know that?) (I also just realized that getting prime billing on an OED entry will mean that nature must smile on me and I will reproduce, fucking Game pick-up artists step the fuck back once I get in the OED for quadriparenthetical because I will then be an absolute babe magnet)) note I'm going to wrap this review up, and marvel at how once again I have managed to write about a book for more than a half-hour with almost never once mentioning the book I'm reviewing. That absence is important though motherfucker, it's Lacan and shit; and by being absent means that it's more important that what is there. (less)
Maybe I'm kind of dumb, but I don't really get this. A whole bunch of superheroes and villains have it out in midtown Manhattan, they destroy building...moreMaybe I'm kind of dumb, but I don't really get this. A whole bunch of superheroes and villains have it out in midtown Manhattan, they destroy buildings and wreck havoc for a few square blocks, but then a handful of ordinary people seem to make their way through the fray and can seem to hold back Captain America from bashing in Iron Man's head, and he all of a sudden has a revelation that maybe the war should end, he lets himself be arrested and then a general amnesty is given to all of the heroes on both sides, after they just seriously fucked up New York, and probably killed a bunch of people. It felt like they couldn't figure a way out of what they had written themselves into so the writers just kind of gave some really stupid conclusion to the Civil War. Or at least it didn't make any sense to me.
Another thought on the ending. Ultimately any taking away of civil liberties is fine, because the government will be making things safer for everyone. The whole series is obviously a commentary on the post 9/11 landscape of America, with Iron Man being on the Bush side demanding a decrease in liberties for a greater security, and Captain America opposing the march towards a more totalitarian government. By surrendering Captain America because the 'common folk' hold him back, and he sees the war he's been fighting hasn't been fought in their interest at all can be a sad commentary on the way that sweeping paranoia and fear mongering can sway public perceptions and opinions and work as a way of slyly legitimizing deplorable actions.
There is still more to come in this story arc with the Initiative, so maybe things will look up for the America that exists in Marvel land, but by what has happened here the goose steps are getting louder and the real opposition to their approach has given up the fight because of popular opinion. Good thing this is only a comic book, right?
Some great drawings of Wolverine healing after having all of his flesh and muscle burned off of him. There is also a nice little story about him takin...moreSome great drawings of Wolverine healing after having all of his flesh and muscle burned off of him. There is also a nice little story about him taking down an evil war-profiteering company that could only be in a comic book because there are no corporations who would try to use shady dealings at the misery of others just to make some money. (less)
This collection seems to be just some issues that couldn't be collected anywhere else. About half of the stories were good, but the other half I had n...moreThis collection seems to be just some issues that couldn't be collected anywhere else. About half of the stories were good, but the other half I had no interest in. I guess it's nice to see Howard the Duck make an appearance, but his story was actually what made me push this down to a two instead of three star rating.(less)
As the story went on I got into it a lot more. I still can't say that I'm a fan of Captain America, but the twists that the third part of the Death of...moreAs the story went on I got into it a lot more. I still can't say that I'm a fan of Captain America, but the twists that the third part of the Death of Captain America took were more interesting than the set up in the previous two books. (less)
I couldn't get myself really interested in this. Even in my comic book obsessed days as a pre-teenager I never really understood Captain America. He h...moreI couldn't get myself really interested in this. Even in my comic book obsessed days as a pre-teenager I never really understood Captain America. He had a shield and he was kind of a dick, and out of all the Avengers he seemed the most useless (which is saying something because I didn't think too highly of many of the mid-1980's Avengers). Now he's dead, someone called the Red Skull killed him, another Marvel character I never quite understood, but apparently he's now a pretty evil force to be reckoned with. He's a Nazi who's has a red skull, which I think is supposed to be a mask? But I don't know. I put him up there with Kingpin as a bad guy I just never understood why he was thought to be so powerful (this even with my fanboy love at the time of Daredevil).
The funny thing about Captain America dying is that it wasn't that difficult. I don't know why someone didn't off him sooner. Maybe if I knew more about him I'd see this is a stupid question, kind of like one a girl would ask who knows nothing about comics, like I don't know a really dumb question like, "But why can't Wolverine get killed?" because he has super healing powers and an adamantium skeleton, duh.
So Captain America is dead, and some stuff happens. (less)
Awesome artwork by David Mack. Like a lot of the best Daredevil stories this moves beyond the normal super-hero cliches and delivers something more hu...moreAwesome artwork by David Mack. Like a lot of the best Daredevil stories this moves beyond the normal super-hero cliches and delivers something more human than some spandex indestructible ninny making wise cracks and always doing the right thing. (less)
When I was younger I remember liking this story and then getting a little bored with it. Daredevil at the time was my favorite comic book, and for sev...moreWhen I was younger I remember liking this story and then getting a little bored with it. Daredevil at the time was my favorite comic book, and for seven issues, or seven months the story took a break so that Daredevil's life could be utterly destoryed. I got a little bored and wanted the good stuff to come back, but that was only because seven months is a long time when you're twelve years old (or however old I was). Re-reading this now is great. Possibly darker than Miller's Batman work that he would soon do, this is a story that doesn't seem in place anywhere in the Marvel universe at the time. My only complaint would be the returning of outside superheros towards the end of the story, Captain America and Iron man appearing doesn't fit into the feeling of story, and cheapens the gritty realism that had been so carefully laid out for five issues before their arrival. (less)