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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Re: Fractions War Journal.
Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:30:01 am EST (Viewed 2 times)
Reply Subj: Fractions War Journal.
Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:25:37 pm EST (Viewed 302 times)

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Re read this recently, and whilst I realise its much maligned I'm struggling to see why its disliked so much.

Dont get me wrong, its far from my favourite run on the book and I doubt that any of the stories would make my top ten - certainly not my top five - but having read it again for he first time since its release I'm far from offended by it.

I found the Civil War tie-in to be just fine, Franks behaviour is in character an I liked his almost hero-worship of Cap.

I really enjoyed the one shot in the Bar with No Name, I thought it was an amusing issue to see all these C-list villains getting drunk and going on about how they used to be a big deal. It was a real nod back to a more innocent time in comics.

I realise that the arc with the Hate Monger in is what gets alot of people because Frank kills an innocent, but what I would say is that theres nothing wrong with the story itself and as for the killing, first of all Frank was brainwashed and secondly, theres pretty much no hero out there who hasnt been brainwashed and plenty of them have done alot worse that Frank whilst under the influence. I mean just how many people did Logan kill during Enemy of the State, and despite being probably the toughest of all heroes he's probably had his head messed with more than anyone.

So yeah, Frank kills someone who didnt deserve it - so what? Thats pretty much standard fare for all heroes at some point in there career. Lets look at it this way, theres a debate over on the Avengers board about whose the biggest dick between Tony Stark and Wonderman and both of those guys despite being 'virtuous' characters have killed more innocents than Frank who is a cold bloodied killer.

I also liked the showdown between Frank and Bucky - again, a nice little tip of the hat to just how much Frank respects Cap, and I enjoyed the World War Hulk tie in with the Venom suit (which was pretty cool)

I do have to admit that after this issue I find the series pretty difficult to read but that is almost entirely down to Chakins dreadful art work.

I hated this run as it went on.

I really wanted to like it early on. It was a good "foil" to Ennis' run. Castle had more humour. He was on the run. I like 616 Punisher. I'm not one of those blind Ennis Punisher MAX worshippers. Punishe with the capes and stuff, I like that.

A small annoyance to me was G.W.Bridge. He was a VERY, VERY, VERY minor character, I know. But I liked this guy, despite him being minor. They made him fat (why?) and Muslim (only interesting to bring up if it brings something to the character, which it didn't).

The tone was uneven. People say that about Baron, but here, Castle was "funny"...but it didn't work. Those issues with Gibbon and Kraven JR. I wanted to care...but couldn't...

Then, there was the promise of something: Punisher taking on supervillains. Punisher found a former villain, reformed him. I figure Castle is gonna stockpile some super weapons and kill boatloads of supervillains. That was a constant disappointment time and time again. Nothing happened. The Bar With No Name that was blown up? That incident was undone in SHE HULK. Parnell Jacobs was killed? He was brought back later on as well.

CIVIL WAR was garbage to me. The way the characters acted in CIVIL WAR was off kilter. The gimmick was loud and flashy and stupid. Why the HELL would Cap want Punisher on his team if he wants no bloodshed? Why the HELL would Punisher kill two people in cold blood in a room full of superheroes and act like "What did I do wrong?" Crappy writing and illogical. Punisher should have been on NO ONE'S SIDE and just gone on killing bad guys. Period.

Castle killing that girl angered me. Frank Castle's whole entire existence is based on the fact that he has ZERO TOLERANCE for innoncent deaths due to what happened to his family. Writers go out of their way-this includes Rucka-to show Castle take his shots without killing innocents. Here, Fraction decides to throw that away. Not only that, Castle DOESN'T OWN UP TO IT. Not only does he murder an innocent girl. He lies about it. Any version of Castle I give a damn about has Castle avoiding that, or being torn about it if someone innocent dies NEAR HIM. Some stories, he turns himself in or considers suicide. In a 90s story, he told Wolverine: "If I ever go off the deep end, you come shut me down." (Carl Potts, Punisher writer and editor in DAMAGING EVIDENCE) I'm not interested in a Frank Castle that shrugs off innocent deaths. (or an IRON MAN-when did he kill innocents or WONDER WOMAN?) He was brainwashed? I. Don't. Care. Frank Castle has BROKEN that kind of conditionning before. One, in a story written by GERRY CONWAY-the character's damn creator. Once by Abnett and Lanning, PSYCHOVILLE. Nevermind that the brillant tactician that Frank his was nowhere to be seen: he acted like a braindead gorilla during that ENTIRE series.

And that rant: "I'm Captain America, bla bla bla." What was that?

Stupid scenes like that WORLD WAR HULK thing. Guns that throw swords (really? Stuart couldn't scare up an armour worth a damn, like a Stark Level suit for this? What went through Fraction's mind for this stuff?)

I quit the series shortly after that. I finished after the Jigsaw thing that ruined Lynn Michaels, by the way. (Just because a character is minor doesn't they deserve to be thrown away like that. A writer with talent would have made something with here. Brubaker brought DAKOTA NORTH in DAREDEVIL and made something interesting with her. Didn't kill her or brainwash her or whatever.) And that was just a waste of time and opportunity.

Then Remender came along. He made Punisher a drunk and a Frankenstein monster and built on the crap Fraction did and added with his own crap.

Fraction and Rememnder is just one run. Renumbering, retitling be damned. And one gets the impression they didn't care about the Punisher, they didn't understand him, they didn't think he was interesting so they messed with HIM, tinkered with him, butchered him, tore him down.

Though I had my problems with Rucka's run, it was more obvious to me the respect he had for the roots of the character: Castle was back as a cold, methodical soldier. Not a deluded maniac, not a Frankenstein monster or an angel or a zombie. Issue 12 in his run, that issue, in my opinion, is better than almost 50 issues of Fraction/Remennder. In that issue, I can only see that Rucka GETS IT. The series could have been quicker paced, could have used more Frank some issues, could have been more accesible to casual readers. But the character was not as ruined or destroyed as what the other two guys did with it. I recognized Frank Castle here.

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