Let’s say that you’ve become the chief bad-ass villain of the Marvel Universe. You’re more or the less the number-one guy in the U.S. Government, you have militias of super-villains and trained soldiers at your disposal. You have extremely odd hair. What would you do with that unbridled power? Who, for lack of gentle phrasing, would you relentlessly screw with first? If you’re Norman Osborn, you have a new name at the top of The List, and that name is Frank Castle, The Punisher. Regular Punisher scribe Rick Remender is going to show us what happens when Norman really, really gets his mad on this September. And it’s on a pretty impressive scale.
As Remender explains it, “Now that Norman’s power plays have been successful, [the question is] what’s next? Who do I want to get revenge on? What sort of things can [i] get away with that make sense?” And having that look around, Norman’s gaze falls on Frank Castle. “In terms of Punisher, not only has Castle tarnished Norman’s PR (this fallacy that crime is on the decline…. . . Frank has been doing a good job of exposing that . . .). . .Frank tried to KILL Norman, sort of at the top of Norm’s pop, he tried to kill him.”
And how does the oh-so-stable Osborn respond? Remender tells us, “Norm dedicates all of HAMMER for an afternoon, led by Norm himself, and bringing along Dark Avengers just in case, to taking Frank down. At the end of Punisher #10, after his encounter with The Hood, Frank’s in a bad place . . . and all of a sudden, the forces of God have come down crashing on his head.”
Remender thinks that the outmatched, outgunned Punisher is really the character in his natural element. He says, “That’s how you want to see Frank; if you’re going to do a Punisher story, this is what you want to do.” Regular Punisher readers won’t want to miss this either. As Remender explains, “This bookends the two arcs . . . all of it builds into The List; all of the List things are one shots.”
And the art team here is sure to cause some excitement as well. Remender proudly tells us that “it’s John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson on art. There’s no better art duo in comics.” He goes on to fondly recall the initial Punisher: War Zone run by that pair in the early ‘90s, noting how they helped define the character at that time.
Between the story and the art, Remender says that readers will be getting some “high-octane fun.” As for his own run on The Punisher, Remender happily reports, “People really seem to be responding to it, which is great. If you’ll read issue 1-10 and The List, you’re gonna love Frank Castle . . . we’ve been working our asses off. It’s been really important to us to give Marvel’s Batman his due.”
It’s a priority for Marvel as well. Remender says, “Marvel has gotten behind the Punisher stuff in a big way, and I would hope that people [that haven’t, go out and] get the first five issues.” Remender also takes a moment to point out that the forthcoming Annual will feature him and artist Jason Pearson. Remender’s attitude is that “it’s important that specials or one-shots tie-in to the book . . . the annual is basically Spider-Man and Frank’s reaction to the Dead End arc as it ties in to The List.”
Look for Dark Reign: The List – Punisher in September.