PunisherMAX #17 cover.
Update: PunisherMAX writer Jason Aaron has addressed the news on his Twitter account, writing, "PUNISHER MAX is ending, the way I always intended it. It was not canceled."
Original story: Marvel series PunisherMAX is ending in February 2012 with issue #22, Newsarama has learned.
The series, written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Steve Dillon since its first issue, appears to be reaching its planned conclusion rather than being canceled by Marvel. "Punisher from the get-go was one big story, and we're moving to the close of that story," Aaron told Newsarama in July.
More information, including the cover and full issue solicitation, can be found exclusively on Newsarama at noon eastern time on Thursday, Nov. 17. The cover for #22 certainly seems to be suggesting the demise of the MAX Frank Castle, but a Marvel spokesperson's only comment was, "A big change is coming to the MAX universe and nobody can miss what we’ve got coming."
PunisherMAX #17 and #18, the first two issues in the book's current arc "Homeless," will go back to print in advance of #22, a rare instance of MAX releases getting a second print.
PunisherMAX debuted in November 2009, following the 75-issue run of the original mature readers Punisher series. Also a part of Marvel's MAX imprint and set outside of Marvel's traditional continuity, PunisherMAX focused more on established Marvel villains such as Kingpin, Elektra and Bullseye.
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