A powerful ending to Garth Ennis’s swan song of The Punisher in the MAX universe. This volume was incredible from start to finish, wrapping up every loose end. The summary of the plot is essentially crooked generals in the U.S. military want to exterminate Frank Castle AKA The Punisher because he has dirt on them. They plan on taking him out by using American special forces. Tricking them into believing that The Punisher did something wrong. However the commander of this special forces group wants to bring The Punisher in alive so he can be tried by the law. It’s very ironic and engaging at the same time. It’s also a shock to see that no one had came up with the idea of sending the military after Frank Castle. The story feels like a big, cat and mouse chase where both sides don’t want to kill the other leading to interesting scenarios. Its brilliant how well it’s handled in the story. Also this volume is really amazing in the parallels between the Vietnam war and the war in Iraq. Ennis went into the controversy of military industrial complex along with over zealous patriots of the country. It gave a sense of American decay that really empowered the book. There were a few moments I forgot I was reading a Punisher story all together.
Now I enjoyed it, but some people have complained about the lengthy dialogue. There is a side story of a man who’s trying to write a biography on Vietnam and The Punisher. Through the story there will be pages of text that play out like an actual book. Personally I loved it but I can understand why people wouldn’t. Secondly the art falters from time to time in the comic. I’m conflicted with the illustrator, Goran Parlov in this book. Some scenes he does a fantastic job while other scenes I felt he did poorly. Besides the artwork and the lengthy text I still find this book to be incredible.
Ennis ended his run in the MAX universe with a wallop of a punch. Frank Castle maybe a one-dimensional character to some people. But Ennis really warps the vigilante into a heroic, tragic, broken, and completely ruthless character