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Dark Reign


The NZA
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so yeah, Secret Invasion's done!

Now, shit done changed...again. Stark's out, Osborn's in, and there's an evil cabal behind him! We dont yet know a whole lot beyond that.

 

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s been disbanded (even though Fury came around for five minutes), the Thunderbolts are moving up (cause america feels safer with a team of Venom, Bullseye and such), Stark's to blame for everything still, and yeah, SI didnt heal the wounds of Civil War, so the villains are gonna take advantage of the disarray, beyond just The Hood, i imagine.

 

 

The talk over at the Bendis boards is The Dark Avengers.

 

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THE DARK REIGN IS HERE! The start of an explosive new era in the Avengers mythos! Who are the Dark Avengers? Who is the Iron Patriot? The answers will shock you! Brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr.

 

yeah, i can tell you this much: the solicitations page has what looks like an awesome New Avengers # 50 with the team (lead by the new cap?!) squaring off against them, should be fun.

my guess, from that image? youre looking at uh, somebody as Iron Man, Songbird or whoever onna right, D'ken (wolvy's kid, he's been put into play recently, kind of?), a smaller venom? im not sure. and Batroc as Hawkeye mebbe?

 

That's all i got so far, more as it comes.

 

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it would seem that an important player in this brave new world is going to be The Punisher:

 

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This new series finds Frank Castle engaging in a new war as Dark Reign looms. If you've seen the cover released in the January 2009 advance solicitations, then you know that Frank isn't pulling any punches – he's got the Sentry in his sights. But why?

 

That's a question we're asking series writer Rick Remender, who's coming in from Punisher War Journal with artist Jerome Opeña. The duo are long-time collaborators on Fear Agent, and recently did a short story in the one-shot Wolverine: Dangerous Game.

 

We've cornered Rick Remender for more, so let's interrogate.

 

Newsarama: There was a cover by Mike McKone released to coincide with the new series announcement showing the Sentry in Punisher's sights. First of all Rick, damn. You don't beat around the bush. What's Frank doing?

 

Rick Remender: Murder is the case that they gave him. Frank isn't screwing around; he sees dark days on the horizon and will take out anyone he thinks will prevent this. With everything that'll be coming up, all the new threats.

 

He has some new allies with some new ideas on how to address the sorts of problems the world will be facing. The fight with The Sentry is a direct result of the new direction of Frank's war.

 

NRAMA: What can you tell us about the focus - the mission statement of this new series?

 

RR: Go to the source of the problem and kill it. He's never played a bigger role in the events within the MU. Frank's targets are bigger, very pertinent, I think everyone will be surprised by the results of this new strategy. This new focus naturally makes Frank a target to some heavy hitters. There is a gigantic goddamned wave of villainy about to be unleashed on Frank. Can't go into much more without some serious spoilers.

 

NRAMA: Back in the Punisher War Journal series you joined with writer Matt Fraction, the character of Jigsaw was really reinvigorated to be one of the big figures in Punisher's rogues gallery. How do you see him in comparison to Frank, and will he be showing up in the new series?

 

RR: Spoilers ahead for anyone who didn't read our Jigsaw arc...

 

Matt and I wanted to tell one of the ultimate Jigsaw/Punisher stories, and we I think we did. The great thing about the plan was the idea of reinvigorating Jigsaw, delving into his insanity, his motivations, his clear love for Frank... and then kill him. Take him out on a high note.

 

With Jigsaw dead I think we cleared the plate for a new era of The Punisher in the MU. His past is cleaned up a bit making it easier to focus on his future. One of the big builds in this new series will be Frank's new rogues' gallery, I wish I could tell you who the members will be. It's going to be insane. The stakes are going to be turned up so high; the new threats are unlike anything you've ever seen Frank up against. Let's talk again about this in June.

 

NRAMA: Speaking of rogue's galleries - who are the most prominent of Frank's as you see it?

 

RR: The crime bosses have always stood out to me, Kingpin, Jigsaw etc.

It's natural for whoever is running New York's crime to be at the top of Frank's hit list. It's a logical fit. I think he's a ton of awesome against heroes as well, Frank versus Deadpool or Daredevil or Spider-man, that's good fun. Frank versus The Senrty should be a well remembered sparring.

 

NRAMA: You're working with your long-time collaborator Jerome Opeña, going from Fear Agent to a story in the Wolverine: Dangerous Game one-shot and now a new Punisher series.

 

You've known all about collaboration in comics, doing it as an inker with pencilers and now as a writer with an artist. How does working together with someone long-term like this help, and with Jerome in particular?

 

RR: Collaboration, be it in the form of penciling books with writers like Bruce Campbell or Brian Posehn, inking over Kieron Dwyer on The Avengers, writing on games like EA's Dead Space, the forthcoming XXXombies screenplay, or writing comics with longtime collaborators like Jerome Opeña on Fear Agent and Punisher, is different from project to project but the goal is always the same-- to meld into a highly functioning unit, with one brain, working towards achieving the intent of the same story as seamlessly as possible.

 

The specifics obviously change depending on my role. When penciling a comic, my responsibility is to the writer, to give a visually exciting and clear interpretation of his/her script with an eye on staying true to their intention. Staging, acting camera movement, the fine-tuning comes much more into play in penciling, the writer has taken care of the broad strokes.

 

Inking is more about staying true to what the penciler intended, embellishing the drawing, clarifying expression and to never do any harm.

 

Writing in video games or film requires you to be able to exert flexibility, to work within the constraints of the media as well as the people orchestrating the project. Which is not too dissimilar from mainstream comic work.

 

In mainstream comics you have a set stage with specific objectives to hit and must find the most concise and entertaining way to work within those parameters. Given the wide-open freedom of creator-owned work, this took me some time to acclimate to, but I think it's improved my writing greatly. On Punisher, Axel has forced me to focus on one idea at a time, to realize when enough is enough and give each idea or character time to develop, to slow down a bit and find my focus. He's really pushed me to look at my writing, to find and build on what works and cleanly cut away what doesn't.

 

As for Jerome, he perfectly tells any story given to him. I think he's been given all of one note on the Punisher stuff so far. He is the rare artist who not only interprets the script, but also greatly improves it with spot perfect acting, dynamic clear action and the kind of staging sense you're either born with or not. We work smoothly as a team; two well-oiled nerds wrestling in a mud bath of fun. The essence of collaboration is bringing out the best in each other and that couldn't be truer than with the Punisher team.

 

NRAMA: How'd this new series come about, Rick?

 

RR: I'd been working with Matt Fraction and editor Axel Alonso on The Punisher War Journal series, and having a blast, so when Fraction decided it was time to move on to some unknown book called "Uncanny something-or-other" I was offered the job. [Editor's Note: Fraction joined writer Ed Brubaker on Uncanny X-Men with issue #500]

 

Axel and I spoke at great lengths about what role we'd like to see Frank play in the coming Dark Reign, how to place him squarely in the center of the new MU, and it all gelled from there.

 

Jerome and I have a long history working together on Fear Agent and Axel had worked with us on our Wolverine story so the mighty Opeña was a natural fit for art.

 

NRAMA: This announcement comes just as the new Punisher: War Zone movie is being promoted. Any cross-over, tie-ins or comic book signings at shooting ranges with the cast planned?

 

RR: Yeah, we've set up target practice competition, who ever can destroy the most VHS copies of the Dolph Lundgren's Punisher movie gets to knock off a few dozen hours of their court ordered community service. [Joel's Note: kek]

 

on a personal note:

 

Bullmotherfuckingshit that Frank can take on the Sentry. 'The Power of a Thousand Exploding Suns' should not be a fucking pun, dammit.

Edited by archangel
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...yall done turned this into a punisher thread.

 

didnt know about the ennis/dillon mini, cool. i know they want to reintroduce Punisher back into marvel proper (ennis took him out, same way bendis/bru basically do with DD and such), but War Journal's a fine example of how i cant get hyped over seeing that; he belongs in MAX. anyway.

 

tomorrow's the first issue of this event, let's see how it goes.

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...but...but i did! its why i started this thread, after posting my thoughts there! its why panch got mad cause i left it all out in the open, figured i was the last kid on the block to read the ending but...fuck it, go read my reply to your replies to my replies and we'll keep doing this thing until the internet breaks.

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...since were so not talking dark reign anyway...

 

you really go for Punisher MK over MAX, overall? mebbe Knights had some of your personal favorites, but pound for pound, MAX had a few weak arcs for me (Kitchen Irish, etc) but Knights vol 2, i could leave off like the last half more or less.

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My problem with MAX personally is that the simply put, the Punisher started his beginnings as a Spider-Man villain. He is and always has existed in a world inhabited by superheros, that's his charm is that he's a man with no powers, no special gadgets (I am ignoring the 90s and his retarded stealth suit from Civil War here), just his wits and as many guns as he can pull out of god knows where to exist in a world full of beings who are almost all far more powerful than him.

 

Now it's not simple continuity I prefer this. The honest thing is in a "real" world (I hesitate to call anything written by Garth Ennis realistic) he seems that much more ridiculous as some ex-Vietnam vigilante with a chip on his shoulder and a stick up his ass who happens to have a skull painted on every outfit he owns. The skull is the iconography of the character but in a real setting it seems fucking ridiculous (excepting in the case of the 2004 movie where they actually came up with a valid reason for it)

 

Of course this seems like a simple solution to simply remove the skull. But once you get rid of the skull he's no longer the Punisher, he's just another tough as nails cunt out there blowing the faces off crack dealers. The skull is the only thing that sets him apart from the likes of Harry Callahan, Paul Kearsy, Creasy. Frank Castle isn't the Punisher unless he has the skull (don't believe me, well watch the Dolph Lundgren movie) and he can't be taken seriously in a realistic setting with it.

 

That and honestly, the science fiction side was another one of the more fun parts of the character and while Ennis certainly makes it surreal he at least writes in the realm of your average Steven Seagal movie.

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I get why people want a book with him interacting with supes, but he cant kill any of them that matter, and theyre all opposed to him. with few exceptions - i dug the Ultimate Spider-Man/Team-up take - he comes off secondary at best.

 

Ennis' venue got past that and allowed him to shine. I like the 2-dimensional, battle-hardened vietnam vet with a chip on his shoulder, just like i like that same take on Fury more than the Steranko 007 type that everyone else prefers (who's cool too, just not my favorite). An outright sociopath not held down by constant daredevil fights - again, also a character i value getting to be on his own more than forced teamups, cause now i feel we've built his actual character - i just find the character more compelling; we can have him take on mobs, crazies like Baraccuda and the freakin' military instead of Jigsaw, the Russian, Mysterio and what have you.

 

you lost me on the skull thing; i think you're thinking of Bradstreet's covers? Yeah, he rocks it under his coat but it not like his guns/bullets have painted skulls on them; i like how manco or whichever artist Ennis worked with mostly on MAX would have it silhouetted in the darkness a lot. as for its origins in the 2004 film...really!? i hated that, thought it was so forced! Jim Lee's take on it, with the skull forming from frank's kids blood on the kite as he passed out dying there felt more subtle to me, but eh, to each their own.

 

Knights reestablished Frank, and i was grateful. I enjoyed the team-ups and the like, and certain arcs like that Nixon island one i thought were brilliant. the Nuff Said issue "do not fall in NY" or whatever, i loved. the brotherhood arc with the cops was great too, shame it was followed by something with a giant squid and Confederacy of Dunces, which felt like Ennis showing why Frank should be taken out of continuity, if even for a time.

 

but dont mind me; its the same as me saying i dug the post-911 political solider take on Cable/Soldier X. Clearly no one else did, and i should just relish the few trades i had of him, cause for the most part, Frank in continuity is clearly what more fans want to see, and i got way more out of Ennis' run than i initially thought he'd commit to, so i can see the return and why its big for them, i just cant get too excited is the thing.

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Well that's the thing, everybody makes a big deal about how he doesn't get to kill so many of them and there are times that bothers me but the main problem I've found is that Frank doesn't really have any good rogues of his own. I mean his best 2 are Jigsaw and Barracuda and they had that same Hans Gruber problem of "why the fuck hasn't he killed them the last 200 times he fought them?" That was where Marvel Knights and especially where MAX petered out for me was that you got a good villain going and then Frank capped them and there was no point anymore. At least in the case of the 616 universe while it got annoying that he never killed any a-listers at least he had good villains that stuck around for a while.

 

And yes the 2004 version was forced but it's really the most reasonable way it could be explained. The blood on the kite was just eye-rollingly horrible. And what I mean by the symbol is this. If Superman doesn't have his costume how is he different from Captain Marvel, if Batman doesn't have his suit how's he different from Green Arrow or Hawkeye, or The Black Panther? If you'll allow me a moment to go all Kill Bill here, the symbol for all intents and purposes IS the character in many cases like Batman and Superman where the idea is rather common and the same goes especially for Frank Castle who is and always has been a rather 2-dimensional and generic character to begin with. Without the skull he just isn't the Punisher, he's just another vigilante.

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Blahblahblah. I'll get into the Punisher thing later:

 

Read the Dark Reign oneshot, didn't care for it.

 

Read Punisher: War Zone #1, it's a current-day sequel to WBF to the extent that we meet the Son of the Elite, Molly Whatsit & BAM.

 

No link, no spoiler tag, just read. It's awesome.

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yeah, we should move this talk to a punisher thread. i for one never said he should be without the skull shirt; i just thought we should forget the jane and dolph ones ever happened and simply photoshop a skull onto denzel's chest in Man on Fire, but i digress. ill read war zone later, meh.

 

i liked the one-shot,

Osborn's approach to filling Fury/Stark's shoes sounds cool and i dont think its really been tried before. i just thought:

1) wait, doom and namor are cool now?

2) who the fuck was in that doorway?!

3) i actually liked how they explained why everyone was in that room, particularly emma. i was afraid that'd be some shark-jumping, but i was pleased.

 

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Oh yeah, post punisher I did kinda forget what i'd read. It's really a Vic Mackey approach isn't it? Which is less 'Dark Reign' so much as just Osbourn using his resources to be a legitimate leader. Bendis dialogue is no good for dictators & kings. I still call The Hood's rise to power bs though.

 

Oh, and yeah, Emma's part in things is an interesting approach.

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In short, the opposite. It has no potential, However I may consider buying it if they pull some cool shit. Who the fuck wants to see Osborn as some kinda Mackey via Gotti? Lose the mask and I'll think about it.

 

More importantly though, what Dark Reign means is, there'll be less Supervillian action in the name of keeping the peace. Sure it won't last(and even Namor/Doom's discussion at the end isn't enticing enough*), but we're supposed to be excited by the prospect of the 'Dark Illuminati' going legit/private? I buy comics for superhero/villian fights and characterisation, not to see Loki killing puppies and raping his mother in the privacy of his own home as Osborn'd have him do.

 

*And again, how is ANY of this supposed to be more terrifying than the idea of shapeshifting aliens replacing key figures in the Marvel U? Spiderman should have come home to find a 3-dicked Aunt May fucking Uncle Ben's gunshot wound!! If Secret Invasion was done right instead of this Apanchalypse Now approach, Jessica & Cage's baby'd be learning Skrull right now(if it's not already) & puppet shows in the broken streets would reenact key Marvel 'Heroes' being gunned down in their own home by their loved ones. Shapeshifters able to pass retinal & pheromonal scans! Hitler's SS couldn't spread that kinda paranoia.

 

PS- Is anyone EVER gonna explain just how the Skrulls were able to pass?

Edited by Yojimbo
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unstable molecules. also? high metachlorian count.

 

bendis' dialogue wasnt so off for me with Doom, though i like that he makes Namor just all kindsa slimy. sometimes, he writes people with a voice i dont think is really theirs, but i dig what he's going for for the moment. its much better than when he has people say things like tuchas alla time.

 

Stormin' Norman's basically lost the mask, so that's that. i get what you're saying, but you know damn well there's gonna be action a-plenty; villains wont regulate themselves well, and these Dark Avengers could be fun.

 

i love that you wanted a Vertigo ending to SI. you should really, really read Ennis' current book Crossed when you have a chance, sir. anyway, jessica's baby...hey, you could be right man.

 

the hood's rise...were you reading New Avengers? i thought it was a fair take. bear in mind, youve read Daredevil, you know Bendis loves setting up "new" kingpins and tearing them down again.

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