Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Punisher: War Zone

Someone recently asked me who is my all time favorite super hero was and I couldn't answer them.  So I begun a search to figure it out.  My favorites are listed below organized by comic company.

DC: Supergirl
DC: OMAC - One Man Army Corp
DC: Kamandi the Last boy on Earth
DC: Terra from Teen Titans
DC: Sgt Rock
DC: The Shadow
DC: Flint from Star Hunters
DC: Legion of Super Heroes:
* Ultra Boy
* Wildfire
* Timberwolf
* Mon-El
* Sun Boy
* Cosmic Boy
* Star Boy
* Brainiac 5
Marvel: Punisher
Marvel: IronFist
Marvel: Deathlock
Marvel: Killraven
Epic: Vanth Dreadstar
Epic: Galacia 9 from Starstruck
Charlton: E-Man
Charlton: Rog 2000
Charlton: Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 AD
Eclipse: Mai the Psychic Girl (Manga)
Eclipse: Appleseed (Manga)
* Deunan Knute
* Briareos Hecatonchires
Viz: Alita Battle Angel (Manga)
Viz: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Manga)
First: Nexus
Caliber: The Crow

I bought Marvel Preview #2 in 1975 when I was 12.  His first appearance is in Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Feb. 1974) which I bought at the time and read but it's the more adult comic magazine of Marvel Preview #2 in 1975 when I was 12 that blew me away.  Check out how graphic the cover art is!

This is his first solo appearance and yet it's pretty much ignored. doesn't list it as one of his appearances.  Wikipedia has a minor mention since it's the first time his origin is explained.

Back to my favorite super hero ... my favorites are ...

DC: Legion of Superheroes: Wildfire (fave LSH)
DC: OMAC - One Man Army Corp
Marvel: Punisher

And the winner is ... Punisher from Marvel Preview #2.  I have bought a lot of Punisher comics since but nothing compares to Marvel Preview #2 for me.  That is the real Punisher and the rest are just derivations.

I have read a considerable number of Punisher comic books including the War Zone series.  For me, the first Punisher movie in 2004 was a joke.

The guy playing the Punisher in 2004 was too young.  Frank Castle is 40 or 50 something years old.

In Punisher: War Zone, the actor was age appropriate.  His skull shirt was also very subtle.  You can barely see it in this picture.  The guy wants to wear black to be hidden from sight so realistically he's not going to have a giant white skull on his chest.

This second movie was much more true to the comics, introducing characters we're familiar with like his gun supplying friend Micro played by Wayne Knight (Sienfeld, Jurrasic Park) and friend policeman Martin Soap played by Dash Mihok.

There were times that I had to suspend disbelief like when he didn't kill one of the bad guys but instead let him get shredded in a glass recycler.  The guy survives and comes back all shredded and calls himself Jigsaw.  That was a bit campy and reminded me of a villian you might have seen on the 1960's Bathman TV show.

But the movie lived up to it's name, War Zone, in that this one man army went up against another army of gang members.  He had a little help from a Russian gang, but the Punisher did most of the work.

This Punisher movie finally matched the character that I associate with the comic and although I had to suspend disbelief several times, I didn't mind.  It made for a more exciting movie.  I expected the roof jumpers to give the Punisher more trouble.  With their skills have manueverability, I figured they would have a long fight scene but they were taken out by surprise with ease so that was a disappointment.

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Blogger Cedrick said...

Unfortunately, The Punisher War Zone is a bomb with critics and at the box office. It's unlikely that there will be a new Punisher movie for a long time to come.

11:47 AM  

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