What kind of upside-down world are we living in where suddenly The Punisher has jumped to the top of my reading list? After being lopped into cutlets by Wolverine Junior and left for dead, the Punisher has been rescued by Morbius the Living Vampire and sewn back together as an honest-to-Mary Shelley Frankenstein monster!And I'm loving it.
In a classic it's-just-so-crazy-it-might-work move, Rick Remender and Tony Moore have taken Punisher down a whole new rabbit hole in the Marvel Universe, taking him to his lowest point during Dark Reign only to dismember him and dump him square in Marvel's monster underworld...AS a monster. I don't have a problem with this at all, since I've always found the standard criminal-hunting Punisher an odd fit in the fantastic world of Marvel, anyway. I have bought Punisher solo comics in the past, even collecting the title regularly if a writer I liked was working on the book. I especially enjoyed Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Punisher series, at least before it got super-serious and super-grim. In general, "straight" Punisher stories bore me.
Punisher purists may be aghast at all of this, but there is a gritty crime-drama PunisherMAX book out there, not to mention the steady flow of standard Punisher one shots and mini-series that are constantly flowing from the MAX imprint, so as far as I'm concerned, why NOT make the Marvel Universe Punisher as far-out and superheroey as possible?
The Franken-Castle arc combines two creators I like with several characters and concepts I normally don't like to create a book that has so far been a true surprise. Normally I don't even like Morbius, but cast as the mad doctor that reassembles the Punisher to lead the Legion of Monsters in battle an army of cyborg samurai led by a disembodied skull in a robot body bent on destroying all monsters... well, whats NOT to like? Go, Franken-Castle, go!