Saturday, 13 September 2014

Punisher War Zone #1-6: The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci

Writers: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

Covers to #1-6 by Steve Dillon
Variant cover to #1 by John Romita Jr.
-        Released in 2009, this five issue limited series came after Ennis had concluded his run on The Punisher. In many ways, this is a much more obvious sequel to his initial run than any of his other works on the Punisher. However, characters and locales from his initial run have appeared through his second run on Punisher and MAX. Appropriately enough, it was released under the Marvel Knights imprint, now used to showcase limited series and creators rather than 'redefined', grim and gritty characters. Any Marvel Knights ongoings had been absorbed into mainstream Marvel or cancelled.

-        Dillon also worked as penciller on Ennis' second run on Punisher several times, but this marks their first collaboration on the Punisher since #23 (May 2003,) although he drew Daniel Way's 2005 limited series Punisher Vs. Bullseye. Dillon would draw the Punisher again in 2012's The Incredible Hulk #8.

-        This story occurs over a period of four days.

Collected in:
  •       Punisher: War Zone - The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci HC/TPB (Marvel Comics, Apr        29th 2009)
  •       #1-6 are available as part of Marvel Unlimited.


Continuity Notes

-        Elite, who was murdered along with the other members of the Vigilante Squad by the Punisher, returns, but here as a legacy character: his son Tim. He explains that "With what came out in the days that followed [his father's death], I almost forgot about the bum completely." We see his progression as a character in flashback.

-        Gnucci returns in a resurrected form (see the title of the book.) The Punisher supposedly kills her again in this issue.

-        Whilst interrogating Charlie, he explains:
            Punisher: "You're Charlie Schitti, soldier in Pete Alceno's crew. Also                                                 the last surviving member of the Gnucci outfit."

            Schitti: "Uh, yeah, that's true as a matter of fact. I was in hospital that                                           whole summer, I fell down the stairs an' broke my                                                             pelvis. That's how come I wasn't around when... well,                                                       when..."
-        Richthofen says "the Gnuccis used to be big about six years back. Until the Punisher wiped them out," placing us at six years after that original story, despite that story being published in 2000, and this one being 2009 (I don't believe it was delayed.) This is another self-contained story, so it has no real ties to the wider Marvel Universe. The Punisher refers to that story as "one long, strange summer several years back." He says that he "wore them down until the whole damn crew were in their graves."

-        Charlie gives us some small background on the Gnuccis: "I mean I was with Ma's crew for twelve years, I never heard a whisper...her grandfather got off the boat in the twenties or somethin', but he wasn't even connected..."

Pop Culture

-        In the opening (dream) sequence, the sexually confused/curious Charles Schitti tells his colleague "we could get outta town an' go somewhere, just the two of us." Andy responds: "Ah, gettin' a little Brokeback Mountain there, Charlie": or what we all know as the 'gay cowboy film.'


Continuity Notes

-        The first 12 pages follow on from last issue, whilst the rest of the issue occurs the following day.

-        Richthofen gives us some more information on Welcome Back, Frank: she again refers to it as six years ago, and says that Ma Gnucci was fifty-nine at the time.


Continuity Notes

-        This issue occurs immediately following #2. He reflects at her grave, just as in last issue: "Makes you wonder how she made it to Pete Alceno's barbecue last night."
-        When speaking to Molly, the Police Captain asks her "You headed up that Punisher Task Force back in two thousand, didn't you?" This places this story, six years later, in 2006.

Pop Culture

-        Elite notes: "In the movies, you see Bruce Willis or someone get shot, and they wince a bit and carry on, running around killing bad guys. Well, let me tell you: the pain of a bullet's like white heat." Of course, Bruce Willis continues to get shot in sub-par sequels to Die Hard and Red.


Continuity Notes

-        The Punisher reflects "I saw her alive and well two nights ago. I'm not the only one," and refers to last issue as "last night," placing this issue the day after #3.


Continuity Notes

-        We follow directly on from last issue.


Continuity Notes

-        Pages 1-12 follow on from last issue, whilst the remainder picks up on the following day.

-        Gnuccis reappearance is revealed to be through a series of identical doubles.

-        Schitti discovers his sexuality (presumably) by using a carved-out pumpkin as a sex  toy...anything goes.

Pop Culture

-        Richthofen jokes "[it's] like Martha Stewart complimenting my needlepoint--"

No comments:

Post a Comment