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Punisher Max by Jason Aaron Omnibus Hardcover – 17 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: MARVEL - US (17 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785154299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785154297
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 3.2 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Mob has set a trap for Frank Castle, turning low-level enforcer Wilson Fisk into a fictional "Kingpin of Crime" for Frank to target. But Fisk decides he quite likes his new position...enough to kill his bosses to keep it. Suddenly, the Punisher finds himself in a one-on-one war with a deadly threat...and he must decide how far he is willing to go to take the Kingpin down! Contending with dirty cops, battling the Kingpin's henchmen Bullseye and Elektra, and suffering through a stint in prison, Frank Castle is brought lower than he has ever been. But as the Kingpin of Crime will soon find out - all that means is that Frank has nothing left to lose!COLLECTING: Punisher MAX 1-22, Punisher MAX X-Mas Special

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MouT on 7 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic collection of stories and serves as a fitting final tome to the Garth Ennis Punisher Max run (although it is drawn by Steve Dillon, it doesn't really fit within the more Marvel Universe world of Ennis and Dillon's own Punisher collaborations). Characters like Kingpin and Bulleye appear, but they are not the same characters you will have seen before. The tone and language used here is also very much for adults only. One word of warning though - this is not a massive omnibus like others I have bought. Although I'm glad to have this as a self contained story, in terms of size, it feels much more like the Ennis Punisher Max hardcovers than a "proper" Marvel omnibus. Final thought - having read this I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read "Punisher:Born" although that now seems to be out of print in all formats.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JMA on 21 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's such a shame that people in movie business don't have the courage to do a movie just like this comic...
This really worked for me, I was very surprised with Jason's writing, and I don't share the opinion of some of the reviewers here when they say that Garth Ennis take on Punisher is much superior. I think that Jason did an even work. The dialogue is so brutal, and the character development... FENOMENAL! You can really see the strength and weakness of each character.
The origin of Kingpin is very well done, the introduction of Bullseye....'common are you going to tell me that you prefer Colin's Farrell take on !? You can really feel the evilness and the craziness of the villains here. This is the world that I think that Punisher fits. I don't like the other versions of Marvel with him, the more... superhero stuff. This is the real thing, and please get away from the movies of the Punisher, they don't make justice to this...

If you are a newcomer into the Punisher world I would say you can start here, there's nothing wrong for you to start here, but I would recomend a first reading on ''Punisher Year One'' (by Dan Abnett ) and ''Born'' (by Garth Ennis).

Highly Recomended.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chief. on 9 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
This volume collects all of the issues written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Steve Dillon that draws to a conclusion the 'Punisher MAX' series that had predominantly been written by Garth Ennis.

For those not familiar with the MAX imprint, it is set outside of the mainstream Marvel Universe (consider it another reality), in a world without super powers. This particular series was also set in 'real time' and establishes the Punisher (frank Castle) as a Vietnam veteran who has been waging a war on crime since the late 70's. With this in mind, by the point these stories were written, the Punisher is a man in his mid 60's.

The plot that runs through the various story arcs here involves a plan by the various mob bosses - who Castle has been hunting and killing for 30 years - to finally end his threat to their criminal enterprises for good, releasing information about a fictional 'boss-of-bosses', or 'Kingpin', in order to draw him out and lure him in. To this end, ambitious mob enforcer Wilson Fisk, and assassins Bullseye and Elektra also become involved.

Jason Aarons work here quite frankly isnt anywhere near the standard fans had come to expect from the efforts of predecessor Garth Ennis, and whilst this volume brings the series to a poignant and inevitable end, it never makes the impact of powerful stories such as 'The Slavers' or 'Black is White/Up is Down' that preceeded it.

In addition to this, whilst I'm a big fan of Steve Dillons art elsewhere (especially Preacher), it just doesnt work here.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phil on 23 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A worthy but slightly different continuation of the Punisher Max series. Keeps the character grounded and has a fresh take on some of Frank's recurring opponents.
Book is well made and felt comfortable to read, something some of the omnibus editions have mixed results on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A True Coda to Garth Ennis' Work on Punisher, Hurt By a Steep Pricetag 17 Jun. 2014
By Anarchy in the US - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When it comes to the black-and-white vigilantly of Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher, writer Garth Ennis set the bar to the brim for the character. It's so herald as the peak Punisher run that many feel like there is no more reason for any writer to continue the character of Castle because it was that good. That tells you something. But like any comic character, they will carry for years to come because, you know, comics. And in 2010, Marvel decided to give writer Jason Aaron his own series of Punisher under the Marvel MAX imprint meaning creators have the freedom to write more realistic and mature stories that cannot be seen in regular mainline Marvel Universe and be self-contained stories that do not affect continuity. After Ennis work, what's the point right? But guess what? This is phenomenal. And it's everybit worthy of Ennis work and the Punisher legacy.

Collecting all 22 issues of PUNISHER MAX OMNIBUS by Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon, as well as never before collected one-shot story Punisher MAX X-Mas Special #1. The following issues are collected as:

PunisherMax: Kingpin (issues #1-5)
PunisherMAX Vol. 2: Bullseye (issues #6-11)
PunisherMax: Frank (issues #12-16)
Punishermax: Homeless (issues #17-22)

[For more detailed review on each book, please click on the links above. I'll only summarize this omnibus since it would take too long to review every nook and cranny of this book.]

For 30 years, the Punisher has brutalized the crime world and the New York mob has had enough. All five major crime families join together to create an imaginary figure head of the New York mob to draw out Castle. That figurehead is Wilson Fisk, a low enforcer who plays the role of Kingpin. While Castle is trying to figure out what is going on, Fisk is slowly rising to the top of the underworld and he's starting to like it - a lot. Next thing you know, Fisk wipes out all opposition and actually becomes the ruler of New York. Now seen as the #1 powerhouse, Frank Castle continues his one-man war against the Kingpin that means fighting his way through the likes of Bullseye, the New York police, escaping an entire prison system, and finally dealing with Fisk personally that Castle will fall harder and lower than he has ever before.

As stated before, this 22-issue series is self-contained from previous Punisher stories and from the rest of the Marvel Universe, so no prior knowledge is needed. It's an original story and the likes of many characters (who I admit will die without spoiling who they are) does not affect continuity. But it definitely helps if you've already read Garth Ennis work on the Punisher since Aaron continues many themes and traits from Ennis work.

Jason Aaron is a pretty well established writer in comics the past few years on numerous works like Wolverine, Thor: God of Thunder, Scalped (I highly recommend you check that one out), and Ghost Rider on his résumé to show the man can write dark and gritty perfectly. Each of the 4 parts of the run focus on the main themes they talk about. "Kingpin" showing the origins and rise of Wilson Fisk into the ruler of the mob, "Bullseye" detailing a cat-and-mouse game of Punisher and the incredibly psychopathic Bullseye, "Frank" giving readers a in-depth look at Castle's psychology of the past when and how he became the Punisher, and "Homeless" with Castle going after Fisk in a fitting ending worthy of the character. This is some masterful level storytelling that I can explain in great depth about it, but it wouldn't do it any justice. Just read the review links and you'll see what I mean.

The writing up to the same caliber, at least almost close to Garth Ennis though, is something else. I know this 22-issue series is self-contained enough, but it really carries on Ennis framework down to a T. Punisher is still a man in his 50s/60 years of age, the super-high language (there's the F-word every page), over the top violence, dark humor, explicit imagery of sick and twist body parts, and emotional depth to a character most writers fail to do that Aaron accomplishes perfectly and adds on to Ennis work is brilliant. Although Ennis work with Punisher deal squarely on the mob, Aaron uses the Marvel villains Wilson Fisk and Bullseye (and a few surprise others I will not mention) to make this a bit more "comic bookie". Other than that aspect, everything else fits well under Ennis framework.

As for art, all 22 issues are handled expertly by Steve Dillon, the same artist that has done numerous work with Garth Ennis before, including his Punisher work. Because of this, Dillons art work conveys Ennis work through Aaron's writing, which completes the feeling that this is the work of Ennis. I think Dillon's Punisher work is the epitome of the character for hitting all the right aspects of the character. The crazy violence, the facial reactions, the X-rated scenes of mutilation to naked bodies. This is some hardcore mature material and Dillon showcases is perfectly.

And lastly, the one-shot Punisher MAX X-Mas Special #1. Taking place on Christmas night, Castle is doing what he usually does (even if it's a holy night) and about to kill a mob family, the wife is in labor of her baby. Castle spends the night trying to protect the couple from a rival mob family and well...I've said too much. You gotta read it to see what happens and it plays out wonderfully and to the character. If there's ever a reason to pick up this omnibus, it's for this inclusion.

Now why the 4 stars for a 5 star story/art? The price. It's the one thing that hurts this collection (and the extras which I'll get to in a bit). I don't know who came up with the over-exaggerated price tag at Marvel, but this is too much. A little over 500+ pages for a $100? Really? Usually the $100 price tag for omnibi get over 900+ pages (as with the other great Jason Aaron book, Wolverine & the X-Men by Jason Aaron Omnibus). Anything around 700+ pages is a $75 book. But 500+ pages is usually $50 -$75. Even DC/Vertigo/Image/Dark Horse are putting out hardcovers around 500+ page books at $50. Heck, some of Marvel's oversized collections like Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 1 and Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 1 (Marvel Now) are around 300 - 400 pages at $35-$40. At the very highest, this collection could be $75. I can see that because it's that good and I might give this a 5-star rating if it were that way. I received my copy for $55 on release so I don't mind that, but try to get this book on sale if you can. You can actually buy all 4 separate books in soft and hardcover at a reason price online instead of the omnibus price. They do not have the Punisher MAX X-Mas Special #1 in those collections, but it's a small price to pay if you wish to save some money.

The other aspect that hurts is the lack of extras. Most omnibus come packed with extra goodies, but this sorely lacking. It only has 1 variant cover and the script to "Homeless" #5. That's it. As if the high cover price wasn't enough, Marvel could have at least thrown in a ton of bonus content to ease in the deal. But nothing. A bummer there.

As for the book itself, it's a true Marvel omnibus. Oversized hardcover, sewn binding, no gutter loss, and just a solid book. The dust jacket is the same as the Amazon picture, but the cover uses issue #21 as the cover with a little Punisher in black on the back.

Overall, PUNISHER MAX OMNIBUS is every bit worthy of concluding the work Garth Ennis did on the character that every fan should read about. It's a 5-star story and art in everyway. But the high cover price and severe lack of extras hurt this collection, which is why I'm giving it a 4 star rating. If you can get this at a cheaper price, go for it. If you own all 4 trades, you really do not need to trade them in for this omnibus. As with most Marvel omnibi collections, if the publisher produced a high quantity of copies, it might get reduced in price in the future. But if has a low quantity, then this book might go out of print and the price will skyrocket. Either way, the choice is yours.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Proof there's no such thing as boring characters 17 Jan. 2015
By Mark A. Kump - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I think when most people think of The Punisher they think uninteresting, skull on the chest, three lame movies. But put in the right hands he can be so much more. Admittedly, I'm hardly an expert on Frank Castle's mythos. Never read 'War Zone' or 'Journal' in the 90's, Never read when he was transformed into a black dude or an Angel or 'Frankencastle.' I did read most of the Garth Ennis run but after awhile it got boring for me and I dropped off. When Jason Aaron took over I didn't think much of it but I had heard the first trade was worth checking out. I couldn't put it down. His uncompromising depiction of the Kingpin was amazing. The 'Mennonite' mercenary reminded me of some of Ennis' more colorful characters. And his Bullseye? Forget Joker. Aaron's Bullseye is the thing of nightmares.
Now let's talk about Frank. Such a layered, pained, and lonely character. It made me think about PTSD and how some people coming home from senseless situations abroad must feel.
It's a pretty quick read so the price is a little steep but if you're an Omnibus nerd and you're worried about it going out of print it may not be such a bad idea to pick it up. And most importantly, the content won't disappoint.
I can't believe it, this actually made me like the Punisher again! 29 May 2015
By JOHNNYSTOMP! - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I began this omnibus and was immediately struck by the violence and language of the book. It's intense right from the beginning. And initially, I was frustrated by the artwork and its simplicity. But as the story progressed, I began to realize that this was The Dark Knight Returns for the Punisher. This is his last great battle. It's Punisher vs the Kingpin with major chapters involving both Bullseye and Elektra. To be honest, I had kind of given up on the Punisher... I had stopped caring about him or his story. After awhile, all the killing just kind of made him a completely unsympathetic character. And that's where Jason Aaron steps in, sets the table for the Kingpin vs Punisher battle and then turns a number of those tables over. He gives us probably the most sympathetic telling of the Punisher lore that we've seen. Again, this is not for the faint of heart, or their children. It's for those who have always loved the Punisher or wanted to love the Punisher and felt, well, that his origins didn't quite add up to what they should have. This was an awesome read, and while expensive, I wouldn't have wanted to read in any other format.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 3 Aug. 2014
By Phillip Rosehill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aaron's best work and a worthy successor to Garth Ennis's Punisher MAX series.
Great story! 12 Jun. 2015
By Konstantinos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Earlier than estimated time. Great story!
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