punisher.pngPunisher: The Platoon #1

MAX Comics

What moulds a villain? MAX Comics are back, exploring another high profile Marvel figure’s war days, following on from the exploration of Nick Fury’s muddled past in Vietnam. Now they are taking a shot at Frank Castle’s, aka The Punisher, back story with his first tour in Vietnam.

A relative rookie in war, the first issue sees him take control of his own platoon, gaining his men’s trust, breaking the rules and infuriating the Viet Cong. This comic is not your usual high powered superhero issue, it maintains a firm grip on the harsh reality of war and occurs before the exponential outbreak of superheroes and villains. Ennis uses this first issue to discuss the effect Vietnam had on the young men enlisted, and take a look at his comrades in the future. He allows them to  contemplate whether they owe theirs or Frank’s war story to anyone, as well as their scepticism of the war, comradery and the dirty dealings of war. The Platoon will be showcasing a straight-thinking, no frills Frank Castle and demonstrating his history in military skills as well as his personality and behaviour before he is pushed over the edge. Progression of the manipulative and cunning, previously seen in Fury’s war story, LeTrong is also anticipated; as well as the complications of the seemingly bent on revenge female assassin Sister Ly Quang.

The art of Goran Parlov is gritty and powerful and all his characters have inherited a authenticity that gives you the impression they once lived and breathed. The way he successfully uses body language to add depth to Ennis’ complex characters, as well as their tactful aging shows Parlov has a sound  they age and their body language builds a relatable foundation for the reader. His settings for the characters are well constructed but not overly distracting to deter you from the heavy conversational plot line.

I love how Marvel offers you a deep psychological insight to its characters through these MAX series, laying out the events that create a legendary figure in comics long since produced. This series is set to describe and portray a Frank Castle who has yet to be broken, a more human version of the Punisher. From the start, Frank is a cool and collected individual who handles being thrown in at the deep end with nonchalance. I am looking forward to discovering how his character progresses and how Ennis and Parlov’s work intertwines. It has its complications for a foreign reader, but if you can weather through the military jargon it is set to be an thought provoking piece of work.

Use of English:

  • Standard grammar and language
  • Heavy on military terms, may need researching
  • Swear words


Inaugurate – to begin, ceremoniously

Hustler- in this case, someone who sells out to appeal to someone else

Klicks – one klick is one kilometre

Pissed off – annoyed, fed up

Dregs – remnants, leftovers

Gook – a derogatory term used by US military for their south eastern enemy

Beaucoup – “a lot of” in French

L.Z. – Landing zone


Yes, I enjoyed the Nick Fury series My War Gone By, and Ennis and Parlov have produced another in depth look at the history of some of our favourite Marvel characters.



Publisher: MAX Comics

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Goran Parlov

Colourist: Jordie Bellaire



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