Wednesday is New Comic Book Day...the day stores get their shipments of new comics books! if you seen the hashtag #NBCD
that's what that is...uhm...the distributor is shut down as well as
many of the stores...so let's once again look at some old stuff!
THIS...is among my favorite single issues of all time.
and I have too much to say about it, so I'll start with the important stuff and you can move along when you get bored.
Marvel put out a lot of CRAP during the late 80s early 90s, but the
Punisher was usually the exception. It's kind of a tough concept to
screw up and it didn't have much to do with the clusterf*ck that the
super hero world of Marvel comics was becoming. It was just solid
stories and solid illustrations worth the price on the cover. Nothing
over reaching, because it wasn't needed.
On THAT subject, the saying goes that a good letterer makes it so you don't even notice the word balloons. But I've never heard that a good illustrator makes it so you don't notice the illustrations...
yet...that's what is so good about Bill Reinhold's work. It captures
your imagination just enough to draw you in without being so stylized that you notice it. It just...brings you into the story/word. Amazing and deceptively subtle.
There is plenty of action in this book, but just take a look at that
slower paced page. Is that not one of the coolest things ever? The
Punisher and Moon Knight sneaking around a run down building/drug house. Other illustrators might use some forced perspective here or close ups, but Bill just let things be, and that made it more consistent to the story as a whole...after all, how tense should things be, really, for the Punisher and Moon Knight. This is just another day at the office for them. There is absolutely no reason for either of these two guys to be concerned about some sh*tbag drug dealer, on the way to finding a bigger fish to fry.
or at least that's what they think...
Moon Knight was a go between character at this stage, sort of a super hero, sort of a vigilante...more grounded and closer to ground level of the Punisher, despite wearing a cape and tights. He has a solid cult following, of which I USED to be a part of. At one point I had managed to track down every single issue he ever appeared in except his fist appearance. Moon Knight was one of the first Marvel Comics to be sold only to comic book shops and not for sale on newsracks, so they took more risks with the book, made it more adult and that along with then newcomer (ish) Bill Steinkosiewicz's ( no relation) highly stylized art is why the character became so beloved.
However...not being old enough to be collecting at the time it was so
groundbreaking, and only having more current comics to compare it to, I found myself too often reading it hoping the issue was great, than reading a great issue. It wasn't bad...just not worth the cult hype as far as I was concerned. and the character itself...well...it's basically Batman, who is basically the Shadow, who is basically Zorro. KnowwhatImean?
Fans of Moon Knight will point out that there were wrinkles and
elements to the personality of Moon Knight that make him stand apart (struggling the multi personality disorder). and I won't say they are wrong. Only that I myself lost interest in keeping up with him. though, he still holds a place in my heart because for me, and many others, Moon Knight was the fork in the road that slowly lead us away from super hero comics altogether,
This is annual was part of another absurd cross over between all the
Marvel comics. The core theme being the armies of Atlantis attacking the surface world in some sort of full scale invasion. Fortunately this story seems to have f*ck all to do with that. What it DOES have though is Moon Knight and The Punisher both following leads that bring themsquare into a low level Hydra operation. Part detective story, part action. and rare for that era it doesn't start with some dumbass misunderstanding where they fight each other for the sake of a couple splash pages.
This one more or less has them noticing each other while staking out the same place and a practical decision that two guys on the same job equals less work for both of them.
This is from 1989...pretty much any Punisher or Moon Knight book from that era is fairly cheap and easy to run down. and entertaining enough.
Punisher War Zone, Punisher War Journal, Mar Spector Moon Knight are the titles to look for, your interested.
If there are ever comic book conventions again, the .50 bins are
usually full of these, and probably there are lots on ebay...but do
please check with your local comic book shop first, yeah?! THey usually have email addresses or FB pages...if I had to guess...I'd say they would be happy do dig out a handful of these from back stock and ship them to you.
MY work can always be found at https://www.arseniclullabies.com
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