Art is by Goran Parlov, Lewis Larosa, and Leandro Fernandez
"There’s a dream I have from time to time. And in the dream I don’t stop. I kill the soldiers and the hitmen. The extortioners and the racketeers, the dark old fucks who send them out to fight — I hold the trigger down until they’re ALL GONE — but I don’t stop. The innocents are watching, just like always. The slack-jawed thousands, gazing at the beast. My family lie red and shredded in the grass. I face the crowd and bring the weapon to my shoulder. If my world ends, I tell them, so does yours. The recoil starts and I wake up. It’s just a dream, I always tell myself. It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream."
(from pages 19-22 of Marvel MAX: the Punisher # 19)
I posted this rather dark bit from that series because it pretty well summarizes what Ennis had to say on the character. The Max series (in particular) was Ennis talking about the effect of Warfare on the human mind, and the effect it has had on the American way of life.
The simple fact of the matter is that FDR got us out of the Great Depression by getting us involved in World War II. All the factories, the industry, and the boom of the Baby Boomers came about after World War II. A lot of our industry is still about defense contracting. NASA wouldn’t exist without the help of some very helpful Bavarian scientists that didn’t want to die at Nuremberg. Look it up.
Garth Ennis was also born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Google some pictures of that sometime. Photographs of Ireland in the 70s are fucked up. Photographs. Imagine living there as a kid. Garth Ennis writes about this stuff because it’s his worldview.
A U.S. senator was quoted within the last year as saying that:
“The U.S. cannot afford to stop going to war.”
That’s… That’s fucked up. My apple TV just started showing previews for a documentary about U.S. Special Forces going into dangerous parts of the world and taking care of problems before they get bigger. People find that shocking. I don’t. Americans are very, very happy to enjoy the fruits of being the dominant military presence on Earth. We are not happy, however, to hear the details of how and why we maintain that position.
Garth Ennis’s take on the Punisher is a very, very ugly one. And you know what? It’s a mirror image of the U.S. Military. I am not attacking veterans or soldiers. God bless them and keep them safe, please. Did you know that almost every single person on the team that killed Bin Laden is dead. And a couple of them died from Self-Inflicted gunshots. Suicide rates amongst military veterans are higher than they have ever been.
So, ask yourself, what happens when a Navy SEAL does 3 or 4 tours of Duty in Afghanistan. And then he comes home, and he can’t find a job, and he can’t reenlist because he got shot. What happens when a person is that highly trained, and things go really bad in their life?
I for one am recently unemployed. But if I see a Veteran anywhere, I make it a point to say “Thank You” for what they have done.