The Punisher is returning to the Marvel world in a big way. Monday, Marvel Entertainment announced an all-new Punisher series written by modern icon Jason Aaron and the art team of Jesus Saiz and Paul Azaceta. The House of Ideas is billing the "prestige" series as the "definitive culmination" of Frank Castle's journey in the Marvel Universe, so they're pulling out all the stops for it.
Set to launch in March, the series will feature 13 oversized issues that run monthly, placing the finale out in April 2023. Saiz is set to draw the present-day journey of the character while Azaceta's line art will be focused in the flashbacks. The series is also changing Castle's iconic brand after its involvement in real-world controversies over the past few years.
"After writing the Punisher over the years, I've always been fascinated by the character of Frank Castle. What moments made him the Punisher, even before that fateful day in the park? And how far will he go to win the war that has consumed his life? Spoiler: as far as it damn well takes," said Aaron. "This story is the destined next step in the dark and tragic evolution of Frank Castle, from troubled kid to heroic soldier to revenge-driven vigilante...to the duly anointed King of Killers. Believe me when I say, I am as excited about this story as anything I've ever written for Marvel."
In a unique twist of fate, Castle has been forced to become a warlord of the Hand, as he reports directly to the Beast.
This new series also happens to be Aaron's first return to the character since he penned the Punisher Max series for 22 issues between 2010 and 2012. That series featured art by the late Steve Dillon.
According to Marvel Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski, it's an idea they've been mulling over for years since the writer first pitched it at one of Marvel's legendary creative summits.
"A few years ago, Jason Aaron came into one of our creative summits with a pitch for Frank that made our collective jaws drop," said Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. "The story Jason is telling – a truly epic tale about darkness, violence, and choices – can only be told with the Punisher at its core. This series will build on Frank's legacy while introducing us to a side of him we've never seen before, setting the stage for an evolution that we'll find was inevitable."