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Z-View: Punisher Annual (2009) #1 by Remender and Pearson

Punisher Annual (2009) #1  is a one-shot published by Marvel.

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jason Pearson
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Jason Pearson

“REMOTE CONTROL”  The Punisher faces his greatest challenge yet: Trapped in the throes of a hypnotic spell, Spider-Man’s gone psycho and he wants to grind Frank Castle’s bones to paste! And since Spidey’s not really to blame for his actions, Castle faces a dilemma: Fight (the only way he knows how) or die. Can the Punisher survive a bloodthirsty Wall-Crawler long enough to disconnect him from the control of the Dirty Dozen’s leaders, Letha and Lascivious? Super-star artist Jason Pearson joins regular series writer Rick Remender. Parental Advisory

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Remender and Pearson!
  • I like Pearson’s take on Spider-Man.

The Bad:

  • “I told you that goatee was ridiculous.”  Indeed.
  • This is not the Punisher that I prefer.  His motorcycle has a skull face on the front — is it his version of the Batcycle?
  • The Punisher with pumpkin grenades.
  • When Spidey is mind-controlled to kill the Punisher.
  • Spidey throwing the Punisher over a building.

The Ugly:

  • Mind-control mayhem at the wounded vets meeting.
  • The Punisher pushing a pinless pumkin grenade into a villain’s mouth.
  • When Spidey is mind-controlled that he is in love with the Punisher.


Punisher Annual (2009) #1

I’m a fan of both Rick Remender’s writing and Jason Pearson’s art but the Punisher Annual wouldn’t be the example I’d use of their best work.  Your mileage my differ.


Everyone Loves Remender & Beatty

As many of you know, John Beatty‘s next comics project is inking Rick Remender‘s pencils for a two issue run on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic.

I know, I know. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?! If you’re like me you’re probably thinking why would I want to read a comic about a bunch of mutant ninja turtles.

Well, I could tell you because the book looks great. I could tell you that Rick and John really outdid themselves on this run. That you can tell that they were jazzin’ off the way their work was coming together. That Rick and John really make a great team… and I hope that they work together again soon. That I’m ordering the two issues and I have NEVER bought a turtle book before. I could tell you all of these things and they would be true… but some of you may think, “Aw… Z‘s just saying all of these great things because John’s his best friend.”

So… here’s what comic pros are saying…

Rick Remender and John Beatty are the best thing to happen to the turtles since Simon Bisley. It’s so refreshing to see a team come on to an old favorite and bring life to it in a way that makes it seem completely new. Dynamic angles, fantastic expressions, bold confident inks… the Turtles have rarely looked better. I’ve already seen the stuff and I’m dying to get my hands on a copy! –Robert Kirkman [Walking Dead, Invincible]

[On a side note, as regular ZONE readers know, The Walking Dead is my favorite regularly published comic these days. You should check IT out too!]

Rick and John have worked hard to give the reader their moneys worth on this TMNT extravaganza. Packed with monsters, violence, mysticism and incredible detailed artwork, this book has everything but color. But who needs it with pages to be so drenched with blacks and nice grey tones? The Turtles are coming back. Sandpaper your fingers and grab on to the shell.”
Bill Wray [Ren and Stimpy, Hellboy Jr.]

Wow. Remender and Beatty‘s pleasingly bold and crunchy work on the series has turned my head – …it more than delivers the punch.” – Dan Brereton [creator of the Nocturnals]

“Not since the glory days of the original black and white series by Eastman and Laird have the Ninja Turtles looked so damn good! Remender, Beatty, and Cohn have managed to capture the same kinetic flair and energy that made this such a unique comic when it hit the stands all those years ago.” – Jim Mahfood [Stupid Comics, Grrl Scouts, 40oz Collected]

“Another young penciling tyro enters the fray. If he weren’t a pal, I’d have to have his fingers busted. Remender is a triple treat! Not content to just be a great inker…no, animator…no, writer…no…wait! That’s four things! Remender busts out with some great moody action penciling, polished to a fine edge by Mr. Beatty‘s crisp inking and toned nicely by Mr. Cohn. Good comics!”
Mike Manley [Draw Magazine, Batman, Samurai Jack]

“A true rarity… a meticulously crafted comic that also oozes exuberance. These guys are clearly having fun with the turtles, and it shows on every page.”
Ande Parks [Green Arrow, Superman]

So there you have it. Testimonials from pros. You’ve seen the preview art. You know I’m a fan of Rick Remender‘s work. Beatty is da man. Now it’s up to you. If you like what you’ve seen and read, then be sure to tell your local comics retailer to order you a copy.

If you do order a copy , you’ll be making a lot of people happy… Rick, John, your comic shop owner, the publishers of TMNT and most of all, hopefully you!

Meet Rick Remender

Rick Remender.

You know, the award winning animator who created Swingtown. He worked on the classic Iron Giant. Titan AE. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.Still not sure? OK, maybe if I list some of his comic work. The Avengers. The Terminator. Doll and Creature. Black Heart Billy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ok.
Granted, Rick Remender is not a household name. But he should be. The guy has a gazillion cool ideas. He writes. He draws. He animates. The dude is a natural born creator. Rick is pencilling and Big Beatty is inking a 48 page Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book and I gotta tell ya, the art is amazing. It’s black and white with really sweet tones thrown in. I’ve never bought a Turtles book before. Ever. But I may have to break down and get this bad boy.But back to Rick. Check out his website. The new school design rocks. Plan to spend a while. Be sure to check out his Swingtown animations, his sketchbook [I want to see more of The Last Days of American Crime], heck order a book or two if the spirit grabs ya, and drop him a line and tell him I sent ya!

A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance is Coming!

A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance, Volume 1 by Rick Remender (writer), André Lima Araújo (artist) and Chris O’Halloran (artist) takes place when…

…an unassuming man stops a vicious dark web contract assassin from killing their target, he turns himself into one. A quiet, atmospheric slice of life story with sudden bouts of unique and brutal violence―part THE PROFESSIONAL part ROAD TO PERDITION, writer RICK REMENDER (Seven to Eternity, Deadly Class) and artist ANDRÉ LIMA ARAÚJO (Generation Gone, The Wicked + The Divine: 455 AD) present the story of an unlikely surrogate to a boy hunted by powerful men who are used to getting away with everything.


Deal me in.

“The Last Days of American Crime” Trailer is Here! (Plus the 17 Year Journey to Make It)

Below we have the trailer to The Last Days of American Crime.  If the title sounds familiar it could be because I’ve been talking about The Last Days of American Crime for almost 17 years.  Yep, 17 years.  I’ll explain after the trailer.

As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off. Based on the Radical Publishing graphic novel created by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, The Last Days of American Crime is directed by Olivier Megaton, written by Karl Gajdusek, produced by Jesse Berger, p.g.a., Jason Michael Berman, p.g.a., and Barry Levine, with Sharlto Copley also co-starring.

Watch The Last Days of American Crime on Netflix June 5

Okay.  Let me tell you about those 17 years…

Way back in November of 2003, I posted Meet Rick Remender.  Rick was a comic writer and artist I met through my buddy, John Beatty.  John was inking Rick’s pencils on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Rick also had an idea for a comic mini-series he called The Last Days of American Crime.  I loved the art, title and idea for the story.

In 2007, I met Rick at HeroesCon.  Not only did I get hang with him for a bit, Rick also did a Stallone sketch for my collection.  Rick said that The Last Days of American Crime was still in the works. Rick had so many projects going (Fear Agent, Sea of Red, and Strange Girl just to name three) that I had started to think that he’d never get to it.

In March of 2009, I posted the art above and the news that  “The Last Days of American Crime” would premiere later that year in a three issue [48 pages each] mini-series with art by Greg Tocchini.  Yea!  The wait was nearly over.  And how about Greg Tocchini’s art!

In April 2009, we got a look at Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime preview cover made for Comic-Con.

In August 2009, ran a 17 page preview of The Last Days of American Crime.

In September 2009, gave us another preview.  The anticipation was building…

In November 2009, the news was Sam Worthington had signed on to produce and star in a big screen adaptation of Rick Remender’s The Last Days of American Crime.  Wow!  We’d probably see The Last Days of American Crime movie in a year or so, right?

In December 2009, we got another preview of The Last Days of American Crime mini-series.

In September 2010, I posted The Not So Last Days of American Crime. Rick had announced that he had ideas for more tales set in the same The Last Days of American Crime universe!

And now nearly 17 years after that first post and almost ten years after my final post about The Last Days of American Crime we have a trailer for the movie.  How long until someone starts calling Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini overnight sensations?

The Not So Last Days of American Crime

It’s hard to believe that I first posted about Rick Remender’s The Last Days of American Crime nearly seven years ago.  At that point it was just an idea that RIck had for a cool crime comic.  Nearly seven years later came the addition of artist Greg Tocchini and a company interested in publishing it.  The rest is, as they say, just the start.

Although The Last Days of Crime is coming to an end, there are still more stories to tell.  As Rick Remender told

“Once you read the first trade, you see how those rules work. The API broadcast is a ticking clock that everyone is going to be reacting to in the United States. People who have bad things they need to get out of their systems of revenge trips or whatever they need to take care of, they’re going to be out doing those things and people who are just regular family folk are going to be inside their houses with doors boarded up and a shotgun pointed at the window. In America, there’s 500 million potential stories for what’s happening the two weeks before American Crime is put to a halt. To that end, I’ve got a revenge story that I like quite a bit. I want the next volume to be quite a bit different from this one…”

If you’ve been reading the comic series, my guess is you’ve enjoyed the ride.  If you somehow missed it, check with your local comic shop to see if back issues are available or pre-order the trade paperback now!

Oh, and don’t miss the interview with Rick conducted by the fine folks at

A Look @ “The Last Days of American Crime” is running a 17 page preview of Rick Remender’s “The Last Days of American Crime”.  It’s a mature crime comic, but definitely worth a look if you’re into that kind of thing.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been talking up “The Last Days of American Crime” for years [I first mentioned it in 2003!]. Now it’s finally here.  And from the looks of things, “The Last Days of American Crime” was more than worth the wait.

“Last Days of American Crime” Preview

I’ve been a fan of Rick Remender’s work for years.  It seems like I’ve been looking forward to his “Last Days of American Crime” for almost as long.   You can imagine how satisfied I am that it’s finally seeing print.  After looking at this preview, presented by the good folks at, you’ll also know how excited I am that Greg Tocchini is on board for the art.  My guess is you’ll be excited as well.

“Last Days of American Crime” Preview has a great preview of Rick Remender’s “Last Days of American Crime” mini-series. I’ve been a fan of Rick’s work for years and have been hoping to see this mini-series for almost as long.  The 17 page preview showcases some really great art by Greg Tocchini, but before you click over on the link be aware that some of the images are pretty violent and the language raw.  If you’re okay with that then click on, Leon.

Make Mine Marvel… Again

When I was in high school and college I bought a lot of Marvel comics. Then as I got older I found myself bying fewer and fewer Marvels. It even got to the point that I’d go months [years?] without getting anything from the house that Stan and Jack built. Of course I was buying fewer comics in general…

Imagine my surprise to find that my Preview order this month has nine comics and four of them are from Marvel [Punisher Annual #1, Punisher: Frank Castle Max #74, Dominic Fortune #2 and Criminal: Sinners #1]. Of course if Marvel continues to feature art by Dave Johnson, Jason Pearson, Howard Chaykin and Sean Phillips with stories by Rick Remender, Victor Gischler, Howard Chaykin and Ed Brubaker, how can I not buy ’em?

The Last Days of American Crime

It was nearly six years ago when I first posted about, the very talented writer and artist, Rick Remender.  It’s funny to note, that even in that very first piece, I was excited to hear about Rick’s proposal for “The Last Days of American Crime.” As the years have rolled by Rick has gone on to write, draw and create some really cool comics [Fear Agent, XXXombies, etc.], but it has always been “The Last Days of American Crime” that I’ve wanted to see.

The great news is the wait is almost over. “The Last Days of American Crime” will debut later this year in a three issue [48 pages each] mini-series with art by Greg Tocchini.

Living with the Walking Dead XXXombies

Zombies are in. Nearly forty years after George Romero recreated a horror genre, zombies have never been more popular. Let’s take a look a three currently running zombie comics.

The Walking Dead, which single handedly jump started the genre back to comics continues to go strong. I’ve been talking up this series since the first issue and it continues to be the only comic that I must read as soon as I get it home. Issue 42 [43 is on stands now] has the most surprising double page spread that I’ve seen in any comic in years… then there was an even bigger shock when you turned the page. The original issues are hard to find and pretty expensive when you do. If you’re just coming to the series you might want to seek out the paperback trades [Volume 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8] or spend a bit more for the hardcovers [Book 1 2 3]. However you get the stories, I can guarantee you a great ride thanks to the talents of writer Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard.

Living with the Dead #1 just came out from Dark Horse. Writer Mike Richardson and artist Ben Stenbeck team to bring us a Shaun-of-the-Dead-type zombie series that has just the right mix of humor. Two slackers are making the best of a bad situation. These guys have been best buds for years and if a zombie infestation can’t break up their friendship, surely a cute babe won’t. Right… right?

XXXombies #1 also just hit the stands. Featuring the talents of some of my favorite comic creators [Rick Remender, Tony Moore and Kieron Dwyer] this zombie tale is definitely not for kids [are any zombie tales?] since it follows a group of adult film actors and crew having to deal with, you guessed it, a zombie infestation.

My guess is, if you are a fan of the zombie genre, you’d enjoy any of these comics. If not, then not.