Punisher Lead

Midtown Ruckamaniacs! Raph here this time with the 5 Q’s I promised, with Big Shot Greg Rucka! We talk Punisher #1 and Stumptown! Enjoy!

Punisher 1
One man you’ll NEVER see Smile… or out of the shadows…

1)You’re tackling a character you haven’t done before, but in some ways is somewhat familiar ground. What’s it like dealing in the world of the Punisher?

GREG RUCKA: It’s a great fit for me, honestly, because I’m probably the most comfortable in writing stories that allow me to ground in as much realism as possible. Frank’s realism (or lack thereof) nothwithstanding, he moves in a world that’s recognizable, and easy to understand. Overlaying the Marvel U on top of that makes it even better, because the story possibilities are enormous.

2)It looks like you’re taking a street-level approach, adding the concept of an inside-man in the NYPD, is that the evolution of the Punisher concept for our times? A black-ops vigilante who uses resources wherever he can as opposed to Rambo with warehouses full of guns or a vengeance driven sadist?

GR: Good soldiers – and especially Special Forces soldiers – are very smart, very well-trained guys, first and foremost. Frank has to be smart to survive in a Marvel U with the Avengers overhead and Daredevil thirty blocks away and X-Men living in Westchester. He has to be able to adapt, and he has to be able to plan, and he has to be able to use whatever he has at hand. A gun is just a tool, nothing more, and while Frank is an expert with his tools, I honestly think his mind is his greatest weapon. We’re talking about a guy who can kill you with a wet noodle if needed, seriously, he’d find a way.

So using resources, yeah, that means he’s got to have good intelligence on his targets, on his operations. He’s fighting a war, he’s a soldier, and no soldier wants to engage their enemy on any terms but their own. He’s never going to lose that warehouse full of guns, but – crucially – he can be just as dangerous without it. Perhaps even more dangerous.

Punisher cover
Buy my book or eat lead… your choice!

3)It’s been a few years since you’ve tackled an ongoing comic for Marvel, how do the different sensibilities of the Marvel U affect your writing as opposed to your other works?

GR: I like the sincerity of the Marvel U, and the causality within it, if that makes sense. I like its interconnectedness. The politics, the sensibilities within the world, are easy for me to take hold of and they’re familiar – New York is New York, with notable differences. The world mirrors our own without shame or apology, and that’s very appealing.

4)Speaking of your other work, when will we see another Stumptown mini from you?

GR: Matthew is currently drawing part 3 of the next arc, and I’m working on part 4 pretty much as we speak. If all goes well, we’ll be soliciting “The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case” in October or November. Five issues, and one of the reasons we’re waiting to solicit is to avoid the delays that plagued our first arc. We’ve pretty much sworn in blood that such a delay will never happen again, so to make that happen we are not soliciting until we’re absolutely certain we can hit each and every of our shipping dates!

The writer himself, the bald bard, GREG RUCKA!

5)Is there anything else at Marvel you would like to tackle right now? Any dream scenarios you’ve got in store for the Punisher?

GR: Last part first, yes, and I’m not telling. Steve and I are still working the details out. As for the rest of Marvel – there are so many characters I’d love to work with. I’ve a long-standing love for the X-Men, for Cap, for Black Widow… it’s a long list.

Thanks to Greg for the opportunity to talk, check out Punisher #1, and on a side note, check out the AWESOME TMNT#1 relaunch! That’s it for now, remember–



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