Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Punisher Cometh: ‘Circle of Blood’ Turns 25

Vigilantes invaded American cinema in a big way during the 1970’s.  The world of superhero comics responded in kind.  Mere months before Michael Winner crafted arguably the definitive vigilante film of the period with Death Wish, Marvel comics offered up a costumed anti-hero who had an eerily similar modus operandi.  He was conceived as an antagonist to none other than Spider-Man.  By the mid to late 80’s, American superhero comics were entering the “Grim and Gritty” period, which offered up exceedingly dark takes on classic heroes such as Batman.  The tone fit the punisher perfectly.   Seeing as how the character had never been the subject of his very own series, writer Steven Grant and artist Mike Zeck felt the time was right to finally unleash the character on an unsuspecting Marvel Universe.  They did so in a mini-series fittingly titled “Circle of Blood.”