Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The tenth issue was initially supposed to come out on August, and from what I could see it was later pushed back October. Issue #11 was also solicited initially for October though that’s obviously been pushed back as well. The collection of the trade was also supposed to come out on December, a highly unlikely schedule at this point. Since then, no further issues have been solicited until January 2011. Why all this delay?
Steve Dillon, the artist of PunisherMAX, took on another assignment that seemingly caused a conflict. He’s currently providing artwork for Ultimate Comics: Avengers Vol. 3, the Mark Millar book that is presented as a series of mini series. At first it seemed that Dillon would be doing both series at the same time, a practice that is not very common in modern times (though more so in the yesteryear of the industry). And if there is one artist that could manage it, it’s Steve Dillon, who’s a very fast penciler. Currently, Ultimate Comics Avengers is running on time, but Punisher MAX is not. So what happened?
From the looks of it, Steve Dillon was sick, which was one of the cause of the delays. Aaron clarified it on his forum when people were asking about the series. He also added on Twitter that the book will be back on track soon, all while assuaging fears that title was canceled.
Part of me understands that Dillon decided to finish Ultimate Comics Avengers first, since it’s certainly a much higher profile book (and one that sells twice or thrice what Punisher MAX sells). I also don’t think that he would have taken on two projects knowing that he couldn’t, the man has been part of the industry for decades now and I’m sure he know his limits.
On the other hand, Punisher MAX was only one issue away from finishing an arc, which would have been a good place to take a break, or even change artists if needed (though I don’t think that would be a good idea). By it’s publishing nature (a series of mini-series), Ultimate Comics Avengers doesn’t need to follow such a strict monthly schedule, and it would have only been running one month late, as opposed to the six months late that Punisher MAX currently is behind. Sure, there have been one-shots to sate reader's palate in the mean time, but they are not the same.
In the end, I’ll be happy to have Punisher MAX back in my pull list, though it’ll be interesting to see if the heavy delays are going to affect the sales of the title. In the mean time, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the end of the Bullseye arc, and on the lookout to see what Aaron and Dillon will do with the title in the future.