The Punisher has become one of Marvel Comics’ most well-known antiheroes and has managed to keep fans’ attention through his brutal vigilantism and cruel delivery of justice. After his initial introduction, the Punisher landed his own series which spun off into many more after that including Punisher: War Journal and the highly acclaimed Punisher: MAX. It is safe to say fans have had the chance to read many stories starring the Punisher, but one Marvel Comics writer just revealed that there are “mountains” of unpublished stories!
In a Tweet posted by comic writer Dan Slott, the writer reveals that he once worked with legendary Silver Age comic artist Gil Kane on a Punisher book that never saw the light of day, a revelation which was announced while discussing an entirely different comic. Slott’s original post was about a fairly obscure Marvel Comics character named the Two-Gun Kid. Slott said that he worked with Kane on a particularly violent Two-Gun Kid issue which was censored before publishing but was then published in its gratuitous entirety in a special Gil Kane tribute issue. The high-octane violence and his working relationship with Gil Kane naturally progressed the thread into a revelation about mysterious and unpublished Punisher books.
“I did two Punisher inventory issues for the Punisher office that were completely penciled, inked, and lettered.” wrote Slott in the Twitter thread announcing this Punisher revelation. “When the office changed hands, the new editor saw [there] were mountains of Punisher inventory stories,” Slott continued, “So the new editor made a hard choice and KILLED all of that inventory”. The writer then addressed how much of a shame it is that fans were never able to experience not just his work on the Punisher issues, but also Gil Kane’s. “So somewhere out there are unpublished Gil Kane Punisher pages. Let that sink in for a moment”.
For fans who may not be aware, or may not understand why Dan Slott would express so much remorse over the unpublished Punisher issues, it is most likely because of the giant Gil Kane was in the industry. Gil Kane was a comic book artist whose career spanned from the 40s to the 90s. He died on January 31, 2000 but his legacy will forever live on as he was inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame for his life-long accomplishments in the comic book industry.
While fans are assuredly saddened by the unpublished work by one of the industry’s most popular writers and a legendary comic book artist, the mystery behind their work is undeniably exhilarating, especially given the topic of their work. The Punisher is a character that rarely sees extreme development making him something of a blank slate for comic book writers and artists, able to do with him whatever they please without impacting much of his established canon as there is so little of Punisher canon established, to begin with. The “mountains” of unpublished Punisher stories aren’t instrumental to the foundation of the character, and while it is undoubtedly a shame that fans aren’t able to read the never-to-be-seen pages by Dan Slott and Gil Kane, the mystery of those assuredly epic pages is almost just as good as another installment in the Punisher saga.