Or, maybe, I should say, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”
Or, maybe, I shouldn’t. I really don’t even care to mention it, but I’m going to anyway (I need some blog filler every once in awhile–like, twice a week).
Making an appearance more than a year ago, I initially ignored it. I turned my elitist nostrils north of the foul odor emanating out of mainstream comics, but, alas, I could no longer resist–especially as people kept asking me the same question:
“Did you read that Punisher Max issue with ‘The Mennonite‘? You know, the one with the sledgehammer-wielding Mennonite who was hired to kill the Punisher? The guy that was the Mennonite? You know, the Mennonite guy who was a Mennonite? Did you read that one? With the Mennonite?”
“So, let me seeing if I’m getting this straight,” I responded. “The guy was a Mennonite?”
“Yeah, did you read that issue? The one with the Mennonite?”
I guess it’s my fault for having, as my primary comic book conversation partner these days, an otherwise wicked-smart teenager with Anabaptist Tourette’s. But, to answer his question, yes, of course I read it. How could I not? I’m normally a sucker for the work of Jason Aaron, and it did feature, after all, a Mennonite known simply as, well, The Mennonite (that was supposed to be MY unofficial designation). The issue was, unsurprisingly, rather banal. Nothing novel about it. Same old, same old. Violence, violence, and more violence. It is a Punisher title, after all. But this time, violence came out of a non-violent tradition because, you know, ultimately, no one can resist its siren call.
The issue premiers an Anabaptist hit-man hired to kill Frank Castle in order to make some money with the hope of getting the necessary medical treatment for his dying wife (I’m pretty sure, as an alternative, we could have thrown him a potluck). Of course, as a good Mennonite, he refuses to use modern weapons–though he does throw a horse carriage at ol’ Frank.
We Mennonites breed strong.
Small gene pool and all.
Long story short, or short story even shorter (oh no, spoiler alert): the Punisher wins.
I won’t lie. I’m a little peeved. I like being the one who fetishizes my own community, maybe even making a buck or two off of it. But now the boys at Marvel beat me to it.
Like they need the money.
Oh well. I’ll get over it. Anyway, all of the above was nothing but a set-up for a killer, and I mean KILLER (you like the language? I though it fitting) interview coming up with one of the industry’s greatest creators. So, prepare thyself for his arrival. He’s coming.
And hell is coming with him!!
Not really, but two of his creations may have spawned from the fiery pits of Hades.
I’ll give you a hint.
They’re dairy products.
And they like gin.
And they hate you.
And I can’t wait.
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.