See How Close We Came to Punisher/Fury: Rules of the Game by Jim Lee!

In Nothing Was Delivered, we look at announced comic book projects that never came about. We'll try to find out WHY they didn't come out. I'm sure you all know tons of examples of comic book projects like these, so feel free to write me at brianc@cbr.com to tell me some for future columns.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Mark G., we look at an unfinished Punisher graphic novel by Jim Lee!

I actually wrote about this a couple of years ago in Comic Book Legends Revealed, but when Mark wrote in asking about it, I figured, eh, might as well run it here, too, right?

The project was promoted in the 1991 "Punisher" annual, and here's the weird thing, it included as a promotion TWO FULL, COMPLETE PAGES from the graphic novel!!

We're all used to projects being announced and then they fall through, but when you see ACTUAL ART from the project in question, the project almost always comes out. So what was the deal with this one?

As it turned out, the major problem was that Lee was doing the project basically like the old school Marvel style, where Lee was co-plotting the book, so the comic was coming out AS Lee was drawing it. In other words, there wasn't a written out script, it was just being written as Lee and Gregory Wright (the co-plotter and the scripter of the series) went along. Marvel knew that it was going to be a big deal, considering it was a Jim Lee project when he was just becoming a superstar, so they used what little Lee had produced already to promote the project, since they were very excited about it.

That explains why there was actual completed artwork for an uncompleted project. As to why it was not completed, that "problem" was that Jim Lee was just TOO good.

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