Yes, it's an open letter to Marvel! The chaps at 2 Guys Buying Comics are gonna kill me. Still, this post got me in an unhappy mood, and now, two days after I read it, I'm ready to respond.
Dear Joe Quesada,
As I understand it, you are letting some guy named Matt Fraction restart Punisher: War Journal. I'm going to be straightforward and admit I have no idea who that is. I'm also going to admit that the idea of a second Punisher title doesn't mean much to me. No, the problem I have is that this title has been created so that Frank Castle can interact with the rest of the Marvel Universe.
I have to tell you, this is a bad idea. Frank Castle is better off existing in his own little universe of extreme violence. Garth Ennis does an excellent job of writing stories about the Punisher killing all sorts of criminals, and perhaps saving some innocent lives. However, in my estimation, he falters when he begins to include other members of the "mainstream" Marvelverse. Some of the weakest issues of his Marvel Knights series came when the Punisher had to deal with Daredevil, Spider-Man, or Wolverine, especially the last two. Maybe it's just me, but Ennis doesn't really seem to have an understanding of those two, and so reading them is a jarring experience, taking away from the enjoyment of the book. Also, it was nice during House of M to know that there was one title that was going to completely ignore that entire event for its duration. Yes, the Spider-Man titles stayed with their current stories (though given what those stories were, I'm not sure that's a blessing), but House of M still (supposedly) had an effect on Peter Parker. Can't say the same about Frank Castle. Not don't get angry, I'm not saying House of M was crap, just that well, it was a dumb idea to start with, and the execution of it was not all that great either.
Back to the topic at hand, I wonder what Frank is going to be involved in when he starts getting into the mainstream? Is he going to be like the Scourge, and try to kill super-criminals? That's a waste, because we know he'd never kill anyone significant (just like the Scourge), and if by some freak chance he did, they'd just be resurrected the next time someone wanted to use the Vulture, or Lady Deathstrike, or whomever.
Putting this title out there just over-exposes him, and the result is a diminishing of the character. Wolverine isn't the badass he was supposed to be (sorry, but he isn't) because he's immersed in the mainstream and accordingly, can't just kill whatever villain he fights because someone on another book might want that character. The result is someone who talks a lot about being a killing machine, but accomplishes jack-all. Lest you think I'm singling you out, DC has done the same thing with Deathstroke, having him pop up everywhere the last two years or so, yet he never seems to accomplish much on his own. All of which diminishes the reputation he had of being the best. Characters like this are most effective in small doses, such as one title per month that stands by itself, so the character can do whatever, or in Deathstroke's case, occasional appearances in this title or that title, wherein he actually accomplishes something (cripples/kills a hero/hero's loved one).
The final thing I can say is, the Punisher is waging a war against the "normal" crime. Something that he can fight forever because there's always going to be another punk to rise up and try to run an empire. It doesn't matter who, someone will step up. They're ultimately faceless cannon fodder that can be replaced again and again, which epitomizes his unending war on crime. Having him interact with superheroes and villains puts him in a realm that doesn't suit him, because Frank ultimately would recognize that over the long haul the serial killers, drug-pushers, child molesters do more damage than the supervillains who just keep attacking superheroes (which might be something you want to consider changing. How about more supervillains trying to commit profitable crimes, and the superheroes show up to stop them, as opposed to endless streams of vendettas?). Plus, he won't kill the heroes, so he be handicapping himself by trying to kill an Electro, while simultaneously trying to evade Spider-Man without severely injuring him. A simple risk/reward analysis would tell Frank it's not worth his time.
Asking you to please reconsider, and keep the Punisher out of mainstream Marvel,