The Punisher #1

by lucstclair on February 06, 2014

~~Frank Castle in the city of angels? The Mexican drug cartel? Special Ops? The Punisher’s back to kick some criminal ass and like the song says “I love L.A.”. Gone are the eye patch and the beard, as the old Frank is back for some nitty gritty old school scumbag annihilation and I couldn’t be happier. Armed to the teeth and eager to wage his never ending war, Frank destroys a boat of drugs in Mexico and finds out the name of a pickup man named Hector which leads him to a warehouse in L.A. Before you can say FUBAR, Frank’s blowing shit up and feeding the local reptilian wild life, but this kind of activity has attracted a group of government officials all too familiar with the Marvel Universe.

The Team

Written by Nathan Edmondson (The Activity, Where is Jake Ellis?) and illustrated by Mitch Gerads (The Activity, Where is Jake Ellis?).

The Pros & Cons

Now this needs to be said, I wasn’t a huge fan of Greg Rucka`s Punisher run, I thought the whole look of the beard and eye patch was ridiculous and the storyline with his lady Punisher-friend was downright lame.  The Punisher works solo, always has always will. He might occasionally have allies or people who provide weapons for him, but for the most part, his is a no sidekick policy. Writer Nathan Edmondson brings his slick action style of storytelling from his work on The Activity and sporadically uses some clever dialogue dropped with some awesome Punisher puns to boot. “I swam way too far just to wound you”.

Cold and meticulous as ever, this Punisher reminds me of Garth Ennis’ run, although not as brutally graphic as the Max imprint, it definitely has its moments of gore & violence. 25 years ago when the Comic Code Approval reigned supreme, you never would’ve seen a panel of The Punisher blowing a guy’s hand completely off with a shotgun. Needless to say, I don’t miss those days.

The illustrations are by Mitch Gerads, whose style reminds of Dougie Braithwaite, a long time Punisher artist who has that rough around the edges look to his characters and squared jawed features. It’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but it works well for this storyline’s setting. There’s a great one page panel that has Frank shooting the bad guys from the surface of the water, as the bodies plunge into the murky waters and it’s upside down to give the reader a sense of underwater disorientation. 

My only beef is that the Punisher seems to mingle with everyday citizens and nobody seems to recognise him. Isn’t he the most wanted man in the Marvel U? Now if he wore a mask as The Punisher, that’s one thing, but I have to admit this situation has always bugged me.

The Outcome

With guns blazing, a cool cover, sporting a new Punisher logo and a tough as nails attitude, this re-launch is a welcomed addition to a brand new chapter to my favourite anti-hero. It’s gonna be a blood bath!

Our Score:


A Look Inside