The Punisher has been somewhat ignored in the Marvel Universe for years now until 2016. He gets little to no representation in major events, and he hasn’t had an ongoing of his own in quite some time–until now, of course. His absolutely badass portrayal in season 2 of Daredevil has given the franchise some new time in the spotlight, and Becky Cloonan’s brand new ongoing hopes to capitalize on that. I enjoyed issue #1 quite a bit, so let’s see if it can keep the momentum going. Is it good?
The Punisher #2 (Marvel Comics)
Frank is breaking up a drug deal in the middle of nowhere, Connecticut between the Face, some crooked cops and some lackeys involving a drug that produces super soldiers of some sort–think the stuff Simpson took in Jessica Jones. Things don’t go as planned, people get shot, Castle plans his next moves while a DEA agent is on his tail, yadda yadda yadda, you have your standard Punisher story set in motion.
The artwork by Steve Dillon is proving to be a little simplistic for this type of comic. It’s pretty and it’s well drawn, don’t get me wrong, but one of the perverse joys of The Punisher is the overt, so-realistic-it’s-almost-unrealistic violence, and when it’s rendered in a way that makes it look like ketchup is exploding in front of people’s faces, it takes you out of the gritty realism that the comic is trying to present.
That bullet through the eye, though. Oof.
While the artwork is dissonant, the story is suitably unsettling, especially the last few panels. Frank doesn’t say much of anything in this issue, but he doesn’t really have to–The Punisher has always let his guns do the talking for him, and that’s when he’s at his best. He’s written about as well as you can possibly ask for, though this seems like it’s going to be a standard Punisher story through and through, so those looking for a different take on the vigilante or new layers of some kind on the Frank Castle character may be disappointed.
Is It Good?
The story is moving along at a nice pace, and die hard Punisher fans won’t be disappointed. I had hopes that this book would possibly take the story in a new direction, though, and this is about as standard Punisher fare as you can get. Which isn’t always a bad thing–sometimes you just want to see a vigilante kick some ass, and that’s what you’re promised in The Punisher.