Punisher has always been good at killing and with the right weapons he can be a one man army. But what if he had War Machine’s armor? He’d be cooking with fire (and missiles, and tracking, and…) and killing baddies faster than ever. Part two of his time with the War Machine armor starts today, and boy, does he kill a lot.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This isn’t a comic about mayhem and killing though that is certainly a draw. No, it’s also about war and a Punisher who is taking on a bigger picture problem. He’s killed gangbangers, but what about dictators? We’re about to find out.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Holy shit, that punch!
Guiu Vilanova draws a good issue with a certain level of grit you usually see in indie comics. This is a mature comic with characters getting their heads blown off, holes blown through them, and men running around burning alive. It’s graphic as hell and Vilanova does a great job making it look real and, on some level, unnerving. Punisher is one of the greatest characters when it comes to drawing your attention to the danger of guns and violence and this story shows quite a bit of violence in a way that isn’t quite heroic. Punisher is ruthless and not sparing lives (a Punisher I’m sure longtime fans miss) and the reality of these deaths is made more meaningful due to the realistic drawings. Take for instance a moment where a character grins with blood trickling out of his mouth. The detail in his eyes and teeth are quite realistic so that when Punisher literally punches his head off in the next frame you’re going to jerk back in surprise. It’s uncompromising and brutal.
Matthew Rosenberg is writing quite a strong issue here and there are multiple levels to the purpose and meaning. There’s Punisher being his uncompromising and brutal self, but also a farmer he’s dedicated to helping. The man just wants to farm his land after a long and hard fought life, but the local soldiers won’t let him. There are some words of wisdom passed between these soldiers of fortune that’ll make you think. As they bury a few bodies the farmer points out when you teach a soldier to kill and steal for a cause they can quickly learn and continue doing that with no cause at all. Dark, but true.
It’s also pretty damn exciting to see a War Machine armor actually be used in war. There is a lot of brutal violence in this issue and after reading it I realized I’ve never seen an Iron Man armor used to its full violent level. All this time Iron Man held back and now we get to see it being wielded by a killer. A killer with cause, but a killer nonetheless.
Now that is power.
It can’t be perfect can it?
One could argue Punisher is simplistic, but a cold and quiet demeanor is kind of his thing.
Is It Good?
Punisher #219 is uncompromising and brutal. Old school fans are gonna love it and newer fans are going to delight in seeing an armor that can kill with ease. There’s also a deeper story here about what happens when dictators abuse their people and militarize soldiers. It’ll make you think, but really this is for the crowd who likes plenty of violence.