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The War of the Realms: The Punisher #1 Review

Delivers everything a Punisher fan could want in a war scenario. With giants!

In a world where roving bands of elves are taking innocent lives, who ya gonna call? Well, Thor, but he’s busy. Okay fine, Punisher it is, which is basically the premise of Gerry Duggan and Marcelo Ferreira’s tie-in to War of the Realms. Ever want to see Punisher go hog wild in the streets of New York? You’ve come to the right place.

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

Why does this matter?

One of the more intriguing aspects of this tie-in is seeing the very mortal man that is Punisher take on giants, armored elves riding giant wolves and the like, and do it all without breaking a sweat. Sure, the hero is usually taking on two-bit criminals, but this is pretty boss and pushes the limit of how super this hero can be.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

That’s an awesome opening page.
Credit: Marvel Comics

The first ten pages of this book are unencumbered ultra-violence. We’re talking Punisher throwing grenades at Ice Giants and shouting at the thing to “Come and get me!” Punisher has always been a cold-hearted instrument of death, and Duggan and Ferreira are delivering on that front. These ten pages soak up the blood Punisher spills, get creative with how a man can take on such formidable foes, and is everything the Juan Ferreyra cover promises and then some.

The second half of the book are about the real losses taking place. Punisher is a killer, sure, but he’s also a hero and savior when he needs to be. There are wounded people, and the creative team does a good job showing how Punisher takes charge and gets things done. There’s an interesting premise to this story which starts with this second half that I won’t spoil, but it has a ragtag crew that’s reminiscent of the recent Predator movie, and it should work well.

The art by Ferreira is great, with inks by Roberto Poggi and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg. It’s a detailed, more realistic depiction which helps make the violence (we’re talking heads being lopped off) fun for those who like gore. There’s an epic full-page splash of Punisher running at a giant dog being ridden by an elf that’s quite something and should get your blood pumping.

Yikes!
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

There’s a sharp divide between the first and second half, changing the pace dramatically. It’d be nice if the book never let its foot off the gas, but instead, it slows things down to set up the premise we’ll be most likely following for two more issues.

Is it good?

Aside from a harsh pacing change midway through, this is everything a Punisher fan could want out of Frank Castle fighting in a war came to Manhattan. We’re used to Punisher taking out dumb human goons, but how about giant Ice Giants? You won’t regret reading this if that at all piques your interest.

The War of the Realms: The Punisher #1
Is it good?
Aside from a harsh pacing change midway through, this is everything a Punisher fan could want out of Frank Castle fighting in a war came to Manhattan. We're used to Punisher taking out dumb human goons, but how about giant Ice Giants? You won't regret reading this if that at all piques your interest.
Delivers everything a Punisher fan could want out of this tie-in
Sets up an intriguing premise for future issues
Dramatic pace change midway through
9
Great
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