Marvel’s month of annuals continues this week with Punisher fighting a Brood queen, fighting space, and fighting J. Jonah Jameson. Ouch, I bet he could do without the latter. In this space spectacular Karla Pacheco and Adam Gorham deliver a story only possible in comic books.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Ever wanted to see Jameson bond with Punisher? If you said yes just skip to the nearest comic shop and buy this. If you said no, then you probably don’t know how good Pacheco writes these characters.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Much like the Ms. Marvel “Acts of Evil” annual I wasn’t sure what to expect from this comic book. That’s part of the beauty of this series of annuals since each one offers a unique fight and along the way, anything can happen. This issue opens with a spaceship about to launch complete with astronauts picked from a reality TV show. We soon learn Jameson’s big mouth is getting him on the ship, but he quickly learns the astronauts have a different plan entirely. Enter Punisher who loves to fling bullets at bad guys. From then on the comic is well paced, filled with surprises, and great dialogue.
I can’t speak enough about how well Jameson and Punisher are written here. Punisher has the cold calm that’d frighten you if you ever encountered him while Jameson is the loudmouth egomaniac we’ve always loved. It’s a great combo that works well. There are plenty of in-jokes for sci-fi fans too and it’s quite clear Pacheco has done her homework as far as these characters are concerned. There are some deep cut references that’ll delight hardcore comic book readers.
The art is by Gorham with inks by Andy Owens and colors by Matt Milla. The style works well when you have spaceship sharks and a highly expressive Jameson running around. It has that comic book feel that helps make it all feel believable even when it isn’t. The backup is drawn by Szymon Kudranski with colors by Erick Arciniega and it’s a complete flip from the sillier and comedic main story. Instead, Pacheco writes quite a dark little tale exploring the man behind the space launch in the first story. Jameson uses his powers of interviewing to keep him busy while…well you’ll see what Punisher is up to. Jameson is craftily cast in darkness as if to make his acts of interviewing a bit mischievous which suits the more brutal nature of a Punisher story.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
My only complaint is the story takes a bit to really get going. I’m talking 3 pages (and one of these pages sets up the guy who appears in the backup) so it’s not a lot. There isn’t a huge draw in that grabs you immediately.
Is it good?
Judging by the first two “Acts of Evil” annual issues Marvel has clearly got a great idea on their hands. This issue is a great example of how mixing seemingly impossible characters and throwing them into the deep end of possibilities can be highly entertaining. Acts of Evil is easily the most fun you’ll have reading comics this year.