A new era has begun for the Punisher — one that comes after the unique period where Frank Castle was briefly a murderous Iron-Man knock-off. But now Marvel’s favorite mass-murderer is back in a new series to exterminate crime the old-fashioned way.
A dark, politically conscious crime thriller is what Rosenberg’s script delivers and it makes for a compelling read. He has a good grasp of Castle’s character, who in this first issue, acts as the silent specter of death hunting criminals. The armor was cool for a while, but the silent soldier stalking vermin in the dead of night is the image that truly defines the Punisher — and his war on crime.
Castle’s enemies connect to his post-Secret Empire Status and provide a grounded enemy that is still deeply entrenched in the Marvel Universe. In fact, it presents the villains, familiar faces for Marvel fans, in an unexpected way that opens up new storytelling possibilities. Super villains are getting smarter and Rosenberg’s script takes a new approach to how they operate within the Marvel Universe.
This smart and action heavy script can only do so much to compensate for the artwork. Kudranski can create some great page layout and his use of shadows fits the dark tone of Rosenberg’s story. His rendering of the characters, however, leaves something to be desired. The figures can — at times — appears stiff and lifeless, which is especially troubling considering the intense action sequence that occurs in this issue.
Despite any problems I may have with the art, this is a good comic book. With a promising story and a script that perfectly balances action with intrigue, Rosenberg seems to be moving in the right direction for the next Punisher classic.
What did you think of the Punisher this week? What do you think of this review? Let us know in the comments.