Anytime I hear “The Punisher” I know that I am in for a a wild run of brutal murders and this first edition of Punisher does not disappoint. In this first edition Frank Castle begins a new crime fighting adventure, with all of the staples you would come to expect from one of his stories. It is exciting to see that Mr. Castle is finally getting some love after all of these years.
Punisher # 1
“The Blessings of War”
Written by: jason AARon
Art by: Dave Stewart
Inks by: jESUS SAIZ AND PAUL AZACETA
Colors by: jESUS SAIZ
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
The story opens with a massive fight scene. Immediately, Punisher takes out a group of Spartan helmet wearing criminals who are peddling weapons to different criminal elements. The Punisher busts into their facility, and does exactly what you would guess: murders them in brutal fashion. This first issue attempts to set a tone for the series, and does exactly that.
From there, we begin to build up the plot for the rest of the series. Much of this edition is spent in a flashback, introducing a major group that I won’t spoil here. The story suffers from a bit of a whiplash effect at the beginning. It tries to introduce a lot of things in very short order. The flashbacks help, but I am still left with more questions than answers. One thing that becomes clear early on is that this is going to be a little different kind of a Punisher story. With so much happening I feel splitting this book out into two editions would be valuable. Punisher is off to a good start here, but will need a strong second edition to really get this series under way.
If someone told me that less pop would be a good thing for a comic I am not sure I would have believed them. The first issue of Punisher is not the most colorful and eye-catching comic I have ever seen. Still, I think it serves the story really well. This is a gritty story, and the gritty art style perfectly fits with the mood. And yes, there is plenty of gore to go around.
Where do we go from here?
The ending of the story leaves plenty of room for intrigue. I am genuinely excited for next months edition and hope to see it really set the series on the path for success. The Punisher is back in a solo story and that alone should interest you enough to come back for more. The fact that we are clearly in for a great evolution of the character should excite you. You may be scratching your head a little at the end of this, but it is an itch that will leave you coming back for more, not scare you away.
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