Anytime I hear “The Punisher” I know I am in for a a wild run of brutal murders. As has been the case with the main line, this story places Frank Castle at the head of the mercenary group known as The Hand, and he takes on a different kind of adventure than what we normally see with the character.
Written by: Tarron Gronbekk
Art by: Lan Medina
Colors by: Antonio Fabela
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
The beginning of this edition is nothing less than absolute chaos. We start by flashing between a few different scenes, and nothing good is happening in any of them for the Punisher. His teams of mercenaries are getting decimated, and his mission is not going as planned. However, they manage to get quickly back on track, and the punisher is successful in his mission. From there, we are given some back story on what is happening.
Two sides of our character
One of the most interesting thing this edition does is a show a dichotomy that exists within the Punisher himself. Generally, Frank Castle is seen in books as kind of a lone wolf. We see plenty of that in this story, but we also get to see his capabilities as a battlefield commander. This is done through an excellent use of flashbacks, which provide necessary background in addition to setting up a great dynamic.
Recently, Marvel has been choosing to use a gritty and darker art style for the Punisher comics. They continue this trend here, and it continues to pay dividends. I generally tend to be a fan of colors that pop off the page, but it works here.
The War Continues
Overall, I found this new story in the Punisher’s adventure to be a really fun evolution for the character. I am not always the biggest fan of the Punisher, but having him portrayed in this different light was a choice I really enjoyed. Having him serve as the leader of a group brings out a different side to the character.
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