For years, the Punisher has called New York City his home – keeping a watchful eye on the city through the sight of a gun. But when a lead on a major source of drugs, weapons, and more leads Frank out west – he sets his sights on Los Angeles. And the City of Angels isn’t ready for a devil like the Punisher!
For as long as I remember, the Punisher has been a New York City character waging war among the various crime families and cast of characters that orbited his world. There really is only so much you can do with that. For this new series, we have a new location, a new enemy, and a new creative team in writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mitch Gerads. They’re the creative team behind The Activity published by Image Comics. That series followed a Special Forces team, and for folks who read it, the idea of these two taking on the Punisher made you salivate in anticipation.
With the first issue here, the comic is as good as I hoped. Edmondson focuses on the military training of Frank Castle, forgoing much of the over the top technology and guns of the past. This is a character who will now slink in the water shooting his targets with a silenced pistol and torture them to get information. This is a clearly military trained Punisher, a characteristic we at times forgot, and should be front and center.
But Edmondson also deftly shows, like in his previous writing, you need a rounded character as well as action. Here we get it, for as often as the Punisher is shooting, torturing, hunting targets, he’s also interacting with a local cook and cop. We get to see some of the man behind the killer.
Gerads’ art is perfect for the character, matching his gritty attitude. It’s clear from their work on The Activity when it comes to this type of story and character; this is a perfect creative pairing.
The Punisher is back, and in this issue better than ever. I went into The Punisher #1 with high hopes, and these two nailed the first issue, just like I thought they would. Here’s to getting the “dream” creative team I was expecting.
Story: Nathan Edmondson Art: Mitch Gerads
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy