Review: The Punisher #10

Becky Cloonan knows good Punisher style carnage and she isn’t afraid to write it. The Punisher #10 has Agent Ortiz on the hunt for Condor with a bloodied Face still getting the crap kicked out of him in the back seat while Ortiz pumps him for information on Condors location. We also see a really hostile takeover of Condor and Frank saving the wrong hostage leaving him in a world of trouble. This issue was non-stop awesome with a side of two levels of female badassery that had me begging for the next page like an EMC addict. This issue was one of the best-written issues I’ve read in a while and I’m so beyond here for it that I literally scrolled up a few times after it was all over hoping to discover a page that I missed just so that I could have more of it.

The artwork provided by Matt Horak was a perfect addition to an already amazing issue, it was simple yet well defined and felt reminiscent of 80s Marvel darkness and despair. Not to be outdone Frank Martin with some help from Guru-EFX turned up the color palette to glib making Frank of all people the brightest spot in the story. The way they made him stand out in the madness and chaos was killer and pulled focus to title character of the comic perfectly. Every bruise, blood trail and violent action feels real and is so well drawn with the color to match that it causes a real reaction. The shadows even speak to the omnipresent feeling that something sinister this way comes and the art really does become an extra character in an already amazing story.

This issue does a lot of things well, chief among them telling an amazing, believable and followable story. This arc is full of crosses, double crosses and mayhem so much so that it would have been easy for the writer to fall into a trap and leave Frank swimming in a convoluted story line that only served the purpose of raising the carnage count. Lucky for us that Cloonan is on point and giving us a focused Frank Castle doing what he does best and supporting characters that not only make sense but, are relatable and have their own agency. Double kudos to Cloonan for giving us not one but TWO kick ass ladies who are autonomous as part of a bigger story and can not only hold their own but, make you pity the poor person who crosses them because you know their vengeance will be swift and painful.

This issue is so well written that it can stand alone and even though it’s not the beginning of an arc, it’s easy enough to follow that it would make a nice entry point into the character and the story as a whole. There’s so much to love about this issue, from it’s easy to follow along with plot to its easily identifiable Gillian’s, to its characters with clear motives and personal agendas who don’t come off as one-dimensional, cookie-cutter bad guys. The only I didn’t like about this issue is that there wasn’t more of it and now I have to wait to see what happens next to Frank, Agent Ortiz and Condor as a whole. But, I know with Cloonan at the helm it’ll be well worth the wait.

Story: Becky Cloonan Art: Matt Horak, Frank Martin, Guru-EFX
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review 

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