I wish I could say that I’ve been a long standing fan of the Punisher, that I’ve followed his adventures through the years and that my Punisher collection is numerous and vast. But I can’t. I’ve read maybe half a dozen Punisher comics in my life that didn’t involve a crossover of some kind or another (usually with Wolverine),and after having devoured season two of the Netflix adaptation in two days, I was excited to get started with the current arc.
Frank Castle is in jail in a Hydra controlled country where he is waiting for his execution date by killing the odd Hydra guard and accepting a brutal beating meant for a nun.
The Punisher #8 tells the story of the inmates’ attempt at a jailbreak, and Castle leading the plan. Why would he help criminals escape prison? A good question with a surprisingly simple answer that you’ll find within the comic’s pages. The process and planning for the escape has Frank’s narration over the step-by-step actions and it works really well as a story device. Although I can’t honestly compare the few issues of this series to other Punisher comics, it’s every bit as good as the others I have read; Matthew Rosenberg‘s story puts Frank in a relative new (to me at least) situation where you get to see how capable and deadly a man he really is.
Given the comic’s setting, the art is suitably grim and gloomy. The Punisher frequently comes across as the most menacing person on the page (as he should), and the audience is reminded several times why he frequently runs afoul of the other Marvel heroes; Frank Castle is not a nice man. He’s only just on the side of not-a-villain, and watching the occasional moments where the hero/good man shines through is often more jarring than watching him shove a stun baton down a guards throat before turning it on (last issue, if you’re wondering).
I can’t judge this as a Punisher fan, but as a fan of the show who wants to read Punisher comics, this was an excellent place for me to start getting into the character’s comics. It doesn’t hurt that this would be a really interesting story regardless of the lead character, but that it stars Frank Castle is the cherry on top of the sundae. The next issue can’t come soon enough.
Story: Matthew Rosenberg Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colourist: Antonio Fabela Letter: VC’s Cory Petit
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review