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Review: The Punisher #8

The Punisher #8

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

Preview: Punisher #7

Punisher #7

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Greg Smallwood
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 30, 2019
SRP: $3.99

LET THE PUNISHER FIT THE CRIME!
• Can Zemo’s bid to turn Bagalia into a legitimate nation withstand the Punisher?
• What chance does the Rule of Law have in a land full of outlaws?
• Frank Castle is notoriously hard to kill, but an entire nation of super criminals might just do it.

Punisher #7

Preview: Punisher #5

Punisher #5

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Greg Smallwood
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

IN THE ARMS OF THE HYDRA!
• Alone and hunted, Hydra gets its tentacles around Frank.
• The price for all Frank’s recent actions comes due.
• The ending of this issue changes the entire game.

Punisher #5

Preview: The Punisher #4

The Punisher #4

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Greg Smallwood
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Nov 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• The chips are down and THE PUNISHER is boxed in!
• But do his pursuers think that makes him more dangerous or less?
• Nobody puts Frank in a corner!

Preview: The Punisher #2

The Punisher #2

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Greg Smallwood
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Sep 26, 2018
SRP: $3.99

YOU CAN TAKE THE PUNISHER OUT OF THE WAR MACHINE…
Punisher no longer has the War Machine armor, but he retained his newly acquired taste for big game, and he’s hungry for more. However, the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use otherworldly help on his way up to the world stage. MATTHEW ROSENBERG continues pushing the boundaries of the Punisher, and now joined by acclaimed artist RICCARDO BURCHIELLI (DMZ, Northlanders), this is the book Punisher fans will be talking about for years to come!

Review: The Punisher #1

Punisher no longer has the War Machine armor, but he retained his newly acquired taste for big game, and he’s hungry for more. However, the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use otherworldly help on his way up to the world stage.

There’s been all sorts of takes on the Punisher. There’s the classic version that wages a war on crime. There’s the one that was brought back from the dead to avenge for God. There was Franken-Castle… which, yeah. And there was Nazi-Punisher manipulated by the evil Steve Rogers. That last one is key here as Frank Castle is attempting to atone for his mistakes as Hydra is rising once again.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg is taking Castle through a journey where he’s attempting to right some wrongs and in doing so giving us a version that’s a mix of some classics. This is more the classic version waging a war it feels like so far but also one who’s on a bigger stage and now viewed as a terrorist not just a psycho vigilante. It’s a logical extension for the character and gives him a character progression and growth we haven’t seen addressed enough in a post Secret Empire Marvel universe. What’s more interesting is the use of characters not normally associated with the Punisher to do so. There’s the Mandarin, Baron Zemo, Roxxon, and even Hydra. It’s an expansion of rogues that feels like a solid move in getting this character more out there and integrated into the Marvel Universe.

The art by Szymon Kudranski with color by Antonio Fabela and lettering by Cory Petit builds off of Rosenberg’s Jaws-like narrative. The art uses the slow build as the action ramps up and Castle is revealed more and more not just physically but also his actions. Kudranski gives us slight sparks of enjoyment as the Punisher uses crazier and crazier weapons. Fabela keeps the color choices minimal using it to enhance the carnage and destruction. There’s some great choices on peppering pages with bullet casings as if they’re flying off the page.

The Punisher is on a mission again and this time it’s hunting for bigger game. It’s a great take on the character mixing the old with the new and bringing back the character into what feels like a force of nature that’s pure destruction and chaos and something criminals and villains need to fear.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Szymon Kudranski
Color: Antonio Fabela Lettering: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Punisher #1

The Punisher #1

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Greg Smallwood
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Aug 22, 2018
SRP: $4.99

YOU CAN TAKE THE PUNISHER OUT OF THE WAR MACHINE…
Punisher no longer has the War Machine armor, but he retained his newly acquired taste for big game, and he’s hungry for more. However, the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use otherworldly help on his way up to the world stage. MATTHEW ROSENBERG continues pushing the boundaries of the Punisher, and now joined by acclaimed artist RICCARDO BURCHIELLI (DMZ, Northlanders), this is the book Punisher fans will be talking about for years to come!

The Brothers Dracul #1 Gets a Second Printing

AfterShock Comics has announced that The Brothers Dracul #1 from Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak has sold out and gone to a second printing.

The legend of Vlad the Impaler is the stuff of nightmares. The inspiration for the most iconic of monsters—Dracula—Vlad tortured and murdered thousands of victims. But what turned him into such a depraved killer? The truth lies in his teenage years, when Vlad and his brother Radu were held hostage by the Ottoman Empire. During this time, the brothers learned many things—archery, riding, the art of combat, matters of court…and how to stalk and slay vampires.

The Brothers Dracul is written by Bunn with art by Colak, color by Maria Santaolalla, lettering by Simon Bowland and two covers, one by Colak and Santaolalla and the other by Szymon Kudranski.

An Early Preview of Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak’s The Brothers Dracul #1

The legend of Vlad the Impaler is the stuff of nightmares. The inspiration for the most iconic of monsters—Dracula—Vlad tortured and murdered thousands of victims. But what turned him into such a depraved killer? The truth lies in his teenage years, when Vlad and his brother Radu were held hostage by the Ottoman Empire. During this time, the brothers learned many things—archery, riding, the art of combat, matters of court…and how to stalk and slay vampires. 

The Brothers Dracul is from writer Cullen Bunnartist Mirko Colakcolors by Maria Santaolalla, and letterer Simon Bowland. It features two covers, one by Mirko Colak with Maria Santaolalla and another by Szymon Kudranski.

Final order cut off is this Monday with the release April 11.

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