A bit ago we showed off some of the homage covers Marvel will be releasing as part of their Marvel Legacy. Check out a new round of them below.
- U.S.Avengers: Christian Ward
- Hawkeye: Greg Smallwood
- Jessica Jones: Daniel Mora
- Champions: Daniel Mora
- Spider-Man: Giuseppe Camuncoli
- Guardians: Ron Lim
- Avengers: Mike Allred
- Cable: Rob Liefeld
- The Despicable Deadpool: Salvador Espin
- Moon Knight: Bill Sienkiewicz
- Punisher: Tim Bradstreet
- Royals: Juan Doe
When the premiere issue of Fred Van Lente’s funtastic Deadpool vs Punisher comic finished, I found myself on the edge of my couch frantically flipping the back cover hoping that more pages would mysteriously appear so I could keep going. They didn’t but, luckily Deadpool vs. Punisher #2 showed up just in time for me to get my awesomeness fix. If you missed the first issue, it’s not too late to jump in on the action, much like your favorite action based TV shows, there’s a sweet one-page recap at the beginning of this issue. Long story short, Castle wants justice with a whole lot of blood on the side, even if that blood is Deadpool’s and Deadpool wants vengeance for the death of his accountants family and maybe some chimichangas.
In the second issue Van Lente starts things off with a not dead Deadpool tied up in Castle’s battle van with no recollection of what preceded his current predicament. Things get way more interesting from there. This issue has fake deaths, psycho crime bosses, Castle sulking in dark corners, and Deadpool cracking wise and kicking ass. Almost everything you could ever want from these two anti-heroes combining forces. It’s like Lethal Weapon and Tango & Cash had a baby and it exploded on the pages of a really good comic book. As I predicted in my review of the first issue, this arc really is looking like it is going to be the buddy anti-hero road trip extravaganza of my dreams but with murder and intrigue.
Pere Perez and Ruth Redmond have been tasked with providing the art element to this action packed, quip heavy extravaganza and they do an amazing job. Perez is a master at providing so much detail that you can see every scar line and hole in the rare instances where we see under Deadpool’s mask. Redmond uses her killer color skills to make sure that we see blood and bruises so fresh and real that we have a guttural reaction. There are several pages that are pure action and none of the art seems contrived, repetitive, or boring. Each panel and page are full of detail, realism, as far as some of these kills can be real, and is filled with movement and purpose.
Van Lente provides a great story and the Perez and Redmond artwork complements his words perfectly. There are no wasted bubbles or panels and everything that is done is done deliberately and serves its purpose of moving the story along keeping the reader engaged and leaving us wanting more. Round 2 of Deadpool vs Punisher is just as intense and fun as the first issue and, if Van Lente keeps this momentum up I’m sure the finale of this arc will make your head explode in the best possible way.
Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Ruth Redmond and Pere Perez
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.
Writer Becky Cloonan serves up twenty plus pages of pure action packed power in issue The Punisher #11. There’s minimal dialogue here, but from the challenge gauntlet thrown down by Condor on the first page to the Street Fighter friendly FINISH HIM style final word bubble, this issue lays down the fire. There’s so much tension built up and so much 80s action film realism that it’s hard not to enjoy this intriguing romp through The Punisher’s escape and Battle Royal with the Condor team. The only thing missing from this issue is the agent gone rogue side story that has been running parallel to the current arc and, while it was noticed it wasn’t really needed to push this issue along. In fact, having that part missing from the story gives us some sense of hope for our ultra violent anti-hero that he might get saved by the female agent. The ending leaves possibilities for a strong ending to the arc wide open and even with bare bones dialogue, the story moves along beautifully, full of signature clever quips, snarky and sometimes scared villains and nemeses.
Matt Horak‘s lines make for the perfect template for Frank Martin‘s brilliant color scheme. The artwork is simple yet poignant. There’s a sense of darkness, perfect splatters of blood, well-defined punches and bruises in every panel. The Punisher #11 is drawn like the perfect storyboard for the action movie of your dreams.
The latest issue of The Punisher is one of the most effective placeholder/fill-in issues that I’ve read in a long time. There’s not a wasted panel or word contained in all of this issues 28 pages. While it doesn’t provide any new information, we all know that Condor is crazy AF and pretty much a grown up militia style ,bad boy, Lord of the Flies crew, this issue does give us an in-depth look at Frank Castle and how strong he is, mentally and physically. It also shows how hard he will fight to stay alive and make the bad guys suffer. There are moments in his fights with various Condor members that he uses excessive force, even when it isn’t necessary to get away from his captors. This issue is a case study in Frank Castle and, it’s everything you could ever want from a look inside his head, making it a good read from cover to cover.
Story: Becky Cloonan Art: Matt Horak and Frank Martin
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
The Punisher #11
(W) Becky Cloonan (A) Matt Horak (CA) Declan Shalvey
In Shops: Apr 19, 2017
BLOOD IN THE WATER!
Frank is being held hostage on a freighter full of armed goons. They’re going to need a bigger boat.
You read that right! Yes, X-Men Trading Cards. As a team comprised of some of the most fan-favorite mutants ever assembled join forces in the pages of July’s Astonishing X-Men #1, Marvel is bringing the fanfare and returning to one of the most iconic pieces of X-Men history by one of its most famed artists! To celebrate the launch of this must-read new series, Marvel’s Merry Mutants take your comic shop by storm throughout the month of July for a series of nearly thirty X-Men Trading Card Variants by legendary artist Jim Lee!
Remastered and recolored from the original trading cards, relive this iconic era of the Children of the Atom with a series of eye-popping covers. Originally penciled by legendary X-Men artist Jim Lee with inker Scott Williams, colorists such as Jesus Aburtov, Israel Silva & Chris Sotomayor apply modern coloring techniques to these classic masterpieces!
Look for these can’t-miss X-Men Trading Card Variants on your favorite Marvel titles, coming exclusively to comic shops throughout the month of July:
- ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #22 (Archangel)
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30 (Bishop)
- AVENGERS #9 (Mystique)
- BLACK PANTHER #16 (Storm)
- CABLE #3 (Cable)
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #19 (Gambit)
- CHAMPIONS #10 (Cyclops)
- DAREDEVIL #23 (Domino)
- DEADPOOL #33 (Deadpool)
- DEFENDERS #3 (Shadow King)
- DOCTOR STRANGE #23 (Mr. Sinister)
- GENERATION X #4 (Jubilee)
- GWENPOOL, THE UNBELIEVABLE #18 (White Queen)
- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #9 (Colossus)
- IRON FIST #5 (Sabretooth)
- JEAN GREY #4 (Dark Phoenix)
- MIGHTY THOR #21 (Sentinel)
- MS. MARVEL #20 (Lady Deathstrike)
- OLD MAN LOGAN #26 (Professor X)
- PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #2 (Psylocke)
- THE PUNISHER #14 (Forge)
- ROYALS #5 (Magneto)
- SPIDER-MAN #18 (Shadowcat)
- THANOS #9 (Strong Guy)
- UNCANNY AVENGERS #25 (Rogue)
- VENOM #152 (Polaris)
- WEAPON X #5 (Warpath)
- X-MEN BLUE #7 (Jean Grey)
- X-MEN GOLD #7 (Mojo)
Fred Van Lente has made it so that the phrase “Nanny knows Krav Maga” is permanently etched in my cool phrase mind bank and, I am grateful to have read that gem. This very special story pits two of my favorite antiheroes against each other in a way that actually makes sense and doesn’t feel like a cheap crossover gimmick. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Wade Wilson came across Frank Castle you’re about to get your answer in Deadpool vs. The Punisher and it’s not the team up that you were expecting. This is one of those issues that makes it really hard for me to keep my review spoiler free because it’s so damn good I want to share it with everyone.
Pere Perez ‘s artwork gives us some panels that showcase the fight scenes in a way that would make any 80’s gamer, or Hotline Miami fan, tingle with glee at the crossing of the streams of awesomeness. Ruth Redmond provides some bright colors during the daytime fight scenes and a nice pop of blood in the night time Castle bar fight scenes. This issue is not only expertly drawn but beautifully colored in a way that makes the images come to life and caused me to wish for the day that this issue would become a movie.
We get to start off with Castle running through the bad guys on his mission to find the money behind bad guys he’s after, we then slide into the merc with a mouth spending quality time with people he genuinely cares about. The set up is by the numbers on its face but, it’s also filled with nuance and realism making this issues set up a plausible story. There are some very well written scenes that build upon the groundwork laid in the early pages that showcase both Punisher & Deadpool’s strengths and weaknesses. It builds up the story as if it’s sharing cut scenes from Street Fighter and, the final page of this issue is laid out like the end of a level up stage in a video game battle.
Overall, Van Lente manages to keep both of the title characters in their truest form, giving us loads of action, blood and, pure adrenaline raising violence. In round one of what I’m sure is going to be an epic arc, that ultimately ends with the two teaming up to take out the “real” bad guys Tango & Cash style, the story comes to an abrupt and honest end. All of these amazing factors combine to form a perfect start to the arc, leaving me fully primed for round two because, Van Lente is telling one hell of a story and, I want more.
Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Pere Perez and Ruth Redmond
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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
The Punisher #10
(W) Becky Cloonan (A) Matt Horak (CA) Declan Shalvey
In Shops: Mar 15, 2017
AGENT OF DESTRUCTION!
Agent Ortiz is no longer hunting Frank with the D.E.A. Now, as they say, it’s personal. Agent Ortiz is now up against both the Punisher and an entire deadly mercenary outfit. Agent Ortiz might be in trouble.
The Punisher is a vigilante who uses murder, extortion, torture, kidnapping, and threats of violence in his war on crime. He’s also apparently what some police officers look up to. The Catlettsburg Police Department in Eastern Kentucky added the Punisher skull logo to eight police cars with the words “Blue Lives Matter.”
The design was spearheaded by Police Chief Cameron Logan who worked with a vinyl decal shop on Louisiana to print the decals (was there no decal shops in Kentucky!?). A similar decal is being sold by David Klotz Enterprises out of New Jersey. There it’s listed as the “Thin Blue Line Punisher Skull Window Decal.”
The design was approved by the city council and Mayor Randall Peterman. One member objected, but he was elected after the approval. His criticism is over the cost, not the message. The idea was to “give back to the police officers.” Which begs the question what is this “giving back?”
The Punisher is a vigilante who breaks the law by killing criminals, making himself judge, jury, and executioner. A veteran, he’s exactly what the police are being accused of, abusing the rights of individuals. The police chief sees it as a “warrior logo.” Which makes one wonder if he endorses what that skull logo represents.
This is the latest example of the mainstreaming of the Punisher who debuted in 1974 and has starred in numerous films and appeared in the second season of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil with his own solo television series soon debuting.
The character is the antithesis of the law and order police are supposed to represent. He has in fact murdered police officers in his “one man war.” Not to mention the irony of appropriating intellectual property without permission. You know, theft.
This isn’t the first time controversy over police using the logo has arisen. A Georgia SWAT team used the logo in a video showing off their militarization. The military has often used the symbol in units. If the Punisher is someone that police look up to, it’s no wonder so many citizens are being murdered by police.
(via Lexington Herald Leader)
Jessica Jones is on the case!
Fans of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, a Netflix Original Series, can now add the tough-as-nails private investigator to their collections! Luke Cage joins her to make for a formidable duo!
Collect them this winter! Pop! Marvel: Jessica Jones are out now!
Talk about a triple-threat!
Daredevil, Punisher, and Elektra round-out the latest Pop!s from Marvel’s original Netflix series!
Be on the hunt for the chase variant Punisher holding Daredevil’s mask!
Collect them this winter! The Pop! Marvel: Daredevil TV are out in February from Funko.