Sunday in the Park... With the Punisher! (Some spoilers!)
As for a first issue, this was ok. It was a little slow at times, but at least for those new to the Punisher character, it helps you understand just who he is and why he does what he does.
My favorite parts are the flashback panels at the bottom of most of the pages, detailing how he lost of his family. I felt the art, composition, and placement of what happened in them were great and tell a great mini-story within a story when read all together.
I thought it was a nice touch that on the anniversary of his family's death, he visits the park to fly a kite and have a small picnic lunch for himself so he can honor their memory. While the Punisher may be a dark and torutured soul, sometimes never allowing any emotion to reach the surface, it was good to see that his family is the one thing he can let him self be emotional about. It's nice to know he's never forgotten them and that he still loves and misses them very much to this day. It makes him very relatable to say the least.
I mentioned earlier how most of the issue is slow, and that slow activity deals with the majority of the current story then set in the present day. Frank just wants to get to the part and have his own personal memorial for his family, but because nothing ever goes just right for the Punisher, he was bound to be held up for one reason or another.
Frank happens upon a family set to be kidnapped by some mob wiseguys while trying to get to the park, and I guess in a way it does make a nice parallel to the anniversary that day. A mother and child are wanted by the kid's father. They just want left alone but the kid's father just won't let them be.
Having disposed of Mark's/ the mobster's men, Frank heads to his mansion to finish him off for good and give the mother and child some peace.
The best Punisher kill of the issue goes to a scene where Frank takes out Mark who is in the bath tub. Before Mark can grab his gun, the Punisher kicks in the nearby radio and electrocutes the no good rat.
After that, and tying up some loose ends with the mother and child, Frank goes to the park to have some alone time as he flies his kite and eats his lunch like I mentioned earlier.
Other than some slow pacing here and there, the story was pretty good for the most part.
The Jim Lee art is finished over writer/artist Carl Potts' layouts. While there are some very noticable instances of the style Jim Lee later became known for, it's not quite as recognizable yet, possibly due to both the layouts and Jim being fairly early in his career at Marvel. The more recognizable stuff will come later.
All in all, with both the story and art, we have a very solid story. Not the best Punisher story of all time, but by no means a bad one. I recommend you give it a read sometime, especially for those who'd like to get to know Frank Castle just a little bit better.