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The Punisher #1 - Punisher: One

4

Frank Castle is back from the (un)dead, and looking to pick up his crusade right where it left off: mobsters getting shot.

What? A Punisher title without a MAX imprint? Say it ain't so!

The Good

Though I'll bash on it a little below, there are parts of having the issue recounted by a member of the police going through debriefing that I actually liked. It gives a chance to see an outsider's perspective of what the Punisher does, and what he looks like in action. I'm happy to see Frank back in black, and hopefully this supporting character will add something to the book.

I like how the emphasis of the book is placed on the Punisher's skull marking. I know that there was a similar importance placed on it during the Punisher: Born storyline, and hopefully it'll be touched on again. I like to see Frank Castle portrayed as someone being driven by a higher power, or perhaps insanity. Maybe this will give us a chance to see a bit more of it.

The Bad

There was something about this issue that felt decidedly un-Punisher. I think it was the fact you don't actually see him until the closing pages of the issue, and he's not making much noise, anyways. I'm used to his internal monologues driving scenes, and having this cop in place of Frank just seems a bit weird.

Though I'm a bit of a MAX fanboy, I think the fact that Castle can't be as graphically violent kind of works against him in this context. I'm sure we'll see more in the future.

The Verdict

Pick up this issue if you've liked what the Punisher has been in the past. It glosses over the weirdness of Franken-Castle and brings us back around to what we all love: mobsters dying, guns blazing and the thirst for vengeance being satiated. This isn't Punisher MAX, but it'll do.

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