I see what you did there, Greg Rucka; you created the ultimate trifecta over the course of the last few issues of THE PUNISHER. Frank Castle has teamed up with former Marine Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alvez whose husband was murdered on their wedding day. Both she and Castle have experienced tremendous loss; their spouses taken from them in cold blood. Both are seeking revenge. It's been interesting to see the relationship between these two characters develop over the course of this series. Theirs was a contentious relationship at first, and now they have definitely eased into working together to accomplish their goal. The pair have just murdered former A.I.M. scientist Stephanie Gerard in an act of revenge -- setting off Christian Poulsen, who was deeply in love with the woman. Now all three have experienced the pain of a similar experience (what it feels like to lose someone you love) and all three are in the same building. It's a pretty powerful way to bring the three of them together. Furthermore, the three characters act out in very similar ways. After experiencing tragedy, they each turn to murder -- the very thing that took their loved ones away as a means for retribution. I just thought it was so neat to see that these characters are depicted as having so much more in common than previously thought, and it all comes together in this issue.
Rucka definitely has a way of capturing grit, suspense and darkness in his PUNISHER series, and this issue was no different. There was definitely a lot of build up to Alvarez's big moment in issue #14; and while some people argued that it was underwhelming (I personally liked it), I think that this issue really did a service to the last one. It served to reinforce the events that transpired in the last issue and managed to do so really effortlessly. There is a ton of suspense in this book, and both Rucka, Marco Checchetto and Matt Hollingsworth are really great at creating a heavy atmosphere for the plot. Brilliant writing and equally brilliant art.
I really enjoyed this issue -- definitely a lot of action, suspense and excitement. Nothing bad here.
As I mentioned previously, this issue was fantastic because of the way that it connected three characters through very similar experiences. It is interesting to see that although the characters are different, their motivations are different, they act out very similarly when they lose someone or something very close to them. It's a very powerful issue and feels really dense when you read it. It's paired with some pretty incredible art, too, so if you're a Punisher fan you really can't go wrong. I don't recommend reading this issue without at least checking out the previous one as I feel they really go hand in hand.