The Punisher 6 (February 2012)

I’ve got to say… Rucka’s never going to be able to recover from the Punisher having a snow outfit. It’s like Batman & Robin or something. Next he’ll have ice skates in his boots. This issue’s pretty lame. Once again, Frank is silent. But more, Lady Punisher is mostly silent too. The big predictable set piece happens and Rucka (along with new artists Matthews Southworth and Clark) channel their nineties John Woo. Is John Woo still cool enough to channel? I don’t think so. There’s nothing particularly terrible about the comic. Oh, sure, the white snowsuit Punisher costume (perfect for … Continue reading The Punisher 6 (February 2012)

The Punisher 5 (January 2012)

It’s a slightly odd issue. Whoever thought a Punisher Thanksgiving special would be good, but Rucka uses the holiday to give some insight into the cast. Three months have passed since the last issue and Rucka is catching the reader up with the cast, including the Punisher’s ten-year old sidekick. The sidekick will likely be Frank’s conscience at some point. I’m not a fan of this boy band Punisher–Bendis’s Ultimate Punisher from Team-Up certainly wasn’t boy band–but Rucka does well with the supporting cast. He works a little on his Lady Punisher storyline, taking his time, kneading the subplot gently. … Continue reading The Punisher 5 (January 2012)

The Punisher 4 (December 2011)

It occurs to me, four issues in, I have almost no opinion of Checchetto. He’s a fine enough artist, he hits the mood Rucka’s going for… but he doesn’t bring anything to The Punisher. When he does try an elaborate design, it kills the pace of an issue. Anyway, I just realized I barely talk about him. Now, to Rucka. Rucka’s Punisher is a little like the Shadow, with a network of people indebted to him or otherwise inclined to help him. Even with Frank talking, Rucka goes out of his way to remove any personality from the character. They … Continue reading The Punisher 4 (December 2011)

The Punisher 3 (November 2011)

Big Frank’s first words? Not worth the wait. Rucka and Checchetto turn in an all action issue. It’s like Rucka’s trying not to let people decide whether they want to like the book or not. Frank versus some mutant version of the Vulture? Kind of cool. But not because of anything Rucka brings to the table. Once again, he’s counting on the reader’s recollection of a previous Punisher he or she liked and so will care about Frank’s exploits here. It’s very cheap. Reading the airborne fight scene, it got me wondering what else Rucka has in store for the … Continue reading The Punisher 3 (November 2011)

The Punisher 2 (October 2011)

Still no dialogue out of Frank. Is Rucka just waiting for some big reveal or has he just not figured out his approach yet. Checchetto has decided his approach, however. Frank Castle looks like he’s in a boy band. Or, was in a boy band and is planning a come back. Not the toughest looking Frank, not even a weathered one. Still, Rucka maintains professional competence and Checchetto is a decent artist for this urban kind of thing. The Punisher is readable, but totally indistinct. It’s like Marvel wanted to sell old Punisher trades so they put this series out–it … Continue reading The Punisher 2 (October 2011)

The Punisher 1 (October 2011)

It’s hard to have any opinion of Greg Rucka’s Punisher because Frank Castle isn’t really in the issue. Instead, Rucka follows around a couple cops who are investigating a sensational shooting. Only one of the cops is really working for Frank so there’s finally a non-speaking appearance from the Punisher at the end. Everything about the comic is generic–not bad, just generic. Rucka’s got his young white cop and his seasoned old black cop (hey, just like Seven). Frank doesn’t talk, he’s just a criminal’s nightmare or whatever. The Marco Checchetto art is good–Rucka’s clearly going for a Gotham Central … Continue reading The Punisher 1 (October 2011)

Girl Comics 1 (May 2010)

Marvel should have tried harder with Girl Comics. It’s way too easy just to say, Girl Comics is bad comics. The opening from Colleen Coover is weak. It’s so trite, the story featuring Nightcrawler getting saved by a nameless woman (writing by G. Willow Wilson, art by Ming Doyle) doesn’t seem so bad. The writing’s weak, but the art isn’t. The next story, a Venus story (which breaks Atlas continuity), is okay. Trina Robbins’s script is okay and the Stephanie Buscema retro good girl art is nice. Valerie D’Orazio and Nikki Brown then do a surprisingly effective Punisher tale. It’s … Continue reading Girl Comics 1 (May 2010)

PunisherMAX 4 (April 2010)

I think I might just give up on PunisherMAX right here. It’s clear Aaron doesn’t know how to write a good Punisher book and doesn’t even want to write a serious one. It’s funny to think if I was under a rock, comics-wise, and hadn’t heard of Scalped, and read this comic, I’d think Aaron was just a buffoon. This issue isn’t even “realistic,” it’s Frank getting beat up. Again, if Ennis’s run showed anything, it’s the danger of making Frank human. There’s not a story in it and there’s not a story here. So it’s bon voyage to PunisherMAX … Continue reading PunisherMAX 4 (April 2010)

PunisherMAX 3 (March 2010)

Wow, Aaron hasn’t just seen the Usual Suspects, he’s seen a History of Violence too. I wonder if he’ll work in some other incredibly well-known film’s concept in the future. Maybe send Frank back to the future in a DeLorean. Except of course, Frank’s still not the protagonist. Dillon’s drawing him a little more age appropriate for the story this issue, but the art’s got some major issues. Whoever scanned the pages apparently screwed something up and they had to zoom in the art, making it look real bad. I hate it when comics have this problem, because it clearly … Continue reading PunisherMAX 3 (March 2010)

PunisherMAX 2 (February 2010)

Kingpin narrates the issue. I’m not sure why they call it PunisherMAX, since it’s really KingpinMAX. Aaron comes up with all sorts of awful gritty, “real” things for KingpinMAX to have done, but really… he’s just ripping off the Usual Suspects. It’s not a particularly fast read either. So when I get done with it and have almost nothing to say about it. Aaron’s KingpinMAX approach reminds me of Bendis’s Ultimate Punisher (from Ultimate Marvel Team-Up), he’s just streamlining and modernizing. I guess my only other reaction to the comic is how much better suited this creative team would be … Continue reading PunisherMAX 2 (February 2010)