The Punisher #1
Writer – Becky Cloonan
Artist – Steve Dillon
Color Artist – Frank Martin
Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher – Marvel Comics
The Punisher #1 wastes no time setting up the first arc of writer Becky Cloonan’s take on Frank Castle.
Right from the start, the storytelling is a little different from past Punisher series in that Frank isn’t even seen until page four and that is only in shadow.
Instead, we are shown drug/merc/weapons dealers discussing the shipment dates of a new extreme, military grade, performance enhancing drug called “EMC”, as DEA agents spy on them from an adjacent warehouse.
Frank, listening in, of course has his own plans
Upon my first read through, I wasn’t sure what to think about the set up. On one hand, gone were the War Journal entries and narration from Frank himself but Steve Dillon’s artwork definitely has the feel of a Punisher comic book and I enjoyed that.
Cloonan doesn’t have much room in this first issue to get into Castle’s head, but her decision, at least for this issue, to put Frank
in the shadows ala Spawn or Batman, without saying a word throughout, was the right one, as well as introducing us to a decent villain in “The Face”.
Color Artist Frank Martin does an excellent job of creating atmosphere by alternating from Green/Brown fluorescent lit, dilapidated warehouses, dark cityscapes, and gunfire reds in the action panels.
Overall, I’d say I need few issues to really dig into this arc, but the setup is gonna keep me around until then!
3 out of 5 Nerds