If you were ever going to do it (and we know we’ve seen it before, and will definitely see it again) now is the time; no doubt backed by the success of the Daredevil Netflix series, it’s time that we get a showdown going on between The Punisher and the Man Without Fear.
There have been some excellent tales shared by the two characters over the years – “Means and Ends” is a standout for me personally – but the beauty of these tales lies in Daredevil’s beliefs of justice vs The Punisher’s justification of what he does; it’s oil on water, night and day.
And if the start of this new run was to be summed up into one word, it would be action-packed (hyphenated words count as one, right?)
The story that Charles Soule begins to unfold here doesn’t let up, on par with the hardest hitting action scenes from Daredevil’s TV series.
With Matt Murdock making sure that criminal Sergey Antonov gets transported to his trial, it just wouldn’t be right for everything to go smoothly. Enter: The Punisher, and start to play one the oneupmanship between the two characters.
Daredevil must keep Antonov safe, despite his feelings towards him, while Frank just wants to blow the lowlife’s brains all over New York City.
The action never lets up through the entirety of the first issue, with an appearance of Matt’s buddy Blindspot attempting to even the odds for Team Daredevil being welcome by the reader, but seemingly unfruitful on the grand scale of the story.
What’s most interesting is that although it’s classic Punisher to stalk a criminal like this until there’s a bullet in his head, there seems like there’s something else going on here; some kind of higher power driving Frank to claim the kill.
We aren’t spoon-fed it just yet, thankfully, and the gripping thrill ride of issue number one soars gloriously over the finish line, having us wishing for the next issue immediately.
This is exactly what you want from these two characters, as they deliver a savage blow that will hopefully lead to the series being a serious knockout come its conclusion.