The Punisher #1 Review
As someone who loves action-packed, thriller crime stories, I am not quite sure why I have not been a reader of Punisher comics before. After watching the Netflix show, Daredevil, I became instantly intrigued by Frank Castle and knew I had to pick up some of his comics. Luckily for me, Marvel had just come out with The Punisher series. This is surely a move to bring in readers who, like myself, wanted to know more about Frank Castle after watching him in Netflix’s Daredevil. With superstars Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon as the creative team, this new run will definitely hook in new and old readers alike. The first issue is sure to pull you into the world of the Punisher, one filled with gore and action-packed panels.
Cloonan takes us through the first issue, revealing three different sides to the narrative: the mob, the D.E.A. detectives who are out to bring them down, and the Punisher. Upon first appearance, the Punisher is lurking in the shadows. Dillon does not reveal his protagonist’s face until the first fight or, should I say, massacre, that takes place during the sting operation. For this series, Dillon’ Frank Castle follows a more classic “Punisher look,” (white skull on black t-shirt and jeans approach) instead of the older, rugged punisher characterized for his long coat. Cloonan creates a much more engaging story by providing strong dialogue that skillfully flows between switching point of views.
Dillon’s style really brings the story to life in its graphic entirety. If you’re the more squeamish kind, consider yourself warned. This is a no-holds-barred style, evident when Frank Castle comes onto the scene sporting his pistol and machine gun and showing no mercy. Dillon is able to capture the spot-on facial expressions and memorable intensity within their eyes that differentiate the characters – especially in comparison to the Punisher. When the guns aren’t enough, he resorts to using what’s in his surroundings and his bare hands in order to bring his enemies down.
The overall pacing of the story, thanks to Cloonan and Dillon, gives this comic a cinematic look. You won’t find the Punisher talking in the comic, not even to grunt in pain as in the case for the mob goons as he takes a brick to one of their heads. But that’s just it: the only noise you’ll be hearing from the Punisher are the bullets he is firing. This is a good setup into his world, and while I wanted to see more of the Punisher in this issue, I hope Cloonan will delve more into his point of view in the following issues. The Punisher is a force to be reckoned with, something that Cloonan and Dillon are ready to show the reader through how Frank Castle deals with those who cross him.
The end of the first installment will propel you onto the next one. Waiting might be the easy part as this issue leaves the reader with a sense of how dark and twisted the world of the Punisher truly is.