Friday, March 10, 2017


THE PUNISHER (2016) No. 1

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Becky Cloonan
ART: Steve Dillon
COLORS: Frank Martin
LETTERS: VC's Cory Petit
COVER: Declan Shalvey with Jordie Bellaire
VARIANT COVERS: Alex Maleev; Tim Bradstreet; John Cassaday; John Tyler Christopher; Francesco Mattina; Todd Nauck with Rachelle Rosenberg; Phil Noto; Chris Samnee with Matthew Wilson; Christopher Stevens with Frank Martin; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2016)

Parental Advisory – Not for Kids

The Punisher is a Marvel Comics vigilante and antihero.  The Punisher was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist John Romita, Sr. and made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (cover-dated: February 1974).  The Punisher is Frank Castle, a man whose wife and children were killed during a mob shootout in New York City's Central Park.  That tragedy was the impetus for Castle's one-man war on crime, especially against organized criminals like the mob, street gangs, drug dealers, etc.

Over the last 30 years, Marvel has published numerous ongoing comic book series and miniseries starring The Punisher and even a few variations on the character.  Now, there is the launch of a new ongoing comic book series.  The Punisher is written by Becky Cloonan; drawn by Steve Dillon; colored by Frank Martin; and lettered by Cory Petit.

The Punisher #1 opens in the Brooklyn warehouse district.  There, the organization, Condor, prepares a major push for its news narcotic product, “EMC.”  However, in a nearby warehouse, the D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency) watches and prepares for an early morning take down of Condor's operations.  Meanwhile, The Punisher plans to strike first.

After John Romita, who designed the character, of course, I consider Mike Zeck and Steve Dillon to be the iconic Punisher comic book artists.  I am reading this new Punisher comic book because Steve Dillon is drawing it.  His interpretation of The Punisher always came across to me as a rock-solid, relentless, machine-monster with some hellbent programming that directs him to kill mobsters and criminal scum wherever they are.

However, there is something else about this new series that intrigues me.  Becky Cloonan is writing The Punisher, and she may be the first woman to write an ongoing Punisher comic book.  I am curious to see where Cloonan takes this series, especially as she offers at least three supporting characters with the potential to capture her readers' imaginations.

So I'm down to give this fresh start of The Punisher a chance.  It could be the best Punisher in a long time.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint or syndication rights and fees.


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