The Punisher #2
Two Hydra agents meet in Times Square. The Punisher is just another face in the crowd behind them. Meanwhile, smelly Zemo is staging a re-enactment of the bounty hunter scene from Empire, but hasn’t invited Boba Fett?! #rude #wheresthebeef
The Punisher shoots one of the agents in the middle of Times Square because of course, he does. He tackles the other down the subway steps and proceeds to use enhanced interrogation techniques on him (I’ll discuss this in the review, but for now imagine me giving a disapproving look.)
The police find the body and are understandably unwilling to follow Frank into the sewers.
Dario is unimpressed by the headlines Hydra is generating.
The NYPD raid Frank’s safe house. He grabs a zip-lining cop and leaps through a broken window to “safety.”
Following a phone-call from Fury, Frank (f*****g alliteration Y'all) runs into Luke Cage (literally.)
The Punisher escapes an explosive confrontation with Cage and Iron Fist (hanging around with them is bad for your career prospects anyway.)
Daredevil joins Frank on the subway and he’s not alone…
It’s bitching, Frank doesn’t mess about, so neither will I. It’s a cracking Punisher comic.
I like the spycraft in the second panel. In the third, The Punisher is once again fantastically portrayed as an omnipresent boogeyman in the shadows.
The scripting and timing of the panels are still excellent with several effective, knowing juxtapositions.
It’s also darkly funny (funnier than some nominal comedy titles – I’ll stop saying it when it stops being true.)
Watching Frank at work is like the old cliché, a car crash in slow motion. I kept saying out-loud to his victims “oh snap, you’re screwed now, man!”
I also love that he takes on the ex-Netflix twins simultaneously and remains an absolute badass throughout.
The devil is in the details in this book, violent panels are occasionally framed in red which is another a nice little touch. I also like the use of a first-person perspective.
Szymon Kudranski’s art is spectacular, brutal and at times spectacularly brutal, which brings me to one of my criticisms of the book. To be clear I don’t mind The Punisher being portrayed torturing people, I don’t think anyone has mistaken Frank for a boy scout. My issue is with this book’s complicity in perpetuating the myth that torture works. If you cut a guys hand off he’s pretty much going to tell you whatever you want him to tell you, whether it’s the truth or not. The Brink did a great job illustrating this in a scene where Jack Black was water-boarded until he admitted to being a spy, despite the fact that he wasn’t one. He was willing to say whatever it took to make it stop. To put it another way, if you put a gun to my head and ask me for the nuclear launch codes, I’ll give you my pin number, no problem.
Enough social studies and back to comic book stuff. This page is also notable for some pretty unclear lettering in the bottom left panel, which is a shame as it’s good in the rest of book.
Great at what it does and it doesn’t make any pretense about trying to do anything else. You could make a deep, emotionally affecting comic about The Punisher, but this isn’t it. This is terse, effective writing and scripting with incredible art. Unfortunately, it’s slightly undermined by some problematic views on the efficacy of torture.
The Punisher #2: Is Dick Cheney’s New Favourite Book
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 4/104/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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