The Punisher. Issue 8. Comic Book Review

The Punisher #8
(Rucka. Checchetto. Hollingsworth.)

PREVIOUSLY… Stephanie Gerard, leader of The Exchange, has tasked a former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent named Christine Poulsen to kill The Punisher. Meanwhile, the sole survivor of a wedding day massacre, Rachel Cole, uses her friendship with a reporter named Norah Winters to identify and eliminate targets. She’s made her way to upstate New York to deal with The Exchange… unaware that The Punisher is also in pursuit.

I bought The Punisher #1 when it came out eight months back. It’s a title I’d avoided for a while because, past the age of 18, The Punisher killing people repeatedly gets a little old. Once you’ve seen him batter The IRA while Garth Ennis cracks wise, there’s little room for improvement.

And honestly, I didn’t think The Punisher #1 fared much better.

It felt like many of the NuDC titles. Not so great as a standalone piece, a tad slow and thoughtful where more of a ‘this is who the character is’ feel would’ve worked better. So I stopped reading the title, and left it alone for seven months. Then, upon discovering there was a comic-book store in Aylesbury, I picked up #8 up.

I’m glad I did.

THIS is good writing for The Punisher. The story is about death in a vague sense, but we’re actually getting some gritty character development. Frank sports a beard, a lot of bandages, and a ‘play it careful’ approach. He’s not killing everyone repeatedly, he’s putting his military training to good use. And he’s paired with a great character in Rachel Cole, who went through a similar experience and, subtly, you can tell The Punisher doesn’t want her to go down the same route, as he knows that the vengeance never ends.

It’s not groundbreaking writing, but it adds shades to the character. The artwork plays this up, having a simple composition that isn’t trying to wow you with neat tricks. Everything is portrayed matter of fact, with a slightly dark hue that befits the character. Any scene with lots of light feels out of place, an intentional choice designed to let us know how Frank still has a long way to go.

Judging by the quality of this issue, I’ll be back for more.

Grade: B+

Copyright © 2012 MCM BUZZ – Movies, TV, Comics, Gaming, Anime, Cosplay News & Reviews