Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Punisher War Journal Vol. 1 Civil War Hardcover Review

Punisher War Journal Vol. 1 - Civil War
Marvel Comics
144 pages
ISBN 9780785127758

Contributors: Matt Fraction, Ariel Olivetti, Mike Deodato, Dean White, and Rain Beredo

Reprints: Punisher War Journal (2007) #1-4 and #1 black-and-white edition

Synopsis: The Punisher's war on crime crosses paths with the superhero civil war.  G.W. Bridge is out of retirement and helping SHIELD take down Frank Castle.  Meanwhile Castle puts the finishing move on Stilt-Man and hooks up with the newest "Micro" - former villain Stuart "Rampage" Clarke.  He's got a mad-on for everything Tony Stark and is only too willing to help.  Now outfitted with anti-SHIELD devices the Punisher is back in business.  He quickly gets a seat at Captain America's table after saving Spider-Man's life, but how long can the Punisher's methods be ignored by Cap?

Next the wake for Stilt-Man is held and all the villains in New York show up to pay their respects (or hit on his widow).  What better time for the Punisher to make a hit of his own?

Pros: Good art by Olivetti and Deodato, interesting story by Fraction which fits seamlessly into the Civil War crossover, stories are fun and irreverent, but completely deadly, sketchbook

Cons: Punisher existing with lame villains lessens him, black-and-white edition - who really cares?, price tag is expensive for only four unique issues (paperback is probably cheaper)

Mike Tells It Straight: Fraction writes a decent Punisher, but the stories here are much tamer than the MAX version by Ennis.  Here we have Frank running around killing losers dressed in Halloween costumes and interacting with heroes dressed much the same way.  He's still ruthless, but there's a humor and juvenile fun to it all.  If you want an entertaining, but slightly less serious Punisher then you're in the right place.

TO BUY and Recommendations: