Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Punisher War Journal Vol. 3 Hunter/Hunted Review

Punisher War Journal Vol. 3 - Hunter/Hunted
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
152 pages
ISBN 9780785126645

Contributors: Matt Fraction, Ariel Olivetti, Cory Walker, Dave Stewart, Scott Wegener, and Howard Chaykin

Reprints: Punisher War Journal (2007) #12-17

Synopsis: World War Hulk lands in NYC with the Punisher goes head-to-head with an alien badass.  Stuart gears him up with some serious toys to even the playing field. 

Kraven's son has assumed his father's legacy and gone a step further -- he's caging animal-themed heroes and villains to create his own warped menagerie.  Frank goes in search of the Rhino and ends up being the hunted.

The Gibbon survived the Punisher's bombing at Stilt-Man's wake from issue #4 and vows revenge.  He's building up the nerve to take down the Punisher, but is he really hardcore enough to make the attempt?

Stuart "Rampage" Clarke is approached by his ex-wife -- Sunset Bain.  Sound familiar?  She's a major tech player in future-themed stories and a thorn in Tony Stark's side in the present.  Stuart helped rebuild the War Machine armor and send it after Iron Man, but now the armor has resurfaced and Bain wants it.  She'll do anything to manipulate her former lover into doing her dirty work. 

Pros: Fraction's script work, Chaykin's art

Cons: Four different artists with completely different styles

Mike Tells It Straight: Fraction's writing goes up a notch as he offers us four very different stories.  He shows a lot of range by mixing humor with extreme violence.  His Punisher remains a decidedly sillier incarnation of the character, but it's a fun ride regardless.  The Rampage/Sunset Bain story by Chaykin is by far the best of the four.

TO BUY and Recommendations: