This is it, the start in an all new chapter in the life of Frank Castle… you might know him by another name, The Punisher.
The Punisher seems like a simple character on the surface, the baddies killed his family and left him for dead; now he kills the baddies. As simple as that sounds the Punisher is a great character that many writers have tried and failed to get right. When I heard Greg Rucka was going to be taking the reigns of an all new ‘Punisher’ series my apprehension for a new ‘Punisher’ series quickly disappeared.
Tackling the ‘Punisher’ isn’t like writing a superhero; writing the ‘Punisher’ is a lot like writing a crime series. If there is one writer currently in comics you want writing a crime story, that would be Greg Rucka.
The first think you notice about this book is the amazing artwork by Marco Checchetto and Matt Hollingworth. As I read thru the book I felt like I should have some dark and melodic piece of classical music playing in the background to capture the full effect.
The story kicks off with the brutal attack on a wedding, where most of the wedding party and guests are killed or wounded. On the case is Detective Walter Bolt, where he meets up with his new partner Detective Oscar Cleamons, and they begin their investigation. When it is time to leave for the hospital to interview the survivors, Bolt receives a mysterious text message… “Dead drop Echo 19 minutes. Everything on the wedding”.
We then have two very cryptic pages in a subway station where a not so happy looking Bolt leaves a packet on the seat next to him; and with this we get our first glimpse of the Punisher. Then our detectives are seen following up on a lead together at a seedy bar in the South Bronx. We then are taken to Gravesend, Brooklyn where we (the kindly readers, not the Detectives) see the men who attached the wedding party. When the lights mysteriously go out we know who has paid the bar a visit and the logical outcome. Punishment.
My favorite part of this book though was the second part of the issue, an interview, with then, Officer Walter Bolt dealing with the apparent death of his partner at the time, Officer Scott Moffat. Now, while Bolt is telling his story to Detective Seever, the story he tells only matches what we see for so long, because this is really the story of how he met the Punisher and answers the questions in the first half of the book; why would a police detective give away case details to a vigilante?
I really did enjoy this book and it is a nice way to start off an all new series. I can’t say if my lofty expectations for this book have been met, but the first issue did what it was supposed to do; reel me in so I’ll buy the next issue. And to that I say, “Frak Yeah!”. So make sure you pick up this book this week. You’ll probably want to hit up your comic shop early as it is sure to be a sell-out. Unless of course you thought ahead and added it to your pull-list, if you haven’t go ahead and add it now. We are in for one heck of a good story.