This is sort of an “imaginary story” recasting various characters from the Marvel Universe as aliens in an alternate universe. Here, Frank Castle is still a man seeking revenge for the deaths of his family members, but this time, he’s a jet pack-wearing, space ship-driving cosmic mercenary. He’s aided by a sentient space craft, Marie and a robot helper, Chip. His targets are the Six-Fingered Hand, the most powerful crime bosses in the galaxy and this issue opens with him finding one of them, the Sym-Brood-Ant Queen– the Brood from the ‘X-Men’ augmented by Venom-like symbiotes. Unlike the regular Punisher, this one cuts loose with a sonic disrupter and an enrgy blaster. Chip helps him out while also stealing information from their computer. Finally, Castle and Chip escape as a black hole bomb ends the Sym-Brood-Ant threat permanently.
Their information leads them to a drug dealer named The Barracuda. To find him, they visit the bar called The Starjammer, owned by a sleazy version of Cyclops’ father Corsair. (Loads of fun cameos here.) Finally, he locates Barracuda and learns the identities of the remaining villains in The Six (now Five) Finger’s Hand.
Dr. Octopus, The Green Goblin, Magneto, The Red Skull and Ultron… alien versions of them, at least.
This was a fun read. It was neat seeing the reinterpretations of the different characters. There were also a couple of clever transitions between scenes. This Punisher is much more social and talkative than he is over in his regular title. (For example read my review of ‘Punisher’ #11.) More cocky and badass. Unfortunately, I don’t really like that type of character. But that’s a me thing, not a flaw.
I’ve seen Mark Texeira’s art before, but this looks nothing like I’ve ever seen from him. I believe it’s rendered in watercolors or at least has that look to it. The colors can be a little muted at times, but it switches up enough that that isn’t that big a gripe.
Overall, I’d say this was enjoyable, but just not quite enough to bring me back for more. But if you like characters like Lobo that are tough and badass, you might like it.
SPACE: PUNISHER #1
Written by Frank Tieri
Art and Cover by Mark Texeira