Friday, February 13, 2004

Second Opinion

Chris Allen had this to say about Ennis' new Punisher title under Marvel's MAX imprint.

I’m not really clear why this title needed to be relaunched under the MAX imprint, as it was plenty violent enough as a Marvel Knights title, but Ennis sure takes advantage of the increased creative freedom. Fittingly, it reprises his origin for new readers, moving quickly to what comprises the largest portion of the first issue, a huge Mafia gala-turned-bloodbath, with La Rosa drawing some of the most graphic and realistic images of bloodshed ever seen in a Marvel book. Dean White’s coloring is a big part of the effect as well, sticking mainly to a realistic palette intercut with panels with a kind of a gold patina to make them stand out more. Issue #2 gives more of the Mafia’s perspective, as the remaining soldiers are scrambling to find new leadership and a plan to take the Punisher out. It’s good, cinematic storytelling, though it’s not yet in service of much of a story. Right now, it’s a reintroduction of Frank Castle and what he does best, which is killing criminals, though long-time fans will be delighted or infuriated at the return of a character not seen in many years. It seems that perhaps the awful final arc by Ennis of the previous volume was perhaps a thumbed nose at Marvel for having to put superheroes into the book, but at any rate, this is the kind of Punisher he’s best at, played straight.

Glad to see I'm not the only one enjoying it. For more by Allen, check out his Breakdowns column, the link has just been added to the right of the page.


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