The new Punisher series that started in late 2011 is something that I have been picking up from the shelves. I have read the first two issues, so far, and am really impressed. The biggest reason for my love of these issues has been the art – both the cover art and the interior art. I gave the first issue a “cover of the month” award already, but issue two has many of the elements that made me love the first issue’s cover. Both are very bold, very colorful, and full of action. I really love the art on the covers done by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Paul Mounts.
The interior art is also excellent – it’s been done by Marco Checchetto and Matt Hollingsworth. I think I really like the work that these two artists create because I recognized their work immediately. I had seen it before and loved it; they did some of the Daredevil/Shadowland stuff that I really enjoyed. Some of the reasons I enjoyed that work is present in this Punisher series. I love the art because its full of action – from a variety of angles that are not confusing or cramped – and the coloring and inking is phenomenal. It’s really bold and colorful art, that cannot be emphasized enough.
The reason I am dwelling so much on the artwork is because I think most artists draw Punisher in a very dark and noir sort of way – or, at least, as they interpret dark and “noir.” I can understand that and most of the time that is a successful method. However, this colorful Punisher is awesome. Another difference is that Castle seems to be young-looking in this series. I like that because all of the other interpretations of Castle seem to make him edgy and grizzled. It’s a welcome difference to the character that I am appreciating.
In issue two, there are two pages in particular that I want to mention as being really good. They are in the South Bronx at a criminal hang out and the Punisher is making an entrance. The color scheme is blacks and reds/pinks. This is quite fitting because it’s nighttime and it gives that bloody, seedy sense to all of the frames. There is a frame on the lower left page that shows Castle firing his sidearm and the fiery blast from the shot is excellent – I feel like I am right there in the scene.
The issues are being written by Greg Rucka, and while he is a famous writer, I really do not have much to say about him in general, besides name recognition. So far in the Punisher series, I am liking the storyline. I was slightly confused about the names of the people in the first issue, but now I am on board. The second issue was well-written. I like how the Frank Castle is not speaking much and is just doing – and, of course, we know what he does.
The last page is a two-page spread of the Vulture surprising Castle. Again, the artwork has lots of movement and definitely makes the reader want to find out what happens next. Vulture looks scary in this shot, not goofy or silly. So, I do want to read the next issue.