Review: The Punisher #2 – Frank and the Face
Beware: The Punisher does not count spoilers in a review as a crime (spoilers below).
ROAD TRIP. Frank Castle’s hunt has taken him on the road, and bodies will be left in his wake. But with a DEA agent closing in on him, things could get complicated…
People who know me will know that I’m a big fan of all things Punisher. I am grateful to be the man providing you good people with my thoughts and feelings towards the latest run of The Punisher. It’s violent, unforgiving, and gripping. For me, there is nothing to dislike when it comes to The Punisher, it’s great. However, I am not biased, if there’s something I don’t like in these comics, you can be sure that I’ll point it out. Anyway, let’s get into it. I’m looking forward to this.
In terms of the story, not a great deal happens in The Punisher #2, yet the story gets advanced with Frank coming face-to-face for the very first time with new villain – The Face, and learning that the authorities are close on his tail (not that it would be a surprise to Frank Castle that the police are coming for him). I have to say though, that if you’re hoping for something new for The Punisher to do, you will be left disappointed, here we have the standard Punisher story – Punisher hunts criminals (drug pushers and manufacturers in this case), fights said criminals, police are involved somewhere, and Punisher kills as many bad guys as he is able. But let’s be honest, we don’t pick up Punisher comics just for the story, we’re here for the extravagant amount of violence. What we’re given so far in the two available issues is exactly what we’ve come to expect, and I love it.
It’s often rather easy in media to guess which side-characters may die, may survive, but in a series like The Punisher, no one can ever truly tell. For instance, in the closing pages, a young girl is seen strapped with explosives, completely unaware of the danger she is in, or the destruction she could cause. In another series, say – I don’t know, Spider-Man, I would not believe in a million years that this girl would die in such a violent way; but here, here in the world of The Punisher, there is every chance that this girl is history.
With a cliffhanger such as that, readers are sure to pick up the next issue to see exactly how the Punisher deals with this development.
In terms of artwork, let me start by getting the negative aspect out of the way. If there is one thing that can put me off a comic, it’s the art. Steve Dillon’s art is fine for the most part, but I cannot fathom why he cannot / does not draw more than one face, and I find it incredibly distracting. His Punisher looks like his Wolverine, which looks like his Peter Parker, which looks like his Kingpin, which looks like his Bullseye, which looks like his… Hulk. Perhaps his Punisher exists in a universe where everyone is related? I am a big fan of The Punisher, the characters, and many of the stories, and it makes me sad that Dillon seems to be the ‘go-to’ guy for Punisher art, purely because of the faces.
Anyway, enough of that, and now that it’s out of the way, let’s move on to the positives: Well, that’s difficult, you see, I can’t actually see any. The artwork of Steve Dillon really does not suit The Punisher. He is not one of Marvel’s flamboyant superheroes, he’s dark, gritty, and overt in his violence. The art offered does not supply readers with the grit that they have come to expect from a man like Frank Castle. …So yeah, I guess you can say I’m not particularly a fan of Mr. Dillon’s work.
All in all, it was a decent issue. Nothing special, but it moves the story along. Long term fans of the series will most likely enjoy this issue for what it is, while new-found fans will be engaged by the set-up, violent shoot-out, and story telling. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where this tale goes.
Written by: Becky Cloonan.
Art by: Steve Dillon.
Cover by: Declan Shalvey.
The Punisher #2 is available now.
Image credits: Marvel Comics.