Wowsers, did that suck.
The writing sucks.
The art sucks.
For publishing this, Marvel sucks.
This review sucks.
That grade is a 5 minus, not a negative 5. It is so damn close to being a 4, meaning that it is below professional level. As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't put it that low.
I've never been a fan of the Punisher. He is not a hero. He is not even an anti-hero. He is a murderer. As a pulp character, he would have worked. As a non-hero is a series of 80 or so nondescript, cheaply made, quickly written, dull and boring novels, he would have worked (to the extent that those kinds of books actually work).
I've heard that Remender is a good writer. It doesn't show here. The first 3 pages are set on Monster Island, but appear to have nothing to do with the rest of the story. That Frank Castle has been turned from a human being into a Frankenstein's Monster is something that can't be undone. The character is forever changed. Marvel has lost the character that so many have cared for in the past.
I've seen Moore's art before, and it was better than this. There is no depth to the work. I would guess that this was done on a computer -- the inking sure looks like it. As drawn, Man-Thing looks to be at least 20-25 feet tall. Do they actually make sewers that big? I suppose it's possible.
And I must harp on editorial a bit, because they are the ultimate hands that control the outgoing product. Whoever wrote the re-cap left out a few commas, (arguably) changed tenses for one word, and let confusing wording stand that allows a mis-reading of who the subject of the sentence is.* They may have also let one paragraph be separated into two. But looking at it, they may have done this for the sake of the readers who might enjoy this type of story -- people who get confused by too many words in one paragraph. (Hmmm, maybe I should split this paragraph.)
To sum, this is the lowest edge of mediocrity. I'm sorry I read it, and sorry that I can't get back the time spent. If all of Marvel's books were this bad, they'd soon be out of business. I suppose this book had to see print, though, as Marvel has first printing rights at the printer, so the more books they publish, the fewer that can be printed for other companies. That's one way to control the market.
* And my English is not perfect by any means. I'm not sure which is proper usage in this case, 'who' or 'whom'...mis-reading of who the subject of the sentence is...or even if that is a proper sentence construction en toto.
I was perfectly content before I was born.