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Royal Reviews: Punisher: In the Blood #1

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Saturday, November 06 2010 and posted in Reviews

Royal Nonesuch takes a look at the return of The Punisher to the streets of the Marvel Universe!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

COVER BY: Francesco Mattina
Frank Castle is back. Back for revenge. Back in New York. Back to cleaning its streets. Back together, healed and strong, his mission resumed as he partakes in the sweet wet work, and notches up one of the highest body counts in Punisher history. Cyber sensei Henry Russo is back, keeping Frank proficient with an eye in the sky. Others are back as well two of Frank's most sadistic enemies united in a new vindictive plot: Enter the Jigsaw Bothers! 32 PGS./Parental Advisory/$3.99

PRICE: 3.99
IN STORES: November 3, 2010


They should've killed Osborn day one.  But that's not their method.  Their method is drawn out.  Slow.  Chock full of ineffective ideology.  Ideology that destroys cities.  Levels homes.  Kills civilians.  So I do my duty.  I do what they can't. 

With the undead "Franken-Castle" era flushed out of his (and, presumably, writer Rick Remender's) system, The Punisher snaps back to his usual M.O.-- killing scumbags in the streets.  While The Punisher has always concerned himself more with your run of the mill gangsters, hoods, and thugs, Remender makes sure to differentiate this version of the character with the MAX iteration by dropping him right into the Marvel Universe milieu.  There's plenty of talk of Dread Dormammu, superheroes, resurrections, and we even glimpse some Moloids as Castle is entering and exiting his sewer hideout.  Of course the most effervescent of Big-2 storytelling aspects, namely branding, makes itself known as well through The Punisher's motorcycle and hang glider (!), which are emblazoned with his skull insignia.  It all goes to show that even in 2010, there is a place for Frank Castle in the mainline Marvel Universe, and Remender finds it.

Remender writes Castle as a man of singular vision and few words, even in his internal monologue.  The Punisher doesn't have much to say, as he lets his actions speak for him.  Nowhere is this made more clear than in his interactions with Henry Russo, his computer hacker buddy.  During his attempts to bond with Frank, Henry only finds a driven monster who  wants to hear about whatever information he has on The Hood, the current target of The Punisher's mission.  When Castle is alone with his thoughts, he gets right to the point.  He notes, as in the lines quoted above, the difference between his methods and those of his superhero brethren, as well as why it's better that he not keep many companions, considering he's about to draw down on Microchip, who once occupied Henry Russo's seat.  

Roland Boschi and Dan Brown bring an interesting European flair to the look of Frank Castle's world.  It's very impressionistic and focused.  Just like The Punisher doesn't want to hear anymore than what's absolutely necessary, Boschi doesn't give us more than what we absolutely need to see.  This focused style makes Frank's story more intimate and personal.  It's a gritty and certainly appropriate way to illustrate this story about this man.

Remender's work on The Punisher has already put the character through some harrowing paces, and considering the hints about the identity of the masked assailant at the end of this issue, PUNISHER: IN THE BLOOD is going to bring a lot of the same intensity.  The life of Frank Castle isn't going to get any easier, but it should be fun to read about. 

Review by: Royal Nonesuch

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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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