Comic Book series of the week: The Punisher

By Parker Otto

Among Marvel’s darkest characters, “The Punisher” continues to bring readers into the violent and gritty world of Frank Castle who brings justice as the titular anti-hero. With the Netflix series centered around the character ended, fans of the character will want to continue their Punisher fix with this comic series.

After losing his family to a mob hit, former Marine Frank Castle uses his military experience and thirst for vengeance to fight crime with the alias The Punisher. The character was originally created to be an enemy of Spider-Man by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru but has since become one of the most popular comic characters in Marvel Multiverse.

With a monthly publication schedule, “The Punisher” centers on Castle’s vendetta against the evil organization Hydra. Hydra had previously brainwashed Castle to carry out assassinations which crossed his moral code. In the latest issue, “The Punisher 8,” Castle has been imprisoned in the Hydra controlled nation of Bagalia and plots a prisonbreak with some of his fellow inmates so he can deal a severe blow to the nation.

What makes the series stand out is the writing and how adult it is. This is not a comic meant for young kids and it contains swearing and gorey violence. And that is the main appeal of the character. There have been hundreds of heros who have chosen not to kill but The Punisher not only throws this rule out the window, but takes as much liberty as possible with the ways he takes people out. Matthew Rosenberg clearly understands what people love about the character and exploits it as much as possible.

The art by Szymon Kudranski is somewhat similar to David Mazzucchelli’s work on “Batman: Year One” by being both gritty and smooth at the same time. The characters are drawn with a smooth precision but the colors are as bleak as Castle’s soul. The violence is drawn with detail so that when someone is stabbed, the viewer can feel every bit of pain.

“The Punisher” manages to combine two items which, sadly, have become more exclusive in action stories. Solid character development and creative action which furthers the narrative. It’s a comic that will make anyone who claims that comics are for children quickly recant their words.


Local vendors of “The Punisher” are:

Graham Crackers Comics 901 Lucinda Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115