Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Punisher War Journal #26

FINAL ISSUE. I'm going to end up with a totally random smattering of issues in this volume of War Journal. This final issue is a nice character bit for the Punisher as we see him almost break his primary rules. He's staking out the bar he destroyed at the beginning of the series, waiting for a gang of bozos to outfit a new Stilt Man. Punisher is planning on blowing them away as soon as they leave. In a neat little opening sequence, Fraction actually shows us mugshots and rap sheets for each of the major players, with only one a hard-core criminal. That guy gets what you'd imagine. The real crux of the story is the Punisher's new friend Rhino (that does sound crazy, doesn't it?) trying to convince Frank that he does't punish the stupid, just the guilty. These other criminals are blundering around in the Stilt Man suit, but they're not evil, more stupid. Rhino successfully convinces the Punisher that he can't punish people for things they haven't done. It was a nice little interlude set against Christmas, definitely worth picking up as a stand alone.

The art is by Andy MacDonald, a name I don't recognize. He has a vaguely Leandro Fernandez style, which we've seen on Punisher before. The Punisher himself is a little bulkier and brooding than most of the other characters, which is fine. His Stilt Man actually looked pretty good. As a series, I'd say it is probably worth picking up random issues or trades, but this book never really blew me away.


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