Monday, May 4, 2009

Punisher #4

Last issue Frank was on the run from a bunch of killers dressed as cops, this time Frank's after them. Now that he knows they are not cops, he proceeds to obliterate squad after squad of killers, usually dropping pretty good one-liners and quips while he does it. He doesn't descend to Spider-Man level of joking, more like what Bruce Willis did in Die Hard. In fact, I got a real Die Hard vibe from much of the issue, with one hero having control of the situation and being a nightmare for the organized baddies to deal with. As he watches his plan unravel, the Hood gets more and more frustrated. I enjoyed how he tried to toughen up the Grizzly's rep, and dispatching him to deal with Frank's helper Henry was a nice move, I hope Grizzly isn't dead though. I saw the "reveal" with Hood's helper coming last issue, even though I don't think there is a way this could have happened. That character is dead, and if death doesn't hold tier 2 supporting characters like this, I don't see why we should ever worry about anyone in the Marvel U. I know Rick Remender wants to get some shock value from the "betrayal," but that the price of doing business with the Punisher. Everyone around him dies, friend and enemy, so writers have to deal with that. Adding resurrections into the Punisher's gritty corner of the Marvel U weakens his core concept. Henry is filling in the role admirably, and I just don't care for dredging up a character unnecessarily. The re-focusing of the book this issue is a good idea. The Hood has been tasked to deal with Punisher, so I like having the Punisher re-target to the Hood, planning to deal with Norman Osborn later. The Hood can continue calling out disposable characters for Punisher to work through, giving the book a nice setup that can last for a long time. I just hope we don't have too many cool retro villains killed off.

Jereme Opena is getting better. The art isn't as scratchy and he's getting a nice sense of timing for well-placed pinup shots. His storytelling is getting better too, the close-quarted shootouts and misdirections were easy to follow and quite fun.


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