Saturday, May 30, 2009
Nicely done, Rick Remender. How do you have Punisher, a man who kills his villains, go up against Marvel U villains without rapidly depleting the Marvel U of its C-list villains? You resurrect a whole helluva lot of them. I was pretty annoyed at Microchip's return last issue, but I'll take it back now because the emotional resonance of the confrontation this issue. Micro wants Punisher to just stop fighting, and if he does, the Hood will resurrect Frank's family and Micro's son, and everyone's lives can go back to normal. I do wish Frank would have thought about it a few minutes more, because certainly that would have to be a tempting offer, but Frank just goes right back into the fighting. Remender uses a fun little bunch of thugs as Micro's backup, a group that includes the Brothers Grimm, the Grizzly, and Mr. Hyde. Punisher quickly deals with them, but finds Mr. Hyde to be a lot tougher than advertised. Hyde is a great villain, and I'd argue an A-list one, so I'm glad to see him get the respect he does this issue. Sure Frank beats him, but I'm ok with that. I'm also digging how Remender is keeping Osborn as a part of the conflict, but not the focus. The Hood wouldn't be my first guess for a foil for the Punisher, but he is working surprisingly well.
The Hood resurrects a slew of villains on the closing page, setting up lots of people for Frank to kill over the next few issues. I recognized some Ani-Men, Mirage from Spectacular Spider-Man, and I think the Death-Adder and Bluestreak from Gruenwald's Cap. In fact, it looks like this panel undoes a lot of Scourge's work from the late 80s!
Jerome Opena does a great job with Punisher expanding his armory to include the cast-offs from other heroes. Ant-Man's helmet is the only one I recognized, but I love that Frank took the time to personalize all his gear with Punisher skulls. Those little details of Opena's on the motorcyle, the helmet, and the other equipment really paints Frank as a man who enjoys his work.