Saturday, June 20, 2009

Punisher Frank Castle MAX #71

I realize this is going to make me look crazy, but I loved this comic. After reading the upsetting and ultraviolent Naked Kill, this comic helped me realize what I want from my Punisher stories. The bad guys have to be original and despicable, and I have to be rooting for Frank Castle to shoot each one of them. This storyline delivers.

Castle is driving through the bayou when he is passed by a rowdy carful of spring breakers. He stops at the same gas station they do, and immediately realizes something is wrong with the locals running the place. As he notes oddities around the store, he interacts in a polite enough fashion with the partiers, who seem like amiable doofballs. They're silly party people, but they seem harmless enough. The situation catches Frank's eye enough that he decides to pull over and wait for their car to pass after he leaves the gas station. It never does.

Frank doubles back to check on the kids, and there is no sign of them. He does some quick investigation, but he's got a "package" that is waking up in the trunk of the car, and he really doesn't have time to deal with this. He knows he's getting the runaround from a hot little swamp slut, and it does seem like trouble... Meanwhile, we catch up with the spring breakers, where the two ladies are in their underwear in a cage, one guy is being carved up for the grill, and the last dude is being fed to a 12-fool long alligator named General Lee. That's some fine villainy right there! I never realized how well Punisher works inserted into horror movie situations. This is the movie Wrong Turn with a few neat additions like General Lee and the hottie, it's just a ton of fun. Best comic I've read all week.

Goran Parlov is a fantastic Punisher artist. He can handle the brooding hulk that is the Punisher, but he can handle the violence and goons when he needs to. He draws pretty ladies, so it is always nice when the story includes them too. Seeing his pencils does make me miss Barracuda though. Parlov is the perfect artist for this story and I can't wait for the next issue. I'm grabbing the trade for certain.


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