Saturday, June 20, 2009

Punisher: Naked Kill #1

Well. Jonathan Mayberry may be a good horror writer, but he's treading too close to Garth Ennis' Slavers arc from Punisher MAX. Mayberry tries to amp up the deviant-nature of his pr0n-related story but all he did was make things less personal. At some point, the levels of gore and horror in these Punisher morality tales render them sort of an exercise in violence to me. What made Ennis so good was how he could make you HATE his villains and sympathize with the victims. The Punisher was the wrath of God. We couldn't wait to see him destroy his enemies.

Mayberry tries to follow that recipe, setting up a horrific torture-ring that destroys Eastern European women. The action is set in a fortress-like office building that is packed with security devices. The problem is, as the Punisher works his way through, there isn't any real increase in our investment in the story. Sure, Punisher kills this guy with a mop, that guy with pencils, someone over there with a pad of paper or whatever, but there is never any real doubt as to the outcome or even enough of a connection to care. I want Punisher to save the women, but man, this comic was so dark it was hard to read. I suppose part of my feelings about this comic are that I don't like seeing this type of material in my escapist hobby, and when it is there, I expect it to be handled as well as when Ennis did a few years ago.

Laurence Campbell is perfectly fine with the art. I found it interesting that in such an adult-themed story that he avoided "showing" much of anything. The content was MAX due to the plot and the violence, but the art focused on the violence more than anything else (a wise choice, I would think). This ended up not being my style of story.


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