Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Punisher MAX #6

By Dan Horn
April 14, 2010 - 23:58

The surprisingly lukewarm Aaron and Dillon run trudges forward.

Hardly comparable to the colossal run, spanning 60 issues and several other series based on the titular character, of long-time Punisher scribe Garth Ennis, and not nearly either Jason Aaron’s or Steve Dillon’s best works respectively, this new Punisher MAX series has satiated some while leaving others feeling jipped. The unfortunate truth, if you take a step back and take a good hard look at the way Aaron and Dillon came on to the series, is this: while Remender’s Punisher series was a sleeper hit, Marvel was having a horrible time finding a creative team that successfully filled Ennis shoes in the ultra-violent MAX series department. The solution? Hand the reigns over to Jason Aaron, who has proven his grit with Vertigo’s ongoing neo-western crime drama Scalped, and Ennis’ choice illustrator for years and Punisher aficionado Steve Dillon.

The result of the line-up change was a little more than underwhelming for die-hard Frank Castle fans that originally saw Aaron and Dillon’s appropriation of the anti-hero’s series as a glimmer of hope. With a strange modern day rehash that has no bearings in continuity and artwork that is hardly gritty or reminiscent of Dillon’s usually archetypal work, Punisher MAX doesn’t offer much to keep fans reading. The plots are thin, the dialogue and narration is scarce, and there’s just not a whole lot to look at: Not much style, not much substance.

With issue 6, Aaron and Dillon introduce Bullseye into the mix and do in fact spice things up quite a bit compared to previous issues. Aaron adds some depth to Frank's internal fight as his age and his conscience seem to be creeping up on him at long last. But, there's still something off about the whole thing. They tout Bullseye as this unstoppable expert in the art form of murder, yet he's still using these goofy methods of killing his targets that have been ripped straight out of numerous Hollywood scripts. Not to mention, at one point *SPOILER ALERT* the professional killer has Frank Castle in his cross hairs and lets the Punisher see a glint from his scope! What kind of amateurish BS is that? And then he grazes Castle's throat with a .50 round? You can't just graze someone with a .50 bullet. It's preposterous. I felt like I was reading a graphic adaption of a ridiculous action movie, and that would have been completely fine if I thought that's what Jason Aaron was going for. But, if that is what he's shooting for, he's completely missed the bullseye... Pun intended, naturally.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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