Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

The Punisher #2

By Andy Frisk
August 24, 2011 - 14:49

The only survivor of last issues’ Punisher induced bloodbath leads Frank to the parties responsible for the wedding reception killing that punctuated the events of the first issue of this new, Marvel Universe proper reintroducing, and Greg Rucka penned Punisher/Frank Castle series. The villains fully anticipate and prepare for The Punisher’s arrival though. Like good criminal masterminds, they realize why The Punisher allowed one of the wedding massacre’s shooters to live, and they've prepared a counteractive measure that fully lodges The Punisher in the world of Marvel Universe superheroes and villains.


Rucka continues his masterful storytelling by once again focusing on the characters that support The Punisher while keeping Frank mute throughout the story. While the overall plot is rather uninspired as it unfolds and builds upon last issues events, the way that Rucka writes the supporting characters is completely engaging and satisfying. The scenes where The Punisher takes out a whore house and its abusive madam, and where Rachel Alves, the bride who survived the shooting last issue, begins to remember what happened on her wedding day as she awakens in her hospitable bed are powerful scenes that unfold with little or no dialogue. Series artist Checchetto creates a panel sequence that brings Rucka’s cinematic vision to life strikingly.

Scene from War Zone washed in one dominant color...

Checchetto and Hollingsworth's one color washed image of The Punisher from the new series...

Checchetto’s work continues to be some of the best Punisher/crime noir work I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s incredibly dark visually, but it's not indiscernible. Nearly every scene takes place at night or during a hazy afternoon. Checchetto’s anatomy, attention to detail, and (YES!) background detail are impeccable. He also conveys motion and body language very well. His pencils, coupled with Hollingsworth’s brilliant colors, which complete the mood and noir look, continue to be highly reminiscent of the lighting and set coloring on The Punisher War Zone (2008), which captured The Punisher on film better than any of the previous films starring the character (even if the film’s story left much to be desired).

More one color dominance in the film...

...and the comic.

As mentioned, The Punisher looks to establish Frank as a part of the Marvel Universe of superheroes and villains, and a super villain does show up this issue. The way that Rucka handles this super villain though is just as masterful as he handles The Punisher himself. The villain doesn’t speak, mostly dwells in the shadows, and when he attacks Frank at the end, is revealed to be realistic and horrific enough looking to logically fit into Rucka and Checchetto’s version of The Punisher's stories. The super villain is more a plot advancing device than a plot highlight. Referring again to The Punisher War Zone (2008), Rucka and Checchetto’s incarnation of The Punisher #2’s guest starring super villain would look pretty much at home next to that film’s main villain, Jigsaw.

As a huge fan of The Punisher as an adolescent, who never thought that he’d read a Punisher starring book again after abandoning Punisher War Journal in the late 1980’s, I’m pleasantly surprised and, more importantly, entertained by the character and his stories again, as Rucka and Checchetto imagine him. Hopefully this creative pair will keep him interesting and entertaining.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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