By Geoff Hoppe
May 19, 2008 - 10:36
|It's a little indirect, but I think he's pointing a gun at the viewer.|
Frank Castle (the Punisher) is hot on the trail of a group of corrupt utility company execs who plan to drive up stock prices by instigating a power crisis. Castle is also healing from massive wounds incurred at the hands of Barracuda, a walking ghetto stereotype who says "I'm'a" more than a blaxploitation film. He also eats pancakes with his hands, in case the copious ebonics didn't fully convey that he's dangerous and uneducated.
One stereotype isn't enough for Ennis, though. There's also a female villain, Alice Ebbing, who seems to have walked out of a male chauvinist's nightmare. She's beautiful, violent, manipulative and sexually insatiable. When combined with Barracuda, she makes these two issues a singularity of two-dimensional character crappiness, a regular second-rate black hole. Try putting some Faulkner or Orwell on a table next to these issues and watch their believable characters be sucked inwards past the event horizon of horrible writing.
|John Randle is miffed that Frank Castle just farted.|
So? So don't humor him, or the Marvel Max status quo. Comics, their readers-- and, frankly, the character of the Punisher himself-- deserve better.
Goran Parlov's art, which tends to exaggerate to near caricature levels, suits Ennis' style. Given how bad the story was, though, I'd need to see Parlov's work in other titles before I make any real judgment. Props (honestly) to Parlov for his classy nod to Alex Toth in the credits of issue 36.
Worth the money? Nope.