RECOMMENDED: Nathan Edmondson's "The Punisher"
- by Ninja Ross, 17 September 2014
Who doesn’t love The Punisher? Drug dealers probably don’t like him. Murderers, Nazis, etc probably don’t like him much, either... A lot of people probably don’t like that guy. YOU like that guy, right? So do I! That’s nice.
Nathan Edmondson is writing the latest Punisher series, with art provided by Mitch Gerads, and it’s pretty darn fantastic. I’ll tell you why in just 581 Words startinnnnggggggg NOW.
In Edmondson’s run on the Punisher, he takes him to L.A, rather than just having him tear up New York as usual. It’s difficult to picture Frank anywhere other than dark, dreary New York City. It’s even harder to picture him in sunny Los Angeles! But hey, guys like Frank need to work on their tan sometimes.
What brings Frank to Hollywood, you ask? Why, a nefarious gang by the name of “Dos Soles” does! That, and a mysterious weapon, later revealed to be Electro.
Despite being quite the change in scenery, though, it’s nice to see him working a new area, getting to know the place. Meeting new people. Killing them.
Not that he kills everyone, of course! We have a few new characters thrown in. Like a restaurant owner named Lou, who enjoys trading insults with Frank while serving breakfast. He’s nice.
Frank’s weapon guy is an old friend by the name of Tuggs, who probably isn’t supposed to be supplying Frank with weapons... But the guy wears sunglasses, so he’s obviously legit.
One new cast member, however, is Officer Stone of the L.A.P.D. She’s quite clearly being set up as some sort of “new Punisher,” or a Punisher sidekick. This is far from a new idea and, in my opinion, usually tends to be the weakest point of any Punisher book.
Also, Frank gets a coyote named Loot! He saves Loot from a couple of members of the nefarious “the Dos Soles.” Folks, True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes. Add a group calling themselves “The Howling Commandos” aiming to kill Frank and you’ve got yourself a party!
Later on in the series, Frank is taken out of the L.A scene and placed in Mexico, where he’s traded to Crossbones on behalf of a mysterious buyer. Things happen, things explode and people are killed. Just what you want from a Punisher book! As of right now, Frank is in a Central American prison, thanks to a situation with Black Widow. All sorts of mayhem ensues with more to come. MAYHEM, I TELL YOU!!!
Edmondson’s writing here doesn’t really add anything too new to the character, but it’s a darn good read. He has a good grasp on what makes Frank Castle so loveable; he makes him a killing machine with a disturbing lack of emotion.
Edmondson’s Punisher is, at times, very reminiscent of Ennis’ run on the MAX series. It’s dark in all the right places, with the occasional bit of humour. Frank’s a little bit more sarcastic than Ennis’ version, but it doesn’t take anything away from the character at all.
The art is also very awesome. Mitch Gerad’s style is pretty similar to Goran Parlov, one of my favourite Punisher artists (along with Leandro Fernandez and Mike Zeck). But his style doesn’t come off as a copy, by any means; it’s very unique to him. It’s gritty and dark, which is ideal for a Punisher book.
Guest artist Carmen Carnero’s work ain’t too bad, either; it’s similar enough to Gerad’s style that it isn’t too jarring when reading the books in one sitting, but it’s different enough that it’s easy to appreciate. It’s good work and Carnero really suits the character.
It’s difficult to get Punisher to work in the regular Marvel universe, but Edmondson is doing it with ease. He’s avoiding throwing every Marvel character into the mix and there isn’t a big event tie in, so far. That’s all good news!
I highly recommend this book, as you can tell. It’s nice to see Frank Castle doing what he does best. GO GET IT.
Are you reading the current "Punisher" series? Do you agree with our recommendation? Leave us a comment below!