The Punisher #1 Review: Frank Castle Returns to Form
Marvel Brings Back Castle in The Punisher #1
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Matt Rosenberg
Art by Szymon Kudranski
Colors by Antonio Fabela
After spending much of the last year as Ghost Rider, Cosmic Ghost Rider, War Machine, a Hydra Agent, Frank Castle is back as the classic Punisher in a gritty return in The Punisher #1. The latest reboot of the classic title will appeal to the readers who value the dark, violent storylines that the Punisher belongs in. This series is a great place for new or returning readers to get in on.
Baron Zemo leads Hydra, with the help of the Mandarin, as they setup facilities in London and Staten Island while building alliances with prominent international corporations. Most of the issue centers around the villains and their building of alliances and establishments throughout the globe, while the Punisher’s primary role is that of the shadowy spoiler of their plans.
Castle’s most impactful scene comes at the end leaving him, once again, the enemy of not only the issue’s villains, but of the public and likely heroes within the Marvel Universe. Frank’s best storylines are when he’s left without allies and forced to fight villains from the shadows.
Rosenberg lays the groundwork for a classic Punisher storyline with a strong base of villains, consequences that leave him backed into a corner, and even includes other MU characters who don’t overpower the plot, but will play their part in the series. With a seemingly never-ending selection of Hydra agents who regaining power with influential political and economic partners, the storyline has the potential to be a long, uphill battle for Frank that could last longer than a few issues, which Marvel has more often pandered to the ADD-reader base.
The artwork by Kudranski is perfect for this series with dark imaging that captures the gritty world that was setup by Rosenberg with heavy shadowing and genuine capturing of characters emotions. This is probably the best, most realistic and scariest depiction of Zemo I’ve seen in comics.
The first issue should surely appeal to all Punisher fans with his return to his creepy/stalker/psycho-killer that we all love without the gimmicks.