The Creators – Matthew Rosenberg – Writer, Guiu Vilanova – Artist, Lee Loughridge – Colours, VC’s Cory Petit – Letters
The Players – Frank Castle (The Punisher), Nick Fury, Jr. (Marcus Johnson – son of Nick Fury)
The Story – The Punisher likes killing bad guys and Nick Fury, Jr. has a proposal for Frank and a new toy for him to play with that will let him do just that.
The Take – Matthew Rosenberg takes up the reins as the new writer of Marvel’s The Punisher, taking it in a new direction just in time for the premiere of the Netflix television series. Also with this issue, new artist Guiu Vilanova brings the book closer to its cinematic counterpart by making Frank Castle look as close to Jon Bernthal as possible, a tactic that makes the experience slightly jarring, but not enough to stop reading. As for the story, it features the usual shoot ’em ups associated with the character and while entertaining, it is the conversation that follows with Fury, Jr. that makes for the more interesting section of the story. After confronting Castle with an offer, there is a back and forth between them that finds Frank unwilling to do what Fury wants simply on principal. With a little convincing though and a bit of a bonus thrown in and the fact that Frank does have a code that he follows, he eventually agrees to the mission and as evidenced by the cover of the book, it involves the War Machine armour. For those looking to find a little Garth Ennis influence or a continuation of what Becky Cloonan was doing previously, they will be disappointed but to his credit, Rosenberg infuses the character and the book with his own voice and for a first chapter, is creating something that could end up being a lot of fun. Hopefully as it moves forward there is a little less of Nick Fury, Jr. and just more of the Punisher doing his thing in as big and as bombastic a manner as is possible. Frank Castle wearing the War Machine armour does pose some interesting questions and it does give the man some very different options to use in his war on crime, but one has to know that Fury, Jr. will not let the man keep it when all is said and done and that too could make for a very exciting story when and if it should come to pass.
Worth It? – Yes, if only to see where it leads.