"Punisher Noir" #1 Reviewed!
Punisher Noir #1
Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Paul Azaceta
Frank Castle, " The Punisher" is not a character I consider to be one of my favorites; so when I decided to sit down and review it I will admit I was a bit inclined to dislike it from the start. Putting those sentiments aside, I opened up to the first page and came face to face with an array of incredible eye catching images that brought me back to the days where I would sit in my apartment on a rainy day watching classic Noir films such as Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity, for example. Obviously, I greatly underestimated the effects that a good comic book can have on a person. Needless to say, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the way a story, when well written and coupled with panel after panel of phenomenal art work that is both dark, gritty and captivating can make me feel. If you can't tell yet, I really enjoyed this comic.
The story opens in 1935, Manhattan and everything from the first four panels tempts you with it's overwhelmingly dark and gloomy feel. We see a man (who we can guess is Frank Castle,) seated at the edge of a bed listening to old-time radio. Once I realized that Tieri would be utilizing the old-time radio mystery broadcast that is used in the scene to set the "noir" mood in addition to it being a third person omniscient narrator, I cracked a smile. The introduction was superb. The transition to the back-flash is effortless, and we meet Frank Castle's father, who we learn to have been the first Punisher as well as the obvious motivation for Frank's beliefs and values. The following scenes depict him during World War I, where he is reminiscing and speaking to his wife who we discovery has evidently passed away.
This is not the story of Frank Castle's father (even though he is present for a great portion of the total number of pages, and was in fact the primary narrator in the story), but really about Frank Castle. It is a look at who he is as a character and it delves into his father's character for motivation.
The art and writing complement one another perfectly, and I would recommend the book to anyone with an affinity for "noir." I am really looking forward to the next issue.