The issue opens with The Punisher on the run, and while it does pick up from the events of Rucka's PUNISHER series, it is very easy for someone who had missed that series to pick this up and follow along. One of the things that really stood out to me was the way the characters interacted. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Spider-Man so I can't say I have read nearly every one of his appearances, but I admit this one here really impressed me. If you know anything about Spider-Man, you know that you don't use the things he's created to kill -- and it appears that that's what the Punisher did in this issue. The confrontation between the Punisher and Spider-Man is absolutely brilliant. Parker is known for his quips and his jokes, and we even get a hint of that here; but you can tell that the character is infuriated. He's seething over the fact that Castle essentially manipulated him, and he's angry. The dialogue is brilliant, and not only is it a fantastic display of Spidey's physical strength; but it's also a great example of the character's just raw emotion.
Just as this interaction was really fun to read, so were the others in this issue. Reading this it feels like Rucka really gets these characters; he really worked to find their respective voices. He knows what Stark would say or what Captain America would say, because each of them is unique. I think Rucka's ability to capture their individual personalities here is absolutely brilliant. However, the highlight of this issue came at the end when one of the Avengers pays Frank a visit. I never really thought about it before, but these two have a lot in common and it was really appropriate that this character interacted with Frank Castle. The question remains, though, will we see more of him? I mean, the Punisher's moral code is really not that much different than this character's (and I don't want to give away the character's identity), so the idea that we might see more of him doesn't seem entirely unlikely. Maybe he'll even come to Castle's defense?
The art by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Matt Hollingsworth is absolutely breathtaking. It isn't just that they capture the dark and gloominess of the story and the tone of the character, but they do it with such finesse that it's just beautiful to see. The art in this book is really impressive.
A good comic is one that will leave you wanting more, and this comic absolutely does that. I can already tell that this is going to be a fantastic story, and I cannot wait to read issue #2.
Nothing bad here.
All in all, this is a fantastic comic. It has everything you need from action packed scenes, great characterizations, rivalries and betrayal. So far, so good. Like I mentioned above, the interaction between the characters in this comic is what really impressed me. Rucka really understands the respective voices of these characters and that's really what made this such a great issue. Not to mention, the fluidity in both the structure of the comic as well as in the art. It's definitely a series I am looking forward to reading and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good superhero story.