Comic Vine Review


The Punisher #10 - Mercury Rising Review


Thanks to Black Widow, Punisher is now stuck in a South American prison. Now that the anti-hero isn't out on the streets of Los Angeles, the crime rate is way up and the police can't handle all of the violence.

The Good

Writer Nathan Edmondson has placed Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher, in jail and he's making it every bit as tense and interesting as it should be. Seeing as this chapter is essentially Frank getting the lay of the land, it's loaded with dialogue but this doesn't take a toll on the pacing at all. Instead, I felt every bit as interested in learning about the South American prison and its inhabitants as Frank was and it left me wondering what the vigilante do next. To make sure he has our full attention, the writer slowly built the hype and it all leads up to a very vicious and creatively presented fight. Needless to say, I'm stoked to see more of Frank's time in prison.

This issue isn't all about Frank, though. Edmondson breaks away from the prison location to chime in on Frank's supporting cast back in Los Angeles, too. While this plot isn't as engrossing as what's going on with Frank, the intrigue is certainly there and he leaves us with an effective cliffhanger. He's slowly developing one of these characters and I'm very curious to see what kind of future they'll play in this series. We've seen hints of a big development in the past with this character but now it looks like that transformation is speeding ahead.

Artist Mitch Gerads won me over with his handling of perspectives and characters in the first story arc and it's great to see this chapter's visuals are just as good. There's some cleverly handled panels and the layout for the big fight is very, very cool. It makes us feel just how confined and savage the encounter really is and pulls you right into the brawl. I also love how gruff his Frank Castle appears in virtually every panel. He's consistently shown as a guy you wouldn't want to be locked in a cell with.

The Bad

The Punisher's time in the prison is captivating and that alone has potential to take up all of the pages, but the writer wants to expand the narrative beyond the prison and understandably so The two extra plots he begins to incorporate aren't bad by any measure and you can immediately see how they're connected, but, as far as we know, Punisher's off doing his own thing and these feel like two totally separate things. I'm sure they'll eventually become linked, but right now, but you can really tell that much of this issue is dedicated to setting up the new story arc's bigger picture and, so far, only Frank's tale is really gripping.

The Verdict

Immediately after finishing this chapter, I thought of Rorschach's great line. "I'm not locked in here with you... you're locked in here with me!" Having such a brutal anti-hero locked in prison with a whole bunch of scummy characters is loaded with potential and it's off to a really good start. The focus on Castle's time in prison is a total thrill and I'm legitimately curious to see how things will play out over in Los Angeles. Now it's just a matter of seeing how these plot points will intersect. Thanks to Edmondson's sharp writing and Gerads' expressive artwork, THE PUNISHER #10 is definitely worth picking up. And yes, it can technically serve as a jumping-on spot!

10 Comments Refresh
Posted by Bionder

After a few issues that Edmondson seems lost, it's good to see Frank back in his primary mission, he doesn't know yet but he is.

It's good to see the supporting cast back, this really seems like a new beggining.

Posted by Cap10nate

I enjoyed this issue as I have all the issues so far. The one thing that I have been wondering is if that lady cop knows that Frank is the Punisher. I find it hard to believe that she wouldn't know as people know that Frank Castle is Punisher and people know what he looks like. As a fan of the Punisher, you would think she would look at a picture of him.

If she does know that Frank is the Punisher, you would think that she would say somehting to him.

Posted by Jayc1324

You guys should start putting the number of stars you rate the issue in the actual review article, because if you don't look at it on the homepage there's no way to find out. Just a thought.

Posted by cmd735
Posted by Jayc1324

@cmd735: I guess that doesn't work on phones.

Posted by Guardiandevil83

Works on my phone.

Edited by WheatStalker

Yes, she knows Frank is the Punisher. She wears the ring to keep him in mind, I think.

You know ... what is the first thing Frank's police officer friend does, when she can't be a police officer? Become Lady Punisher, that's what. It could happen.

Edit: Just went through the trade, and there is no panel that shows she knows Frank is the Punisher. Guess they'll save that reveal for when she wears the skull and they have a battle without knowing who each other is. :)

Posted by ComicStooge

How'd he end up there?

Posted by Edstone1

Makes me wanna re-read "The Cell" by Garth Ennis.

Posted by Teerack

How'd he end up there?

Black Widow Back Stabbed him last issue, and in her issue. They had a crossover story.

I really enjoyed this issue. I like when Frank is in jail.