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The Punisher #14 Review

5

Frank Castle and Marine Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alves prove to be a deadly team in the latest issue of THE PUNISHER.

The Good

If I had to sum up this issue in one word it would be "heavy." That's the perfect way to describe the overall tone and mood of the book; from the writing to the art. If you are into comics that are deep, gritty, action packed and weigh really heavy like a good episode of, say, 24 (remember that show?) then there's really no reason for you not to be reading THE PUNISHER on a consistent basis. Not only does Rucka capture Frank Castle's character perfectly in this issue, but he does it effortlessly. And while the interaction and team-up of Castle and Cole-Alves has been a little bit rocky, it's definitely not here. This issue, this moment, is the one these two characters have been waiting for. It's as much a reflection of Castle as a no-nonsense character as much as it is about his intellect. I thought it was great to see the Punisher outsmart his enemies, demonstrating that the character is more than just the big brute that shows up with a pair of guns -- that there's way more to what he does than just shooting people. Writer Greg Rucka sets up the story really well. The issue opens with an uneasy "calm before the storm" type of a scene, and you can literally feel the crescendo of the plot; the steady increase of the pacing; it's brilliant.

I love these two together, and this issue completely encompasses why. The Punisher doesn't often show emotion; he doesn't ever show his cards, but in this issue you can clearly see a crack in his character's armor. He feels like the two have a lot in common -- he understands the pain Alves feels and her desire for revenge. There's a great panel on the second age that reflects the way he views Alves and his understanding and empathy for the way she feels. It's a great moment.

The issue features pencils by Mico Suayan who does a fantastic job portraying the emotions of the characters -- but his pencils simply would not be the same without the skill of Matt Hollingsworth. The colors are what truly set the tone of this book; they are dark, gritty and compliment the mood of the story perfectly. Between the fantastic writing and the beautiful art, this is definitely a book everyone who loves a heavy plot and lots of action should be reading.

The Bad

Nothing bad here; this is a beautiful issue.

The Verdict

There's a lot of violence -- something sort of expected in a Punisher comic book, but none of it feels gratuitous. It's a great, gritty and dark story that feels grounded in reality. It's very different from other Marvel books out right now. If you are looking to start reading THE PUNISHER, this might not be a bad place to start. The inside cover page does a great job briefing the reader on what's been happening, and the issue itself is very easy to follow. Oh, and I absolutely love that Frank Castle is a man of so few words; but the reader can still get a real sense for who his character is. Fantastic writing, beautifully gritty art, definitely a book I would recommend.

18 Comments
Posted by lifeboy

im going to get this comic sarA. just because you recommended it :D

Posted by LifePool

LOVED the book. Been picking it up since issue 12. If anyone is willing to part with 1-11, message me, i'd love to buy it!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

My Favorite MARVEL BOOK!

Posted by sparty-dbq

I can't believe you didn't mention anything about Castle swinging on a stolen web-shooter. How badass was that?

Posted by zackattack529

i hate how this series is coming to an end :/

my LCS NEVER sells more than 5 copies of this series its so sad, now they only order small amounts and i think since 2 months ago me and 2 other people buy a copy. the only time they had to order more was the omega effect arc.

its so sad because no one else knows what they were missing.

Posted by erik_norris

@sparty-dbq said:

I can't believe you didn't mention anything about Castle swinging on a stolen web-shooter. How badass was that?

This. Punisher thwippin' was pure gold.

Staff
Posted by cerial442

This series has been amazing, and I'm bummed it's ending. With this, the creative team leaving Venom, Brubaker leaving Cap, and Spider-Man getting a spunky teenage sidekick, I'm convinced Marvel wants me to stop buying their comics.

Posted by Bluefox170

Amazing issue, and spot on review.

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm going to miss this title. Great issue. Marco Chechetto leaves some big shoes to fill but Mico Suayan did an awesome job here. It was satisfying to finally see Cole get some closure. I've been reading Punisher comics for over 20 years and I can say with confidence that this is the 616 Frank at his finest. War Zone is going to be bittersweet.

Edited by ghost_runner

I completely disagree, I have been loving this series since its started and I think each issue deserves something between 4-5 stars, but this was the worst issue (so far). The whole series was building up to this and it was just so lackluster. Punisher and her just kill everyone, that's it, there was no human moment, thinks like that are what made this whole series so interesting. Plus Mirko Colak's art is deeply missed, its not that Mico Suayan does a bad job, its just that the change in art is very jarring in this issue, and it doesnt help that (atleast in my opinion) Mirko's is better.

I would give this issue a 3/5 stars

Posted by LifePool

@ghost_runner: You're trolling, right?

Posted by JonesDeini

@longbowhunter said:

I'm going to miss this title. Great issue. Marco Chechetto leaves some big shoes to fill but Mico Suayan did an awesome job here. It was satisfying to finally see Cole get some closure. I've been reading Punisher comics for over 20 years and I can say with confidence that this is the 616 Frank at his finest. War Zone is going to be bittersweet.

Yup, yup. I'm gonna miss Rucka's take on Frank. But I'm sure much like Aaron's work on max it'll end with quite the appropriate bang.

Posted by ghost_runner

@LifePool: Nope. I don't know why everyone seems to love this issue, all I know is I found it disappointing.

Posted by Liam1

Simply a great run. Rucka understands the Punisher. Castle proves himself as a brilliant strategist and tactician. All your countermeasures are for naught. Your sniper team - dead men. Your bulletproof glass- compromised. Your hi tech weapons - neutralized. I wish Alves would've killed her with her bare hands, the garrote was still good, being up close and personal. Nothing matters but the mission...

Posted by LifePool

@ghost_runner: I'm in all honesty sorry to hear that, this is one of my favorite issues of any series.

Posted by ghost_runner

@LifePool: Well I don't know what to say, I have absolutely been loving the series, but this issue, for me was just ok.

Does that make me a freak? If so why don't we cut you up into little paces and feed you to your pooches? Hm? And than we'll see how loyal a hunger dog really is!

:)

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

AFter Rucka Leaves Punisher, I hope He  gets to write something else. This guy is gold.

Posted by LifePool

@ghost_runner: Lol