"Punisher #3" The last two reviews I’ve spent a lot of time listing a lot of great reasons why I like this current run, so I’m not going to rehash them here. I will say that The Art of Mitch Gerads continues to be some of the most dynamic use of color in current comics, my current favorite along with Samnee and Rodriguez over on Daredevil. I’m digging the new facemask, though it does look like a good way to get shot in the face. Nathan Edmondson is keeping the RPMs up through this book, this is not a slow burn. Electro still feels a little out of place, but I can deal with it. Oddly, this issue has no credits on the title page. Recommended, go get it. RAW.
- 4 days ago
"Night of the Living Deadpool #4" I’m sick to death of zombies. I burnt out on the Walking Dead TV Show, and I’m starting to get tired of the comic (but the Telltale Game is still spinning a hell of a story, franchise best). Even so, I’m willing to put the zombie fatigue aside for this book for several reasons: 1. Significant portion of the book was spent on a Monkey Island Navigator’s Head joke, 2. It has "Young Guns" in it, and 3. Any book with the phrase "Every time a 9mm rings, an angel gets its wings" in it gets an automatic A+ rating. Recommended, RAW, Love the shit out of some Cullen Bunn Deadpool. Has anyone ever told you how talented Ramon Rosanas is? No? Well I just did.
- 1 week ago
How I became “That Antisocial Girl” in my weekend letterpress class.
Comics are beautiful and intricate stories and artwork that you can HAVE so EASILY for way less than they’re worth, and if you’re going to steal them anyway, please just don’t talk to me about it or call yourself “into” them thanks.
(This guy was a “designer,” too. No excuse.)
But letterpress is really fun.
"Thunderbolts 22" Still stumbling around a car wreck at the intersection of Comedy and Action, this series has improved as Soule finds his groove and the setup jokes get tighter. If you’re here because you’re a fan of Elektra, Venom, Punisher, or Ghost Rider and expecting to see some Hardcore Badassery, you’re not going to like it. But if you just pretend it says Thunderbolts 2099 on the cover, you’re going to be just fine. De-so.
- 2 weeks ago
"Punisher #2" Coming off a strong first issue, this is the follow up where we start to see the full scope of the new world and the characters in it. Nathan Edmondson keeps the action moving, and while I’m not as blown away as I was with issue #1 (more on that in a minute), this is an excellent book and is the strongest take on the character since Ennis in 2000.
First, The Art of Mitch Gerads is beautiful. The color themes, especially, are perfect, and synergize with the pencils in ways that can only happen with artists pulling double duty on pens and colors. First pages have the pink overtone, then the green of the night vision in the next two, finally the blues of the desert evening (which is hampered slightly by an out of place ad page), this is truly an experience, and I really, really appreciate Mitch taking the time to understand the layout as the reader will see it on the printed page and the overall effect. The quality and craftsmanship is outstanding, I hope this doesn’t overload him in the long run, but he is one of my new favorites. His anatomy and character art is excellent, too, every time I look at Frank it brings to mind Max Payne 3 and all of the excellent hard-assed whiskey soaked one liners throughout, which accentuates Edmondson’s renewed focus on giving Frank a personality. Really top quality stuff, I can’t say enough praise about Edmondson’s revival of the Mike Baron era Frank, and Mitch’s pitch perfect transfer to the page.
Few quibbles: Lots of readers are praising the new Tactical Spec Ops Operator vision of Frank Castle. Rucka started this trend a couple years back, and in a way it works, but in a way it also hurts. Let’s face it, what Frank does is impossible. In reality, there’s no way any one person alone can face down the armies that he does routinely. When the story and art accentuates the authenticity of Frank’s tactics, it also unwittingly highlights the unreality of the character, and destroys some of the Suspension of Disbelief. There’s a fine balance in there somewhere, but I don’t expect Nathan and Mitch to be slaves to authenticity.
The Hawkeye tshirt was a big mistake. It really stuck out and was very distracting, they might as well have put a giant Spider-Man head on his shirt. It didn’t fit with the character they’re building, and doesn’t really belong in this book. Some of the appeal of Punisher is that he’s a step out of sync with the greater Marvel U, putting a big reminder in there drew the reader right back out again. Plus its just silly, Frank would never buy or wear that shit, it read more like bad product placement. Along those same lines the addition of AIM and a Certain Marvel U Baddie didn’t really fit for me, I didn’t like it but didn’t hate it either, we’ll see where it goes. Personally I’d prefer they keep that shit over in Thunderbolts and the Spider-Man Team Up books, time and time again has proven that nothing blows a Punisher book off the rails faster than throwing in superheros.
Overall a very solid book. Excellent new cast of characters, build up, and execution. Hopefully the Breaking Bad-ttle Van will be making a comeback in the future (yes I had to sneak that pun back in there) loved it. Excellent book, RAW, go buy it!!
PS Variant cover pictured by Jerome Opeña.
If you’re a true blue Punisher fan, you know Steven Grant. Back in the 80s alongside Mike Baron and Carl Potts he fleshed out the modern era of the antihero we know today, but there’s another multi…
- 1 month ago
"Punisher #1" - Strap on your hip flasks and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, its time for some goddamned Testosterone Comics. Punisher was in desperate need of a makeover, the last book under Rucka finally hit the ultimate end of the character’s drive to minimalism over the last 15 years and drained every bit of excitement, personality, and apparently ability to vocalize out of the franchise, leaving Frank Castle an empty husk and the straight man to the running joke that is the revived Thunderbolts. No More, my friends, we finally got this bitch back on the rails!!!
I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about Nathan Edmondson, I wasn’t a big fan of “Jake Ellis”. But he’s not just a breath of fresh air, he’s El Nino. First up, the move to LA puts Frank in Philip Marlowe country, home of the best crime noir there is. And Holy Shit, Frank has a personality again. On his first appearance out of uniform we a little something called “banter”. And then he cracks something called a “wisecrack”. For the uninitiated, this used to happen back in the 80s and 90s; when Frank wasn’t killing folks, he used to have actual conversations with other characters around him. That ended under Ennis, and no writer since has been able to find their way out from under Ennis’s long, long shadow. They were stuck trying to out Ennis Ennis. Nathan Edmondson says fuck that, I’m not Garth Ennis, come on, Mitch Gerads, lets make a character.
And boy do they. Both in Punisher’s appearance and personality Nate n’ Mitch take cues straight from Max Payne 3 (one of the best written characters ever hidden away in a video game) and from a kinder, gentler Lono over in 100 Bullets. The art is perfect, the story kicked right off with a shotgun blast explosion, we finally have ancillary characters I’d like to see again, and the art and visual style is pitch perfect. I had a theory a while back that if you were going to have a good comic book hero, you needed good Setting, Tools, Allies, and Badguys. Lately we haven’t managed to get all 4 together for ol’ Franky, but here we have a stellar new West Coast Setting, a whole Breaking Bad desert scene establishing where Frank gets his wonderful Tools, a diner full of future friends and Allies, and to fill out the Badguys we have the Drug Cartels, who are to modern culture what the Mafia was to the 70s and 80s. Superb. This is how you put a book together.
Very minor quibble: just use a helicopter, that fantasticar thing with the quadcopter blades on the side looks out of place. Other than that, 10+. Triple RAW all the way, go buy it.
'True Detective' The marketing for this was way cheesy, lots of awkward riffs on “Get Ready to Get Dark!”, but the final product is something much better. I don't know why, but having Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey riding around ina car together is infinitely appealing, especially since the characters you think you’re going to get are not what you’re getting at all. McConaughey plays an odd, fucked up, deeply disturbed person, which is hard to say with 50 years of darkly disturbed detectives as a cliche. When Woody Harrelson says “Stop saying weird shit”, the viewer almost wishes he would, its rare in a show to bring the audience on the side of the straight man rather than the quirky genius. On first glance you may think you’re seeing MM’s character from Mud on the small screen, but it is not, not at all.
Keep in mind its ONLY about WH and MM, the rest of the cast doesn’t factor heavily, and the serial killer’s work, while grisly, really isn’t the center focus of the story, but rather the vehicle that offers opportunities for scenes like the Disaster Dinner, or the Car Ride Of Sharing Religious Beliefs. Which is smart, because the focus on the insane murderer has already been told in Se7en and Hannibal Lecter to a degree where it’d be pointless to try to one-up the classics.
Its pretty badass all in all, my only complaint is that its depressing as hell, and definitely doesn’t help you get in the mindset of the work week when you go to bed Sunday night wondering if quaaludes really do help alcoholics avoid meltdowns. Its not just light Sunday action or CSI fare, they’re going for the brass ring of Breaking Bad and Emmys for sure. No guns get pulled or doors kicked in. But if you like Southern Noir with a slow burn, this is made for you.
'Revolutionary War 1' Apparently this is supposed to update us readers on the fantastical world of British marvel superheros from the 90s. Apparently British Marvel Superheros were developed along the same guidelines as British food… Bland and Unhealthy. All I can say is you've never seen most of these folks again for a reason, because this book sucks Donkey Kong. None of the characters are introduced, they're just thrown in panels in waves, the story is a mishmash disaster about satanic sects… Something something something SHIELD. Awful. Avoid. Booty.