By Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads
The Punisher was one of the All New Marvel Now titles that might not have received as much attention as the likes of say, Ms. Marvel, but it’s certainly – three issues in, proving why it’s one of the best. Nathan Edmondson is crafting a very fun and awesome read for fans of Frank Castle and already this title is shaping up to be one of the best in Marvel’s stable, despite the unnecessary $3.99 price tag that comes attached to this issue.
The issue itself pits Frank against Electro, a villain who’s playing a part in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man sequel so if you want to see what that character’s like in the comics then look no further than this issue. The cover alone should give the game away for fans of the character, and whilst Electro may traditionally be a Spider-Man villain it was great seeing him and the Punisher go head to head in a fantastic battle sequence that’s really brought to life by Mitch Gerads, who does an amazing job with the grim and gritty feel of the book. His artwork really helps add to the atmospheric feel of the book and makes the confrontation between the Punisher and Electro feel all the more awesome.
Nathan Edmondson is doing wonders with this book and Black Widow, and it’s easy to see why he was picked to write these respective titles. Both are similar in tone dealing with ruthless anti-heroes, but at the same time, both are very different. The way he’s tackling the villains in the book is very interesting to see – Punisher’s rogues gallery is not, let’s say, the biggest – so when villains such as Electro are brought in we get to see them handled very well indeed, and it’ll be interesting to see what more villains he brings to the book in future issues – we’ve already had the Howling Commandos as well, and how things develop from here should be great.
If there’s one problem with The Punisher though, it’s the Howling Commandos storyline isn’t proceeding as quickly as perhaps one would like – it feels dragged out and slow, with their inclusions not feeling planned but instead random reminders to make us aware that they’re still chasing Frank. However, it’ll be interesting to see what happens as the book progresses – but as of where things stand we may have to wait longer than expected to see the thread involving these characters wrapped up.
Despite this though, The Punisher #3 is a very strong book with Edmondson and Gerads being a very good creative team and each issue looks and reads very well. Castle’s supporting cast is well developed, with Loop already shaping up to be the next best thing since Hawkeye’s Pizza Dog. Just as this comic is shaping up to be the next best thing – so if you’re a Punisher fan or a newcomer wanting to read about Frank Castle for the first time then what are you waiting for? Go back and catch-up. It’s a great read, and this series is quickly reaching must-read status.