Writer – Gerry Dugan; Artist – Juan Ferreyra; Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit; Editor – Jake Thomas; Assistant Editor – Lindsey Cohick
When one sees Punisher Kill Krew #4, they’d be justified in thinking it’s a silly tie-in with a misspelled title that only exists to squeeze money out of Punisher fans and thus lazy, not entertaining, and not worth their money. That person would be absolutely, incontrovertibly wrong here, because Punisher Kill Krew has consistently been one of the best books Marvel is publishing since issue #1. It perfectly captures the feeling of the MCU, blending comedy, provided primarily by a Shanghaied Foggy Nelson though The Juggernaut has his moments, with the Punisher’s signature brutality providing the action beats.
Punisher Kill Krew #4 picks up right after #3, with the eponymous Kill Krew (Punisher, Juggernaut, and Foggy Nelson) hunting down war criminals, specifically monsters that invaded Earth during the recent War of the Realms crossover event and left children without their parents or any means of seeking justice. In this issue, the ‘Krew’ is looking for the Black Knight, because only his sword is capable of cutting through the fortress of the last fugitive, a frost giant called Kasyckla.
Gerry Dugan writes, and he has done such great work capturing the relationships between these characters. The way Frank, with his single-minded dedication to the mission, acts as the sergeant and leads the other members as his troops. The way Foggy, rescued by the Punisher, acts as the voice of reason to a bunch of action heroes that don’t live in reality, constantly trying to return to a more legal and civilized way of handling his problems while the three action heroes live their action movie revenge fantasy. The humor is real, and the jokes consistently land as Dugan juxtaposes Foggy’s role as lawyer with the other members’ lack faith in modern criminal justice. It makes for a perfect blend of bad-ass and funny.
Juan Ferreyra sells the action on the first page with Black Knight killing Dark Elves in Svartalfheim. The red sky acts as a beautiful, and perhaps symbolic, background for the pale, detailed moon that casts an eerily serene white light over the trees. The textures and coloring on the Black Knight’s armor and the dark elves hair pull one in as soon as they open the book. Even the flow of the cape and the way its dark red clashes slightly but still blends with the light red of the sky tell any reader that this isn’t a quick tie-in, this is a story that demanded to be told and the whole crew is bringing their A-Game to the project. Then, if that wasn’t enough, this is all followed on the second page with Tooth-Gnasher, Thor’s goat which is pulling Frank Castle’s Battle van, turning a terrified dark elf to mist as Frank crashes into him. The blending of action and comedy portrayed by expert artwork continues through the book. One particular sequence comes to mind where the reader can compare the comic book action poses of the ‘heroes’ with the audience POV character’s pose, Foggy Nelson’s, just chill and relaxed. There is a fantastic panel all done in silhouettes, good details on eyes, on skin with veins and muscles. All around, fantastically drawn.
If you are a long time Punisher fan, a comic fan in general, or even somebody that likes the MCU movies and wants to give comic collecting a try, Punisher Kill Krew #4 is a must read.
The last issue is going to be called “Squad Goals.” If that doesn’t sell you, you’re wrong.