By: Jonathan Maberry (writer), Goran Parlov (art), Lee Loughridge (colors) & Cory Petit (letters)
The Story: Punisher has to save a still-human Mary Jane Watson from a band of cannibals led by Kingpin.
What’s Good: This was a satisfying wrap up to a fun, little non-continuity miniseries featuring the Punisher as the last “hero” who has remained uninfected by some sort of virus that has turned the other heroes into raving cannibals.
The whole series has played with the notion of whether the Punisher is really a hero or whether he is just a killer in the wasteland and that question gets resolution in a not surprising (but still satisfying) way. There are probably few people reading this comic who want to see anything other than Punisher being a bad-ass and those folks will be happy with what happens.
Most of the “surprising” parts of this come via cannibal Deadpool. I’m not a fan of all the Deadpool books, but I don’t mind him showing up for comedic relief in other comics and what we get here is pretty good as his self-awareness carries over even after his infection (and repeated killing at the hands of Punisher).
Throughout it all, Goran Parlov’s art makes everything work well. It isn’t stunning art, but it sells the story very nicely.
Let’s give a final hurrah to the publication schedule for this miniseries. In an era of bi-monthly publication of miniseries because someone on the creative team can’t get their shit together, this 4-issue series was over in 6 weeks. Bravo. Parlov can do more polished art (just look at his other work), but this isn’t a story that requires 100% effort on the art. So I really appreciate getting it done and getting it on the shelf instead of dragging things out so that the reader forgets the story.
What’s Not So Good: I could have done with a slightly more surprising turn from this future Punisher. I do really enjoy “bad ass Punisher”, but there are a couple of moments in this book where there is a dramatic climax and he does pretty much what you would expect. I’m not sure what else could have happened at those moments that would have worked with the character, but that’s why I’m not writing for Marvel.
Conclusion: This was just a fun, quick miniseries. I enjoyed it and will buy the issues again if Maberry revisits this future Punisher.
– Dean Stell