Punisher: In The Blood
5 part mini series (currently ongoing. issues 1 and 2 available now)
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Roland Boschi/Dan Brown
Review of First two Issues by Stewart Loud
Punisher: In The Blood picks up right where Franken-Castle left (check review of frankencastle here !) off with The Punisher returning to the streets of New York 100% human to once again take on the criminal underworld and in particular track down his old partner Microchip who after being resurrected by The Hood during the Dark Reign had worked with The Hood against The Punisher and played a part in the attempted resurrection of Franks family.
Frank’s still paired up with his most recent sidekick the young, talented computer hacker Henry, who uses information technology to track down leads and bad guys and point Frank in the direction the bullets need to be sprayed. This is a tried and tested formula and it’s one that works well. I don’t believe that Frank couldn’t find shit out without the help of a computer savvy assistant but it saves a lot of time for good story development and action if he’s just told where he needs to be next.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Rick Remender writes great Punisher! Even though this story takes place within the main Marvel universe and features the Batman style Punisher cycle motorbike with a great big skull on the front (I love it! And why shouldn’t he have one? It’s just too cool not to!) and it does occasionally feature some of Marvels more colourful characters, it’s so dark and gritty and the Punisher’s dry inner monologue is so good that it almost feels like one of the MAX story lines from back before Garth Ennis left. The opening scene in the prison could be a scene straight from the acclaimed Punisher: The Cell, one shot. Without all the bad language of course.
Remender’s writing is backed up by some great artwork from Roland Boschi. The shadowy visuals often illustrated from interesting perspectives really make every scene look like something from a well directed movie and every page oozes atmosphere.
I don’t want to give to much away but there’s also a brilliant bit where one of the characters attempts to explain why the people who’ve worked with Frank over the years were compelled to do so even when they new it could cost them so dearly.
If you’re a fan of The Punisher then this is essential reading and if you’re not but you like good crime/vengeance stories then it’s still definitely worth a look. Weather the rest of the series is as good as the first 2 issues remains to be seen but I can’t fault what they’ve done so far.
SCORE (for #1 and #2) 9/10