I’d been on board for all of the recent Punisher War Journal and found it enjoyable if a little unfocused in its later issues. The newly relaunched Punisher series has a perfect and logical focus. Now that Norman “the Green Goblin” Osborn is top cop in the Marvel universe, Frank Castle has officially declared open season on the H.A.M.M.E.R. director. He’s got some help in a new tech sidekick-type, which is good. I find that while the MAX version of Frank is great, his mainstream 616 counterpart really excels when he has an acceptable foil. Of course, Frank’s not the only one with help. After Frank went on a killing spree through the still-thriving underworld (and thus contradicting everything Osborn has been saying publicly about the declining crime rate), Norman calls in help from the Hood. The next few issues are going to be a lot of fun.
In short, this is the best non-MAX Punisher I’ve read in a long time and I enjoyed Fraction’s PWJ just fine. Opeña’s art is a perfect fit for the tone of the book, something Frank’s adventures have been sorely missing lately. As much as I like Ariel Olivetti, his art didn’t gel with Frank’s world and I personally am a much bigger fan of Howard Chatkin the writer over Howard Chaykin the artist, so needless to say Opeña is bringing a fresh new look to everyone’s favorite sociopath. This is easily one of the best non-Avenger Dark Reign titles out right now.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 dripping-wet Sentries.