War of the Realms: Punisher #1 (of 3)
Ever since the Punisher MAX run, it’s been hard to put Frank Castle in the main Marvel universe. With the exception of Matthew Rosenberg’s current Punisher run, any time that Frank Castle is put into the main Marvel universe it puts the character in a difficult position. But Punisher is a popular character, and isn’t immune to big sweeping line-wide events, so the War of the Realms is coming for Frank Castle, and surprisingly Gerry Duggan and Marcelo Feirrera’s War of the Realms: Punisher tie-in miniseries is a blast to read, and doesn’t try to force the character into an area that he’s not comfortable in.
Picking up after his brief few panels in the first issue of War of the Realms, Frank Castle immediately enters the fray and starts picking off Dark Elves. Is this outside of his realm of specialty? A little bit, but innocent people are getting hurt and killed, and Frank doesn’t see any other people coming to the rescue, so it’s up to him to take on the Asgardian threat, and help the patients of a local hospital get to safety.
Gerry Duggan’s script wisely doesn’t try to bend over backwards explaining Frank’s reasoning for joining this fight. He gets to taking on the advancing hordes of Malekith’s army with blazing efficiency, and while Frank doesn’t talk much, his plan for getting the hospital patients across state lines is really great, and in line with the character.
Duggan really lets artist Marcelo Feirrara go wild with the action sequences in this issue, and that leads to some pretty fantastic panels. Watching the Punisher go wild on a bunch of monsters is just as fun as it sounds, and it allows the character to go even further than usual because of the type of enemy he’s facing. Feirrara’s art is rock solid, and I expect this miniseries to get him more gigs with the publisher.
As far as tie-ins go, War of the Realms: Punisher isn’t necessary at all, but if you ever wanted to see The Punisher take out a bunch of monsters, this is the book for you. It’s a really fun tie-in comic that doesn’t try to be something it’s not, which sometimes is all you need in a comic.