WRITERS: Greg Rucka
ARTIST: Mirko Colak
COLOR ARTIST: Dan Brown (1-16), Jim Charalampidis (17-20
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER: Hitch, Neary and Mounts
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Stephen Wacker
EDITOR IN CHIEF: Axel Alonso
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Joe Quesada
PUBLISHER: Dan Buckley
EXEC. PRODUCER: Alan Fine
Release Date: May 9th, 2012
Published monthly by Marvel Worldwide, INC.
Price – $2.99
(32 Pages, single-issue, color)
INTRODUCTION: (From page 1)
The Omega Drive is back in the hands of the Man Without Fear, leaving The Punisher with a problem. For months, the criminal syndicate known as The Exchange has been steadily growing in power and influence, and for months, Frank Castle has been biding his time, recovering from the wounds he suffered at their hands, preparing his counterattack. He is not alone in this, as Marine Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alves has launched her own vendetta against the people who stole her husband, family, and friends from her on her wedding day. This led, at first, to an uneasy alliance with Castle, an alliance that ended the moment Cole tried to take the Omega Drive for herself.
Meanwhile, NYPD Detectives Oscar “Ozzy” Clemons and Walter Bolt have found themselves with the unenviable task of trying to track The Exchange, a job made all the more difficult by The Punisher’s penchant for leaving bodies of the guilty face-down in their own blood wherever he goes. To complicate matters further, Bolt—until recently—has been serving as Castle’s informant within the NYPD. Partly out of fear and partly out of guilt, Bolt, until now, has gone along.
Now, Castle plans on resuming his assault on The Exchange, but to do so, he must prepare the battlefield, and that means limiting the variables. The most dangerous of these has proven to be Cole herself, not due to any threat she might pose to Castle, but because of the threat she poses to herself. Having vanished after betraying him, Castle now turns his eye to finding her…
Rucka is back hard at work after his collaboration effort with Mark Waid for “The Omega Effect”. Rucka cleverly tells the Castle’s story by telling it through the eyes of Detective Walter Bolt, who is being interrogated about an incident that happened the night before in downtown New York. Rucka uses the flashback convention very well in this issue to explain the Castle interaction while Bolt is being interrogated at the police station. Even though this issue is dialogue-heavy, Rucka entertains the reader by telling a larger than life super-hero story of The Punisher versus The Black Talon, a necromancer that raises zombies up to terrify New York city.
Rating – “A”
Mirko Colak comes in and takes over in this issue for Marco Checchetto. Colak does a nice job at drawing interactions between characters in a setting where there isn’t a large amount of action taking place. Facial expressions seem to be the highlight of his drawings and it helps the Rucka’s dialogue to come across smoothly. Two things that I personally missed with Colak’s drawings for the issue were the darker tones in each panel that Checchetto is good at and the Punisher’s skull being different.
Rating – “B”
The story really serves to drive in the fact that Frank Castle is on a new mission…to find Rachel Cole-Alves. She betrayed him and he now wants to get answers as to why and how she is going to either get in the way or come back by his side to assist him. Frank easily takes care of the threat in downtown New York while attempting to get intel from Detective Walter Bolt. The story is rather simple but it is entertaining and transitions well to the upcoming arc of The Punisher tracking down Cole-Alves.
Rating – “B+“
The issue isn’t extremely entertaining but it does a decent job at keeping the reader engaged. The dialogue flows well and the decision for Rucka to tell Bolt’s story through the flashback convention, while being interrogated is an interesting one. Not all issues can be full of action and can move story forward at a lightning pace. Sometimes it is essential to have an issue here and there that provides backstory or setup for things to come. In that regard, this issue performs that purpose admirably.
Rating – “B”
OVERAL RATING OF ISSUE: “B+”