WRITERS: Greg Rucka
ARTIST: Marco Checchetto
COLOR ARTIST: Matt Hollingsworth
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER: Marco Checchetto
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: June 20th, 2012
Published monthly by Marvel Worldwide, INC.
Price – $2.99
(32 Pages, single-issue, color)
INTRODUCTION: (From page 1)
The New York criminal underworld is in chaos in the wake of Daredevil’s attempt to destroy the Omega Drive, a mission that required the Man Without Fear to seek aid from both Spider-Man and the Punisher. Working alongside Castle was Marine Sergeant Rachel Cole-Alves, the former soldier now turned vigilante who seeks bloody revenge for the murder of her husband and their families on her wedding day.
The object of Cole’s ire is the organization known as the Exchange, lead by ex-A.I.M. scientist Stefanie Gerard and ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Christian Poulsen. Castle, too, has been hunting the Exchange, and the result is an uneasy alliance between Cole and Castle: an alliance that collapsed when Cole attempted to steal the Omega Drive for herself to help exact her revenge.
Now the Omega Drive is out of play, and Cole has gone to ground. To Frank Castle, that can mean only one thing: Cole is preparing a run at the Exchange.
Before she does, the Punisher wants to get a few things straight….
Greg Rucka focuses on one thing in this issue; the resolution of conflict between Frank Castle and Rachel Cole-Alves. Even though the focus is on this conflict, it is clear to the reader that the other peripheral characters that Rucka has created are still important and have a very clear purpose in the story he is trying to tell.
Rucka also chooses to have Frank talk more than any other issue so far in the series and it has a huge impact. Personally I was nervous about how this would come across in this Punisher universe but instead of coming across as an out-of-character moment it comes across as a “come to Jesus” meeting that Frank Castle has. This issue truly is one of the best writing that Greg Rucka has done so far in the series. It is exciting to see just how Greg continues the evolution of the characters he is in charge of and the direction that he is taking the book in.
Rating – “A”
Marco Checchetto is back on duty after having a month-long break following up “The Omega Effect” crossover event.
Checchetto’s work is truly amazing and it enhances every character interaction that Rucka created. Dark tones, rain, night-scenes and multiple panels showing various angles of the same scene are all trademarks that Checchetto has used previously in the series but he uses pretty much all of them over the course of this single issue. It really does add up to suck the reader right in to the environment that Frank Castle exists in.
It’s good to have you back Marco!
Rating – “A+”
(WARNING – THIS SECTION MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
This issue’s direction is all about Frank and Rachel’s confrontation after Rachel’s attempt to steal the Omega Drive from Daredevil.
Throughout the issue we see Punisher tracking down Cole-Alves and Rachel attempting to get an old friend to assist her with something yet to be revealed. Punisher finally finds Rachel and gets her angry by confiscating her wedding photo. Rachel attempts to get it back from Frank by exchanging blows. Eventually Frank convinces Rachel that the only way she can get it back is to hear him out.
Frank Castle’s opportunity to teach Rachel a lesson is an interesting one. He lays out the facts to Rachel by informing her that either she has to die to her feelings and become something more or try to start her life over again, which Frank says would be a lie, if she attempted to live a normal life.
Eventually Rachel sees things Frank’s way and recommits to her mission. To be a soldier, a marine, a killing machine.
Rating – “A”
There are two components to this issue that really drew me in. First was the artwork. From the cover to the last panel on the last page, Marco Checchetto’s work is second to none. Second is the leading up to the confrontation between Frank Castle and Rachel Cole-Alves. This meeting lives up to the hype and it leads to a very satisfying conclusion.
After how the Omega Effect turned out I was really hoping that we would see the story come back around in this manner and now that it has, I can understand why things were done the way they were. I don’t necessarily agree that they had to happen the way they did but I understand nevertheless.
This issue was the culmination of a slow-burn style of storytelling. It actually reminded me of the way that Scott Snyder has written Batman and the Court of the Owls storyline.
Rating – “A+”
OVERAL RATING OF ISSUE: “A+”