Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PC POST #262: -RETROSPECTIVE- Punisher Vol. 9 (2014-2015)



So as promised ( almost one week later) here i am to make a slightly restrospective of this run. The up's and down's of this take by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads.

This run began really well, first issue was action packed, we got a very solid writing and the Punisher seemed really focused in his mission.
Edmondson show us a more "social" Frank that we haven't seen in awhile with the add of an interesting cast in this story. It remembered me a lot the old stories of Mike Baron by far one of my favorite takes on the character.























I liked a lot this change of "tone" of the Punisher, Edmondson's casted away the "psycho killing machine" or the "dead man walking" elements. Despite these versions being good, i welcomed this one slightly better.
It's not like Frank go to the cinema and hanging out but it's nice seeing some humanity in him... at least the rest of it.

Agent Stone -  Seemed at first at the side of the Punisher, she didn't know that Frank was the Punisher and sometimes their chat was irrelevant.

Tuggs - Weapons Supplier and somewhat the conscience of Frank, he wasn't any Microchip or Henry, far from it. I wouldn't consider their relationship as friendship but definetely an associate that Frank could trust.

Loot - If Edmondson nailed it in the choice of these supporting cast, was Loot. Whoever thought of making a coyote a domestic animal? Only Frank. Only him can make the mother nature upside down and make Loot almost as a dog. Who didn't like this coyote?

 

About the gear, overall i like it. Mitch Gerads used "real" gear due to his experience in other titles... He revamped somewhat the skull in the suit but sometimes it looks like it is cut. Not a big problem to me.
The mask, it was difficult to accept at first but it grow on me. Due to Frank way of fighting crime i believe he wouldn't use the mask just for show or to canceal his identity, he really wants the bad guys knows who he is. But on the other side the intimidation factor had a slightly boost and i think the fans can relate a bit more with the character if they see a "faceless" Punisher. But i still prefer the Punisher without mask.



















Characters

Nathan Edmondson had a great set of characters from Marvel Universe but not always take advantage of it, at least not what i expect.


Electro, this character was really relevant in the first arc and the fights with the Punisher were very good. The best thing was the way the Punisher took him out... Or better, take some leverage in the battlefield over Electro.



Domino -  Appears as soon as she disappear. She appears to put Frank down by surprise and saving Electro from being killed. I was expecting some more story or future appearences, even a confrontation between the Punisher and her. But no.











Howling Commandos - These guys are quintessecial of badassery that i didn't care most of this run. They were more than overpowered by Edmondson. Well... looking at this... They were overpowered or Frank was depowered? Unfortunately it was the latter. But i would be lying if i said that they weren't important in this run.



Crossbones - Another disappointment, everyone, i really mean EVERYONE, were expecting a more engaging fight between the Punisher and Crossbones... A battle of the skulls. But no.



Rachel Cole Alves - Do you remember her from Rucka's run? She did make an appearence and it was a good aid to Frank put his head in the game again. Unfortunately she only did that and gave him a ride back to L.A. when he escaped from a South American prison. Again, EVERYONE was expecting that she could help him takeover the streets while everything was in chaos by Dos Soles but no, she drop him and we never heard about her. Another huge disappointment.



Overall Opinion

I bet that Edmondson and Gerads did their best to tell their stories in 18 issues (excluding issues 19 and 20 these issues are tie-ins from Secret Wars) and they had to compact the stories as much as they could but there are things like i explained above that could be better.

I'm not a fan of stories for the "long term". I still think it isn't too appealing for fans that expect this character solve problems with bangs, explosions and body count in a very fast paced way.

Seeing the Punisher having constant "break-downs" over his mission wasn't very good to see, we all know that Frank is a very straight forward focus regarding what he has to do. And his mission are unquestionable.

I have seen him turning black, being an angel and turning into a Frankenstein but he never questioned what he has to do.

This run had good stuff like the crossover with Black Widow and the fight with Captain "Falcon" America.

Letting the main big bad ( Secretary) gets a free pass was a bad decision by the creative team.

And near the end the former "Agent" Sam Stone stabs Frank let him bleed almost to death and kills Loot. No fight back and no punishment for Sam Stone, just walked free.

Another thing to regret was the lack of scenes of the massacre of the villains bar, during issue #19, it would be nice to see Frank wasting some big bad villains before the end of the world.



GOOD:

- A more social Frank Castle;
- A very decent supporting cast ( Tuggs and Loot);
- Good fight between Electro and Captain America;
- Great artwork and covers by Mitch Gerads;
- Excelent issues #7. #8, #9, #17, #19 and #20.

BAD:


- A depowered Punisher regarding the threats of this run;
- Some inconsistent portrayal of the character;
- Excessively overpowered of Howling Commandos;
- Loose ends ( Secretary and Sam Stone);
- Lack of use of some characters from Marvel Universe that were featured in this run.



OVERAL RATE: 7 / 10









7 Comments

7 comments:

  1. I'd say you are giving Edmoson too much credit for probably the third worst run since Frank's return to the now defunct 616 universe since Civil War. It's still behind Angel Punisher and FrankenCastle.

    I give this run a 4/10, it started of good but the long term writing and Edmonson laziness just shut this run down. It shouldn't have made it past 15 issues.

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    1. I don't think i gave him credit because of the "good" points. I don't label this run as "bad", but sometimes it didn't felt like the Punisher.
      Another thing to have in mind is the artwork. It doesn't feel right gave them a 4, if i liked a lot the artwork and the covers. And all the good points i mentioned above.
      And definetely i don't insert this run in the same group as FrankenCastle or Angel Punisher. These runs were an abomination.

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    2. I give the writing of the run a 4/10. As for the art, wasn't bad but like the guys at the PBC fan page pointed out, it seems that some times it was rushed and the fact that when sales were going down, Gerards started to imitate Parlov's style of the Punisher.

      All in All I give the art a good 6/10

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    3. Ivo gave a great review. Like it or not this comic had stellar artwork and people I've wanted to see come face to face with Frank for a long time. If Marvel was smart crossbones would be a Punisher villain. Frank's more social yet still a lone wolf of war attitude was nice also his slightly retconned age and new territory in la was nice. People forget frank rarely stays in one place he used to drive all around the world punishing one case at a time. Frank Castle new Punisher Costume was amazing including his mask and his supporting cast was great. However almost every character Appearance left something or everything to be desired and he left some alive who should be punished. This whole run felt like a long run-on sentence and Frank constantly questioning his actions and needing a pep talk and him getting his ass kicked constantly and being distracted from his mission was a bore. It was smart of them to attempt to remind people Frank is human and can get hurt but getting damn near killed every issue feels like Frank doesn't even need to be punishing criminals if he can't keep up with them in a fight. He used to be a brilliant tactician and strategist but that Frank was nowhere seen. With all its highlights its not enough to save this series so I think it deserves a 4/10

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  2. Thanks for the review. Ivo, you nailed it the series isn't for the long-term. 6 issues would have been perfect with the last 2-issue secret wars tie-in. I didn't like Frank question his actions and did expect him to be stymied against Electro, Crossbones, and Captain American/Falcon (which Frank held his own unexpectedly). Not punching Sam Stone in the stomach and a stern lecture would have been a nice touch and leaving the secretary alive with no followup from Captain America/Falcon even though Frank had tape was a bitter disappointment.
    I am not a fan of retconning Frank's age, especially if he is simply going to lose or waste a lot of time preparing to let villains walk. Marvel creators are not a fan of Frank so the forum is the new television series to get new fans. The lowest selling issue, 16 at 19,526 copies, still had another 4 issues to complete this story while Rucka's stopped at 16. Massive crime in the US is over and writing reflects this fact in present day.
    I look forward to mini-series on Netflix and hope that not another monthly ongoing series will be written again. Three strikes you are out. Mini-series and guest star in other books or other Punisher universes. Covers were great, artwork was good, last 2 issues were outstanding for writing Frank's character. 6 out of 10 for me.

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