Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Punisher #1

Greg Rucka & Marco Checchetto

This is probably one of the first Punisher books that I've ever read.  Frank Castle was just never really a character that I was very interested in following.  But I really like Greg Rucka's work, so I thought I would give this a shot.  Greg Rucka is really known for his strong female characters (Whiteout, Batwoman, Stumptown, etc.), so I thought that this was an interesting choice for him to write.  But then again, Rucka also worked on Gotham Central, and as this heavily features characters of a police department, it makes sense that he would enjoy writing something like this.  I like that Punisher is presented as a force of nature in this first issue.  There are few characters out there that seem so much larger than life, but Frank Castle definitely fits that bill, swooping in to "punish" people for their crimes, before disappearing into the night.  Like Batman, he's above the law.  A vigilante.  A kind of anti-hero factor that adds some dimension to his character (which we really have yet to see in this title).  Ironically, another character who's a force of nature in the Marvel Universe is Elektra, assassin for hire.  In her Marvel Knights series, she was definitely portrayed as a force of nature swooping in to kill her mark, hints of red in the panels as people were killed in her wake.  But Greg Rucka didn't portray her like that when he took over the title.  Sandwiched between Chuck Dixon and Robert Rodi who did portray her in that light, Rucka brought a real depth to her character in a really riveting run of comics, yet still managed to make her seem bad-ass and cool.  Again, he's great at writing those strong female characters.  So it's kind of strange to see, at least in this first issue, that he uses Punisher as that force of nature-type character that he avoided with Elektra.  But I'm confident that this won't be that sort of one-note title, as Rucka can write some mean characterization.  And I think that if anyone can make Punisher into a character I'd want to follow, it's Greg Rucka.

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