Mar 272016
 

The Punisher (like Doctor Who) is one of those one of those properties that, in my personal opinion, has enormous potential but that nobody has ever gotten quite right.  I don’t mean to denigrate any of the fine efforts made over the years in either case.  They’re what IT people refer to as edge cases – both involve truly unique characters that are damn-near impossible to really nail writing-wise.

The Punisher Armory comes the closest I think – it’s certainly my favorite Punisher comic.  Which is admittedly a little strange, since Frank Castle never appears on a single page.  Neither does anyone else, for that matter: the entire ten-issue series consists of still-shots – mostly of equipment – narrated in text-box format by the man himself.  Eliot Brown wrote and drew these in a manner Frank would respect: plain, no-nonsense, and in their own way, beautiful.

It features no action or dialogue whatsoever. These are instead the quiet, personal moments that make-up the bulk of Castle’s existence.  It’s convenient to summarize his character as a one-man army driven by rage over the loss of his family one sunny day in the park long ago.  But his day-to-day reality is that of a stone-cold professional for whom every hour of combat is preceded by 100 hours of training, reconnaissance, and preparation.

punisher_armory_02

punisher_armory_01

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