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.