War of the Realms: the Punisher #1 Review

Writer: Gerry Duggan

Art Team: Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Cory Petit

Marvel Comics

Release Date: April 17, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99

Here we go, and strap in, as you’re about to be inundated with a barrage of tie-in comics to War of the Realms that would match any event Marvel Comics has put out in recent memory since Secret Wars. So which ones are the ‘important’ ones and which ones can otherwise be ‘ignored’? Well here at Weird Science Marvel Comics we’ll do our best to review a few and tell you what we think. This week the Punisher tie-in seemed like as good a place as any to start things off, so lets discuss.

We’ll start off by mentioning this title isn’t really for kids, as its gruesome, violent, and even has a Parental Advisory label, albeit in ever so tiny writing on the cover to the issue. If you care enough to play a game of ‘Where’s Waldo’ and feel like hunting it down its fun to find. Anyway enough of the jokes because we’re here to talk some Punisher, and boy oh boy is this ever a Punisher book, which don’t get me wrong is a very good thing.

The issue starts off fast and furious and doesn’t let up much at all with Frank taking the lead roaming around New York making sure no innocents are hurt by any Dark Elves, or the other monsters who joined them, pumping bullets into anything that dare threaten the locals.  The death of a family, he fails to save entirely, motivates Frank further, leading to him eventually luring some suspect help into the mix, all to lead a compromised group of Hospital patients to safety.  So although Frank is racking up an alien body count to rival Will Smith he comes off as a good guy here.

The books as a whole is a quick but very fun read with a bit of John Wick flavor to it.  I had a blast watching Frank mow his way through whatever threat was in his path, and find the stakes Duggan setup for the story, to be intriguing enough to be invested in whats going on here. There are still a few problems mainly that the overall concept of the tie-in, while fun, doesn’t seem to make it hugely integral to the War of Realms overall.  Frank is also seen being taken away by Doctor Strange in the main series and not currently in New York at this time. However he’s obviously on a very specific time-consuming mission in this title, which seems to differ from his motivations currently in the main book. That seems a bit sloppy for an event which otherwise you would think would should be the center of editorial attention.

The art and letters by Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Cory Petit look amazing, this is a great pairing for a Punisher comic book.  They draw Frank as an intimidating character, the monsters and villains all look terribly threatening as well, and all the transitions into the violence and action is crystal clear.  The entire art team should be applauded for some great work on this tie-in book with a promotion to some ongoing work together (for all I know they might already, I just am trying to pump out some review here, so didn’t look it up).

Overall, while the story doesn’t seem overly integral to the main events of the War of Realms (yet), what we do have is a fun, and very gruesome Punisher story that I look forward seeing continue. Frank’s status in this title seems to contradict where he is in the main series at this point, but between the action, and surprising amount of heart in the issue, a place among the crowded War of Realms tie-in market can be found. (Psst little secret … I had a bit more fun here than the main WoR series this week.) 

7.8/10

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