- Written by: Jason Aaron
- Art by: Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta
- Colors by: Dave Stewart
- Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
- Cover art by: Jesús Saiz
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: April 27, 2022
Punisher #2 unveils the true nature of the Beast to Frank Castle as his evolution into the Fist grows increasingly demonic. Meanwhile, another Murder God makes plans to put Frank in his place.
Was It Good?
Jason Aaron is leaning into the horror and supernatural in Punisher #2, and so far, I’m on board.
I positively reviewed issue #1 because it took Frank Castle’s Punisher persona to new heights (depths?) by leaning into the murderous aspects of his character and then took it ten steps further. Frank has become the personification of murder, backed by a fiendish cult with supernatural capabilities. In exchange, the cult resurrected Frank’s dead wife. All the piece parts were there to take Frank Castle down a new path ripe for storytelling potential.
In issue #2, we explore that path albeit at a slower pace. You could call this “explain how things work and set up the main villain issue.” Readers learn the Beast’s cult has had eyes on Frank since he was a wee psycho. We see how the becoming the Fist of the Beast is more than simply a title. It comes with power. And, we learn that interfering with the business of war is bound to get the attention of the God of War. Again, this is all good information but it is a lot of exposition and setup.
As the story progresses, Aaron does an excellent job of expressing a sense of finality to what’s happening to Frank. You can feel he’s hurtling towards a point of no return. He doesn’t appear to be hesitant or shy about what he’s being called to commit to, but becoming the Fist feels very permanent. That may or may not be a good thing for the future of the character.
The action we do get in this action is bloody and brutal… as murder should be… courtesy of Saiz, Azaceta, and Stewart. Frank is characteristically stoic, so you don’t get a lot of emotional acting for him, but the Archpriestess is positively fanatical in every scene where death and mayhem are present. The art is generally very good, and if you’re not squeamish, there’s plenty of gore here to hold your attention.
Bits and Pieces
Punisher #2 continues on the path of death and destruction as Frank learns more about the Beast’s designs on him since he was a boy. Aaron does an excellent job building a sense of momentum towards a final and permanent change for Frank, and the main villain’s reveal makes complete sense for the mythology at play in this story.