Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by: Jesús Saiz (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: March 22, 2023
Punisher #10 finds Frank Castle fully embracing his power as the Fist of the Beast after defeating Ares. Now, Frank takes his killing mission public, with no one to stand in his way and no end in sight.
Is It Good?
Gratuitous violence without a story to back it up rarely works as an engaging comic. Punisher #10 proves that rule because you get a lot of gory violence (limbs and heads flying everywhere) to elicit shock, but not much of note happens in terms of plot. In other words, you get shocked without a story which is a roundabout way of saying it’s boring.
When last we left Frank Castle, aka Punisher, he killed Ares and fully embraced his power as the Fist of the Beast. Now, Frank’s power is manifesting with sight to see where the sinful are hiding, sometimes before a crime is committed, leading to a slippery slope of bloody proportions. Maria notices Frank always makes excuses for warring and can’t seem to let go so he can spend his remaining days with her, leading to an increase in marital strife that complicates Frank’s motivations.
In truth, the emotional conflict is the saving grace of this issue. Frank knows he has to keep killing to fulfill his role as the Fist as payment for resurrecting Maria, but the neverending war is now putting him at odds with Maria, risking their marriage. What’s a Punisher to do?
The issue is mostly told from Maria’s point of view and narration, so you get even more clarity about their life together before she was killed. Jason Aaron’s pacing is steady but low, the dialog is the stuff of good drama, and the violence is brutal, so there are some good points in this issue.
However, the plot is treading water, or at least moving at a very leisurely pace. When all you have to hang on to is more flashbacks that don’t reveal much that’s new and gratuitous violence (also, not new), the feeling of stagnation grows. If Aaron would get on with whatever story he eventually is trying to tell, this would be a very different review.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Punisher #10 has plenty of emotional weight and flying body parts, but the plot is practically at a standstill. If you enjoy Punisher comics simply for the violence, you may enjoy this one. For readers who want a story to back up the shock value, you may be disappointed.