PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL ANNUAL #1
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The Punisher and I have had a nice couple of years together. I enjoying read his MAX series and he continues to impress me on how many ways he can kill a man. Although I love what the MAX imprint has done with Castle, the War Journal series is everything I couldnt stand about the guy. For most of the run with War Journal, Castle has been fighting weak C or D villains of the Marvel U. That isnt what The Punisher is about, he doesnt fight supervillains; he fights the real bad guys like gangs or drug dealers. So it’s a surprise to many, and myself that I am going to buy this annual. I guess it’s the cover that won me over: if they could supersize that into a poster I would totally hang it on my wall.
What makes me love this annual more then anything, is on how messed up it is. Punisher and drugs mix well when he’s fighting dealers; but Punisher taking drugs? Now that is a winning formula. When Castle raids a party to find a missing kid, he’s forced to inhale a drug that makes him see the happiness of the world. Like ponies, rainbows, and anything else like that. But of course being Punisher, he just shoots anything in his path and that’s what I loved about this annual. Him shooting down gingerbread men or ninja teddy bears is just downright hilarious. I could not stop laughing on how stupid this annual was. That isnt a negative, I just love that the writer went this far into making this ridiculous.
There should be more thanks to the artist Werther Dell’Edera, inker Antonia Fuso, and colorist Lee Loughridge. These men made this issue very colorful and fit the tone with the overall annual. Dell made sure that what the Punisher was seeing was funny and messed up at the same time. Castle forcing a grenade down the White Rabbit’s throat gets extra points.
It’s hard to talk about this without spoiling anything. But this is definitely worth your time. I know I have been a bit of a grumpy old man when it comes to War Journal. But sometimes Punisher can have a bit of a silly side to him and this annual was a nice detour into the gritty realism of the MAX series. The art definitely makes this annual worth more then it would’ve been then one of the regulars on War Journal.
Art: 4 - Very Good