Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.7
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Size: pages
Price: 16.99

Is this really a Punisher story? Or is this Duane Swierczynski telling a perfect take on Philadelphia?

I ask this because I lived in Philadelphia for a good portion of my life. My family still lives in the city and I still have to go there from time to time. I’m not gonna turn this into a political rant, but Philadelphia is certainly not a great place to live. Crime, poverty, and murder has gone up more then any other city in the country. To have Punisher go into Philadelphia and fight the horrible people who run the city; is practically a no brainer.

Frank Castle is just on another job, in Philadelphia to stop a child slavery ring. After he’s done he gets knocked out and later wakes up next to a scientist. The scientist is paid by some government officals of the city to inject Castle with a drug. A drug that will essentially kill him in a matter of six hours. Instead of taking it like any sane man who (just waiting to die), Castle knows he has to stop has much criminals in this six hour time limit. It only gets worst as the people who signed to kill Castle in the first place has to think of new ways to get him killed quicker.

Swierczynski writes a perfect take on Punisher. A man who is serious when killing, but doesn’t mind making a few quips at humor. This is a man who is willing to die but wants to kill because he has too. He’s also a bit of a MacGuyver in this, as he has to think of random objects to kill people as his weapons stash got destroyed when kidnapped. I also like the politics involved with this. It really shows the true light of Philadelphia as there is so many references to local media and political figures. Basically it’s a well written story that really has a great ending I didn’t see coming.

If a story about Philadelphia doesn’t excite you then you should get this for the art. Never heard of Michel Lacombe until this, but his art is gorgeous to look at. It’s so realistic and it’s some of the best faces I have seen in a comic. There is also great detail with the backgrounds in this. I recognized so much of the landmarks in this, even random streets that aren’t known outside the city I knew. Also some great coloring by Val Staples as well, very colorful book.

This is one of my more favorite Punisher books. Maybe it’s because of the location it’s in or maybe it’s because it’s the best Punisher story since Garth Ennis left. Either way, it’s a story you can’t miss. You’ll come out of it wishing that Duane Swierczynski is the current writer for the Punisher MAX ongoing.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent

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