Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 3.7
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Story by Greg Rucka
Art by Marco Checchetto
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary & Paul Mounts

Size: 0 pages
Price: 2.99

Greg Rucka’s first two issues of “The Punisher” have been fantastic. Rucka has completely sold me on his vision for the character and so far his execution has been flawless. His Punisher is more of a gritty and violent urban legend of sorts and I’ve loved the way he’s been written. Almost the entire third issue follows Frank’s mid-air fight with the Vulture (who, by the way, looks nothing like the Vulture on the cover) as they flutter all over South Bronx. While it’s good bloody fun it’s also a bit of a disappointment. The last two issues really had done a good job developing the characters and building a solid story. By focusing almost exclusively on the fight sequences I felt shortchanged and really missed the character moments. But that doesn’t mean the issue is terrible. In fact the final page features Frank’s first words of the series which add a little pop to his battle with Vulture. It’s also interesting to see what looks like a deeper connection between Frank and Rachel Alves, the one survivor from the wedding incident. I’m not sure where Rucka is going with it but consider me intrigued.

Marco Checchetto’s art continues to impress me even though this issue isn’t as strong as the previous two. There are some really solid pages, none better than a gorgeous splash page feature the Vulture pulling Frank out of a glass rooftop. His aerial battle sequence is gruesome and moves frantically from panel to panel but there were times where I felt a little disoriented and wasn’t sure what Checchetto was drawing. Most of his characters look really good with the exception of Frank on the final page. While this isn’t the best looking issue of the series, it still captures the gritty mood and tone and is a really nice fit for Rucka’s story.

“The Punisher” #3 is still a solid book and offers our first real connection to the greater Marvel Universe. It’s light on dialogue and heavy on the action and features several pages of over-sized panels making the book go by in a flash. It’s an example of a book that will read much better in collected form but as a single issue it doesn’t quite deliver like the first two books. But this is still a rock solid storyline and I can’t wait to see what Rucka and Checchetto has in store for us next.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 3 - Good

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