Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1 Review: Kinda Bloodless

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Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1 has a tough job ahead of it. Tell Frank Castle stories while apparently under an editorial mandate to avoid a) the Punisher using guns, b) the iconic skull logo, and c) on-panel brutality.

Oh, and do it while Jason Aaron is rewriting the character.

The cover to Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1

As you might suspect, Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1 feels discombobulated. The pleasure of a Punisher comic is seeing awful people killed in ways that would make the Comics Code projectile vomit. If a fan was particularly compelled by the backstory, it’s now undercut by the fact that Frank Castle is joined by the Hand, which are assassin ninjas who use resurrection magic.

In this issue, Frank and the Hand square themselves against the war profiteer known as Hate-Monger. Unfortunately, with an endless supply of goons, no one’s ever made a reader care about taking bullets meant for Frank Castle, it’s tough to be worried for him.

In Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1, you can see writer Torunn Grønbekk and artist Lan Medina struggle against the constraints. They’re allowed one image of eye-popping violence, and the rest is kinda bloodless. Even the deployment of poison gas reads more confusing than frightening due to unclear placement in the setting. (It feels like a plot hole.)

It’s difficult to recommend Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1. Medina and colorist Antonio Fabela combine for a couple of evocative panels, but it’s too little.

 

THE TRICK IS TO INVENT A WAR WORTH FIGHTING. Finn Fratz knows that if you want people to hate each other, a Banner cannon in the right pair of hands goes a long way. The aging war profiteer earned his spot on the Punisher’s kill list well before he adopted the moniker Hate-Monger, but he has proven an elusive man. Now, with the Hand at his disposal, Frank Castle is ready to smoke him out. But not only has Hate-Monger gone to ground, he’s fighting back. Good for him. It’s not going to change anything but the death toll. Torunn Grønbekk and Lan Medina join forces to bring you the first of three thrilling tales from between the pages of PUNISHER, exploring Frank’s new modus operandi through some of his deadliest missions yet…

Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1


Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1 Review: Kinda Bloodless

Review by James Hepplewhite


4/10

In Punisher War Journal: Blitz #1 you can see writer Torunn Grønbekk and artist Lan Medina struggle against the constraints.


Posted in: Comics, Marvel Comics, Opinion | Tagged: marvel, punisher

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