Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Marvel Universe Versus The Punisher #2 of 4
Maberry, Parlov & Loughridge
This series is heating up in a big way with this issue. The Punisher finds some regular humans which pushes his mission into different territory. Not only does Frank meet up with some people that he needs to save but he is also confronted with what seems to be the main villain. However, the issue isn’t without some more fighting as Frank crosses paths with some other former heroes or villains that he needs to take out because they are infected. The series is picking up steam and is becoming something more than just an alternate reality or an out-of-continuity futuristic story. This is very good and very entertaining.
The issue opens with the Punisher getting confronted by the Hulk. Amazingly, you might not even realize the Hulk is affected by the toxins infecting everyone else. However, he is and he’s already taken down Wolverine making him unusually dangerous. They battle but the fight is quickly finished marking this as somewhat of a letdown considering the pair are on the cover. The fight was good but I wanted and was expecting more.
The first few pages also mark my favorites for the issue in terms of art. The whole issue has a dark and gritty feel to it. However, the battle with the Hulk brings out some imagination that is depicted outstandingly. The Hulk’s “outfit” and “jewelry” are excellent and the flashback to the fight with Wolverine is both unsettling and humorous at the same time. I loved the art for the storyline but these first few pages went above and beyond the story I felt.
After the confrontation with the Hulk, the Punisher eventually finds some regular humans. He finds a priest and a boy. From the pair we get a glimpse into what a normal human had to endure to survive this long out in the open. The story puts things into perspective because it seems the Punisher isn’t a hero against those with the plague. In the eyes of the other survivors he is just simply a one-man tribe battling a bigger tribe. Each side just as crazy as the other.
The comic ends with the Punisher finding out that there are more survivors as he seems to meet the leader of the other tribe. With all of the hero’s heads on sticks in the beginning of the comic book you may be able to guess the main bad guy’s identity by process of elimination. This sets up things for a great final two issues.
This series is quickly becoming one of my favorite futuristic tales along side Hulk: The End, Future Imperfect and Days of Future Past. What we get here is a straight forward, end of civilization story that adds in just enough wrinkles to stand out from the pack. It’s fast paced and provides enough mystery to keep the ending a guessing game. Add in that it ships every other week and I am finding this story to be a can’t miss read and one that sits on top of my pile. This is shaping up to be one of the surprise hits of the year.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles