Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
MAX (Marvel Comics)
Aaron, Dillon & Hollingsworth
Undoubtedly any Punisher title, especially a Max title, will have the ghost of Garth Ennis hanging over it. Ennis mastered the character and told outstanding stories. One of his key components was his artist who happens to be on this title as well. All of this looms large for the writer, Jason Aaron, to overcome. However, he knocked the first issue out of the park and did the same with this issue. Aaron is using a different approach to his first arc by focusing not on the Punisher but on the central adversary, Wilson Fisk. Not only is this an outstanding way to build up the character, but it’s done in such a way that the Punisher looks completely and unknowingly overmatched. This is an excellent comic book.
The story goes through Fisk’s origin step by step. It’s brutal and grotesque to watch what he’s done and had done to him. It all serves to make him seem like such an enormous foe for the Punisher as well as the mob who he is working for. This comic positions Fisk into a physical menace, a master manipulator and a horrifying torturer with no boundaries. It’s difficult to come away from this story and not be frightened of Fisk.
While Fisk takes up the bulk of the story there is a little bit of the Punisher in here too. For the most part he just continues to chase down the myth of the Kingpin. The Punisher’s panels are usually juxtaposed against how Fisk handles his situations that are similar in their nature. It’s a good little way to show some mild symbolism and keep the story from being just about Fisk and his origin.
Dillon is at perhaps his sickest here. There are plenty of visually disturbing images and Dillon just doesn’t hold back. It’s very impressive how detailed he gets when it comes to bullets traveling through human beings. The art is tough on the eyes in some spots if you have a weak stomach, but its incredible overall.
Punishermax is off to a terrific start. Aaron has solidified himself as being his own unique Punisher writer. This comic builds up the arc very well and makes the next issue a “can’t miss” comic book. Is it possible that Dillon ends up being paired with two different writers as forming a definitive version of the Punisher? Maybe, but we’ll see. The series is off to a great start. The only thing not to like about this comic is the absurd title “Punishermax”.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles