The Punisher is back. From the dead. Well, technically he's been back from the dead for a while now. In the form of a Frankenstein's Monster-esque creature. But now he's back to normal. Or as normal as any crime-fighting, maniacally psychotic sociopath can get.
Sadly, Rick Remender's bringing his Punisher run to a close with the 5 issue series In the Blood and it picks up right where the Franken-Castle arc ended. To be fair, there were a lot of people that took issue with Remender's take on the classic Marvel anti-hero. A large percentage of the fans didn't want their Punisher mixed with the supernatural. I was one of the few that found the entire thing wholly refreshing; a new spin on an old character that, in my opinion, had long since started to get a little moldy. All the drug dealers, mafia goons, sex traffickers, and crime lords had started blending together. Remender, with the help of Tony Moore's fantastic visuals, had literally breathed new life into a dying character.
With In the Blood, we're suddenly back to the old Frank, and there's barely a mention of the character's death, resurrection, reconstruction, or visit to the underworld. Microchip's back, and so are the Jigsaw Brothers. And while it's nice to see the old favorites again, even from a new, slightly skewered angle, I can't help but be a little nervous that we're about to head back to covering the same old ground we've been over so many times before with the Punisher.
I love Remender's writing and I found his absurdly over the top take on Frank Castle over the last two years to be extremely entertaining. But all good things must come to an end and before Remender passes the Punisher mantle on to the next writer, he's promised he's going to leave us with "the ugliest Punisher story he's ever written." Roland Boschi is handling the art for "In the Blood" and his graphic, dark style is a stark contrast to the cartoonish look of Tony Moore.
So consider me cautiously optimistic as we prepare to usher in yet another chapter in the ever evolving saga of Marvel's most infamous vigilante. The first issue of Punisher: In the Blood is out this week.
Check out a preview of Punisher: In the Blood #1!