Current Reviews


Punisher War Zone #6 (of 6)

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By: Matthew J. Brady

Garth Ennis
Steve Dillon
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Punisher War Zone #6 arrives in stores tomorrow, January 28.

"The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci, Conclusion"

Well, it's been a good ride so far, but are Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon able to end this short journey satisfactorily, or do they crash us into a wall with this conclusion? If you had any doubt about the outcome, remember that Ennis is a very good writer normally, and he's working on a character that he knows to a T. That's right, he sticks the landing, and does so quite entertainingly, giving us a heaping helping of the ultraviolence that always has us coming back for more.

There's really not too much to say about this finale, since it's a big action-packed finish to the series that takes all the threads that had been set up, ties them neatly in a bow, and then douses it with gasoline and sets it ablaze. All questions are answered, and everything ends as well as can be expected for the surviving characters. As for the others, they meet their expectedly violent ends. Good times.

And that violence! Ennis and Dillon really push the envelope of what's acceptable in a non-"suggested for mature readers" Marvel comic, filling the pages with an endless succession of head wounds, shotgun blasts to the face, gushing blood, and other grievous injuries. Not to mention the gratuitous bit of near-nudity that smartly mixes some sex into the violent proceedings, and the continued jokey vegetable-based shenanigans of sidekick Schitti. It's all as enjoyably nasty as you would expect.

It's probably nice for Ennis to take a bit of a breather after the more intense and serious stories that he focused on in the Punisher MAX series, but while he can have a good time coming up with entertaining ways to murder bad guys, he's still interested in what makes the character tick, and that's why his take on Frank Castle is the lasting one that other writers will continue to use. Here, we see how Castle deals with having murdered so many people, and while it's not exactly a surprising revelation, it fits, and Ennis ends things as you would probably expect. Nicely done.

So don't expect any sort of groundbreaking literary magnificence here, but if you want an entertaining story about the Punisher facing a challenge and overcoming it through his propensity for wanton violence, look no further. If Ennis wants to come back and do this sort of thing every few years, let's hope Marvel goes for it. His brand of mindless action is always acceptable.

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