Space: Punisher #1 Review

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It’s safe to say that Space: Punisher is one of the more……out there books to come out of Marvel recently (see what I did there?).  The Punisher is bad ass, so why not put him in space and see what happens?  Well, what happens is we get a one the top book that is awesome in every way.

Frank Tieri’s script is classic Punisher.  He’s still a guy who had his family killed, and he is wants to eradicate crime.  It’s an origin that can work in most settings, so why change it up?  There are a few things different (besides the whole space thing), such as Frank having a robot sidekick named Chip.  It gives him an outlet to talk too, which is when the Punisher is at his best.  This version of Frank seems more like Han Solo than the Frank Castle in the main Marvel universe right now.  Frank is more stoic, unless he is talking about his exploits.  He’s clearly Frank, so it’s not a big worry.  And while this books has a lot of Marvel characters, it’s centered on Frank.  There are a lot of Marvel villains that stand in Frank’s way, but Barracuda is the main one.

Yes, the main attraction here is the fact that the Punisher is in space.  Space: Punisher feels like a B-movie plot.  The universe feels lived in, much like the original Star Wars films.  Tieri realizes how much fun this book could be, and uses it wisely.  It’s full of over the top moments, which all star Marvel characters.  The combinations and new origins for these characters are fun to read, but feel natural in this world.  The problem with books like this, is the writer tries to cram in many different characters and plot points that are similar to the main universe.  Yeah, it’s kind of fun, but can be a bit much.  This is a Punisher book, so throwing everyone in from the Avengers to Spider-Man wouldn’t work.  Tieri only brings in characters that work within the confines of the story, like Sabertooth or Deadpool.  The way he combines Venom and the Brood sets the expectations for the book perfectly.  Don’t expect Eisner award winning writing here.  Just expect lots of fun.

Mark Texeira’s cover sets up what the reader should expect perfectly.  But what surprised me was that the interiors had the painted quality as well.  The B-movie esthetic is on every page, with some panels looking like classic B-movie posters.  The ships and bars are cheesy looking, as well as the space suits.  The Venom symbiote looks great attached to the Brood.  The black hole sucking in a huge army of Venom looks as awesome as that sounds.  But Texeira still nails the quieter moments.  Frank is expressive, even if most of the expressions are him trying to be mean.  The plethora of alien beings make this lived in universe feel more lived in.  I was hesitant to buy #2 of this series, but on Texiera’s art alone, it will be worth it to stick around.

Space: Punisher #1 gets 4/5.

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