Overview

The Punisher #62

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The Punisher #62

Credits

  • Words: Gregg Hurwitz
  • Art: Laurence Campbell
  • Inks: Laurence Campbell
  • Colors: Lee Loughridge
  • Story Title: Girls in White Dresses, Part 2: Another Day in Paradise
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 17, 2008

Crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz unleashes another impressive outing in the comics medium with the latest Punisher series from Marvel’s adult MAX imprint.

This is the second part of Hurwitz’ story arc, but thanks to Marvel’s intro page, it’s not necessary to read the previous issue. Frank Castle is remembering the 30th anniversary of his family’s death. He still remembers the fateful day that their deaths also killed him, while simultaneously creating the brutal vigilante with a skull on his chest and justice in his trigger fingers.

After being made aware of kidnappings in the Mexican town of Tierra Rota last issue, Frank begins to put the pieces together. Young girls have been disappearing from the terrified community for years. They eventually return, with fresh stitches over their naked bodies. More than a scare tactic, Punisher puts his detective skills and amateur coroner skills to the test to discover the real reason behind the appearance of the corpses.

His deduction is that whoever’s taking the girls is using them as drug slaves in a secret factory and then disposing of the evidence, namely trace amounts of the product left on the girls eyes and lungs. The locals do what they can, but of course, The Punisher is a one-man army and soon starts eating his way up the food chain, to paraphrase the man himself.

And that’s exactly what he does. Castle could use any implement to torture his victims for information and here he uses a grain silo, more than once, in a novel way. The issue ends with a look at the evil head of the drug operation, and a look at Castle’s heart as he makes his first costly mistake.

It says something about our need for justice and disgust of evil that characters like The Punisher are successful. You will find yourself applauding his brutal efforts to exact justice. Being a MAX book, profanity and blood are evident, but it’s hard to glimpse into The Punisher’s world without them. Campbell’s job on the art is fitting to the darkness of the story. Black fills most of the pages, with sketchy minimalism taking up the rest. With Loughridge’s muted colours, it certainly gives the impression of a sun-drenched border town in disarray.

Seeing The Punisher use the skills of a detective and coroner was something I don’t recall seeing before, but it doesn’t seem out of character. Castle would need such talents after 30 years of ridding the world of human scum, and Hurwitz adds an interesting tangent on the final page to help make this arc more than just another “man on the warpath” tale.

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