Monday, April 16, 2012

Punisher: P.O.V., by Jim Starlin, Bernie Wrightson & Bill Wray

(pb; 1991: four-issue comic book mini-series)


Engaging, action-packed tale, chock full of bad guys, anti-heroes and lots of twists, many of them expected (and character-true), some of them surprising - these latter plot-pretzels also add new wrinkles to well-established, iconic characters (e.g., Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher).

The plot: The Punisher, while seeking vigilante justice on an arms dealer, is, unexpectedly, swept up into larger, more complicated ventures - not only is he hunting a recently-released convict revolutionary-turned-mutated-vampire killer (Derrick "Deke" Wainscroft), but he's doing so (indirectly) with his his criminal arch-enemy, William Fisk (a.k.a. The Kingpin), along with Nick Fury ("Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D."), who all want Deke for different reasons.

Factor in divergent personalities, military and industrial conspiracies, morality and justice (or the lack thereof), and a seemingly-unstoppable killer, and you've got Punisher: P.O.V. - a hard-to-set-down, blast of a read that's more than just another shoot-'em-up, between Wrightson's trademark horrific illustrations, Wray's coloring and Starlin's character-centric writing.

This is one of the best Punisher mini-series I've read - one worth owning.

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