AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
The Punisher: Army Of One
(Art by Steve Dillon and Jimmy Palmiotti)
After being attacked by an enemy he thought to be definitively dead, the Punisher follows the trail of those behind the attack to the lawless Grand Nixon Island, where a sadistic general is plotting a devastating terrorist attack. His pursuit of the guilty ultimate leads Frank Castle to the halls of power in Washington itself.
I've always liked the Punisher (and Jon Bernthal is the definitive screen version, no matter what you say) as a great example of a character straddling the line between avenging hero and ruthless murderer but this was my first foray into the Marvel Knights era of the character and I was a little nervous to begin with, worried that it would just be too dark and gritty for my tastes. As it turns out, Ennis brings a surprising amount of humour to this story and whilst some of it is a bit juvenile (the Russian's cybernetically enhanced body now has enormous breasts), there's more than enough wry humour, very much in the vein of 2000AD, to take the edge off of the extreme violence threaded throughout the book.
Ennis also stops the book from getting too dark by having Frank's enemies be unambiguously terrible people and absolutely deserving of punishment. As such, you find yourself almost gleeful at the brutal ends inflicted upon these heinous characters. That's not to say there's not nuance, however, as Frank has to hunt down and confront a spree-killer who once heroically saved his life in Vietnam.
4 out of 5