Issue #4 is out and despite some revelations, this run is still engulfed by mystery and many loose ends that should be dealt with. The more that is unveiled, the more loose ends are added to this storyline with no end in sight.
After reading this issue, you will be more confused than you were before reading it. There will be some revelations that will be well received. The fracture between The Hand and Frank that began in issue 3, thankfully continues.
To me, it’s very difficult to read a Punisher story, where the main character looks like a secondary character with a few lines in all the comic. I get that Jason Aaron wants to tell the Punisher story from the point of view of the Arch Priestess. After the ending of this issue, it doesn’t make any sense to keep doing it.
In my opinion, the character who’s stealing this comic is Ares. Jason Aaron is doing a great job portraying the character and due to Frank’s history in being the best killer of all, it’s not odd that the God of War likes the Punisher as he was.
For the first time, we got a confrontation between Ares and the Arch Priestess. Ares knows that the Arch Priestess has done something to manipulate Frank to get on her side, but he doesn’t know what and how yet. It’s not that strange that Ares wants Frank to get back into what he was before joining the Hand and leave the sword behind. His dialogue through the panels with Arch Priestess is fun in a way because Ares acts as the surrogate voice for traditional Punisher fans who want Frank to get back to his roots.
A primary point I hold against this run is the lack of Frank’s inner monologue. Without this dialogue, readers are still left up in the air as to Frank’s thoughts and place in this story…which is already confusing with no clear answers as to what is true and not true.
This issue didn’t have much action. The pace was a bit slow, but we did get two guest appearances and a decent fight with Frank showing his ” High Slayer powers” to one of these guests. There was a moment when there was a highlight on Frank’s firearms and it felt like a tease to Frank picking up on guns again, but the fight ultimately resolved itself through supernatural means.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is Maria Castle. She continues to be “lost”, out of place and confused. The real tragic character out of this storyline is Maria Castle. Maria continues to exist a fake life, almost like an animal, with no cognition of where she is, what she is or what is happening.
The artwork by Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta continues to be one of the highlights of this fun. Jesús Saiz shines with his brilliant character designs and present storytelling, while Paul Azaceta captures the darker Arch Priestess story about Frank’s past.
I’m not complaining about the pace or the decision of making Frank the “High Slayer” in this supernatural storyline. My complaints revolve around making Frank a “bystander” in his own comic and Aaron continues to confuse readers about where he’s going to take this story. With four issues in, there are many loose ends that he needs to attend to.
Why did Frank drop his guns? Is Frank working with The Hand due to the resurrection of his wife or is there another reason? Why did he change his logo? Why would he bother doing that? I hope these questions get answers soon, so we can get back to a proper Punisher storyline.
Overall Rate: 7 / 10
Coming up next… August 10th