Review: The Punisher Vol. 13 #6 (2022) by Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz & Paul Azaceta

This issue marks the end of the first half of this run (“Book One” (of Two)) and the conclusion of the fight with Frank vs. Ares.

STORY (w/spoilers)

Cover by Jesús Saiz

This issue’s main highlight was the fight between Ares and Frank, nineteen pages of Frank versus a God. Frank went full “army of one” on Ares with many types of weapons, the kind of guns that would make many sci-fi movies die with envy. Frank seems to be using sci-fi guns because every time he grabs a conventional weapon, something boycotts that action. Now, Frank is reduced to bladed weapons and sci-fi guns.

ART


Aside from this, most of this confrontation between Frank and Ares centered around explosions, Frank getting beaten up and talk. Once again, Ares did all the talking here with Frank responding in short. It remains unclear what Frank’s endgame is and what his thoughts are on his current journey. Beaten and left for dead, it’s clear that Frank didn’t prepare himself for this confrontation and his newfound “Beast” powers weren’t enough to kill Ares. The fight is concluded with Frank recovered by the Hand’s ninjas and healed by the Archpriestess.

The artistic team was great as always. With this issue focusing on the present, we didn’t get much from Paul Azaceta. However, Azaceta did a great job with the pages he worked on, showing flashbacks from Frank’s time in the service.

Art by Jesús Saiz

Jesús Saiz really shined (again) on this one. The fighting scenes were very well drawn and he delivered brutal scenes and gruesome characters. The vivid colors from Dave Stewart were also important to set the right tone to this comic book. I have only good things to say about the artwork.

Final Thoughts

I’m going to start with the positive things. Ares was very well portrayed by Jason Aaron, and once again, in my view, he was/is the star of this book. Every time he enters in a panel, his personality steals the show from the protagonist, which is not hard as Frank barely talks. The artwork has been superb along these six issues. Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta and Dave Stewart are doing an amazing job.

Now for the things I didn’t like. My opinions haven’t changed much since the last issue. I feel that I don’t know where this is going, don’t know Frank’s plan and what he ultimately wants to accomplish. Keeping his wife alive seems “small” for the bigger picture and the price is too high and out of character for something Frank would go along with. The most heartbreaking scene in this comic further adds to the confusion and out of character way Frank has been acting. It is revealed that The Hand has attempted multiple times to resurrect Frank’s children and the results are horrific, with them looking like Cthulian monsters. Ultimately, Frank chooses to end his children’s suffering through attempted resurrection. It was a real festival of horror and I really doubt that Frank would do something to their bodies to get them back, especially knowing that his wife is not fully “well” either.

Overall Rate: 6 / 10

Next issue… Punisher War Journal: Brother

Cover by Leinil Yu, Punisher War Journal Brother, Oct.12th
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