I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Punisher: Nightmare #1

Punisher: Nightmare is a Punisher story. If you've read enough Punisher, seen a movie or two, or remember the Punisher episode of the Spider-man animated series in the '90s, then you know what that means. Punisher is a brute who murders bad guys and he does so because his family was murdered by bad guys.

There have been a lot of fantastic issues of Punisher. In fact, I've grown to love Punisher, especially after Greg Rucka's Punisher and Punisher: War Zone comics. It may be because of amazing depictions of Punisher such as these that I did not enjoy Punisher: Nightmare. Reading Punisher comics can sometimes be like being in the movie Groundhog Day - you keep experiencing the same thing over and over again. Frank Castle is more obsessed with his tragic origin story than Batman, and we've all heard Batman comics being reamed because the writers focus on the murder of Batman's parents instead of developing different areas of the Hamlet-esque complicated hero. Punisher: Nightmare merely uses the same method of Rucka's Punisher - with Frank Castle witnessing another individual who is like him both in character and extreme circumstances - except writer Scott Gimple does so with less finesse.

The writing in this volume is actually quite good. It may even be interesting if you have never read a Punisher comic in your life. But it starts with material that has been beaten to death and moves into a weird and gimmicky way of incorporating blogging into comic books. Gimple has talent, but in Punisher: Nightmare it just feels like he doesn't have direction.

I wouldn't waste my time with Punisher: Nightmare #1, and that is not a general reflection on Marvel Comics, Punisher or Scott Gimple in general. If you have a yearning for good Punisher, read Rucka's recent volume and wait for his Punisher: War Zone to conclude. But save your money and save your time and steer clear of Gimple's Punisher Nightmare.

I've syndicated this review at Examiner. You can read it here. If you click on it a few times, spend some time there, or navigate to a new page, I might get some money. But I'm only asking that of you if you liked reading the article here and want to show your appreciation.

1 comment:

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