COMIC BOOK REVIEW - The Punisher: End Of The Line
By The Masked Medic
Oh man, it’s been ages since I read a comic book. I wanted to ease back into some of the series that I had given up on before and thought, hey, maybe it’s time that I returned to the ‘Punisher’ series. The last novel had Frank Castle, aka, The Punisher go up against a villain named ‘Face’ who was jacked up on a synthetic drug called E.M.C. At the end of the novel, we seemingly see Frank die. But nothing is ever as it truly seems in comics right?
‘End of the Line’ starts with the D.E.A. attempting to catch Face, whilst believing that the Punisher is now dead. Naturally, this isn’t so and the Punisher sets about to take down members of the mercenary organization “Condor” of who initially Face was a part. Condor themselves are looking for Frank and they have their agents all over the place. Frank tracks down two of their operatives who are having a drink in a bar, ironically talking about the fact that their mission to find the Punisher is not going well. Frank storms in but before he can kill the two operatives, they take a shot of E.M.C. essentially becoming unstoppable juiced-up monsters. Despite that, Frank is still able to take them down, but in doing so reveals his position to Condor and their lead operative, Olaf. Whilst all of this is going on, Face is still around and he’s still manic from the E.M.C. He takes a bus hostage killing everyone on it, only to crash it. To the D.E.A. it seems that he’s dead, but it turns out this was a ruse to kidnap Detective Ortiz. Face clearly has a thing about making sure he kills every single person that he’s ever targeted and Detective Ortiz is his last target. The problem is that he’s ingested too much E.M.C. and Ortiz takes advantage of this. Over at Condor HQ, Olaf has taken over the entire operation and burnt the E.M.C. claiming that he wants Condor to be an organization of soldiers. Their first mission? Kill the Punisher. Can Frank take on Condor with all its operatives and live to tell the tale? And just where do Face and Detective Ortiz fit into this picture?
I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t like the violence in the Punisher novels. I completely get that it’s who he is as a character, but still. The story in itself was a bit confusing at times because I wasn’t quite sure what the actual plot was and how some of the side plots fit into the story. I’m sure that at some point it will all come together, but for now, this was an average novel. I think one of the things that is truly missing from these novels is character development. From what it seems like, The Punisher is one of the more complex characters in the Marvel Universe as he’s not really a hero, but not a villain either. That should make him interesting, but often he’s not written in this way.
The artwork was okay, but it really wasn’t a style that I particularly enjoyed. The covers for the main novel were also average, but I found this one variant above that I thought was very cool. Overall, not a great way to get back into reading comics, but it is what it is!
Sometimes his brutality isn’t just killing people, but also letting nature take its course!
It should be the Punisher right? Except it’s not. It’s probably Detective Ortiz.
Story Arc: ★★
Character Development: ★★½