COMIC BOOK REVIEW - The Punisher: On The Road
By The Masked Medic
Now that I’m back into the swing of things, I thought to myself I can’t keep reading novels from series that I know I’m going to enjoy. You have to switch it up occasionally and read new series and new novels. So I thought I would return to a character that I’ve not particularly enjoyed reading; The Punisher. The one novel that I read before I struggled to connect to the character, even though I did enjoy Jon Bethnal’s portrayal of the character in the Daredevil TV series!
‘On The Road’ tells the story of “Condor”, a mercenary group that has been on the D.E.A. radar for some time begins to expand its operation. The D.E.A. are about to close on a Condor hideout, only to find that someone has got there first and killed everyone. One of the agents, Ortiz knows immediately who could have done this;, Frank Castle, aka the Punisher. As Condor try to recuperate, they bring in a man named “The Face”, a psychopathic killer who cuts of the faces of his victims. Meanwhile Frank has done his research and slowly begins to ambush various members of this mercenary force, always one step ahead of his enemies and the D.E.A. During one such ambush, Frank finds himself in the country, where one of the mercenaries has wired his own daughter up with a bomb vest. Despite this, the Punisher hastily dispatches them all before saving the little girl. As he closes in on The Face, the D.E.A. closes in on him and during a car chase, one of the agents is captured by The Face. Suddenly in an odd position, Frank and Agent Ortiz must work together to save the other agent and take down the Condor secret lab. However, apart from the fact that the lab is heavily guarded, most of the lab subjects are on a chemical called EMC which is jacking them up. Can the Punisher make it out of there alive? And can either of these heroes stop the maniac that is the Face?
I think that I should start with the positives because it won’t take me long. I’ve said before that Marvel tends to have shorter novels which is bad if you’re enjoying them, but good if you’re not. This novel was definitely the latter. I found the plot to be boring and repetitive. I mean how many times are you gonna bust into a room full of bad guys and just kill them. I mean I know that’s his character trope, but still. There was little character development and the supporting characters did very little to bring any extra layers to what was a fairly basic story. I’m not sure what it is about the translation of the character into the medium of comics but I just don’t like the Punisher.
The artwork was probably another aspect of this novel that I didn’t like. It was a tad creepy. Sometimes comics with poor plots have good artwork and it can detract from the issues, but this was the opposite. Overall, this was not a great novel and I don’t know if anything can save it!
At least he has some sense of a human side.
I’ll be honest, it’s so difficult to say because I really struggle to relate to the Punisher and every novel I read doesn’t make me like him any more.
Story Arc: ★★½
Character Development: ★★★